Received Sunday, May 2, 2010
Let's just get this out of the way from the get go: I'm a nanny that's quite opinionated about matters of child-rearing, and I am pretty judgmental when I see lazy or inadequate parenting. I keep these thoughts to myself, or try to find a positive way to encourage change, but the judgment is there nonetheless. That said, I'm sort of a TV nazi. I agree with the AAP that TV before age 2 is unnecessary and harmful to an infant or young toddler's development, and even in older children, I think "screen time" should be allowed in strict moderation. This philosophy bodes well for me, as most parents aren't hiring professional nannies to come over and plop the kids in front of the TV all day.
But what happens when Mom and Dad- conservative though they are about the nanny using TV with the kids- use it constantly when they're parenting without nanny's help? Normally I'd just pass quiet judgment about being a lazy excuse for a parent and a hypocrite, but in this particular case, the Mount Everest size tantrums coming from the three year old who doesn't understand why I'm such a MEAN NANNY who won't let him watch TV when he can watch as much as he'd like when I'm not around... well, that complicates things. He always asks to watch TV, and I 99% of the time try to enthusiastically redirect him into a more appropriate activity ("Let's listen to music while we eat our lunch in the kitchen!" or "It's a beautiful day; we'll go play soccer/ride bikes/walk to the park!" but often, it just doesn't work. He throws a TOTAL fit. The redirects are rarely successful and the tantrums usually escalate- and we don't have this problem with any other issue. If Mom or Dad is around- as they sometimes are, as Mom telecommutes from home 2 days a week and Dad comes home every day for lunch- they override me and let him watch TV. But I'm expected to keep the TV off at all times.
How would you handle this?