Tuesday

Explaining to a Child the Difference Between Mom and Their Beloved Nanny

Received Tuesday, December 8, 2009
Perspective and Opinion on ISYN Sorry this isn't a sighting, but I'm hoping to get help with a situation I'm having. I've been a nanny for my current family for about a year and a half. I watch two wonderful kids ages 2 and 4. Overall it is a good work situation and I adore the children, and they are very attached to me. That's part of the problem. We've gone through several phases of the kids wanting me not their parents, or crying when I had to leave, and though I'm sure it hurt the parents' feelings, they've understood and eventually the phase ended.

However, now I have a bit of a problem. The parents have always referred to me as part of the kids family. (They used that word, not me, because I didn't want to put myself into a position I did not belong in.) So the kids now refer to me as part of their family, and I'm honored, but with the holidays we're having a problem. The day before Thanksgiving while I was doing a Thanksgiving craft with the kids, the 2 year old asked about me being at their house for Thanksgiving dinner. I tried to explain that Thanksgiving is a good day to spend with family and that they'd be with their parents and grandparents and I'd be with my family. She seemed okay with the answer, but on Thanksgiving day through a huge fit because I wasn't there to be with them (the parents told me about it Monday).

I'm wondering how to explain the difference between blood family and a nanny who loves them to the kids. I don't want her to have another fit at Christmas, but I don't want her to think I don't love her. How do other nannies or employers explain the lack of the nanny's presence at holidays to kids? Any help would be appreciated.

7 comments:

MissMannah said...

I really think this is an issue the parents should be taking care of. It is hard for a small child to differentiate between "family" and "like family." Maybe the parents can start referring to you as a friend? You can explain to the children that you have a mommy and daddy too and that you love being with them, just like they love being with their mommy and daddy. You can bring in pictures of you with your family to drive the point home.

Some thoughts said...

As far as problems go, this is one of the better ones to have, I'd say.

It's hard for very young kids to think of you as being separate from them. To them you exist to take care of them. I agree with MissMannah- talk to them about your family- what their names are, what they like to do, etc. Let them know what you will be doing on the holiday, and ask them to tell you about their day when you come back. You could even tell them stories about when you were a little girl

Yaya said...

That's so sweet that they love you that much. Maybe show them a picture of your family? Explain that you have a Mommy and Daddy like they have a their Mommy and Daddy.
Good luck!

Marypoppin'pills said...

Just had to chime in... I think the advice given about the Nanny sharing pictures and thoughts about her own family is a great idea.

Kaitlyn and Daniel said...

Everything Some Thoughts and Yaya said sums up what I think is a good idea.

Momkat said...

I love the idea of showing them a picture of your family =)

OP said...

Thank you all for the advice. I'm going to go dig up some pictures to bring tomorrow.