Sunday

Trusted Nanny Now Neglects Her Charges

opinion 1
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...

24 comments:

Nanny shows that she cares said...

you need to fire her on the spot. Why would you let her be with your children if you know this is going on? File a police report- so she can't do this to someone else. I am sorry you have to go through this. LET HER GO NOW!! If she does threaten you in anyway- call the police. They will take it from there. Please for the safety of your children- let her go,

RBTC said...

get rid of this person now. show her the tape with a friend/husband present and thank her for all her hard work and get her out - that is incredibly dangerous behavior

you owe her nothing because your kids are in danger from her

another mom said...

I can't even imagine how betrayed you must feel having your nanny do this to you! Hopefully this is something new because if it isn't this could totally mess your kids up. At this young age they are molded into human beings by mostly what is happening to them environmentally. Get rid of this woman now and if she causes you any problems, please call the police. And bravo to you for keeping such a close watch over your children, you can NEVER be too careful!

MissDee said...

2 years ago, MPP posted a story about a nanny in FL who was arrested and convicted of abusing her then 11 month old charge after the parents witnessed the abuse on a nanny cam. Based on what you wrote, I am guessing you have nanny cams in your home. I feel so bad for you and your family, especially the children. The nanny has been part of their lives for so long with consistency and now to be part of their lives and treat them like this hurts the children.

If you have a friend or family member who is a member of law enforcement, ask them to view the tape. Likewise, if you are an attorney or have a friend or family who practices criminal law, ask them about legal action you can pursue.

If a nanny can get arrested for abuse as evident by a nanny cam, I would think your nanny could be prosecuted as well.

Good luck and let us know what happens!

April said...

I have been a nanny for over ten years. I cannot imagine "tossing" a child. You need to fire her then and there and NOW- NO questions about it! Your children do not deserve to be around someone who does not honor their best interest. As a nanny, I see other nannies neglect children constantly. I am the nanny digging castles in the sandbox and its sad when other children who are being ignored ask if they can play as well. I've often watched (with really no way of knowing who these nannies are) nannies chat and snack while the children they are suppossed to be caring for are eager for my attention and even ask for snacks I distribute to the kids I care for. I always feel so uncomfortable when kids who HAVE nannies ask for food. Knowing nothing of their eating habits, allergies, etc....I can't offer food to a child I know nothing of. But its always sad to see a child who is desperate for care that isn't being provided. I always wonder, what would the parents say?

Jedd Meir said...
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lexeael13 said...

so sorry your nanny treats your children badly find a new nanny there are many of us who truly care for our charges. good luck

Tales from the (Nanny)Hood said...

Holy $#!+ - Fire her. Now. Don't worry about how or when or whether she'll be upset. Fire her, forbid her to return to your home to get any of her belongings unless the children are gone and you and your partner are there to escort her in and out, and then press charges based on the nanny cam footage.

How the heck will she retaliate if she is not allowed near your kids and is charged with child abuse/endangerment that is backed up by video proof? Heck, I'd ask the judge for a restraining order, if you're concerned, but I'm pretty sure she'll be trying her best to distance herself from this issue.

Which brings up something you do need to be cautious about. Spreading the word about this wench to anyone you know with kids who might hire a Nanny. When you talk about your experience, stick to nothing but facts. For example: "We had a nanny named Mary Smith. We felt that something was wrong with the care she was providing in her 3rd year of employment with us. We used a nanny cam, and the footage was brought to the attention of the police, who arrested her. She was charged and convicted of XYZ. This is her picture. DO NOT HIRE THIS WOMAN."

I am so sorry this happened to you, and I hope that this advice is late on arrival and that you fired her right after emailing ISYN.

Jedd Meir said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
♫ said...

I wouldn't spend any time fretting over how or when to fire this horrible person. I would do it NOW!! Your children were treated terribly and this woman is a two-faced con artist who acted like she loved the kids...yet abused them when she thought you wouldn't find out. She deserves no respect whatsoever. She needs to be kicked to the curb ASAP.

MissMannah said...

From our perspective it is really easy for us to say "Fire her! Do it now!" But I think I'm seeing why you're having a hard time. You and your son are emotionally involved with this nanny and you were completely broadsided by her behavior. It kind of reminds me of Stockholm syndrome--the way you were talking about being so sad to let her go. But the facts remain that you absolutely have to and you do not owe her any sort of severance either, just in case she brings that up. I would call her up on the phone and try to make it as quick as possible, say something like "We feel your behavior was inappropriate on multiple occasions and no longer wish to continue your employment with our family." But, like Tales said, I'm hoping this is unnecessary and you've already done so. I really, really hope you find someone great next time around and absolutely keep those nanny cams in your house for awhile. Most nannies won't mind because we don't have anything to hide.

StrawberryShortKakes said...

Wow this is terrible! I hope that you have already fired this woman and that she is not around your children anymore. Luckily you have found out what a terrible person she is and your children don't have to endure that abuse anymore.

I don't understand why a woman who clearly has anger issues would work with children in the first place? If you know that you can't handle the stress, find a different job! If I were you, I wouldn't just let this issue go because this nanny will find another family to work for and those poor kids will go through the same thing. Tell as many people you can and try to make it so that this lady can't work for anyone else.

In the future, definitely keep the nanny cams in place, at least for a while. That will put your mind at ease and make it easier for you to get your work done.

ericsmom said...

Number #1 priority should be your kids. Fire hire!!

RBTC said...

very good point Miss M about stockholm syndrome - i have been thru similar feelings for people who worked for me who did wrong things

Miss M - if you have time - give us your views on what stockholm syndrome is and how it applies here

another nanny said...

I agree with others- You should fire her immediately. I understand that your son has an attachment to her, but in this case I really think the risk to your children's safety outweighs any possible benefit of having a transition period.
I'm not too sure if the police would do anything, since it doesn't sound like the children were physically injured from the incidents (thank goodness). But it couldn't hurt to try (at least keep the evidence for a while in case she should try to spin the story against you). I would also go back to wherever you found this nanny and share your experience

MissMannah said...

RBTC, I am certainly no psychological expert. I couldn't even remember the name of Stockholm syndrome--had to ask my husband! But from what I understand, it is when a victim starts to identify with their attacker and then they start to feel sorry for them and then they defend them. I was just reminded of this because OP said things like how it breaks her heart to let the nanny go because things were so good in the beginning and how she is hoping the nanny is just experiencing burn-out. These appear to me that OP is kind of just making excuses for the nanny's bad behavior because she really doesn't want to admit that this is an abusive person.

Having said all that, Strawberry I think I disagree with your assessment that she has anger issues. I think she is lazy more than anything and is fed up with dealing with children. She only seemed to throw the kids out of her way when they started annoying her too much. Maybe OP is right, the nanny is experiencing burnout, but she definitely needs to leave the profession and probably get counselling.

baffled said...

As a single, low-income working mother to a special needs child, this post sickens me. For a couple of reasons. Mainly, it baffles me why this parent, who we can assume is from a two family income and can afford a nanny, we assume she is a professional, cannot stand up for her children without advice. Do it, girl. These are your kids. Jesus.

I once employed a babysitter. (I am now lucky enough to be able to have my child at work with me after school.) The babysitter called me frustrated one day, about three weeks after she had started, saying that my child was not behaving and that she "couldn't take it anymore."

I left work on the spot. Lost that job. Came home and asked her for the keys. She was surprised and said, "Well, I can stay for the rest of the week: what are you going to do about work?" Please. Work comes second: your child comes first.

OP needs to fire nanny on the spot. If you have to take days out of work, do it. I am guessing that they would be more understanding at your job than the minimum-wage job I held, and needed, and lost.

Kid first. Money and job second. JMHO.

StrawberryShortKakes said...

By saying she has anger issues, I meant that she cannot deal with her feelings in an appropriate way. She is clearly frustrated that the kids are "bothering" her while she is texting, therefore she throws the child, etc. That to me is aggressive and is not appropriate behavior.

Phoenix said...

you need to fire her. I would hate to see anyone doing this! I don't necessarily like kids but they are not to be treated like this! She is abusing your children. i don't know why you didn't punch her in the face after seeing her throw your babies around. Get rid of her right away before something bad happens. You will feel ultimate guilt if your children get hurt and you knew what she was doing!

AussieNanny said...

I had to stop and come back and read.. I was/still am horrified!

To be blunt.. who gives a shit about her feelings. Fire her now, without warning and report her so that she can't do it to another child.

People like her, make me sick.

Song Medina-Babijes said...

Hi. I agree with what everybody has said about firing her. Before you do, explain to her the reasons why you are doing so.

I have had a lot of experience with nannies and househelpers over the years, and although their actions sometimes do not justify an explanation why we are dismissing them, as a human being they still have the right to know the cause - whether they take that with a grain of salt or not.

Sometimes, getting even feels good, especially after the treatment they've done, but hey, why stoop down?

OP said...

I'm the OP. Of course I fired her quickly - I found out on a Friday night, so had time to send the question. I had to fire her in person because she had stuff that belonged to us in her car. I was curious what to say and what to be careful of. The question was not "should I fire her?", it was how. Don't think it was Stolkholm Syndrome (I think you have to actually know you're being harmed for that to apply), just serious shock and betrayal by someone that we trusted and thought we knew. I was heartbroken because of the betrayal and the way she treated our kids. I hope it was burn out because that would mean she wasn't always like this to our son. I know I left the timing sort of ambiguous, but we did fire her right after viewing the nanny cam footage. Wish I would have known sooner, but I had absolutely no idea about her aggression before the nanny cam and we discovered the neglect just before putting up the nanny cam.

StrawberryShortKakes said...

OP, I'm glad you came back and told us all that you fired her... that's a relief. I'm just curious... what did you say and how did she react? If you don't want to share, that's fine but I was just wondering :)

OP said...

Kept it very short and simple - "we decided to end your employment with us." I gave the reason when she asked for it and kept that short and simple too - along the lines of "we know what you did". She said she understood and left shortly after that after saying goodbye to the kids. It worked well not to be accusing because it kept the whole thing orderly with no blow ups or screaming or anything crazy, though it was still painful and awkward.