Starving to the point that is bordering on abuse...

Received Monday, April 28, 2008- Perspective & Opinion
Here is my problem.

I nanny children who are severely underweight.

When I am asked to give them dinner, sometimes the calorie count in the meal is under 300!

They are rarely given meat of any kind, for dinner and they are not eating or provided with a healthy, balanced diet by the parents.

Everything they are given is reduced or free of sugar and fat.

When I take them to the swim club in the summer, people stare and make comments. Those who think they are my children have even made nasty comments.

Today, the school sent home a note saying that the children needed to be provided with a proper lunch to get them through the day. I don't prepare their lunch, so I have no control over that. Their lunch consists of a slice of turkey breast on a slice of whole wheat bread, folded over for the younger one who is seven, and two slices of whole wheat bread and two slices of turkey breast for the 10 year old boy. Sometimes they will get a salad instead of the sandwich with a teaspoon of fat free dressing. They also get a snack of 1/2 a cup of oatmeal squares cereal and water sweetened with sugar free, flavored powdered mixes.

The children are suffering from behavioral issues that are escalating, and I believe it's because they are always hungry. If we are at the park, the youngest will beg for food off of anyone there. I always bring "snacks" but the mother and father are both health nuts when it comes to their kids so the approved and provided snacks are not appealing in the least. Usually it's some form or another of shredded oats or unflavored granola. On the rare occasion they are allowed to take a meal in my home, they eat like crazy and anything in sight. I have noticed afterwards their behavior is fine. I had tried to gently approach the mother but she told me that she grew up chubby and no way will she allow her kids to suffer the same fate.

My problem is, I really think these kids are starving to the point that is bordering on abuse. If you saw them without their shirts as I have, you would know what I mean. You can see every bone even each knob of their spine. They constantly ask me for food. other than this issue, the parents, who are well to do, provide these kids with everything they need including love and attention, but I fear for their health. The little one is always getting infections and once, having had to take her to her doctor right from school, he said her immune system is compromised because she is underweight. My mother has advised me I should call CPS on them but I can't bring myself to do that because I fear for the disruption and pain it would bring. But I love my charges and feel they are being starved and as a result, damaged psychologically. Advice is needed please. Thanks

A concerned nanny.


Upstate Mom said...

The school and doctor are both mandated reporters, so the fact that the doctor has said they are malnourished but hasn't called CPS astounds me. Nevertheless, you can make an anonymous if you were the parent of a friend of the kid who sees how skinny he/she is, and how hungry they are at playdates, or whatever. No one will ever know you made the report!! Someone needs to investigate and determine where they are on the developmental curve for Body Mass Index. Good luck.

Anonymous said...

I have called cps on families..
its up to them to see if its
founded or not...if your worried
about your job versus these
children...not a good thing...

Sue Doe-Nim said...

I would call CPS anonymously.

In order for your brain to form new pathways it requires fat.

Here's just one abstract.

Beyond neurological distress the children will also suffer from a host of other physiological disorders.

Worry about their emotional health after you tend to their physical beings because starving children is abuse.

It's not LIKE abuse.

It IS abuse... the most hideous sort.

Janet E. said...

Fat in a healthy amount is essential to child development. PLease call CPS, if you don't you are just as guilty.

Heard about the health nut parents who fed their baby only soy milk and juice because they where vegan or something and they got imprisoned for the death of their baby? The kid smelled of death by the time it got to the hospital. Literally.

These kids need you. Please do something. I'll even make the call for you if you like. Let us help these kids. The fact that the dr pointed out the weight issue makes it more alarming.

You won't be causing any harm. Only initial anger at the anonymous tipper. And then the cow can get over it.

Janet E. said...

Please do what is the right thing

mimi said...

Nanny, Frankly I have no idea whats wrong with you. If these children are as bad off as they sound you need to do something...and NOW! I wouldn't even do it anonymously...I would take the children straight to CPS. If these children are being starved then YOUR just as guilty for enabling them. It's the same as someone who stands by when a child is being physically abused and does nothing to protect that child. Shame on you Nanny, I would risk it all if it meant helping a child who was being harmed.

Janet E. said...

mimi don't be mean. you are right though.. she does need to do something and fast. let's try to stand together here.

Janet E. said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
marypoppin'pills said...

I cannot believe no one has stepped in to help these children. They are slowly starving to death while everyone stands idly by, twiddling their thumbs?

If you have a conscience, you must step in and help them.

Janet E.
I know exactly the case you are referring to. They were much like this Family, and that little boy died ... nobody stepped in to save him, either.

Anonymous said...

mimi isn't being mean, she's trying to coerce OP into doing something to save these kids - and if she has to do it by making the OP feel a little guilty, then so be it.

don't take this too hard, OP. We are not there, our hands are tied, and we feel helpless!

PLEASE do something! be their savior!!

Anonymous said...

It sounds like OP is not so worried about her job but about what will happen to the children if CPS finds that this is abuse. This is a tough situation because it sounds like the children are being loved and cared for in every other way. They are being fed just unfortunatly not enough. Its too bad the Nanny can't give them more food when she is around or that they can't start buying their lunch at school. I agree that CPS needs to be called but I see the OP's point. If the kids get taken away and brought to a physically or emotionally abusive foster home it would be far worse than what they are experiencing now. Hopefully CPS will just counsel the parents and tell them what a minimum caloric intake for a child this age is and with that threat they will step up and feed their children properly.

Melody said...

The dr.'s office should have already called, based on the report of the child's immune system being compromised due to being underweight. If CPS is called, by someone...inform CPS of the dr's comments. It should be noted in the chart. Someone, please call for the long term sake of the health of these children.

Back here said...

A long time ago Jane talked about mandated reporters and you are one. You are legally required to do something, not just ethically.

jenuag said...

As a daycare teacher I was a mandated reporter. Are nannies held to the same standard?

chick said...

I think that you need to make the call to CPS. In many areas, nannies are mandated reporters, just like teachers and doctors.

If you can't do it, make an appointment with the doctor or the school counselor/principal, explain what you have seen and your experiences, and ask them for help.

I would hope CPS might simply make the parents take some classes on proper nutrition and make the mom get psychological help, all while the kids stay in the home.

But maybe removing the kids is the wake-up call the parents need. Ultimately, WHAT happens is not as important, IMO, as that SOMETHING happens to help the children.

You are the last line of protection for your charges in this case. Do whatever you can to get their parents help and stop the abuse.

Good luck to you.

Anonymous said...

So, what you're saying is that it's better to die a slow miserable death than to take a very slim chance that these kids would be put into a not so nice foster family?

It's not like it used to be, foster families have many more regulations to follow, and are checked often by the state.

But, it really doesn't matter. I'm pissed that these kids Drs. didn't do anything. This nanny needs to step up to the plate.

If these kids are cared for every other way, and are happy and well-adjusted, they will not be removed. The parents will more than likely be counseled on the proper dietary needs of these children.

OP, call anonymously. The parents will NEVER know if it was that stupid Dr., a teacher, a friend, or another family member.

Random Passer By said...

OP... are you the parent? No, you're the nanny? Okay... then you are obligated to follow whatever silly or off the wall plan they give you for thier kids.

If you don't like it, find a new job.

OP said...

I am definitely not worried about my job, excellent nanny positions are plentiful in my area. My concern is for the children and only them.

I also cannot stress enough that in all other accounts the parents are loving, involved people. They have little other family in the area although visiting relatives always comment how skinny the kids are.

I asked my sister about this, as she is a school nurse, and she said that many schools usually only report physical or sexual abuse when it's obvious or reported by the child or someone else. Incidences like this one cause's the schools to look away because they fear lawsuits, adverse repercussions, or they just are too busy to get involved.

I do stuff them with food every chance I get. I am always bringing healthy snacks like yogurt cups, jell-O pudding cups, Quaker granola chews and oatmeal raisin cookies.

Random passer by NO I will Not follow the parents orders in this matter and only this matter because they are WRONG. I prefer to lose my job.

I have been with the family a year and this is the only issue I have but I know it's a huge one. These past several months I have been losing sleep, seeking advice and praying over this. The last time I tried to talk to the mom about this, she went off on her childhood and the epidemic of obesity in the USA among kids.

Thanks for all the advice. I plan to approach the mother one last time and if she refuses to talk about it and seek some sort of professional guidance I wail promptly call CPS. I will give her until this Friday to see drastic changes in their diet and what's available for them to eat.

Anonymous said...

Random Passer By, Keep going. Don't look back.


OP, you're doing the right thing. The last thing anyone should be doing is attacking you.

undercover regular said...

Shove a damn cupcake in that mom's mouth, tell her she's a nutbar, and feed the kids a snickers!

Anonymous said...

Random passer by:
This site is about protecting children. Maybe you thought I saw Your Nanny would be a porno site.
bye bye

Anonymous said...

Yes, call CPS. They don't want to break up families. They will always offer help to ensure the welfare of the children while keeping the family intact if possible.

Anonymous said...

OP - this sounds like a heavy burden to bear. But you know you must do right by the children. At the very minimum the parents need some counseling, both psychological and nutritional. If you would like to contact anyone on this board to report it in your place, we'd be happy to do it.

Anonymous said...


Keep us up to date on what happens.

Heidi said...

The nanny's hesitation may be due to the fact she feels she is in a lose-lose situation. If she outs the parents, there is always the chance something worse will happen to the children because of her call. She also fears that she could be found out and the parents would replace her with a cold bitch of a nanny who took delight in starving children.

You can't worry about either of those things, nanny.

You must make a call immediately.

I would not bother talking to the mother again, it will only clue her in to the fact that it is on your mind.

I will say this, CPS will not take a child away from his mother unless the situation is grave. This situation is not, but CPS is supposed to help keep children safe and families together. My fingers are crossed that one of the 8 smart caseworkers gets your call.

e said...

The child doesn't need a cupcake. The child needs a sandwich with some meat on it! A nice tuna sandwich. There are plenty of people who eat a lot of healthy food and are not obese.

If the parents don't know how to do that, then they don't know how to feed the children.

OP, what are the parents like weight wise? Does the mother have a history of being overweight? How does she eat?

Anonymous said...

OP,I wouldn't discuss this again with their mother. Just call CPS. This mother has a big problem. If the parents are not skinny like that and enjoy their regular food then there is more to this . Call now and get it done with and CPS does not tell who called. If you feel guilty then have YOUR mother call. My daughter had a friend who's Mother was a vegitarian and she would smell the childs breath when she came home from school to see if she ate meat. When I found this out I let her eat everything she wanted and gave her some fresh mint to chew before she went home.The new baby
she had was on these macro diets and soya and at 6 months she weighed 9 pounds, when she died.
The woman went to jail, the oldest went to a foster home but was able to write my daughter. When we saw her 6 months later she was a whole new child. Her hair was shining and her teeth had been fixed and she was in great shape but most of all she was happy. I have seen adults who kidneys give out from not having proper food. Please call
or give me the info I will do it for you.

Hellcat said...

This is sad. It reminds me of my sister. She is a stupid teen "mother" who's daughter hadn't a roll on her body when she decided she needed to go on a "diet." A diet consisting of only cheap granola bars. Diet, or laziness? This child isn't even two yet! I could throttle people like this.

Anonymous said...

CPS doesn't remove children easily. They would most likely assess the situation and order parenting classes or counseling or something like that.

OP, you really have no choice. Yes, the kids might be temporarily traumatized, but you have to think long term for children. Their brains and bodies are developing and extremely vulnerable to malnutrition. If you can't get through to the mother, you have to call the authorities or you are complicit in this abuse.

LindaLou said...

this is so sad. something definitely needs to be done and if the parents won't listen to reason, calling cps is likely the next step. we eat a very healthy diet and probably similar foods to what this family provides, but i don't limit how much the children can eat. also, there are healthy fats like nuts, avocado, olives, and olive and nut oils that are very healthy. children need fat for proper brain growth.

lorenza said...

It's so sad that these misguided parents, who probably think they are doing the right thing, are hurting their children. Good for you OP. I sense that you will be doing the right thing.

Sue Doe-Nim said...

OP I'm a mother and I was a teacher.

I have never been a nanny but I can tell you this.


You cannot give these people "until Friday" that is NOT GOOD ENOUGH.

I don't care about your employment. I don't care about your references or your prayer or your good intentions.

Every minute the clock moves forward and you haven't called 911 (don't bother with CPS if it's too much work to find them) every second that children are going hungry YOU ARE AT FAULT.

You asked for advice and then you rolled it around in your head and distorted it in an effort to side with ABUSIVE PARENTS.

You are not equipped to care for children because you are Failing the ones in your care right now.

You can correct this.

You have an opportunity to be an actual caretaker as opposed to an abuser.

In order to do that you must call now.

And I mean NOW.

Otherwise Nanny, you are culpable.

And child abuse is evil.

Don't be evil.

aliana said...

please call cps now!!!

cali mom said...

CALL CPS IMMEDIATELY. Those children need your help and IMO, the right thing to do would have been for you to call them MONTHS ago. As soon as the mom brushed off the doctor's warning, it became UNDISPUTABLE abuse so there is NO excuse for not calling. Don't give the crazy sadistic bitch until Friday. The kids are starving and in PAIN. GET THEM SOME HELP.

Warm-hearted Nanny said...

Do not warn the parents, discuss it with the parents or ask permission from the parents before you do this. Just do it as soon as possible.
Give your report to CPS.
If the parents lie to CPS and try to blame you for any of this, get yourself a good lawyer.
Before you call CPS, hug and kiss the children and tell them how much you care about them. Tell them that you will have to leave soon and tell them you'll never forget them.
Begin an immediate search for a new nanny position with another family.
Pray for the children.

marypoppin'pills said...

I'm going to tell you how my best friend died.

I had known this girl my whole life and she grew up in a home with very strict Parents. They micromanaged everything in her life and she carried this 'attitude' into adulthood.

One of the things that she was always worried about was being overweight because when she was younger, her Dad had said she was 'getting fat'. Her Mom had her on several diets growing up and I know she had some issues with weight, but my friend never really did.

I found out when she was around 23 y.o. that she was Bulimic and told her Husband, and he got her help.
She seemed to be getting better, but I think it really just taught her to hide it better. Hindsight is always 20/20. I have so many regrets now, and wished I had done more.

She died last month after having a heart attack. I never thought she was overweight ... she was an absolutely gorgeous girl. And I will never forget our last phone conversation. She had told me the night before, "I'm finally skinny."
This sits very heavily on my heart because I didn't realize she had been dieting. She honestly looked great, and I am only realizing now how deep those emotional problems were.

These Parents are not only doing physical damage, they are doing psychological damage.
Please get them help.

Anonymous said...

I am so sorry that you are going through this OP.

Why don't you comb the internet and print out some information on nutrition from reputable websites, ie, american acadmey of pediatrics, etc, that might make reference to what a healthy diet for children should include and caloric content. When you talk to the mom, you can reference some of the information in a non threatening way such as " I found all this nutrition information so interesting, did you know that we should be feeding the kids xyz so their brains grow?"
This way, when you do call CPS, you will know that you gave her every chance to educate herself and see the facts.

Anonymous said...

You ARE a mandated reporter. You not only have an unequivocal absolute moral duty, but a legal responsibility to report this abuse. You need to call cps, or you are liable, perhaps moreso than the mother who sounds like she is damaged by childhood trauma and cannot see that she is hurting her children.

Many abusive parents are "good" parents in every respect OTHER than the abuse. That does not negate the abuse. This mother needs counseling to overcome her issues with food, and these children need plentiful healthy food. They probably also need counseling at this point, so that they do not develop eating disorders. I can see this very easily turning into food addiction, hoarding issues, or even anorexia/bulemia.

Get these kids help now!!! Frankly, in your shoes, I would contact first cps, and then follow up to make sure they get a nutritionist and therapy. Perhaps you could take them to the doctor and get her/him to write a referral to said nutritionist and psychologist or other counselor (preferably someone with special training in dealing with eating disorders).

Anonymous said...

I work for CPS. The parents will never know it was you who called. The kids will not be removed from the home but there will be guidelines and checks for the parents to follow---if they don't and this situation continues, then foster care might become an option. But not right away. Call today. You will be protected and most importantly, the children will get help. Call.

Eduardo said...

I really feel sad to read this and see how the kids are starving. This is too much and beyond the acceptable limits. I would love to read all the comments here and look forward for more comments from fellow readers.

fng said...

I wish of you wouldn't be so hard on OP. She is clearly very troubled by all this and is trying to do what's best for everyone. Plus, these parents don't sound like typical abusers so much as it seems they are misguided and that would present a moral dilemma for most people in OP's shoes I think.

That said, OP please call CPS TODAY. Good luck and please do let us know what happens.

Anonymous said...

OP you know what you do. Tell the parents that you are taking a childhood development class. You are now learning about the food pyramid and what kids need in there diet. Show them the feakin pyramid. Then tell the parents that you are also going to supplememnt with exercise. Tell the parents your ultimated goal is to build lean muscle... so there kids can be athletes or something. They are health nuts, appeal to them and correct the kids diet. Show them how you are going to go this along with the exercise activity.The mom jusst doesn't want her kids fat... well then appeal to her. but save the kids life

A Fabulous Nanny said...

First off, thank you so much for being such a loving, caring nanny. Just because you may not have taken action sooner (which I think you should have...) doesn't, by any means, mean you are a bad nanny, or a bad person. In a world full of neglectful and abusive adults, both caregivers and parents, it's so refreshing to run across someone who genuinely loves the children they watch.

If you've already talked to the mom about it, and she's had a negative reaction, I think there's nothing more you can do than call CPS. As mentioned from a previous comment, CPS will not come through and rip a family apart for the helluvit. The parents just need a wakeup call. While growing up chubby isn't healthy, neither is growing up underweight. I think they reacted a bit too strongly, but seem to have the best intentions at heart for their children.

Best of luck OP, and please, let us know what happens!

ro said...

To the OP,
Thank you for coming here for advice.

I am sorry you find yourself in such a difficult position.

Disregard what people are telling you about the food pyramid and printing things out from the internet. Clearly, if this woman won't listen to her doctor or her hungry children, she isn't going to listen to some nanny recite statistics to her.

I think you must call CPS. You must do this sooner rather than later. By calling CPS you are doing the right thing. You should take comfort in that and let go of the result. Don't upset yourself wondering what will happen, just make the call and pass this burden to someone else.

I cannot imagine being in a position where you have to watch parents willingly starve their children. In defense of the parents, especially the mother; it is possible she herself is sick.

I hope the entire family gets the help it needs, but mostly my wishes are for those innocent children and for you- to have peace.

Anonymous said...

Give Me Three Grains of Corn, Mother

Give me three grains of corn, Mother, only three grains of corn;
It will keep the little life I have 'til the coming of the morn.
I am dying of hunger and cold, Mother, dying of hunger and cold,
And half the agony of such a death my lips have never told.

It has gnawed like a wolf at my heart, Mother, a wolf that is fierce for
All the livelong day, and the night beside, gnawing for lack of food.
I dreamed of bread in my sleep, Mother, and the sight was heaven to see;
I awoke with an eager famishing lip, but you had no bread for me.

How could I look to you, Mother, how could I look to you,
For bread to give to your starving boy, when you were starving too?
For I read the famine in your cheek and in your eyes so wild,
And I felt it in your bony hand, as you laid it on your child.

There is many a brave heart here, Mother, dying of want and cold,
While only across the Channel, Mother, are many that roll in gold;
There are rich and proud men there, Mother, with wonderous wealth to view,
And the bread they fling to their dogs tonight would give life to me and you.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Ironically, in attempting to keep her children from becoming fat, she's steering them towards a lifetime of eating disorders.

sad but true said...

Children who are portion controlled at a young age or kept from food altogether become hoarders later in life and usually end up battling obesity their entire lives.

Anonymous said...


erics mom said...


Let us know the outcome. I pray you call CPS on them!

MissDee said...

Anyone got a genie so that I could get a computer? *LOL* When I saw this post I knew I had to say something:

*hugs MaryPoppinPills* If I lost my best friend, who is like my sister, I don't know what I would do. Watching what happened to your friend and not knowing that anything was wrong must have been heartbreaking for you.

In the state of Wisconsin, as a childcare provider, I am a mandated reporter of abuse and negelect, and CPS doesn't always follow through with reports made by people regarding children. In 2004, a Milwaukee toddler died because he was starved to death. His mother and auntie were receiving W-2 (welfare) WIC, Food Stamps, and everything under the sun, and these children were neglected, but the parents made it a point to go to the shop and have their hair and nails done, and made it a point to go the club and drink everynight, even though neither parent was employed. How CPS found out about this, I believe, was that one of the sisters went out, brought a strange man back home from the club and I think he attacked the woman's children because she wouldn't have sex with him. I don't remember the specifics, although I do remember that CPS was called and the children were separated. I think one of the children may have died as a result of starvation-one of the children, an older boy of about 6 or 7 years of age, had food hidden in his closet, so that he could have something to eat. OP, I think you should call CPS and don't wait another second. It's one thing if the parents want to encourage a healthy lifestyle, and another thing if they are starving their children to achieve that goal. Parents set the example for healthy eating habits, and not having those eating habits causes obesity, bullimia and other eating disorders. I wasn't a healthy eater when I was a kid, and as an adult, I like kid friendly foods, like chicken nuggets, hot dogs and mac and cheese. I do eat healthy now, indulge in the occasional Big Mac and exercise everyday. I have battled my weight most of my life, and am getting back to my goal weight. My best friend's nephews, who are 4 and 10, eat whatever they want whenever they want, and I have not seen them eat any fruits or veggies. I observed the 4 year old eat candy all day and then Dad comes home from work and brings Happy Meals-with soda-4 nights in a row. Ewwwwww!

To OP's Employers:
I took your kids to Mc Donalds and gave them Happy Meals, ice cream and anything else they wanted. I then made them a chocolate cake and let them eat however much they wanted. Then we went to the park, where they ran everything off. I did this for 1 day, and took them to my house where I made chicken pasta primavera, tacos, spaghetti, and anything else they wanted. They ate like horses, loved every minute of it, and never told you about it, since they were so grateful to get a real meal. And today for breakfast, I ate 2 egg burritos, a 1/2 cup of yogurt, juice and coffee. After I get done here, I am going to Starbucks and to Mc Donalds. See, I may not be the best eater, but I do things in M-O-D-E-R-A-T-I-O-N, and I exercise. What did you eat today? What did your kids eat? Nothing?

OK, I need my grande....OP, let us know what happens!

Anonymous said...

i feel so bad for this kids....
what about speaking to Dad...and tell him you will call cps if this will not change today...this kids need too eat: 3 times a day and 2 snacks. 5 serving of fruits and vegtable, meat or fish daily and 3 servings of dairy a day...if this is not changing will leave and call the school and the strong for the poor will find a new job dont worry..

Anonymous said...

i feel so bad for this kids....
what about speaking to Dad...and tell him you will call cps if this will not change today...this kids need too eat: 3 times a day and 2 snacks. 5 serving of fruits and vegtable, meat or fish daily and 3 servings of dairy a day...if this is not changing will leave and call the school and the strong for the poor will find a new job dont worry..

Anonymous said...

I saw a hungry child but didn't feed them.

Oh my.

Lea said...

In reference to 10:11...

I am an ethical vegetarian and I would be livid if I found that someone was feeding my children meat purposefully to spite me. My reasons for wanting my children NOT to eat meat as just as valid the reasons someone else may have for wanting their children to do so.

My children will make those decisions when they are old enough to realize the spiritual repercussions of their actions. (This is a religious issue for me.) I would not hate my children if they decided to eat chicken nuggets one day, but I would want to educate them about what they put in their mouths before they did.

In a preemptive response to flame: my children are in no way starving or unhealthy and have been vegetarian since birth.

Anonymous said...

To 3:11- you apparently missed the point of 10:11's post. Obviously. Smeeling a child's breath to see f they ate meat is nuts, and obviously being raising her child as a vegetarian is the least of the problems in that scenario since her other baby died from her wacky diet for an infant.
I am raising my child vegetarian too, but if she tried meat, I wouldn't be "livid". It's a taste experience.

OP said...

Hi Everyone.

I called CPS today and gave my report just as I relayed it to all of you. I also gave them the name of the doctor, what he had said to me and told them about the note from school as well as gave them the school name.

I also gave my name because there would be little doubt as to how they would have gotten all the information anyway. I also gave a statement that I have never witnessed any other sort of physical or emotional abuse.

I don't care if they fire me. As a nanny, my first responsibility is to the well-being of the children in my care. If the parents don't want me to do everythig in my power to protect their children, then they have hired the wrong nanny, and in all liklihood it would not have worked out in the long term.

Once again, I thank you all for the advice. I still feel badly for having done this to the parents because I say again they are not bad people. The mother clearly has issues and the father I guess feels his wife knows best.

Janet E. said...

You are a good person. Good for standing up for these children. I do however recommend you look for another job ASAP to protect yourself. I'm sure you'll find one. Let us know.

marypoppin'pills said...

I'm glad you did the right thing, OP.

You will sleep well tonight.

Janet E. said...

I want to know why this Dr didn't call CPS. He could get in a lot of trouble for not doing anything. I hope he does.

Anonymous said...

I'm with you Janet -- that really got me, the Dr. not doing what he was supposed to.
I wonder if it's because the parents have $$$$$.

Anonymous said...

Maybe the fam has money or the father is a professional. The very rich can treat their children like ratshit and no one holds them accounatble. Doctor$ are motivated by money. That's why we should fear pharmacies and wonder how bad it is for the rich kid in school who is always sad.

OP said...

I think the doctor is a family friend or cousin through marriage or something. I know there is some personal tie there.

marypoppin'pills said...

Well then, there ya go.

Anonymous said...



fg said...

Wow, if only more nannies had the love, dedication and concern for their charges. You are a very strong person. Good luck to you in all your future endeavors, whatever happens.

mom said...

Good JOb OP!
If I were you AI just might make SURE this got taken care of by calling the school and laerting them to the issue and telling them that, as mandated reporters, you have just made it their legal DUTY to investigate and report the problem. Maybe do the same to the doctor too. If they have three reports they will take it very seriously.

Also it sounds like the mom may have an eating disorder and is passing it along to her kids. A friend of mine struggled with Anorexia for years, but eventually seemed to get herself on somewhat of an even keel. One day she related an incident to us at playgroup where she had freaked out because she "caught" her husband sharing a candy bar with her son. (Although she had learned to eat, she never ate dessert or sweets.)Shge began to rant and rave at her husband for feeding the child candy. He looked at her firmly (he was a doctor) and said, "You have an eating disorder. He does not." She said a lightbulb went off in her head at that moment. She was trying to pass her restrictive eating habits off on her young son. Fortunately she was emotionally healthy enough at that point to see what she was doing and STOP immediately.

The point is that talking to this mom would likely not help the situation. I believe CPS was your best option. And, as some have said above, they will probably work to educate her and make sure she is mentally healthy and capable of taking proper care of them.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for posting back. You did the best thing for the children, and I'm sure it must have been difficult.
Please let us know what happens.

Jane Doe said...

Congratulations OP on doing the very thing your mother thought you should do. I don't imagine it was easy. Take comfort in knowing that having to stay and witness the suffering of children(because that is suffering) would ultimately wound you further. The best thing for you personally is to be free of this dysfunction.

Best wishes to you.

Anonymous said...

If you do stay with the family please give us updates on whether the children are helped by CPS! It would be great to see a success story.

a said...

Thank you Jane for making the point that the nanny should also think of how this situation will affect her emotionally. So many people think the nanny should do this because she is a nanny and do that because she is a mandated reporter, but she has to worry about her own mental well being at some point.

cali mom said...

Wow OP, I'm so glad you called! I do hope that you end up staying with the family, because I think it would help them stay on track and it sounds like you have a great bond with the kids and it would be beneficial to them (obviously) to still have your love in their lives. Please do lgive us an update as things develop.

Anonymous said...

I am proud of OP, but I seriously doubt they will keep her on after they find out. They will feel betrayed (but don't YOU feel like you did the wrong thing, OP - you did NOT).

I guess in a perfect world, the mom will get the help she needs so the poor kids can thrive, and OP would be there to witness it, but mom will probably fire her.

That sucks, because then we won't know if the children got better.

Let us know if you do find out anything, OP.
And thank you for doing the RIGHT thing!

Anonymous said...

Me thinks that this family isn't as together as the nanny thinks. Does nanny live out, yes? I imagine the dyusfunction is a bit greater than she thinks. It is is so NOT normal to starve your own children that I wonder how the mom can be righted. I hope it's going to be like flipping a switch but I doubt it. And if OP 'gets' to stay and has to have these children to worry about every day of her life, that's not good for OP. Because at the end of the day, OP's connection to the children depends on the parents. I have seen parents fire a nanny and never let her see the children again, despite being heavily invested. You don't want to know that kind of pain. Start looking for a new job. When you interview, tell the people you are working for that you require to work for parents who recognize and meet their children's needs because you want a job you look forward to going to, a job that is fun and not a big sack of heartbreak.

Anonymous said...

PLEASE do these children a favor and report these parents immediately to the authorities. This is outright abuse.

maggie said...

She already did.
Jane, I liked your response. I know you are very active in child advocacy, so I was almost shocked to see you express concern for the nanny and not just the children. I don't mean that in a negative way, either.

And to the OP- Thank you.

Anonymous said...

Great job OP, you did the right thing. I hope this works out for you. I am sure you will have no trouble finding another job. You sound great.

Janet E. said...

OP have you heard anything yet?

OP said...

If anything happened today, I didn't hear about it.

So far I still have my job, but I am looking just in case.

Anonymous said...

These parents aren't health nuts! They give their children deli meat, which has high amounts of sodium nitrite. Take a look what that preservative can do to you.

And yes those children need to be seen and taken care of by the proper people.

Jane Doe said...

I received two emails criticizing my comment in this thread. The individual thought my comments were insensitive to the suffering of the children and that I seemed only concerned for the nanny. Let me assure you that my concern is, has an always will be the children in any situation. Children are wholly dependant on the adults to care for them, advocate for them and stand up for them.

When I think of these children as the OP has described them, my heart breaks for the children. The OP's mother had suggested she should call CPS and in my opinion, given that a school notice and doctor's advice were ignored, I believe the mother of the OP was correct. The number one goal was to encourage the OP to get help for the children.

Having said all that, I have to imagine for OP to be around starving children, even having to partake in the parent's ill conceived meal plan cannot be a pleasant thing for the OP. To be around suffering children with your hands tied, unable to do anything- I don't think that is necessarily good for one's own mental health. The nanny is in a very difficult situation and I appreciate that.

My heart is with these children whoever they are, wherever they are...

Anonymous said...

Bless you, Jane!

marypoppin'pills said...

What was so wrong showing OP a little bit of support? It probably helped her to do the right thing ... and she obviously cared enough to write in for advice.

Bottom line, whatever it takes to help these children, is what needed to be done - and criticizing OP would not have been beneficial.

mom said...

OP, if something doesn't happen soon, report to the school principal as well and to the pediatrician. Tell them you are calling CPS and reporting that they have been notified and that they have a duty to report. Sometimes the system doesn'r work just as it should and you have to keep trying.

Meanwhile, I would sneak them some healthy food from your home and make sure their tummies are filled every day up until you leave for the day.

OP said...

CPS showed up yesterday, went through the home, interviewed me and each child plus the mom separately.

I don't think they said who gave the report because afterwards she acted OK towards me, although she was very upset. She cursed whoever did this to her.

She didn't tell me much, but she has to take them to a new doctor for a complete physical and CBC within 30 days. A social worker will be back in 48 hours to inspect the contents of her cabinets and refrigerator. The gave her all sorts of information on nutrition for children. That was all she said.

I'm still looking for another job because I know if she finds out it was me she will fire me. She already said she wishes she could "get" the person who did this. I would leave but I don't want to just take off on the kids and although she's very angry I'm not afraid of her. The most she will do is rant and throw me out.

I want to add a big thank you for all the support I received here, especially from Jane. It really helped me make a very difficult choice. I'm very sorry people were nasty to you, Jane. You do a great job! I will continue to update you guys as things develop, if I can.

Anonymous said...

Wow, are you serious? This is all so dramatic. If this is true (because let's face it, some posts aren't) I must say you should win a medal, OP!
I hope the mom never finds out it was you, and you continue to be in those kids life because they absolutely need you.

And please tell us that after CPS left, those kids had a big 'ol dinner.
With dessert!

ManhattanMamma said...

I don't, for one moment, think this is fake. There are plenty more dramatic stories out there that are true with horrible endings. The Nixmary Brown story comes to mind. I'm not saying these parents are on the level as the animal dung that had poor Nixmary, but imagine if someone had made a stink over her treatment BEFORE they beat her to death.

Way to go nanny!

Anonymous said...

OP: you should be commended. You did a good thing, even if it feels bad right now. I don't know you but I am proud of you. Best to you.

Anonymous said...

Well done Nanny and CPS will be checking on this for quite a while. They will not expose you by telling who called.

undercover regular said...

Good job, OP. Thank you for doing the right thing. Let us know how the kids are doing as soon as you get a chance.
Please keep us posted!

Anonymous said...

Why so hard on doctors and wealthy families 6:25? Are you poor and uneducated?

Anonymous said...

OP, I just want to thank you for doing what you did. Believe it or not, I am a mother who was unjustly reported to CPS (by an ER doctor after my kid had an accident that looked like it could have been abuse-related), and even though it was stressful having to prove my innocence I would MUCH rather have people ALWAYS report something to CPS if there is any doubt. (I do not even blame the doctor who reported me.) So thank you for your courage on behalf of these children.

Anonymous said...

Hey OP, anything new? Has the mom been feeding them better now? Did CPS come back for the inspection? I hope those kids are doing better.