Creekside Park in Dana Point, California off Stonehill

Received Tuesday, June 22, 2010
negative emoticon 1
Physical description of caregiver: Older lady in her early to mid 60's, gray hair, Caucasian.

Physical description of involved child/children: Two little boys, one was about 2 and the other 4. I think the youngest one's name was Edward. Both boys had on plaid shorts and tee shirts. Both boys had dark brown shaggy hair and may have been part Asian.

Address or venue of observed incident: Creekside Park in Dana Point, California off Stonehill

Date and time of incident: Friday, June 18th

Detailed description of what you witnessed: The nanny read a book the whole time and rarely even looked at the boys. I never saw her talk or interact with the boys in the 45 minutes or so that we were there. The older boy was having to help his little brother do everything and a few times almost dropped him when trying to lift him. Luckily I was there and lent assistance. The nanny noticed I was playing with the boys and never came over to check on them. I finally walked up to her and asked her if the kids were with her because I felt the younger boy was in danger, it being a very busy park with an extremely busy road right next to it. She said she was their nanny and went back to reading her book. I suggested she keep a closer eye on him as he was wandering around very close to the road, and she looked up and told me she was and then went back to reading her book. This woman clearly has no business watching kids, so I hope the parents see this and fire her immediately!


Bostonnanny said...

This not only sounds like a bad nanny but most of the parents I see at the parks.

Phoenix said...

I don't understand. How close are we supposed to watch kids. Do I need to follow them around? I also don't understand why some people don't use their side sight when reading. I can still read and watch a kid. When are nannies supposed to relax? When are kids allowed to play? Why are some women so nosey? Why do people not teach their children about walking into the street? Do kids know how to make the right choices anymore?

Kidsitter said...

Phoenix nanny I wouldn't let you watch
my dog let alone my kids. Find a new job
one were you can sit on your butt all day.

Phoenix said...

I'm not a nanny. Never would be in my wildest dreams

I wouldn't watch dogs anyway they are way worse than children and they don't understand what it means to stay out of the street.

That's it! People are starting to watch children like they watch dogs!

j.d.c.f.b. said...

I agree with Phoenix to a point, are we all suppose to follow kids around every second? I can read and keep an eye on my kids, why can't other people do it too? Kidsitter-I wouldn't want to watch your kids or your dog (probably one in the same)

CSNanny said...

There's a balance between being realaxed yet cautious and hovering. I look after 2 year old twins, and there are times, yes, when I do sit on the bench. They need to learn some sense of independence. I help when it's warranted, and I push them on the swings, etc. However, I do send the occasional text. I wouldn't read because I'd worry I'd become to involved in my book to pay attention. But I don't follow them around the playground, and I don't always get up to communicate. Sometimes I do yell, "Be careful." or "Nope, too far."

I think there is such a thing as being too involved, and children do not learn to have an imigation, etc. But there is no excuse for these park bench nannies that do nothing to engage their charges, and uses the playground and other caregivers as a babysitting service.

A nanny who cares said...

There is a fine line between hovering and just plain neglect! If the nanny was there for 45 minutes and she never interacted with the children that's not letting them learn independence, it's neglect! I agree you should follow children around 24/7 but letting a 2 year old be cared for by his 4 year old brother while she takes a break and reads a book is plain wrong. If she needs a break so bad, why not do that when their at home? Or during nap/quiet time?

Manhattan Nanny said...

Maybe the degree of helicoptering necessary depends on where you are. In NYC playgrounds, I think you need to follow a two yo around. With my older charges, I pretend to give them more freedom, but keep them in sight. I certainly wouldn't feel I was being responsible with my eyes buried in a book!

Alex said...

I agree with what others are saying. You need to make sure you know what is going on, are close enough to step in etc. but you don't want to hover over them. Never looking up for 45 minutes? I'd call that neglect! Plus, having a strange nanny playing with your charge? I'd check on that.
I am probably a little too cautious when it comes to watching kids at the park but I do allow them to run around. I just feel that you need to be careful.

a male nanny said...

I am either with my charges, or have them in my sight at all times. If I'm on a bench, I'm watching. No phone, no book. On the other hand then I appear to be that strange guy on a bench watching the kids. *sigh*

Oh well, at least my charges are safe! :)

Phoenix said...

See that's just sick! Male nannies shouldn't feel that way. There is just as much nasty perverted women out there as their are men. It is not gender based but people based.

I love men and I feel so bad that so many are treated the way they are just because of their gender. But oh wait if we did that to a woman it would be sexist!

I don't like women. They are the reason we have hellicopter overprotective psycho parents who raise spoiled rotten kids. I remember a time when there would be 20 good kids at a park and maybe 5 bad kids. Now we have 23 bad kids and maybe 2 good kids...I blame the mothers.

oh well said...

I think watching and hovering are two different things. You don't have to get involved in everything the child does, you don't have to interact with
them constantly but you should know what they are up to at all times, particularly in the toddler years.

anon-no-moniker said...

repost for anonymous:
Sorry, but as nannies we have a serious responsibility to keep these kids safe. If you want your charges to be independent, let them play in the back yard or play room with supervision, not a public park. What if they fell off the equipment and broke their neck? One if you looked down for a second at your book and someone stole them?? You have a RESPONSIBILITY as a nanny and an adult to watch little ones non-stop in public. If you are watching 7 or 8 year old kids, then feel free to sit down and relax with your eagle eyes on still. We live in a disgusting world. You're being paid to make sure these kids are safe!!!!

MissMannah said...

While I agree this is a good sighting, I have to ask: do you guys really think it is that bad for a nanny to sit back and relax with a book at the playground? My charge is 4 years old and he actually tells me to go away much of the time at the playground--I think he considers it "downtime" away from me as well. So I'll sit back with a magazine or whatever. We very rarely go to crowded playgrounds and never to ones near a street. He knows he can run around wherever he wants, as long as we can still see each other and he stays within an agreed-upon perimeter. I think as long as your charge is mature enough to handle it, there's nothing wrong with this. I really want to know what you think about it, because I've never even considered that some might see it as neglectful.

nycmom said...

I do not think reading a book while watching kids is safe, and I don't do it while I'm with my own kids. Not even my 8 and 10yos, and of course not a 2yo. I find books and magazines too absorbing and your vision is directed totally downward. You are not watching the kids at all. Same for extended texting, though don't mind a brief text here and there. I actually don't mind phone calls and will talk on the phone while at the park because I can keep my eyes on the kids while talking, so I feel safer.