Trusted Nanny Now Neglects Her Charges
I just realized in this past week that we have to fire our nanny who has been with our 3 year old son since he was 6 months old. We have a new baby now and I am worried about the safety of my kids. We always knew that the nanny had her phone with her a lot, but we did not know how much she was on it until recently when we checked our home network logs for her use. It is almost every moment that one of the parents is not present (and sometimes even when we are present). Much of it is texting and internet use. Now that we have two kids, this is not only neglectful and not doing her job, it's dangerous for the baby when the baby is unsupervised and when the kids are together unsupervised.
My son acts up when he is completely ignored and the nanny does not even attempt decent discipline (in spite of talks with her and her supposedly reading my favorite discipline guide). One day recently when working from home, I listened in and heard my son acting up because the nanny was texting. She threatened time outs for a few minutes, then put him in time out for about 7 minutes, then took him to another room for another time out after that (he had not continued to misbehave).
I also recently viewed two days (15-20 hours) of the nanny with the kids (without her knowledge). In the video, I saw her pick my three year old up and throw him hard on the couch - his transgression was not clear from the video, though he had interrupted her texting. On the same day, the baby was crying and the nanny wasn't doing much to comfort her - just bouncing the baby on her lap and then laying the baby down flat on her lap, which only made the baby cry harder. The next day, the baby was crying (probably from being ignored - the baby is a very happy baby and just loves being talked to and played with, but gets fussy when bored) and the nanny just kept moving the baby from place to place without talking or interacting. Eventually, she picked the baby up and held the baby on her lap, then dangled the baby with the baby's feet on the floor (the baby can sort of stand with body support, but the nanny was holding the baby's hands and the baby was pivoting around at the shoulders, which looked like it could hurt). Then, the nanny put the baby down on the floor where the baby continued to scream. Then came the next serious offense: she went to get the baby carrier and tried to put the baby in it and after not being able to figure out the carrier, literally tossed the baby onto the couch - hard. The couch is soft and the baby did not fall off of the couch, but I think that is the worst thing I have ever seen as a parent (watching my son trip and hit his head comes close, but at least that was an accident).
Clearly, the nanny has to go and soon. My heart is just broken, especially since she has been with us for so long. It makes me sick that in the course of two days (the only time I have ever watched her without her knowing), she literally threw both of my children. She used to seem to really care for our son, but now I don't know if even that was all just an act. I hope she just got burned out on the job (which I know is hard) more recently and wasn't always like this. I hope my son copes ok - I think he will since he has told me (unprompted) that it makes him sad when the nanny doesn't play with him. I know he will be better off without her. I never thought this would happen to us, especially with how great she seemed before.
I would love advice on how to fire her, what to be careful about and any other thoughts - both from nannies and from parents. We do not have a formal contract with her. I'm a little nervous about retaliation, even though I would not have thought she was capable of that before I saw her tossing my kids around. I have plenty of proof of her actions - a few weeks of internet use logs on our home network and recorded video (no audio) with the child throwing incident on it. I guess you just never know people...
at 5:09 AM