Hi, I am a nanny here in the great state of Texas, Dallas Texas to be exact. I have been a nanny for more than 15 years and recently I have been attending Book Marks Story Time in the Northpark Mall in Dallas. First, let me start by saying the story time is great, if you or your nanny are able to take the children, you should, it's fun, interesting and educational. Or at least it's meant to be for those who are in tune with their children and those in their care.
Now, for the meat of my story! I am not very familiar with Latino nannies, but, since I have moved here to Dallas I am getting a first hand look into the daily lives of these nannies and the children who are left in their care. Today, March 30, 2011, my charge and I arrived at Northpark at 10:00 a.m. which we normally do each Wednesday. As usual I noticed the several groups of Latino/Hispanic nannies arriving with their charges in tow. What is so odd about this you might ask, well they all show up, they remove the children from the strollers and then they walk off to the outer areas of the group where they carry on conversations, text, talk on phones, read books, do everything except for what they need to be doing. They totally turn off any resemblance of being a nanny or child care provider.
Today was oddly a little more chaotic than normal because today the Critter Man was at the mall with real live animals. Interesting you think? Well, of course it was interesting, very interesting that there were 10 children standing in front of Critter Man who were asked no less than 20 times to sit down and move back. These animals were snakes, lizards, turtles, you know, things with teeth, animals that bite! There were children as young as 12 months wandering around in front of the Critter Man alone, no one was watching, no one cared that he was concerned for their safety and concerned that the other children who were being attended to could not see because of these out of control children. One little girl fell, hit the back of her head on the hard tile floor, do you think the nanny saw what happened? Nope! Do you think the nanny could hear the distinct cry of a child who was injured? Nope! No one came, no one heard until finally one of the other Moms in the group picked up the child. Same thing happened all during the presentation, other adults had to move children, sit children down, entertain children who were NOT being attended to by their nannies.
How do I know these are nannies you might ask, well, I have been a nanny for more than 15 years and let me tell you, I know a nanny when I see one, and, I know a good one from a bad one. I even witnessed one nanny bullying her charge. The little girl wanted so badly to hold onto a handle on the parachute that was out for play, she kept grabbing for it and her nanny kept pulling her hand off and then raising the parachute handle out of her reach and she would smile, like it was funny, like it was amusing to her that the little girl wanted nothing more than her Mommy or Daddy, someone to help her. It is scary, unsettling, upsetting and really makes my blood boil.
What is one to do? Can I help these children? Can I help these families and their nannies? I think I can, I want the word out there, I want parents to know what is going on when your most prized possession is out for the day with the person you hired to care for them, love them and educate them, but most of all, don't you want your nanny to love your child as much as you do? Don't you want your nanny to teach your child right from wrong, love and trust?
Here is what I would like ALL of you parents to do. I want you all to take a break from your busy schedule one day, I want you to come to Northpark Mall and come in thru the upstairs level, you know above the Park Central where story time takes place. Come in, have a seat up there, get your eye on your nanny and your child and then see if you think you are making the best decision for your family. I know it's appealing to hire a nanny who works for a mere $8 an hour and she will clean, cook, run errands and take care of your children, but really, is it worth it?
I know first hand, I am a mother to a 6 year old and a nanny to a 2 year old and a 5 year old. When my charges grow up, they will look back and know I cared for them as I would have cared for my own child because I have had the education and experience to do so. Are you going to sit back and let this continue? I urge you, take a break and watch one day, you will be surprised at the lack care you are paying for!