Am I Asking Too Much?

opinion 2 I have given Girly some chores while I'm there, she of course does none when she is with her parents but I get the impression mom isn't too happy with the list of chores I expect Girly to do. Girly is 5 1/2 and Monkey is almost 2 so right now the only chore he does is to help me clean up, once he gets older and understands better he of course will have more things to do.

Keep in mind Girly goes to school part time so she is only at the house with me 2 days a week and all together it takes her about 10 minutes to complete her chores. I also keep up with things on the days she is not there, and save for a couple of times when I'm really sick I never leave things for her to do on the days she is there.

Girly is in charge of her clothes, which usually consist of 1-2 outfits, panties, and pajamas. She has to hang up her clothes but the rest of the stuff goes in drawers and I fold it all before I give it to her. I also have her take Monkey's clothes with her and leave them on the changing table and I put them up next time I go up the stairs, she's never had to put up his clothes unless she's wanted to, there have been times she's asked to put some of his stuff up and I gladly let her.

She also has to help with the dishes, but it's only hers and Monkey's dishes along with the silverware. Usually we are talking about 10 pieces of silverware and 6 sippie cups and a plate or two. On a side note the dishwasher is completely empty when I leave, every bit of the dishes are from after I leave and half of the sippie cups are hers.... already tried to fight that battle, gave up. She also picks up the living room if Monkey isn't up from his nap, while I finish the putting away the other dishes. If he is up from his nap than all three of us clean up the toys in the living room.

Is that too many chores for a 5yr old? The mother never says anything to me but if I ask Girly to do something while she is there she does it for her, or Girly comes back with phrases like "That's not my job, that's yours" or "You get paid to do that not me". Those are not phrases a typical 5 1/2 year old would say so I know they are coming from someone either the mom or the dad, though I do suspect it's from the father not the mother.


RBTC said...

you are going to receive some very good advice from awesome writers/nannies coming up - the dad and mom sound entitled/spoiled - you are doing a good job

nycmom said...

Kids should do chores. You are doing the children and the parents a favor by instilling that in them young. One of the few struggles I have with my nanny is that she doesn't enforces rules with my kids regarding chores. They should clean up after themselves and keep their rooms clean. They should help around the house. As a nanny or parent, it's a lot easier to just do it yourself. But if you do that, you will find yourself with very entitled and lazy kids a few years down the road! The parents should be thanking you.

However, you are an employee and should respect the family rules. So perhaps have a direct discussion with them about the issue of chores to get their thoughts, rather than the passive-agressive feedback through their 5yo.

Just My Two Cents Just Now said...

I agree w/nycmom that a child should be taught now to do chores so they grow up responsible w/no self-entitlement issues. However, remember you are working for them and are their Nanny, not Parent. So if I were you, I would address the issue when you can get a moment alone w/the parents. Tell them you want to encourage the children to do chores, all age-appropriate of course. Let them know you believe in consistency so you will need their assistance in reinforcing this action on your days off. Ask them if they number one: agree w/you and number two: are willing to work w/you on this. Insist that everyone wins here and this is not about punishment. As a child, I had a ton of chores to do and I never got an allowance for doing anything. Chores were just an expected responsibility of being a family member. Well as an adult, I now have good discipline when it comes to getting things done. I believe that I learned responsibility at a young age and it no doubt benefited me later on in life.

Regarding what the five yr old said, she could have been speaking her opinion and not her parents. Kids are growing up by leaps and bounds these days and you would be surprised what comes out of the mouth of Babes these days. However, go w/your gut. If you suspect your bosses are against this, you are probably right. However, still talk to them about this. If they do not agree, in spite of your views on this, you must respect their wishes and comply w/whatever they say. It is unfair, but after all, you are the Nanny...not the parent. This is a tough aspect for me working as a Nanny because my own children are grown and raised. I know from experience what works and what doesn't. I think what you are doing OP is wonderful and I wish I would have done what you are doing when my own children were young. Yet, I have had situations where parents want me to do something that I believed would negatively affect their child later on in life, yet I was forced to comply since I had to remember I was working for them and part of my job was to comply w/whatever duties were assigned to me or I should look for another job.

Tales from the (Nanny)Hood said...

I think chores are good for kids, and that kids as young as 2 can "help" with basic stuff. But in this situation, I think you do need a sit-down with the parents to establish their feelings on the matter. Then, once you are clear on what they want, you can take action on the back-talk!

If the parents don't want their child doing any chores, then stop labeling them as such, and simply ask for "help". When she refuses to help, say, "Ok, you will need to find something to do by yourself while I do XYZ. When I am done, I will be able to play with you." Then ignore her until you're done with what you have to do. Eventually, she may realize (especially with well placed hints from you!) that if she helps she gets your time and attention sooner.

As for the younger kiddo, keep doing what you're doing, just drop the "chore" label there as well if needed.

MC2 said...

Bahahaha I can't help but laugh at what she says to you. I had a charge who said that to me once and I instantly knew Mom had been talking about me with her. I went straight to the mom and explained how important it was that her SIX year old learn how to actually DO things for herself. I wasn't asking for much - just things like clearing her plate, making her bed, picking up after herself, etc. Mom said to my face - and I kid you not - "No, that's what you're here for, not me and definitely not her." Mom was a slob too so I don't know what I was thinking.

I was never so thankful that it was a temp summer position.

You're doing a fantastic job, OP. Keep it up and the parents will either follow suit or you'll part ways and they'll be left with a spoiled lazy kid. :)

Jona said...

I would be thrilled if you were my nanny. I actually wish my parents would have had me do more as a child (yes, I know that sounds odd). Honestly, it was such a shock going off to College and realizing that I was actually a slob...the first part of my adult life was spent learning how to clean. lol A child can still enjoy childhood while also learning responsibility, and yes, doing some chores is a part of life! My daughter is still very young (only 7 months old) but she already sits and watches me load the dishwasher, washer, dryer etc (she's at that age where she's fascinated by everything going on around her) once she is a toddler I will try to make it fun for her to help me load the appliances and sing songs while we do it. etc I think it's important to start "good habits" young.

P.S: Wow, I really don't like what the little girl is repeating to you . . . that would really bother me. What do you say to her when she says that stuff? Such an uncomfortable place to be in. I'd have a talk with mom and dad so you can all get on the same page if I were you.

Another nanny... said...

I have the same belief that children should be involved in housework and many things should be a cooperative effort. However, I don't call them chores or send the child off to do them on her own.

I try saying things like "Before we go outside, we have to put the clothes away. Why don't you put your clothes in your room and I'll do your brothers. Then we can go out faster." Alternatively, when children are being less cooperative, I will wait until they want something from me and then I will say "Okay - I will do that just as soon as you put your clothes away."