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Would you fire your nanny over this? - Page 3

post #41 of 123
Quote:
Originally Posted by monkeybum View Post

DH and I both loved this woman immediately from the moment we met her and I truly feel/felt like she had my children's best interest at heart. She seemed very warm, sincere and caring. She is Filipino and has been working as a nanny here for 5 years, we spoke to both of her past employers and although she didn't get "glowing" reviews...
That would have stopped me dead in my tracks.

Glowing reviews are so important. And even then, you really have to know what questions to ask these references, how to "read" their responses, etc.
post #42 of 123
Quote:
Originally Posted by monkeybum View Post
Inside, my 1 yo constantly removes our floor vent covers and climbs in to the air duct , or he opens the freezer (which is on the bottom of our fridge ) and pulls out everything, or pushes something - anything - over to the dining room table so he can climb up and stand on it...that's if he's not turning the tv on and off (repeat ad-nauseum) or climbing on top of the fireplace hearth and throwing all the toys across the room, or picking stones/paint chips out of the sliding door frame and eating them, or finding his brother's milk/juice/lunch and dumping it on his head, or standing on the coffee table/couch/chair/trike/anything he can get on to...he is really non-stop. As I baby proof one thing, he finds something I haven't. So I feel for her - you have to be down on the floor playing with him 24/7 or all hell breaks loose.
After reading this, I kind of get it. I understand why should would put the 1YO in the high chair all the time. My oldest child was like this. He's a wonderful kid but so intense and into everything all the time (much moreso than is "normal" for a toddler) that you never, ever get a second's break with him. I don't think until I had my 2nd, I really got how intense it is with him. She may not have been prepared for that. It honestly could be more than she can handle but doesn't know if/how to tell you.

I'd also plan some things for her. Since you yourself can't be in the yard with your kids for more than 20 minutes, I think it's unreasonable to expect a nanny would want to. You really need to either fire her and find someone who's very interested in outings or get her involved in things outside your house.
post #43 of 123
You know what, I don't know how you are $-wise, but if you can afford it you could ask her if she can do housekeeping for you and/ or be a backup nanny in case the new one gets sick. If you feel guilty about firing her and that could soften it for you or her, it's one option.
post #44 of 123
I was a nanny for a 13 mos old, 3.5 yr old, and 5 yr old (when I started). I worked 8-5, M-W, and F 8-1245ish (whenever I dropped the older two at preschool). Mom was mostly WAH in her office, but occassionally gone.

Mom didn't care too much about tv...I did. The deal I made with the kids was that they could watch on Fridays from the time they finished lunch until we left for preschool. So, about a half an hour/week (the youngest was at kindermusik w/mom at that time). VERY occassionally, if I was asked to stay later than 5 (which was about 1x a week), I'd let them watch a video after they finished dinner (maybe once a month). It was usually more trouble than it was worth, IRT agreeing on a video.

Let's see...the older two were in preschool M and W from 1245-300pm. The youngest usually napped during most of this time. Other than that, yeah, I played with/taught/cared for them, tv off. Now, I might have been playing with the baby while the older two played together, or we might be doing something all together, or I might be inside with the baby while the older two played outside. I pretty much interacted with them constantly - if not directly, then observing. I would take a break to pee or something (with the baby, generally), or tell them, "Hey, I've got to load the lunch dishes, and clean up the kitchen," and they'd amuse themselves for 10 minutes. Especially once I was heavily pregnant, I *would* say, "I need to eat. You may have a snack with me, or you can go play by yourselves, but *I* need to sit down for ten minutes, and eat a sandwich."

I don't think nannies are workhorses, and I don't think they should be "on" 9 hours straight, but I do think a good nanny is able to discern when a good time for breaks is, when is a good opportunity to do XYZ, and how to regulate tv/media consumption.

I'd look into a new nanny, personally...
post #45 of 123
Quote:
Originally Posted by katheek77 View Post
I don't think nannies are workhorses, and I don't think they should be "on" 9 hours straight, but I do think a good nanny is able to discern when a good time for breaks is, when is a good opportunity to do XYZ, and how to regulate tv/media consumption.
ITA. I had similar issues with my in-home child care provider. She fed my DD, changed her (usually), and I don't doubt that she loved her, but she didn't interact with her at all.

The kicker was that she was my MIL, and she was living with us.

I sucked it up for a year thinking that "no one would care for DD the way I would" and that I had unrealistic expectations, but eventually I just couldn't take it anymore. I put DD into a mid-level daycare center with a ratio of 6:1 for 1yo's, and it was the best decision I could have made.

I understand you're gun-shy about centers since you were so recently burned; and if you know the nanny is keeping them safe, healthy, and happy, it's hard to make the switch. But it sounds like your trust in her is broken and that you don't believe she will be 100% honest with you, and I can tell you that was THE issue that made me switch. I just couldn't live with that kind of doubt and worry in my heart all the time.
post #46 of 123
She doesn't sound great, maybe a bit apathetic. I have noticed this with a fair number of nannies (but not all) that I've seen around, particularly it seems a number of them for whom the job was their entry to Canada. They may or may not be all that invested in caring for small children if they're actually a trained nurse or something from the Philippines who is supporting a family back home, understandably.

I'm glad you're going to be setting up some outings/routines, though - it does sound like you were setting her up a bit (inadvertently) to be stuck on 'child containment' duty. Maybe because your children were in a centre before you hadn't quite thought through how they would get the requisite amount of stimulation at home all day in a townhouse with a tiny yard? You mentioned that you don't even like your husband taking them to the park on his own. You may want to work on this so everyone doesn't go too stir-crazy!

What about:

- park (yes, really! - in fact, is there a fenced one nearby?)
- library
- Early Years Centre (most of them have free playgroups every day)
- any kindergym drop-ins at your neighbourhood rec centre?

Can she drive with them?

In the interests of full disclosure, my 4 yo watched TVO kids, and when she was a baby I was often grateful to pop her in her booster seat and give her some crayons or a mini-bead maze for a stretch!
post #47 of 123
Former nanny and current mom who has hired a nanny here!

I am VERY anti-nanny-cam so I would not do that. In fact, you did exactly as you should - which is to come home unexpectedly. I think if your instincts are telling you that you might want a nannycam then this is not the nanny for you.

It does not sound like she is very into her job, and like you said, is just getting through the day. I would find a new nanny.
post #48 of 123
OP - I also want to add that you should not really have to be planning outings and activities for her to do. That is her job.

You don't want a nanny that you have to babysit and micromanage. You want someone who is capable and can handle organizing the children's day in a fun, productive way.

There are plenty of nannies who can handle rambunctious children just fine. Sometimes better than their own parents. That is ok, and that is fine. Don't let her off the hook by saying, "Oh, my child is a bit this or that, rowdy or a challenge. I understand if nanny can't handle him/her." That is NOT acceptable. A good, professional nanny should be able to handle children.

And... even if the nanny is not a "career" nanny, she still ought to be good with children. I've had some nice young women in transitional times in their lives nanny for us, and they were great! Now they are working in other fields, but they still like kids. KWIM?
post #49 of 123
At the moment it definitely sounds like a less-than-ideal situation, and I think you need to take some action.

But I also think you need to be fair -- she definitely should have time during her day to cook her own lunch, even if that means TV and a high chair to keep the kids amused. And if you aren't comfortable with her taking the kids out and your yard and house aren't very condusive to kids, then you've pretty much tied her hands. If she also doesn't have a way to get out with them, then you haven't left many alternatives. She can't read your mind about what you want or don't want -- lots of parents would be perfectly comfortable with TV and high chairs, so you need to be really certain that she understands your priorities.

Given all of that, I would probably do one more explicit coaching session. As in "Do no clean the house beyond picking up the kid's messes and anything that is unsafe for the baby. Do not allow more than X TV per day (and only XYZ). Do not put the baby in the high chair more than X time per day. Organize X outings per week -- here are some options: ABC" and so forth. Then visit a few more times and see what you see. If she isn't following explicit instructions, then definitely look for a new nanny.
post #50 of 123
I was a nanny for two children who were really close in age for four years (until 2 weeks before DS was born). One thing that jumped out at me is keeping expectations fair. I think it is fair to expect she will be actively engaged with your kids most of the day. (I agree with the PP that a short break or two can really help.) But to expect her to do at home activities that you don't really like (dodging wasps in a hot backyard) isn't fair.

As a former nanny and a mom, I find it really helps to get out of the house. When we spend a little time at the park or a class in the morning, I feel much more into playing, reading, crafts in the afternoon. I agree that you shouldn't have to micromanage and plan each days activities, but I think it is really important to be explicit with expectations, wether it is with her or you decide to get someone else. I would come up with a list of activities such as a local fenced in park, library story time, a multi-age class at parks and rec (ours had art and gymnastics in a multi-age format), local play group and then tell her you would like them to get out to at least one activity every morning. Maybe also get your 4 year old set up with a tricycle or bicycle and helmet, make sure she has a sling or stroller for the little one and tell her you would like them to go for a walk every afternoon after naps.

As for the TV, I think it should be used sparingly, but there are times when it can be really helpful. I remember one afternoon as a nanny when the toddler missed her nap and was super cranky, and the baby had a stomach virus and was vomiting all over. Toddler walks through the vomit before I could clean it up.....I think a video is justified in times like those, but certainly not on a daily basis.
post #51 of 123
I would find a new nanny. There are nannies out there who will engage the kids and take them places, do art projects, and truly enjoy being with them.
My daughter's nanny is a stay-at-home-mom...you might look into finding a mom with kids close in age to your children. I've found it to be a great situation.
post #52 of 123
Quote:
He eats all of his meals in front of the tv. He goes to bed whenever he wants. He eats - much of the time - whatever he wants, (though we try to only keep healthy alternatives so that's not a big deal to me). We always end up negotiating on everything - how many bites of dinner he has before dessert, how many more shows he gets to watch before the tv goes off, how many books we read before bed, you name it. And it's usually the amount HE says, or we agree he can do something when HE decides, or how HE wants.
I hate to pull from other forums, but I think it's important here. The above is the OP's stated concern about her child in the GD forum. Monkeybum, I think when you take into account your own dislike of your backyard and your own inability to get your child to do what you want (including stop watching TV), then the nanny situation looks very different. It looks as if you're trying to get her to do with your child what you and your husband can't, and that, imo, is completely unfair.
post #53 of 123
I would fire her.

Yes, she keeps your kids safe all day. That's not enough. She may be "nice," but from what I've read, she sure doesn't like to play with/actively engage with kids for long periods of time. I have an au pair, she is no super hero nanny, but she does make an effort to play with and create fun activities for the kids. No, I don't expect non-stop excitement all day. But I have made it very clear that I generally expect at least one activity each day - go to the playground/park/library, have a playdate, go to the nature center/museum etc., I'm not picky about what it is, but the kids can't be cooped up in the living room all day.

No wonder the 1 yo is in the highchair and the TV is on! The kids must be bored senseless and this keeps them safe and out of trouble. It doesn't sounds like you've yet seen her engaged and having fun.

Less-than-glowing references are a huge red flag for me. If she's been doing this for 5 years and has yet to "wow" a family, or really hit her stride with kids, I think, unfortunately, she's not a great nanny.

Sorry, this stinks. I've fired au pairs, it's no fun, but kids come first. And headphones? No way. I'm delighted if the au pair plays music on the stereo or laptop for the kids and herself, but wearing earphones when you're "watching" kids is a potential safety issue, especially if your visual attention is focused on something else.
post #54 of 123
I'm a former nanny.

I would fire her. A lazy, unengaged nanny is terrible for children. They don't just need basic supervision to make it through the day unharmed- they need love, affection, stimulation.

You sound like a good employer- you pay for overtime, you make sure there is plenty of food, you actually want her to take the kids places- which I always thought made my job a million times easier and better for the kids, to be able to go out and experience the world rather than just stay home. IMO, it's time to work on finding a better nanny. It's so not okay for a little kid to watch TV all day or a baby to sit in a high chair for no reason. It's borderline neglect, and I would get her out of there asap.

eta- the part about the kids liking her. Not good. Kids with good nannies don't just "seem to like her"- they LOVE her! when I'd come to work for the day, the kids would always be running towards me, thrilled to start our day. children are very loving little souls, and they will "like" most anyone who spends significant time with them, unfortunately, even if that time is spent ignoring them.
post #55 of 123
Quote:
Originally Posted by monkeybum View Post
Wow, thanks everyone!

I guess I find myself making excuses for her though...we live in a townhouse and our yard is teeny tiny, so they can't really spend all day out there, (though there is a small climber, balls, sandbox, chalk, bubbles and the sand/water table). It is not child proofed though, I found it hard out there for 20 minutes on the weekend - the 4 yo threw all the balls over the fence to the neighbours and the 1 yo headed for the a/c unit or ate a bunch of dirt every time I turned my head, that was all while dodging all the wasps...I gave up and came inside.

Inside, my 1 yo constantly removes our floor vent covers and climbs in to the air duct , or he opens the freezer (which is on the bottom of our fridge ) and pulls out everything, or pushes something - anything - over to the dining room table so he can climb up and stand on it...that's if he's not turning the tv on and off (repeat ad-nauseum) or climbing on top of the fireplace hearth and throwing all the toys across the room, or picking stones/paint chips out of the sliding door frame and eating them, or finding his brother's milk/juice/lunch and dumping it on his head, or standing on the coffee table/couch/chair/trike/anything he can get on to...he is really non-stop. As I baby proof one thing, he finds something I haven't. So I feel for her - you have to be down on the floor playing with him 24/7 or all hell breaks loose.

.
Then this nanny (though I would not continue to employ her) and any other nanny in the future must take the kids out each day. Period. That may mean you need someone who drives, or they can get the stroller and the tricycle/bike going and head to parks and playgrounds, or they invite friends over for playdates (if the novelty of having others over diminishes the troublesome behavior). I am very explicit with my au pair about this. Yes, it can get hairy being inside all day. So, she plans her day so she can get out - she can use the car almost every day, she can also take the train or walk with the kids.

I don't know how it is where you live, but near me, there are definitely nanny networks and they get together for playdates. All my au pairs have done this w/their au pair friends. So long as the other kids are close enough in age that it's really a playdate situation, this is great.
post #56 of 123
Quote:
Originally Posted by mamasaurus View Post
OP - I also want to add that you should not really have to be planning outings and activities for her to do. That is her job.

You don't want a nanny that you have to babysit and micromanage. You want someone who is capable and can handle organizing the children's day in a fun, productive way.

?
I so agree here. If you start scheduling & planning, that puts you in the position of doing childcare remotely - impossible. You'll get calls..."it's raining, should we still go for a walk...Kathy's kid is sick, so they can't meet us at the park..." etc. and be in a position of finding solutions. I say provide the tools and authority for her to have activities - a map, phone #s of a few friends, membership cards to local attractions, etc., lay out your expectations, and then she should really go from there. She can meet other nannies at the park.
post #57 of 123
I don't think you should ever really have to tell a nanny to be engaged with your children, it's part of the job description...anything less is unacceptable IMO. When you find the right fit for your family, you'll wonder why you ever waited.
post #58 of 123
Quote:
Originally Posted by BrandiRhoades View Post
I hate to pull from other forums, but I think it's important here. The above is the OP's stated concern about her child in the GD forum. Monkeybum, I think when you take into account your own dislike of your backyard and your own inability to get your child to do what you want (including stop watching TV), then the nanny situation looks very different. It looks as if you're trying to get her to do with your child what you and your husband can't, and that, imo, is completely unfair.
Doh! There I go again, thinking that the original post was a pretty clear picture of the situation. I have to agree, though... While I think that the trust issue with your nanny is still something to address, I think it's unrealistic and unfair to expect someone else to do more/better with your child than you do. If you don't much care for playing in the backyard, I wouldn't expect her to. If you can't get your son out from in front of the tv, I wouldn't expect her to either, unless you and your husband come up with a plan to limit tv time and need your nanny's help as well.

The BEST caregiver would take care of your children as well as you do. Any human caregiver will do their very best job, truly care about your children, and communicate with you freely and honestly.
post #59 of 123
Quote:
Originally Posted by heather8 View Post
Doh! There I go again, thinking that the original post was a pretty clear picture of the situation. I have to agree, though... While I think that the trust issue with your nanny is still something to address, I think it's unrealistic and unfair to expect someone else to do more/better with your child than you do. If you don't much care for playing in the backyard, I wouldn't expect her to. If you can't get your son out from in front of the tv, I wouldn't expect her to either, unless you and your husband come up with a plan to limit tv time and need your nanny's help as well.

The BEST caregiver would take care of your children as well as you do. Any human caregiver will do their very best job, truly care about your children, and communicate with you freely and honestly.


True. Why would you want the nanny to be out there dodging wasps and hanging out when you could barely stand it for 20 minutes??

Probably nanny is bored. If she can't take the kids places and is stuck inside w/ them all day I can't say I blame her for organizing cupboards and cleaning.

People have no idea how mind numbing it can be to be stuck inside someone else's house all day, even with kids you adore.

Also, does she have downtime? When can she relax for a minute?

And I have to ask this, but are you paying her fairly? I ask b/c I know that often times foreign nannies get a very raw deal (not saying you are doing this...just curious).
post #60 of 123
I would be worried about that, but I don't know that it is worth getting another nanny over if the kids are happy. I think that you should tell her when you don't mind her listening to the music and when you do. It may be that she needs a bit of a break from the noise once in a while, during the course of a normal job day people usually get at least half an hour in break time and half an hour to an hour for lunch so it doesn't seem unreasonable for her to listen to music while she is cooking or the older child is watching a movie while the younger one naps. You might even consider getting her some music that she likes and that can be played on a cd player so the kids can listen and dance to it.

I also don't see any reason to drag kids on lots of outings, it is hard on the kids and on the adult. I do think that they should have more outside time though. Can you sit down with her and come up with a schedule for the kids to follow as much as possible?
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