Encounter with foul mouthed child has nanny second guessing her actions...

opinion 2
What is the appropriate course of action for a nanny to take in a situation like this?

I recently took my 6 and 7 year old charges to the park. It was pretty crowded and there were lots of children using the playground equipment, so I was very careful to stay close and keep eyes on the children. At one point a boy (who couldn't have been older than 6 or 7 himself) shouts at my charge : "Shut up you f***ing b****!"

I looked at the boy, horrified, and demanded he take me to his mother. He
promptly ran away. As soon as he did I realized there would be no real point in speaking to the mother. It would have ended up as a shouting match, possibly with more cursing from her. What would be the point?

I told the kids that what that boy said was unacceptable and purposefully foul and hurtful, and that they would be in huge trouble if I or their parents ever heard them say anything like that. They claim not to have heard anything, but you never know.

Was my course of action appropriate? Should I tell the parents what happened? If one of the kids ever repeats one of those curse words I will for sure be blamed, and explaining what happened AFTER the fact will sound like an excuse.


TC said...

I've jumped on children who've cussed like that in front of my kids...adults as well.

I say "excuse me but you will not talk to her like that"

Or "excuse me, we don't talk like that"

Ms. Vivienne LePeaux said...

If one of the kids ever repeats one of those curse words I will for sure be blamed, and explaining what happened AFTER the fact will sound like an excuse.

Tell the parents NOW so they will know you're not just making up an excuse.

I think you handled it just fine... I agree that there probably would have been no point in confronting the child's mother (or whomever he was there with).

Ms.Nanny said...

I think you handled it well. I have had experiences at the park that are similar and totally agree that dealing with the caregiver would not have accomplished much, especially if you were upset. When a child has repeatedly shown unacceptable behavior for a public park or intentionally hurt my charge(s) I have needed to immediately address the issue with the child's caregiver. I approached them calmly and simply explained what happend so they are informed. In a few cases the mother/caregiver has been grateful to be made aware of the situation and addressed it right away. If you have another run in with this child who used bad language, find the person who is taking care of him and explain what happened. Walk away and disengage if the caregiver gets unpleasant.

Also, tell your employers the story of what happened and what you told their children about using appropriate language. The sooner the better. They may want to speak to their kids about the expectations that have for language in their home.

Best of luck!

MissMannah said...

I kind of think you over-reacted. Kids cuss because they know it gets attention so you giving him that much attention validates it. I would have simply told the boy that our family doesn't like to hear words like that and then walked my charges to a different part of the playground. I think your charges claimed to have not heard anything because they got scared. That is a great learning experience if you can bring it up in a very nonchalant way later on. And yes, tell the parents privately and maybe ask them how they would prefer you handle the situation.

Mrs. Billy Lamar said...

I wouldn't worry about it. Yes, what this child said was unacceptable and I would have told him to apologize to my charges. But I would not have looked for the mother since you may inadvertently be looking for trouble. All you can do in a situation like this is to tell your charges that what this child said was very bad and should NEVER under any circumstances ..ever be repeated again.

Yes, to be safe, you can let the parents know of this incident and stress how wrong you thought this boy's behavior was. Maybe you can also seek their advice on what you should do if this were to happen again.

Lola said...

It's sad that the parents will immediately assume it is your fault if the kids say something like that. With the things on television and radio and just being out and about in this world, it is very ignorant to place bame like that and it shows the (closed) mindframe of the people you work for!

alex said...

I definitely think you handled it well and if it makes you feel better do tell the parents what happened, basically as a, "Can you believe this happened?" moment.

Phoenix said...

as long as you told the kids it was wrong that was all you could do. Children are going to curse. THey will hear it from their friends. Hell kids hear it from me. I curse all the time. All the time. My kid doesn't even blink anymore and i have NEVER heard him curse and I have never recieved any complaints that he uses foul language. We just explained to him that adults sometimes curse and kids don't. you would make yourself dead tired if you tried to parent everyone elses kids.

wHat you can do is just throw it into conversation with the parents. Like "I can't believe what some kid said to me today on the play ground!" or "THis child today, you won't believe what he said to me!"

hi said...

it is very safe to assume if the child is heard using foul language that the nanny is to blame. the nanny is responsible for the children throughout most of the day and therefore should be monitoring the children's television programs and radio to make sure they are watching and listening to age appropriate content. if they are not doing so they are not doing their job and are in fact to blame for something they may have picked up from something they should not have been experiencing in the first place. and as for picking things up just being out and about, that is exactly what happened. that is why it is very important to mention it to the parents so if they do end up using foul language it is immediately understood where it came from and can be dealt with the right way instead of having to investigate the situation. you are the close minded one for judging and making assumptions without knowing the parents.