Wednesday

Now I Lay me Down to Sleep...

Received Wednesday, October 20, 2010
Opinion 4 Hello all! I am live in nanny in Chicago, and I love it! The kids are excellant and the parents are sweet which is great because I moved 2000 miles to take this job. Any way, the one problem I am having is that the oldest of the two boys sleeps with his parents. Usually I
wouldn't care. In my mind it is to each their own. But because of these sleeping arrangements he doesn't sleep until 10 or 11 at night. And I have to wake him up a 6:30 to get him ready for school. It is such a nightmare!

First I have to drag him kicking and screaming over a parent to get him up. The parents only give a half awake "behave" as a way of help. Then I carry him (still screaming) to his room where I literally wrestle him out of his pjs and into his uniform. By the time he dresses, brushes his teeth, and eats breakfast we are usually running late and I have a new bruise.

Now please understand this boy is a sweethart at all times except for when he first wakes up. I couldn't ask for a better kid to watch. But he is only 6 and he is lacking much needed sleep. I have mentioned my observations to the mother in a constructive way but she was deaf to suggestions. She claimed "he can't be pushed" but I have heard him say on several occasions that he wants to sleep in his room. It seems to me his sleeping arrangments are more for the parents than him.

Have other nannies dealt with this? I love every other aspect of my job and am not planning on leaving it anytime soon. But I would really like some suggestions on how to handle this. Thanks!!

36 comments:

Lizzabee said...

I feel your pain. I currently nanny for a 2 1/2 year old and the parents told me that he's too young to be disciplined, instead they use redirection. Or so I was told when I took the job, because redirection is actually a pretty positive way to teach a child that age.

However, it turns out that realistically the child cries and whines when he doesn't get his way and the parents give in eventually. every time. Well, one parent was in the living room and the other in her office and i'm there feeding their child lunch, well he saw a soda bottle on the counter and started crying for it. Instead of giving him it, I said no. He cried even more. I told him he was too young for soda and he had plenty juice left anyway for a treat like that. He cried even more. His dad walks in from the living room and asks what the problem is, I explained that I wouldn't let him have the soda being as he hasn't touched his food or juice.

Get this, the dad goes "Lizzy is right, you shouldn't have pop right now" and well the child still cries and whines for it...the dad gives in and lets him have the pop, then tells me "He doesn't understand no at this age"...well I'm thinking "no shit he doesn't understand because you don't teach him it".

I know this isn't exactly like your situation, but a lot of times parents do things more for themselves then the child. Oh, and this kid apparently is too young to start potty training, they say he's not ready but when he is just with me he has gone on the potty at least three times now since I started a month ago. The dad saw this and instead of being happy he goes "I thought we told you he wasn't ready" and well, if a kid is on the potty...he looks ready to me. But hey, parents have a right to parent how they wish. I personally didn't think that potty training a kid would be anything wrong, especially since the mom gave me the OK to do it.

I think you should talk to the parents about the morning routine, tell them its hard on you that he's that feisty in the morning.

Joy said...

I've had to get a 7 m/o out of bed while she and the parents both were still asleep (why? don't ask me, I couldn't tell you) every morning. super awkward climbing into bed with a sleeping couple every morning to fish a baby out of the middle. Could you maybe find an article online about proper sleep for a school age child, show it to the mother, talk about how you think that maybe the problems in the morning have something to do with the lack of sleep, and ask mom what she thinks about having a test run with boy going to bed earlier and see if it makes a difference. Also if parents want him to remain in their room perhaps they can put him on the floor of their room rather than in their bed.

Phoenix said...

I don't understand people. They shouldn't be letting their kid sleep in their bed. It can ruin a relationship if people aren't careful. Not to mention the mood would be non existant. Children should really only be in the parents bed if they are sick or their is a ghost in their room.

xfileluv said...

We had a family bed with our son but he still went to bed earlier than we did. I'm a night owl and my husband is a morning person, so he usually went to bed next and at some point I'd crawl in. I think the sleeping arrangement is less of an issue than the fact that the boy goes to bed too late. Could you suggest that one/both parents tuck him in earlier in the family bed? Tuck him in, say good-night, and tell him they'll be in soon. That's what we always did because my son is a grump if he's up too late!

Oh Boy! said...

I used to nanny for a family who let their child sleep in their bed till the child was 5 1/2. I disagree on the mood thing. Lost sleep affects how we feel and act. the child would be tire way early in the day and was often irritable. Plus his focus on simple tasks were a mountain to the child. All signs pointed for me to lack of sleep. It didn't help that I was not allowed to let the child nap. After much quiet coaxing from me I saw they were trying to get him to sleep in his own room...by bribing him with new toys they bought for the child as a reward for sleeping in the child's bed all night. I disagreed with this method 100% seeing it can only lead to a dead end and it did! Soon they were giving the child toys daily even though the child didn't go to bed till late, or threw a fit when preparing for bedtime or when it took MANY attemps to put the child back in bed and eventually they gave the child the toy for "a good effort." Which was throwing in the towel.

It was very agrivating for me to stand by and watch this! And I know the parents were not being honest with the pediatrician about this issue, which bothered me even more because they hung on that Doctor's every word so if she could lend some sage advice maybe it would have helped! The child was clearly too old to be sleeping with his parents (I personally believe you shouldn't ever sleep with your child,)he was over tired, and the whole bribing thing was a total joke! I feel deep down this is something parents do to replace guilt, fill a void, or makes them feel needed. Often it's all of the above.

Sadly, I don't feel there is much you can do, I mean I just don't feel you are going to get through to them and they may get pissed that you offered some advice. Not that I agree with that response but they may get offended when you are only trying to help. Maybe you can maybe create a new "wake up routine" for him. Like play a really fun new CD in his room quietly of course to help him wake up, then maybe come up with a song you can sing while getting dressed. I wish you luck this is a tough spot to be in I know!!

Good luck!

Psyber Chica said...

Oh Boy!, I do not believe that Phoenix was referring to the child's mood, but rather to the parents being "in the mood"...

WhippedIntoShape said...

Oh yes......I Nannied a child that "couldn't" sleep w/out her Parents, and always had purple circles under her eyes. On weekends she "couldn't" nap unless Mom and Dad were in bed with her, and would go to bed with them at 11pm and wake up with them at 5:30AM 7 days a week. Well, when I was with her during the week, she would nap in HER own room for 2 to 3 hours all by herself, and some nights I would stay until 9pm (to let Mom and Dad go to dinner), and I would put her to bed between 7:30 and 8:00pm in her own room where she would fall asleep right away and still be sleeping there when I arrived at 7am the next day. Poor Mom and Dad never got it!
The girl is now 12, and STILL will only sleep with and when Mom and Dad sleep. She is doing very poorly in school (she's a smart girl! Just exhausted!!)
I have NO PROBLEM with the Family Bed, but the fact is that babies and children NEED more sleep then adults!
I am still in contact and see the girl weekly (was her Nanny from ages 6 weeks to 6 years). She behaves wonderfully for me and for others......but feels the need to control Mom and Dad.....and sadly, they allow her to control them.
OP, I pray that your charges Parents get it soon! I understand your frustration!

Phoenix said...

I am talking about the parents being in "the mood" :)

annoyednanny said...

Because he is being physical, I would address the issue with the parents. Let them know that he is too tired and explain how much sleep a child needs. I would suggest that either they put him to bed earlier or that they get him up and calmed down in the morning.

oh god: another clueless set of parents! said...

I feel for you. You should so NOT have to deal with this.

It is a judgment call on your end though: how do you think the parents would react if you told them your dilemma? From what you have told me about them, they seem lazy.

It should be their responsibility to set rules for their child and they need to institute an earlier bed time for this kid. If they do not, it should be their responsibility to deal with him in the morning, not yours.

Dear Abby just said...

I am a nanny who has grown children of my own so it harder for me (than my younger nanny peers) to adapt to different parenting styles. I have to keep my mouth shut when I heat up milk in the microwave ( I always read that it is not good to do that) or swaddle a child to sleep as opposed to just laying them down in their cribs (so they can LEARN to sleep on their own someday),etc. I can give advice, but since nanny jobs are so scarce in my area (CA), I choose to keep my mouth shut. Also admittedly, I am terrified of confrontation too (!) Anyways, since you did try to talk to the mother and it fell on deaf ears, you can either try to tactfully mention it again and see what happens or merely just accept it as par for the course. Except for the kicking part...talk to both parent and child..if nothing changes..move on.

TC said...

Welcome to the club

My oldest charge is 4.5 and still sleeps in her parents bed more often than in hers. She has them trained, they must read her 5 stories before bed, she has to have 5 nightlights PLUS the closet light and hall light on and the door has to be left open. She goes to bed between 10 and 11 and is up before 8 and sometime in the middle of the night she wakes up and goes and gets in mommy and daddys bed.

When I have her overnight or when I put her down for the night its one story one night light, no hall or closet light on and the door is shut.....she never cries never whines in fact never says anything about how I put her to bed.

Her parents tried the bribery but it didn't work because they still gave her the donut/dvd/toy she wanted even if she didnt stay in bed all night

All I can say is good luck, doubt there is much you can do about it

amarillonanny said...

My bosses allow both boys in bed with them, only if they start the night off in there own beds. Yes they don't like them sleeping with them, but understand that if they wake in the night its best for everyone to allow them to crawl in bed with them.

Nanneeee! said...

It sucks being the "bad guy". Currently I am faced with a 3 year old that bites and two parents who think it's "cute" (really!). He also goes to bed rather late and is a MONSTER to get out of bed. I've tried discussing it as well but sometimes I wonder if it's all just a "lost cause". I too am not allowed to say no and am the only one who disciplines. It's hard but you have to remember that we are not the parents. We are EXTENSIONS of the parents. They have hired us to do the job that they often do not have the time to do so they expect that we act as they do and that is OUR JOB! I struggled with spoiled children early on and got frusterated when I said no but mom said yes but why risk losing your employment.
It is no big secret that kids need a lot of sleep but as hard as we try sometimes the parents think they know best (and often they do) so we just have to roll with it. And sometimes it's HARD but we weren't hired to be totally different then the parents, as that could be confusing for the children.
Good luck and really please people don't knock me down for this post because I've tried to "fight" battles like bedtime and eating habits but in the end I just gave up and that is why I am saying it like it IS!

cali mom said...

I'm with Xfileluv on this. What it boils down to is that the child needs more sleep than he is getting so HE needs to get to bed earlier, regardless of where. Mom and dad can take turns laying down with him until he falls asleep if he needs that to adjust to the earlier bedtime.

Maybe it would help to give him a bit of choice in his morning routine (do you want to get dressed first or have breakfast first?), let him pick out his own clothes, etc.

MissMannah said...

Every instance I hear of the child leaving the "family bed" and getting his or her own room, the child has always been so much happier. Sure, they might throw a few tantrums at first, but they always get over it. Why don't parents see this??

OP, I agree with some other people here who said you have to try to talk to the parents again. I know they turned a deaf ear to you, but left long enough, it can turn into a really serious issue. I'm assuming this boy is now in regular school and has work he has to get done. Maybe see if you can get his teacher on board and have a conference with them and mention how tired he is at school. Surely she's noticed as well.

Liz, I would have left that job by now. Just reading your post pissed me off so much, how the dad undermined your authority like that. I don't know how you do it!

Lol to Phoenix--maybe the parents' room has ghosts so they need their son to protect THEM!

PS: Does anyone else think it is weird that they only have the older son in the bed? Why is the younger one sleeping fine in his own room?

another nanny said...

OP- I would talk to mom again, in a very non-judgmental way- and describe what you've said here...that you love this kid, but it's so hard to get him going in the morning, and maybe if he went to bed earlier it would be easier. I would also, if you can, implement your own reward system with the child...like, make him a little sticker chart and if he gets 5 stickers in a week you get him a donut on the way to school on Friday. I like bribery if done right. lol.

Wrong said...

I have a HUGE problem with the family bed. It is not an opinion, it is a FACT, that it is simply wrong in every way, health/safety-wise, parent/child relationship-wise, and couple-wise. Yes, you may like it, but that's your opinion on how you feel about it, not a fact that it is okay.

Just wrong. Ugh. What is wrong with people???

CuriousDad said...

Ewww, the nanny has to come into the parents room to get the kid out of bed? I would SO draw the line on that, having to go into another adults room while their sleeping is so not kosher. Make them get thier own kid out of bed and bring him to the bedroom door.

I am with Pheonix on this. It ruins the mood. Kids should sleep in their own bed.

Though I admit, it IS hard to keep the kids out of your bed when you are dead asleep and they want to snuggle with mommy and daddy. Or wake up screaming with nightmares.

Bananular said...

Right on, CuriousDad.

Kristen @ ladybug-blessings.com said...

Okay I have no problem with the family bed. If they want to do that fine, whatever BUT have they never heard about the whole sleep issue? I would pull out articles on how much sleep he needs at his age and show them. He needs to be getting to sleep earlier as that is going to create life long problems!

MissDee said...

I was young at the time, and I think my niece and nephew fell asleep in my sister and BIL's bed, and once they were asleep, they would go to their own rooms. I remember this until they were both 5; they are 3 years apart.

Another issue about this co-sleeping is that it can cause death to the child. Research co-sleeping deaths and you would be surprised.

etereia said...

OP, I feel sorry you are in that situation. Thank God, all the families I have worked for do not allow their kids to sleep in mom and dad's beds. I guess the only bright side of this fiasco is that you might try to get some amusement out of it, you know, see some dried drool on your dignified bosses' chins or hear a juicy snore. But hands down to Joy, who has to actually climb on top of the parents to get a small baby out of the bed every morning. This is THE funniest thing I have heard in a very long time.

Mer said...

If I was u I would talk to his mother and ask her what she thinks that you need to do? Because this situation is making your job harder . If she doesn't said or to do something, just tell her that from now on if she wants the kid in her bed that she needs to take care of him in the mornings while you deal with the rest. Tell her that is not necessary all that screaming and fighting if she just put him on his bed. If they don't do something that means that they don't care about u or how u feel. Anyway looks like they don't care about the boy neither , because if that is my child screaming and fighting every morning I would try to do something about it for him for me and for the nanny. Think about that . I had a family where the parents were lovely , but they would never listen or do something about their children . I just left .

Oh Boy!! said...

Psyber Chica & Phoenix, I was not talking about the parents sex life and setting the mood. I was commenting on the OP not what you had previously posted. I don't respond to responses only to the question the OP asked. I was simply trying to say that I strongly believe that a CHILD'S mood and attitude are affected by lack of sleep.

cali mom said...

MissDee, the business of c-sleeping "causing death" is die to the danger of a tiny newborn accidentally getting squashed by a sleeping parent or suffocating from having blankets over their face. Can anyone seriously argue that a 6 year old would suddenly just spontaneously die from sleeping next to his parents?

"Wrong", that IS your *opinion*. It may be shared by others, but is IS an opinion.

A fact however, is that a 6 year old child needs AT LEAST 10 hours of sleep every night.

cali mom said...

S/B co-sleeping.

cali mom said...

Argh. S/B "DUE to the danger..."

Wrong said...

No, it is not opinion. It is wrong in every way, that's a fact. Sorry.

cali mom said...

And your "evidence" is...?

cali mom said...

Oh, and no need to be sorry. Everyone makes mistakes, even you.

Wrong said...

Well, yeah, of course everyone makes mistakes! Like saying every single 6 year old needs AT LEAST 10 hours of sleep. That's clearly a mistake! Depends on the situations, obviously! Lol.

What's not a mistake is saying that a 'family bed' is wrong. That's certainly more of a fact than saying every single child of a certain age needs X amount of sleep!

You're a silly goose, cali mom. But I forgive you, cause you seem sweet and it's not nice to make fun of people who are 'sweet' and simple minded the way you are. Thanks for your input!

cali mom said...

In other words, you are spouting bullshit out of your ass and can't back up your POV with any *actual* facts.

Thanks for clarifying.

Wrong said...

Nope, you're wrong again, cali mom. But I still love you, ya knucklehead!!! :)

I'll put it this way, and I'll make it as simple as possible. Maybe we're both right, maybe we're both wrong, maybe we're both right and wrong. There are links to both back up and refute both 'facts'. If you want to say that it is not a fact that co-sleeping is wrong because there is evidence supporting that it is right, then you cannot say it is a fact that every 6 year old on the planet needs 10+ hours of sleep when there are links to support that it is wrong.

I call a truce, cause I think I like you. Accept my truce or not, but whatever, you cannot stop me from liking you...and that is a fact!

Wrong said...

http://www.soencouragement.org/keepthechildrenoutofthebed.htm

Here's a link to compromise, and maybe the OP can use it. To be fair, I picked the first one I found, since I didn't really need to post one anyway and wasn't going to spend the time looking very hard, so keep that in mind while picking it apart just to spite me. And unfortunately, my ass yielded no results, lol.

Friends til the end!

Tales from the (Nanny)Hood said...

Wrong, I would like to know why YOU feel the "family bed" is "wrong in every way"?

I know for sure that the idea is not for every family, and that there are hardliners on both sides of the bedsharing issue, but I would like to know YOUR thoughts and opinions.

Can you share? I would have checked out your link, but it didn't work. Maybe you can use tinyurl.com to make your links shorter and therefore clickable?