Recently she started saying she doesn't love or like her mom...

Received Thursday, February 14, 2008- Perspective & Opinion
I am a nanny for a couple that is going through a divorce. Their daughter, who is two and a half, always goes around saying she loves stuff, be it me, her dad, her mom, a plant, etc. Recently she started saying she doesn't love or like her mom, I asked her why she said that, and her response was that Daddy told her to say it. She always acts normal around both parents, never plays favoritism, or anything. Yet now she is saying these things. Should I let the mother know that I thing the father is coaching the child to say these thing? Or just leave it be?
~Memphis Nanny~


mnanny said...

Yikes, talk to the dad first. Just say "Hey, NAME, said this and she said you told her to say it. I just thought I would let you know." Otherwise, that is really tough, I would not talk to the mom unless you talk to the dad first. Good luck

§marypoppin'pills§ said...

Wow. Another 'child pawn' in the making, I sure hope her Parents are proud.
As for you ... if you really feel the need to get involved, I would take a little 'wait and see' approach, just for a minute.
Maybe Dad is just really upset and will get over it soon enough without you getting in the middle of it.
The child is hopefully young enough that if Dad can get his selfish act together, the little girl will probably not remember this.
However, since we aren't there ... if you think this is more serious and it's detrimental to the little girl ... then by all means, tell the Mom.

It would help to let us know:
Are you still working for BOTH Parents?
Which one are you closer to?

... Because I'm wondering if you shouldn't go straight to the horses mouth and tell Dad to "cut it out".

alina. said...

please dont say anything, if you do, consider your self unemployed.

Anonymous said...

I don't think they'd fire her for this. Mnanny made a good suggestion. If she has somewhat of a relationship with dad, just go to him and say: your daughter is saying she doesn't love her mommy, and when I asked her, "why would you say that" (which sounds innocent enough) -- maybe dad will get a clue and stop being such a jerk. At least then he'll be on notice that he shouldn't be putting crap like that into his daughters head.

Anonymous said...

Agreed! i would make a passing comment to the dad next time I saw him-just a little heads up that people are aware the child is saying such a thing. that might be enough for him to put an end to it.

Anonymous said...

This is a normal developmental stage that kids that age go through. When the little girl I nanny for was 2 1/2 she went through this faze where she said she didn't like ME. I didn't really take it personally but I was worried that her parents might take it the wrong way. Fortunately they also realized this was a passing developmental stage and a very good way for the child to get attention.

Anonymous said...

Sorry, it should be phase, not faze.

maggie said...

A guy walks in to a bar carrying a fox.
He says, "what do you call a nanny working for divorcing parents?"
The fox says, " A scapegoat".

Or something like that.
Run for the hills! It doesn't matter who is doing what to that child. In the end, you are going to blamed, battered and burned- I've seen it happen.

Kate in CO said...

Good one Maggie!!!! I agree with you......I would never say anything in this situation. Keep your ears & eyes open for a little bit.......there's probably a court date ensuing and the Dad is wanting to look good. As terrible as it IS what it is. 'Sorry. I'd start looking for another nanny position.

Anonymous said...

Stay out of it.

Anonymous said...

What is up with crazy parents?

One time my boyfriend's dad (who he is now estranged from) had his little sister (who would do anything for the dad's attention/love because he very obviously cared for his son much more) call their mom when she was on a scuba-vacation with her then boyfriend (who is now her husband). She was probably 10 or so. He told his daughter that he would think it was really cool or something if she called her mom and said, "I hate you." So she did, and when she had done this and hung up his face lit up, he hugged her, and said "I am so proud of you, I love you." Of course mom was upset and crying and confused.

Anyway, I would wait a couple weeks like others have said to see if it blows over and if not, then consider taking action.

chick said...

Is the little girl saying this TO her mom? If so, I would guess the mom will either ask her why she's saying that or simply figure it out on her own.

I hate to say it, but I would stay out of it with the parents, and just reinforce with your charge that her mommy loves her, and that it's unkind to tell someone you don't like them/love them.

If you work to defuse the words without making a big deal out of it, you'll be doing your charge a favor.

Anonymous said...

Stay Out of it. You will end up the bad guy.

Trust me on this


Anonymous said...

I assume you are working for the mom. If you see the dad, I would tell him the child told you he told her to say this. Say something like "I know this is a painful situation for you, but It is very damaging for a child when one parent says negative things about the other and puts them in the middle." If you don't see him to talk, write or call.
He may well be preparing to have you questioned in the custody hearing, and is setting you up to testify that the child says she hates mommy. When he realizes you will say that the child said dad told her to say that, it should put an end to that ploy.
You are in a miserable situation, but you can try to be an advocate for this child.
A Nanny

just anonymous said...

That is so awkward working for divorcing parents. I would be worried that the Mom will hear it and think you are the one coaching her to say it, since parents tend to be so blind.

§marypoppin'pills§ said...

It won't put an end to Dad's ploy ... he will just fire her. She shouldn't stick her nose in it too far, and saying something like you've suggested would put him on the defensive.
I actually like Chicks advice.
Reinforce to the child that Mommy loves her very much!

It must be very hard for this Nanny to stand on the sidelines and feel so helpless ... at least with Chicks advice, she's not putting herself too far into their business, and she's doing something that actually might help the child.

See how things pan out over the next week, and if it passes ... great. If not, please say something to Dad in a very diplomatic and delicate way.

hellcat said...

I would mention the child said it, and tend to act as though you didn't believe he would use his child in such a way. He might be more cautious of teaching her to say things like that, and he may feel ashamed to know you expected better of him.

Anonymous said...

No I would not say anything to the mother. I would simply re-direct the conversation to concrete things about the mother. for example: "what did mommy make you for dinner last night? wow, pasta? that's your favorite!" or "wow, did mom buy you that book? I love that book, you're so lucky!"
good luck!

§marypoppin'pills§ said...

Right. Positive reinforcement.
Good post!

Anonymous said...

The dad can't fire her if she is working for the mom.

Anonymous said...

we don't know who she's working for, or who's filling out her check. She may work for both equally - who knows?

Lisa said...

A way you could approach this is telling the dad this is the early steps of parental allienation - won't look good at custody decision time.

Anonymous said...

I've been a nanny for over 10 years and I've gone through some divorces. Some nasty, some not. But I would go to the dad and say, "Can you believe that KID A said, "I don't love Mommy?" Wait for his response b/c he'll probably be "shocked" and then say something like, "She told me that you told her to say it, but I wasn't sure whether or not to believe that exactly. I thought maybe she overheard a phone conversation so I wanted to let you know so it wouldn't hurt anyone in the future."
It doesn't have to be that cheesy or passive aggresive. Honestly, I would just be like, "Hey, this is what's up." and Dad and I (if he employed me) would have a candid talk. If I was employed by the mom, mom and I would have a candid talk. If I was employed by dad, dad and I would have a candid talk, and if it didn't stop, mom and i would have a candid talk. Child A and I would also need to have a little talk about how awesome mom is, even if it's not directly referring to her comment about not liking mom. Just point out how likable mom really is.
You may need to set up some divorce ground rules, while searching for another job. This could get nasty. Really nasty.