08 December, 2011
Picking Battles is Causing a War for this Nanny
Hi, I'm a nanny and would like you to post this on the website so that I can get some opinions/advice. I've not written to you before so I'm not sure if this is how I go about it!
I am a nanny for an American family, in England. This is my first nanny job, but not my first childcare job. I look after a girl, 5 and a boy, 4. The girl is at school all day and the boy is home with me. I'll call the girl S. I have been working with this family for nearly 4 months now. Everything was perfect.. Until last week. S is a difficult child and will throw big tantrums when she doesn't get her own way, but I was still really enjoying the job. I picked S up from school and brought her home, mum was working from home, which she occasionally does but its very rare. Mum asked me to help S get changed so that they can go out for dinner. While getting her changed S notices her favourite dress is missing, I tell her that mum took it because it was too small, S gets angry at this. I try to help S take off her cardigan and S screams "IM NOT A BABY DONT HELP ME" -- maybe the way I replied to this was wrong, but I said "well if you're going to act like a baby I'm going to treat you like a baby" mum then walks into the room and says to me "you can't get down to her level and bicker with her like that!" S then goes on to tell mum that she said "please don't help me get changed I want to do it myself" this is the first time I have heard S lie to her mum, and I didn't want to be petty and call her out on it. Mum goes on to explain to S that she needs to be respectful of me and that even though she is in the house, I am still in charge.
So that settles down and we get to yesterday. S was an angel all day which was a lovely change. Mum gets home from work and says that she and dad want to speak to me and could I wait around. We sit down to chat and they say "we were putting the children to bed last night and S said that you pushed her at the train station, and J (brother,4) said that you did too" Let me just start by saying that I have never pushed a child, and never would. I knew the situation that the children were talking about, we had gotten of off the train and S was trying to turn around to wave to her friends still on the train, but we were on a train platform full of people and where S kept stopping to wave, people were walking into her and getting frustrated. I put my hand on S back, and guided her along the platform. S said to me "don't push me! I'm telling mum" I said to S "I'm not pushing you I'm guiding you" and nothing more was said from either of us. Mum and Dad said that they believe that I didn't push her, and in the future if they say anything like that then to just text mum and tell her.
Well today on the school run, we get off of the train and I ask S to hold my hand, the response I get is "whyyyy do I have to hold your hand, I don't want to hold your hand, etc etc" by this time I've already had a bad morning with her, and I say in a stern voice "because I said you do" I am then told "You shouted in my face! I'm telling mummy" J then says "you're being mean to us I'm telling mummy" -- J is usually a little angel with me, practically perfect, but when he is with his sister he copies everything she does. So now I've texted mum and told her, as I was told to, but I feel like if I'm to text mum every time I get a "I'm telling mummy" then I'm going to be texting mum an awful lot!
Also, it is my job to do the childrens laundry, and I'm pretty good with it and do a wash at least everyday. Last week I put some trousers on J that were too small. Mum says he can't go out wearing them and that "we" need to keep on top of the washing so that there are always trousers that fit. This was a monday, I don't work weekends and had done a wash on friday, so how was this me not keeping on top of the washing! Little things like this bug me, and I just needed somewhere to vent for this one.
Mum has told me to "pick my battles" with S, but the way she is I feel like every time she misbehaves I should pull her up on it. I understand that S is a child and probably misbehaves because she wants her mum, but this morning she actually brought me to tears, and its made me for the first time, think that I don't like this job.
at 10:26 AM