Received Wednesday, August 8, 2007
Sighting location: Old Greenwich, CT. - Tods Point (Greenwich Point) - Beach
Date of Incident: Tuesday, August 8, 2007
Nanny: blonde, slim, late 20's, sounded like a British accent
Children: twin boys (probably fraternal), around 5 years old, blue patterned swim trunks.
Nanny was sitting on beach with twin boys. One boy was very disrespectful and ill behaved. He was hitting his brother with a large sand shovel and when the Nanny attempted to give him a "time out" he resisted, threw sand at her and threatened to hit her with the shovel. He then walked away towards the water where he swam out with his brother up to his neck. Nanny was not wearing a bathing suit but did enter the water up to her knees. She shouted for the boys to come back and they obeyed, but not right away. When he returned to the shore the "time out" was not enforced and the boys continued to play in water. The misbehaved boy then threw sand in his brothers face. The nanny who was standing near by grabbed the boy and dragged him to the "time out" towel by his arm (something she should have done to begin with). He then sat on the towel and threw sand at her. She attempted to ignore his crying, screaming and sand throwing but then appeared to become embarrassed and picked the boy up and carried him up the beach to an isolated spot to speak with him in private. This would have been all well and good, but she left the other boy in the water, ALONE. I watched as she spoke to the other boy about his behavior and quickly realized that her back was turned towards the other boy in the water and if something would have happened she would not have seen and too far away to hear. About 2 minutes later she returned with the boy who was still misbehaving. She seemed to realize that it was time to go and started to pack up. At this point the misbehaved boy wandered up the beach towards the path that leads to the road. She was not aware of this at all and only realized that he was gone when someone grabbed her attention and pointed in his direction. He could have easily wandered into the road and been hit by a car (there are no stop signs at the path crossing). When she returned with the boy he re-entered the water (with his "time out" towel in hand) and then resisted leaving the beach altogether. It took her about 10 minutes or more to get him out of the water and to the car. She was extremely frustrated and bewildered.
I am reporting this sighting not to get the Nanny in trouble or fired, but to reprimand the parents of these children for leaving their 5 year twin boys, one who obviously has severe behavioral problems, with someone who is not trained to deal with them. This boys behavior was out of the norm and no one, not even someone like me who has extensive experience working with children with behavioral/emotional problems, would have an easy time directing him or keeping him safe. The Nanny's full attention had to be on this boy and therefore the other child was left to fend for himself. In fact, as they were preparing to leave the other boy broke down in tears because his snack had been left out for the birds to eat because the Nanny had to chase after his brother. This is just not fair. The misbehaved boy would do much better in a structured camp setting with staff that is trained to work with children with behavior and emotional difficulties. I do not fault the Nanny or the child for the events that occurred today, I fault the parents who are most likely in denial about their child's issues. Please find your child and Nanny some help so that no one gets hurt! I recommend both parents and child read 1-2-3 magic to help with the behavior problems.