A couple of weeks ago my boys went to a neighbor's house for a play date for a few hours. When I picked them up I asked if they were good. The mom replied "yes, of course". I thanked her and we went on our way.
The following week I had a friend's son for the day when she had to work. When she picked him up she asked how he was and I said he was good. Later, however, we were walking together and I recounted a story from the day, jokingly, about how he had gotten sassy with me when he wanted to have a third snack and I wouldn't let him (growth spurt!). She immediately called her son over made him apologize to me and told him that if he didn't behave when he was with other people he would lose privileges. I instantly felt terrible for telling her, I felt like I was tattling on him which was not my intention at all. He was good 95% of the day and telling her that one little indiscretion really did no one any good. And it just made him very sad that I "tattled" on him. I made a mental note not to be so detailed the next time and just reply like my other friends had and say "he/she was good" if they're mostly good. I vowed to focus on the good behavior I've witnessed throughout the day rather than wasting time talking about the small indiscretions.
Later that week I was having a conversation with some friends (these two mothers incluced), and we were talking about whether or not we share every detail about how a child was when they're at our house for a play date or whether we just gloss over and say everything was great. Does it really do anyone any good to share the little tiny squabbles and minor behavior problems that a child had throughout the day?
One of my friends said she wants to know every little detail. She wants to know if he was good or bad and that she could correct him or praise him depending on the situation. The other mother said she really doesn't want to know any of it unless it's alarming behavior that she needs to discipline. She argued that no child is good 100% of the time and as long as he is appropriate and polite she's not concerned about every little detail.
We also talked about how much info to give other parents or friends about their children. Do we just say things were great! Or do we go into detail about how much they ate, when they ate, what they played, who fought with whom, etc?
I tend to want to hear just a general overview of the day. Most of the time (unless there's a particular issue we're looking for) I don't really need to hear every little detail, but I do like to hear that they're being good. However, can we really trust that they're truly being good if were not sharing all the details? And when I have other people's kids I've decided to just focus on the positive and say everything was wonderful if it mostly was.
How do you handle it when you babysit other people's kids? Do you tell the mother every little detail or do you just give a general they were good or they were bad? And how do you like it to be handled when someone else has your kids?