Thursday

Child Forms Bond With Nanny - Bad

Received Thursday, April 17, 2008- Perspective & Opinion
Imagine a child, or rather 2 or 3 children who have had the same nanny; virtually since birth. For reasons hard to comprehend, their father is very critical of the situation. The father's idea ? The nanny should be fired after one year of service to prevent the children from growing attached or forming a connection to the nanny. Your reaction?

34 comments:

Westchester nanny said...

If he would like to have cold unfeeling children who cannot form bonds later in life, sure go ahead. The nanny child bond is hard to comprehend for some people. To the children you are both a friend, caregiver and some time part of the family. I should think you would want your children to look back fondly at the time they spent as children in the care of a person who truly knew and loved them enough to stay while they matured. I have formed lasting bonds with the children of my previous family and have enjoyed the milestones in their lives with the parents. I cherish these times as I know they do as well. I've been written about in yearbook senior pages and class stories and this makes my life fuller. A person who does not want these same experiences and memories for his children is not much of a parent at all.

a texas nanny said...

The lady I used to work for would often mention that when they lived in Switzerland that was common practice for the uber-rich; change out the girl every year so they aren't too attached.... good plan (sarcasm) except that all the kids I take care of tend to get attached to me after seeing me only 2 or 3 times!

lorenaz said...

I know they practice this sort of thing at hospitals in rotating nurses so that they don't get overly attached to a patient. What could possibly be wrong, though, to know your child is loved by someone besides you who is devoted and protective?

Anonymous said...

Lorenza,
What kind of hospital? I've never heard of that. Who gets attached to nurses? When I was in having my last baby, the Rn was so condescending and rough that I visualized stabbing her in the eye with my fork.

I have never heard of changing out nannies every year. Are you kidding me? It takes awhile for the nanny and children to get acclimated and then for the nanny to learn the schedule and get a feel for the house and the job. Besides which, the people I know who have a high change over of nannies, they are usually assumed to be shoddy employers. Makes no sense. If you find someone good, you keep em'.

Ro said...

Ever watch Deal or No Deal?
Except in this case, you know exactly what is in your case (presumably a good nanny since she has lasted a year and grown attached to your children and vice versa) and you trade your million dollars in for a chance for what? A one in how many shot that you are going to get someone good.

Dumbedy Dumb Dumb.

lorenza said...

This is a common practice in hospitals, I've been told and even witnessed during times I've spent in hospitals. I've also seen some very disagreeable nurses who seem to bully their patients. It's important to speak up for yourself or family member (or friend) if they are receiving unacceptable nursing care. I have no qualms about reporting such a nurse if a word to the wise has no effect.

cold world said...

Really Lorenza? Perhaps it was just you? Maybe you lacked boundaries and it was written in to your care plan to keep distance from you?

This sounds mean to me. Whether it is a 2 year old kid or an old lady in the hospital. Just feels cold, although I am sure it is real efficient. No feelings + efficency.

Anonymous said...

Great plan: if you want to raise children who will be forever unable to trust their friends, lovers, husbands or wives...great plan: if you want to raise emotionally fragile children who need years of therapy in the future to repair their constant sense of abandonment and betrayal...great plan: if you want to raise children who cannot trust the people they should be able to depend on most (their parents) to provide stability, long-lasting relationships and security.
Just great...

cali mom said...

Fire the dad. Before he can do any further damage.

Anonymous said...

It sounds pretty selfish IMO. What other reason could there be but to insulate his bond with the children. Perhaps he is easily threatened. What does Mom think? If the nanny has been there that long, she obviously must disagree.

I'll never forget when I was 9 years old and my parents were going to take a long weekend to the SF. My mother found left us with the worst woman she could have. The woman was cold and bossy and smelled. Mother knew this too, and Mother had the option of leaving us with my paternal Aunt. But she wouldn't hear about it. We had too much fun with Aunt Naomi and even though SHE NEEDED to leave us with someone, she chose the worst option for her own comfort. Because she was jealous of Aunt Naomi.

mpp said...

I vaguely remember a post very similar to this one quite awhile ago. I believe it was the Wife who was worried that the Husband felt that they should change Nannies every year so that the children couldn't form too close of a bond with them.

The majority of the posters were very insensed that Dad would do this to his children, and we tried explaining that it only takes a child a few days or weeks with a good and loving Nanny to already be attached.

I think it is cruel to basically rip away a person that has formed a close bond with your child for no reason. The child will never learn to trust, or develop healthy, long-lasting relationships.

just anonymous said...

Jealous.

Anonymous said...

This kind of behavior is selfish and short-sighted. Unfortunately, it's also far from rare. It's the children who suffer most in these situations.

Robert Synnott said...

That's a bit silly; the child needs to form long-term bonds with someone. In an ideal world it would be the mother or father, but a nanny would surely be a decent second?

On nurses, rotation makes sense there, and it's for the nurses' sake. Realistically, many people who enter a large hospital don't come out alive, and if nurses (or doctors) were having to deal with the deaths of a few people they had gotten to know personally per day, they would go mad.

There's also a safety aspect, possibly; there have been a few cases where doctors or nurses have systematically killed patients; in almost all cases the problem was detected when the patient got worse in their presence and better in everyone elses'.

jojo bear said...

Very true, Robert.

I work with high risk newborns in neonative intensive care and in my present position, we are not rotated. I wish they would impliment the same policy used at the last hospital I worked at because I don't know how much longer I can take this. I'm especially bad for a non rotating position because how can you not make a quick attachment to a helpless, hurting baby? And when things go wrong, I find it very hard to hide my upset.

But back to being a nanny, for the same reason why wouldn't you avoid rotating or a high turnover? For whatever reason you have chosen to employ a nanny. Now it is up to you to find the very best nanny you can. If your children have to look back on their life and see it spent with a series of nannies, how awful is that? If they look back on their life and reflect on memories and a childhood with 1 or 2 nannies that were like family, all the better.

I worked as a nanny for two families. The first family I was with for 2 years, the second family for 6. I am in contact with both families, I still live within a half hour of each of them. The children don't feel they were raised by a nanny, or even that they had a nanny, they just had Jo.

*The second family I worked for paid for my education and allowed me a very flexible schedule during my last year so that I could graduate. I will always be grateful to them for that and my career and I have heard from them a number of times how much they appreciated the different things I did for them.

Isn't that how it should be?

Janet E. said...

What kind of hospitals do you go to? If you have an issue with your nurse call in the nursing supervisor and file a formal complaint. If the nursing supervisor is "unavailable" ask for a fellow or senior resident on that service, meaning if your in the NICU, ask who's in charge over that section for the month. Try to have an eye witness too of her attitude problem.

My husband works in the hospital and you either get great nurses who care about their jobs or the condescending ones who think think they are superior to other doctors because they may have been there longer. Fact is: unless you spend another 4 years on higher education and several years as a resident working 80+ a week you need to know your place and be respectful to patients and doctors (nurses i mean)

Even though nurses have a strong union there are ones who get fired because of their bad attitude because everything that gets reported, does ultimately affect them.
make sure you are nice to the nurses and them to you.

Janet E. said...

you're not your- sorry

and robert, the majority people who enter a hospital leave alive! not the other way around.

nurses are there to help doctors and have to follow there orders of medication. otherwise the doctor isn't doing hers/his job.

for example, when my husband did a call service recebtly and noticed that the nurse gave double the meds to a patient when he wasn't suppose to get it, he called her in, told her the mistake. she threw a hissy fit which and it resulted in him taking her to the nursing supervisor and dealing with it professionally. sure she felt bad but she had to be written up or his ass would be in trouble.

i don't understand the comment how nurses could just make patients sick though and do better with someone else. there are many factors that influence a patients well being. i don't think any nurse who is sane would make their patients sick purposely... though i'm sure it can happen but it's not common

Rebecca said...

What's the motivation behind this policy your husband wants to adopt? Because I can actually see where he might think it was more beneficial for the children not to get SO attached that they'd be really hurt when the nanny left. I think that's kind of misguided, since a year is a LONG time to a kid and they'll get attached anyway, but I can see where he might not be doing this out of jealousy or bad parenting.

I would avoid rotating nannies like this mainly because nannies do tend to look askance at employers who have had 10 nannies in 10 years. Also, I do think it's a great thing for nannies to stay long-term, and then keep in touch with the kids - that way the kids know that their nannies love them and even though they're leaving they're not just going to disappear.

On the other hand, I've known families that hired au pairs - really good au pairs - or very young nannies who mostly just stayed for 6 months to a year, and the kids were totally fine - none of them suffered from self-esteem problems or the inability to bond. This, I think, is because they had GREAT parents who were absolutely present. The nannies and au pairs were with them most of the day, but the kids knew who their parents were, and there was LOTS of family together-time on evenings and weekends. The kids also knew that their parents hired "friends" to take care of them while the parents worked, but that these friends weren't permanent fixtures, and that was okay. They (the kids and the parents) looked on it as getting to know some new people, getting to see things from the perspective of people from different backgrounds, but then moving along. A lot like kids who go to camp and form great friendships with campers and counselors, and keep in touch with them for a while, and eventually lose touch.

I guess I think that this one-year arrangement is not necessarily a bad thing as long as the parents are SUPER involved - more than a lot of nanny-families tend to be.

Anonymous said...

You really cannot compare nannies to au pairs, it's like apples to oranges.

Primarily, an au pair is hired at like $150 a week and guaranteed that she is going to be PART OF THE FAMILY. The au pair lives among the children like an oldest sibling. And even though they are there for a short time, the parents are usually involved (au pairs dont work as long or intensely as nannies do) and guess what? The children still have attachments, but this time they are able to connect with former au pairs. I had an au pair once, it wasn't for us. She lasted nine months. It wasn't for us because she was too young and too needy, not her fault. We treated her like family then and four years later, she is getting married and we are all flying to Sweden to go to the wedding. I like what Jo said above. We never referred to her as our au pair unless absolutely essential. The same goes with our current nanny. She is Carrie. My son will ask me, "do we have Carrie today or you". I tell the teacher, "Carrie will pick him up from school". People who say "the nanny" and "our nanny", I find that just absurd.

I chose to have a career and I work about 30 hours a week out of the home and 5-15 from home. You can be certain that I would much prefer my child attached to a good nanny than getting slapped around by an impatient nanny or being dragged around on errands with a selfish nanny. When my current nanny announced she was going to leave, that she no longer wanted to get her own place and no longer wanted to be a live-in nanny, I was devestated. I started the interview process and I had plenty of time since our nanny said she would stay until we found someone.
I used three agencies, word of mouth, UB and Craigs List and each candidate was scarier than the next. I realized that the best thing for my family was to accomodate the nanny's changing needs. She wanted her own place and was looking in the Poughkeepsie area where she could afford something. We offered to pay a portion of her rent and helped her find her own place 1.4 miles from us. We're happy. And you bet- my children have a close attachment to our nanny. You bet they do!

Rebecca said...

Um, I wasn't comparing au pairs to nannies. I said au pairs AND nannies. As a nanny who has known au pairs, I know the difference. And the issue isn't how much they get paid or what they do - the issue is how attached children get, and whether or not short-term is okay. Also, just because a nanny doesn't stay for the long-term doesn't mean she's impatient or selfish. Sure, it's likely going to be much more difficult to find 10 good nannies in 10 years rather than two good nannies in 10 years, but there's no need to imply that short-term equals bad. The families that I mentioned above hired mostly au pairs or first-time nannies (more first-time nannies than au pairs), and had almost all really good experiences with them. Some of them keep in touch with the families, some don't so much, but the kids are great and grounded because they have parents who are there for them - who are involved and don't leave all the parenting up to the nannies.

t.r. said...

Whatever..

We have used the same sitter for Saturday nights for 5 years and now we have to find a new one because she is going to Grad School.

I can't imagine not wanting your child to have an attachment to the nanny. That's a very bad sign on the father's part that he wants that, it's a poor reflection on the nanny if the child doesn't for a bond with her and it's not a good thing for children who need to learn how to form friendships, bonds and engage in appropriate and thoughtful relationships.

This father sounds like a creepola.

Anonymous said...

Can anyone say issues?

maggie said...

Decisions of the heart are best left to the mother.

Lauren said...

Child grows up unable to form bonds based on true affection with anyone for fear of them being cut off or ending. Child has abandonment issues. Child becomes attracted to men or women as cold as unfeeling as their father. Child never has the ability to know real love because his/her natural ability to grow to love and receive love has been quashed by derelict Daddy. Tragic.

LindaLou said...

how lovely. this sounds like a way to foster an attachment disorder in the children.

Robert Synnott said...

Janet E - 'many' and 'majority' mean different things. Of course, it also depends very much on the hospital and ward; there are ICUs where the majority of people leave vertically.

Robert Synnott said...

Sorry, also, absolutely the killer nurse/doctor thing is very rare, but it does happen occasionally.

Janet E. said...

robert, i misunderstood what you meant. my apologies.

meg said...

The father is either uneducated or ignorant.

The most important property of humankind is the capacity to form and maintain relationships. These relationships are absolutely necessary for any of us to survive, learn, work, love and procreate. Human relationships take many forms but the most intense, most pleasurable and most painful are those relationships with family, friends and loved ones. Within this inner circle of intimate relationships, we are bonded to each other with "emotional glue" - bonded with love. Each individual's ability to form and maintain relationships using this "emotional glue" is different. Some people seem "naturally" capable of loving. They form numerous intimate and caring relationships and, in doing so, get pleasure. Others are not so lucky. They feel no "pull" to form intimate relationships, find little pleasure in being with or close to others. They have few, if any friends and more distant, less emotional glue with family. In extreme cases an individual may have no intact emotional bond to any other person. They are self-absorbed, aloof or may even present with classic neuropsychiatric signs of being schizoid or autistic. The capacity and desire to form emotional relationships is related to the organization and functioning of specific parts of the human brain. Just as the brain allows us to see, smell, taste, think, talk and move, it is the organ that allows us to love -- or not. The systems in the human brain that allow us to form and maintain emotional relationships develop during infancy and the first years of life. Experiences during this early vulnerable period of life are critical to shaping the capacity to form intimate and emotionally healthy relationships. Empathy, caring, sharing, inhibition of aggression, capacity to love and a host of other characteristics of a healthy, happy and productive person are related to the core attachment capabilities which are formed in infancy and early childhood.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like the father has some issues in regards to jealousy over a nanny forming any sort of bond with his children.

Children need consistency in so many areas of their lives. Forming a bond is just one of them. It helps them develop trust and respect for others. It helps them learn to also be self-sufficient and independent. Having that consistent person in their life is healthy.

Having a new person come in every year will do nothing but hinder the children. They will not be able to learn how to form relationships or trust others. I would bet my money that they will become more agressive and less trusting of others. They will think that random people are meant to come in and out of their lives after a certain amount of time. When they are old enough, they will wonder what it was about them that caused yet another person to leave.

I worked for a family where none of their nannies worked out for longer than a year. This was because the parents had inflated egos and thought their poo didn't stink. They expected the nanny to care for their 4 children and run an entire household and do all the errands and activities. And they loved to talk down to the nannies and berate them. And you know what the kids wondered? What it was that THEY did to make the nannies always leave. The KIDS felt guilt.

*sigh*

Anonymous said...

OP, please tell us this isn't your situation? If it is, then you must take a stand against your husband and insist that changing your nannies once a year will do nothing but harm your little kids.

They need to know that every time they form a bond with someone, that they aren't going to disappear! Can you imagine what that would do over time to their psyche?

Young children especially need to know that there are adults present that they can count on ... and depend on, and trust.

Your children will never learn to properly forge long, loving and healthy relationships if your husband goes through with his selfish plan.

holz said...

i've been with the family i nanny for since the baby was born- he just turned 2! we have an awesome relationship... we definitely have a very tight bond, and there are times he's woken up on weekends calling for me, but he'll also wake up when i'm there calling for mama... he'll eat better for me but take medicine better for his parents... it's a trade-off. sometimes i feel badly, but the way i look at it, if he weren't so attached to me, i wouldn't be doing a good job.

Anonymous said...

no one is this dumb

Anonymous said...

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