MB Wants to Gently Convey Grievances

opinion 1
hello fellow nanny and employers of ISYN! i suppose i just need a tad bit of advice on a current nanny i am employing for my 2 year old son. she has been working for us for almost a year now. she is part time and only comes 3 or 4 days a week, anywhere from 5 to 10 hours a day. she is generally very pleasant and interacts well with my child but some things bother me. for example, this week my child has had a mild cold and i asked my nanny to wash every toy he plays with in a combination of water and bleach to disinfect his germs. i'm almost positive she either didn't do it at all, or missed about 6 or 7 toys? also, my child is allowed to have a small dessert after dinner, but she gave him one oreo instead of his usual scoop or two of ice cream. this poses a problem because, in my household, oreos are saved as "treats" to encourage going on the potty, following directions, etc. also, she encourages my son to help her clean the playroom before his nap, which i suppose i just don't agree with. he eventually does help her clean the room, but for the first 5 minutes he quite detests it and asks her to clean it up. he is only 2, i feel that is a little young to begin teaching a child how to clean up? how do i go about bringing up my grievances without sounding like a total type a mom?


Aries said...

I'm sure she does most of the cleaning and just wants to keep him occupied so he doesn't go running off? Or maybe she is just trying to teach him how clean up? Does she try forcing him to clean even if he starts crying? If not then i don't see it being to big an issue.

As for the Oreo, Did she know that Oreos are for potty and following directions? Maybe your child didn't want ice cream and kept saying ''Cookie''? as far as that goes i think just saying 'If you could give him Ice cream for dessert and save the cookies (oreos) for Following directions and going potty'. I don't think she'll take that the wrong way. And if she still continues to give him Oreos even after you told her then tell her again in a firm voice. If she then STILL does it, she's just defying your orders and that in itself is unacceptable.

As for the cleaning the toys. Maybe she didn't know he was playing with certain toys? Or she is just being lazy. Does she do well overall with the cleaning? Also Lysol wipes are good for killing germs maybe if you had some handy she could use those real quick.

I know you probably don't like coming off bossy to her even though you are her boss but i don't think you'll come off wrong. There your rules, your child, she's your employee so i don't think she'll take it the wrong way if you just mention it nicely.

Crissy said...

I can't imagine having to clean ever single one of my charges toys. He has baskets full. I agree with an above poster that maybe she just did the ones he played with. Babyganics makes wonderful disinfectant wipes they contain no harmful chemicals. I suggest asking her if she cleaned only the ones he played with so you can do the rest. As for the oreo, could he have been having a tough time finishing his meal so she used an oreo as an extra special reward? I think you should just ask. Communication between yourself and her is so important.

I also agree with above posters about cleaning. There is NO reason he shouldn't be responsible for picking up one or two toys. She is trying to teach him a life long lesson. It is MUCH easier to just pick up yourself than it is to get a 2 year old to help, she's not taking the easy road, she's taking the responsible road. But if that does truly upset you I think you need to have a talk with her about your two different styles, she probably won't be happy though when you say you don't think your 2 year old should clean up. If I was her I would just imagine how he's going to be at 5.

Sweet Jesus said...

With all due respect, you can't say that stuff and not sound like a jerk.

Sanitizing toys is a big job and for a part-timer I don't think it is appropriate to put that in the job description. Wash your own kid's toys.

If you think 2 is too early to have to clean up or at the very least help, you will someday have a very spoiled lazy child on your hands. Parent, my friend. Take the time to teach your child good habits now.

As far as the Oreos, just tell her they are for potty rewards. How is she to know if you don't tell her?

You sound anal.

Oh No! Not the Oreos! said...

As far as the touyd where these 6 o7 toys in some obscure place that nanny wouldn't find unless she went on a hunt possibly ignoring your precious angel. There 6 toys out of what I imagine is hundreds. Maybe give her some wipes to make it easier.

Maybe he didn't want ice cream. Maybe he asked for a cokkie. Maybe she was following your rules and rewarding his "good begavior".

If you want to save the cookies tell her so as well as give her a list of ok desserts

Two is not to young to learn to clean up. She's doing the right thing by encouraging him to do so. How old do you think he should be before he learns this skill? 9? 10?

What would you rather she do with him? Put him in a crib so she can clean? Plop him in front of the TV?

Honestly I think you are in the process of raising a totatl brat. Only following rules if there is a cookie or bribe involved and not expected to clean.

You'll come off anal because you are anal, and if I were you I wouldn't be surprised if your nanny can no longer work for you due to "a family emergency"

Mrs. Edith said...

Wow...when I read your post, the first thing I thought of was.."Thank God I do not work for her!!" You are complaining about minor issues and to me, your Nanny sounds great.

It is a lot of work to expect your Nanny to bleach each toy he plays with during a 5-10 hour shift. What are you thinking???! Also, it is great that she is encouraging your son to pick up his toys. Take it from a mother of grown children, I wish I had done that when my kids were younger because now they are adults and are slobs.

These are petty complaints and for you to take the time to complain about little stuff, it shows you are just micromanaging your poor Nanny. I hope she finds another position because this one will driver her nuts eventually!!

are you kidding me? said...

I almost think this is fake because fo the absurdity of it. You asked her to clean his toys (or did you demand it?) and are complaining because you *think* she missed a few? Then just clean them, not a big deal. And really, how many toys does he play with in that period of time?

Oreo? Did she know they were only for potty treats?

And for cleaning? No, 2 yrs old is definitely not too young to be taught to clean up. 12 month olds can clean up with you and most find it a fun game. It is never too early to teach children how to clean up.

oh it's real alright said...

I'm curious, does OP pay her nanny under the table? What's the tax situation here?
If OP does not pay taxes, I'm sure it will get more of the knuckleheads on here to be on her side.
And I don't think this post if fake. Just look at some of the posters here. After reading some of these comments for years, I don't doubt it is real.

AMom said...

You're wrong about the cleaning up help, 2 is old enough to learn to help clean up their own toys. If she was asking him to sweep and mop the kitchen floor, that is not appropriate, but, to help clean up the play room? yes, totally appropriate at his age. And, of course he is going to complain, but, not everything in life is fun.

As for the Oreos, perhaps she didn't know that he is only allowed ice cream for dessert? personally, I would think one Oreo would be an appropriate dessert if I saw them in the house and knew he was allowed dessert. Just mention it to her.

Village said...

Frankly, the nanny sounds like the better mother, but hey, what do I know?

She missed a toy or two, she gave him a cookie, and she's teaching him to take care of himself?

Of, the horrors.

Old Hat said...

Your child has a cold. It's common thought that milk products are mucus producing and if you have a cold, it would add more mucus. That would be my guess.

If your child gets over the cold, it's likely he will build an immunity to particular virus. If you were worried about yourself, your nannies health, then by all means, wipe down things that get touched regularly by adults-phones, door handles, banisters, etc. Wiping down toys he plays with aren't really going to help the situation.

Never to early to help with clean up. Usually by 2 they can also be given other commands to help such as helping with diaper changes as well. She's spot on with that and unless you want to continue to pick up after Jr. at 15, you'll let her teach him now before he has the mindset to dispute being responsible for himself.

Tales from the (Nanny)Hood said...

OP, I have to wonder if something that is actually truly REALLY important is bothering you in your relationship with your nanny? If so, please address that big issue with her. Don't take out the annoyance of a big issue into picky stuff like cookies, toy bleaching, and playroom pick-up.

If these are truly the only issues you have with your nanny, I know a bunch of moms who would trade you their issues in a split second. Your nanny seems to be responsive (gave him a cookie, did not ignore him or force him to have ice cream), she seems to be teaching your child basic rules for living (Clean up what you play with, cooperate, and be helpful), and she is willing to take on a HUGE task like bleaching all his toys when asked to do so.

You simply need to let the little things go. Save the angst and annoyance for stuff that matters, like if she plops your child in front of the TV for hours so she can ignore him and text with friends.

Hectic Nanny said...

I've been a nanny for 8 years (same family). I would not wash the toys. Their parents would do that if it's that important to them. Your child is going to get sick more if you disinfect every thing. It's a cold.

My charges have been expected to help clean up since they would pick things up. Even if it's just handing something to me. You need to teach your child some responsibility or he is going to have a hard time at school.

Fat Camp Kid In The Making....... said...

And you are reason 99999999999999 that there are so many obese kids in the US. "A scoop or two of ice cream" because your kid eats dessert after dinner? When I was a kid, we didn't assume we were having dessert. There weren't rewards for eating our dinner. We were thankful to be eating dinner. Dessert was a random treat. You're probably the same mom who thinks it's ok to run your kid through the McDonald's drivethru when you don't feel like cooking.

Phoenix said...

I have a problem with the oreo as a good behavior technique. You are telling your child that every time he does something right he will be rewarded. An in the real world that plane ass doesn't happen.

Phoenix said...

and also your child can help clean up his playroom. I'm sorry but you are raising your child to be a brat.

Phoenix said...

and not only that. The cold and flu virus doesn't live on surface areas for very long at all. A simple lysol disinfectant would do the trick. My mother is OCD and a germaphone. She uses laytex gloves to pump gas and when my sister and i were sick we weren't allowed out of our rooms and if we had to walk through the house we had to hold our breath so we wouldn't breathe on anything. So I know germs. your request to disinfect ALL toys was a little over the line. disinfecting the most used toys was good. But not all of them

oh well said...

You sound like a concerned first-time mom to me. I think that as long as your nanny is leading by example your child should doing OK cleaning up the playroom - if you make it fun they usually love it. As a personal choice, I would definitely favor the oreo over a scoop (let alone two) of ice cream since it contains less empty calories. Also, I would definitely try to avoid using food as a reward for good behavior.
Finally, if your son is generally healthy and the cold is mild, I find the use of bleach and water to be a bit excessive - it could even
be counter-productive, as research has shown that some exposure to germs helped children build up their defenses.
I think the most important thing you should look at is whether your son seems happy with his nanny. Trust your instincts and do not sweat the small stuff.

ELam said...

I am anti-food as a reinforcer for many reasons, but, if you are going to be using Oreos/cookies as a reward or reinforcement, you need to be breaking one cookie into LITTLE PIECES so your child is not eating 20 cookies a day.

If your child is old enough to feed himself 2 scoops of ice cream, he is old enough to help pick up his toy room. I've worked with 15-month old children who understood when I said "Time to clean up!" and they were able to pick up their toys. This is setting a good foundation for future behaviors. Of course he is going to whine and say no, nobody likes to clean up, but if you let him get away with it, you are just reinforcing the fact that you don't ever expect him to clean up any messes he makes and this will be difficult to reverse.

Sounds like you just need to clarify the whole treat/dessert thing. I've said my piece on the cleaning up bit. And the sanitizing...honestly, a mild cold, if you have only one child then he is not going to catch the same cold twice by playing with his toys the next day. Something easier might be to ask your nanny to simply wipe down the toys with a Clorox/disinfecting wipe before she leaves for the day. Let's not forget that kids build up strong and healthy immune systems by being exposed to the occasional germs/sickness!!

Bethany said...

Is there something else about her that bothers you?

Yes I understand you're the mom and can set the rules.

BUT it sounds like your looking for problems. Trying to find something to pick about.

Fo what it's worth I think it's great she's teaching him to clean up after himself at 2.

Lyn said...

Truthfully, I have the biggest problem with the OP saying she gives her 2 year old 2 scoops of ice cream after dinner every night. There is just no need to give a toddler that much sugar late in the evening. Or really, to give them that much sugar at all (rare circumstances or as a summer treat OCCASIONALLY). Yes, you are being completely unreasonable in your requests that the Nanny ignore your little one everytime he finishes playing with a toy so she can run and soak it in bleach. And with having the toddler help to clean up. But the oreos and ice cream daily are a much bigger concern to me. Especially given his age. There is a reason America is the fattest country in the world. Why try to pass that "legacy" on to the next generation? I am sure the little one would be just as happy with a sugar free Popsicle or a bowl of grapes/watermelon.

StrawberryShortKakes said...

I really thought this had to be a joke because of how petty these problems are. I'm sorry OP but if you have the time to be completely bothered by such small details concerning your nanny, I think you might need to try and find a new perspective on things. Just a thought.

I am a real stickler about kids cleaning up. My theory is, if they can mess it up then they can clean it up too. Of course the nanny shouldn't sit back and watch the child clean everything but there is no reason a typically developing 2 year old can't clean up his own mess. If I were a mom, I would be thanking my nanny for enforcing that. When the child is older, he is more likely to clean up after himself. If you still have an issue with your nanny having your child pitch in, then ask her not to do that. You will be kicking yourself later when your child expects you to be his maid but of course that is your decision to make. The nanny can't read your mind so she probably assumed you'd like her to teach him to clean. Go figure...

As for the food thing, a little dessert now and then isn't a problem but I agree with the others that ice cream every night is not a good idea. I am going to guess that you did not tell your nanny that you were saving oreos strictly for potty training. Again, she can not read your mind. If you did tell her and she still gave him an oreo, then I do think you have a (slight) reason to be a little peeved but it's not the end of the world.

And concerning the toys, your child is not going to pass his own germs back to himself so I don't see how cleaning his own toys is going to prevent himself from re-sickening himself. Perhaps just ask the nanny to spray them with lysol or, here's an idea... clean them yourself!

BKmommy06 said...

OP, you need to take a step back from this situation and honestly ask yourself what the issue really is. Are you feeling guilty for not being able to spend more time with your son? Are you jealous of the nanny? I say this not to be insensitive, but the petty gripes you're picking at point to a much bigger issue here.

You're being ridiculous.

Watch Out For That Helicopter Mom said...

What is it with parents these days?

They expext to do shit-all in their own house ie cleaning toys, cooking etc.

Micromanage everyone and everything around them and raise helpless kids.

You should probably for your nanny so she can be free to work for someone sane.
Maybe you can quit your job and spend all day wit your son who will no doubt be 10 years old, unable to clean after himself , use the toilet or anything without a cookie and probably obese and pre-diabetic.

MissMannah said...

I'm just going to echo what all the previous posters have said:

1. Even very young children can learn to pick up after themselves. Nannies are supposed to teach children self-help skills.

2. The nanny does not need to bleach every single toy in your house and if she does, why stop there? Did she also disinfect every other surface or object your son comes in contact with? Otherwise your no-germ plan is flawed.

3. Your son is eating wayyy too much sugar. He does not need ice cream that often, nor does he need that many cookies! Oh and by the way, you are using bribery to get him to pee. That's generally a no-no. Do you eat a cookie every time you pee?

4. Nobody said this one yet and it is probably just my grammar Nazi tendencies emerging, but why the hell can't you capitalize anything? That post was incredibly hard to read!

What they Said said...

OP says ''She is very pleasant and interacts with my children very well''

So if the only issues are really the little nitpicks you've explained then i think you need to read some of these nanny sightings, and stories of employees getting fired or sentenced to life for the murder of the child they're watching, etc to realize how good you have it. There is no perfect nanny but there are really GREAT nannies who know what they're doing and if you are worried about a cookie over ice cream then maybe you need to be a full time mother so you can have it your way. Although i do think the Nanny is doing a great job and is helping your child more doing what shes doing.

The nanny knows what she is doing. She's a professional nanny..

NVMom-movedtoTX said...

As a Mom here's my take. I don't agree with some of your issues but to answer your broader question, yes you should treat your nanny like a professional and talk to her if you have concerns. You need communicate your needs and also be willing to hear her side of the situation. Anything less is not handling the relationship in a mature,professional manner.

As to your issues, despite what some people here have said, your child is not destined to become a brat because they don't clean up at 2 years old. You said isn't that too young, you never said you weren't intending to teach him at all. My kids probably did this more toward 3 or 4 and they turned out just fine.

Don't agree with bleach and water for disinfectant. Sounds gross to risk having my child put bleach in their mouth even if it is diluted. Hot water works just fine as do other non-bleach wipes.

I'd avoid giving treats as behavior rewards not just because of the sugar but also because the child begins to depend on the rewards as an incentive and loses the intrinsic value of behaving, going to the potty, etc.

CityNanny said...

MB, you're being ridic. Not to mention, "3 or 4 days/week, 5-10 hours/day." So this could mean anywhere between 15 and 40 hours/week. So is she a part time nanny or full-time? What exactly is in her job description?

What They Said said...

And i'm curious to no how you ''No for a fact she has either NOT bleached the toys or only bleached 6 or 7''. Also how do you know she gave him a cookie and not cream? Did you look in the cookie container and notice one missing? And how do you know she was encouraging him to pick up his toys?

Just wondering.

Smile said...

Wow, I am SO THANKFUL you weren't my mom!! It breaks my heart to see kids rewarded with oreos (have you ever tried stickers??) and seriously, a two year old not even helping clean up??? When I worked at a very high quality daycare, the parents were very impressed at how well even the 12-24 month old kids learned to clean up. By their 2's, the kids LOVED cleanup time (we used fun "cleanup" music, NO COOKIES!!). No wonder your kid doesn't want to clean up - you are training him to only do anything if he is bribed with sweets! Wow, I'm glad I'm not your nanny, either. At least your nanny can quit. Your poor, soon to be severely obese and spoiled child is stuck with you. Good job, though, asking for a second opinion. The first step to becoming a better person is looking for help! I would recommend finding some good books on parenting to research better methods to use than "bribing" with oreos. Good luck.

Claire said...

I am not going to attack your parenting choices, while I do not agree with them, you still have the right to decide how you want things done in your home. You have the right to hire someone who will do things the way you like. However, you need to make that 100%clear BEFORE you hire a nanny. The problem between you and your nanny seems to be communication.

Did you tell her about the things you want? So many parents don't actually tell the nanny what they want, they just assume the nanny will know. A nanny can work in many many houses in her career, and there are different rules and ways of doing things in every house. If you don't want to give your nanny specific instructions, she will just use her best judgement. In this case, it is pretty unfair of you to get upset when she doesn't do things exactly the way you want.

She may be using her common sense about the oreos and the picking up. She probably thought an oreo would be better than two scoops of ice cream because one cookie is a smaller dessert. She also would have absolutely no way of knowing that you do not want your child to help pick up his things. Every parent I have ever worked for either insists the child helps, or are delighted if I teach the child to help. Your nanny probably doesn't even know there are parents out there who DON'T want their kids to pick up. Like I said, your parenting choices are your own, but with something as unusual as this, you need to explain up front that this is what you want.

As far as bleaching the toys, we nannies call this 'job creep.' Did you ask her at the interview if she was willing to do this? If you want someone to do the large, foul-smelling, and unpleasant job of bleaching your child's toys, that needs to be in the contract from the beginning. If you didn't list that on her job duties, you have no right to expect her to do it.

Sit down with your nanny and explain exactly what you want, and ask if she is ok going along with it. If she is not happy, perhaps she is not a good fit. Next time you interview someone, explain in detail everything you want, make sure everyone is on the same page, and everyone is happy with the agreement.

adriatic-sea said...


THIS! Exactly.

Lauren said...

Wish the OP would post again...

1. I think you need to communicate with your nanny better.

2. No need for dessert every night - unless fruit or yogurt is dessert 4+ nights per week, with a sweet treat the other 3 nights. BUT just TELL your nanny what you consider to be "acceptable" desserts... don't ASSUME she knows what you want.

3. You can/should absolutely expect a 2 year-old to "help" clean up... and YES, we know that the adult is doing 90% of the cleanup, but it sets up good habits for later.

**Good luck to you**

Stop the Nitpicking said...

I have seen some anal things in my days but this one takes the cookie
When my grand daughter learned how to walk she also learned to put her toys back on the shelve or in the box when she was thru with it,
We had an awesome Nanny and she said it was never too early to teach a child to be self sufficent. The kid was Potty trained at 12 month, working on her abcs as soon as she could talk.
You do not pump a kid full of ice cream or dairy products when they have a cold as it makes the mucus worse.! You don't feed the kid cookies for a reward, that is supposed to be kept for the family dog. Since the kid is not a dog do not feed it cookies for going potty, have a few little cars or toys stashed or a sugar less lollypop. I see a fat little self entitled brat coming your way lol if you keep rewarding him like you do the family dog it just may come back to bite you in the ass lol The best thing you can do is actually let Nanny do her damn job and you may learn something about child rearing .Kids like to be praised. Try praising your son when he does good things not stuffing him.

NannyPants said...

Never too young to teach 'clean up'. How spoiled is your kid?

oh well said...

I just want to say that although I agree with what many posters have to say, I really do not agree with the
condescending and even agressive tone
used here.
OP's message was considerate and courteous and certainly did not deserve the amount of bashing it got. OP, if these are the worst mistakes you make as a parent, you are definitely one of the best out there.

StrawberryShortKakes said...

I disagree with you "Oh well." First off, I highly doubt these are OP's only mistakes as a mom. I'm not saying she is a horrible mom but parents make mistakes all the time. That's life as a parent. In my opinion, the way that she wrote her post alludes to the fact that this mom, in fact, might have a few things to learn in the parenting department. For example, she doesn't think it is developmentally appropriate for her 2 year old to clean up after himself and therefore I wonder if she might be able to benefit from some literature on developmental milestones. Secondly, feeding her son ice cream after dinner every night and thinking there is nothing wrong with it perhaps could be a sign that she may not be aware that it is just not healthy and might lead to bigger health problems in the future. And lastly, bribing with oreos to use the potty will not be healthy or as effective for the child as opposed to social praise which would be better for the child. That leads me to believe that this mom could learn a thing or two about how best to encourage self help skills, which the child will be learning for many years to come (aka lots of oreos-worth). I am NOT bashing this mother at all because EVERYONE could always be a better parent in one way or another- no one is perfect. I think it is just difficult for people who work with children to refrain from trying to help when they see someone post their parenting skills that could use some work.

Dog loving nanny said...

I hope you mean to save the rewards, for the dog, not the Oreos. Human's cookies are terrible for dogs, especially Oreos as they contain chocolate.

nannyleah said...

I have been a Nanny for 8 years and this is my take - there is no way that you could possibly be this upset by these small issues so I would say that you have a gut feeling that all is not OK, you can't put your finger on it and so you are looking for 'reasons' for the way that you feel. Bleaching every toy is simply an uneducated thing to do, what you need to do is bleach the air if you want to get rid of germs everywhere in your house!!

ConstructiveCriticism said...

I dont know if anyone else said this as I did not read all comments...but seriously??? You seem to be picking at very small insignificant things. Either inform your nanny of the house rules, or trust she probably has more experience than your two years raising your son. Otherwise, stay home and do it yourself and let your poor nanny go...because if you get on her for every little thing, it will be a nightmare for her. I have been in such a situation that I had to try so so hard to be a complete different person just to please MB. It was terribly draining. Dont get me wrong, a nanny should be able to follow direction, but lets face it, no one will do things just like you. so either trust her, or raise your kid yourself.

Ex-Daycare Teacher / Current Nanny said...

This post pisses me off.

1. She can't wash toys AND watch the kid at the same time. I used to work at a daycare, and the only times we cleaned the toys were during naptime (when ALL the kids were SLEEPING) or after all the kids had gone home (bleach/water is NOT safe for kids)

2. A two-year-old is plenty old to be cleaning up after themselves. At the daycare, we taught the kids how to clean up when they were in the Toddler Room (15 months old!). Most of them didn't understand, which is why you teach them. And even then, they don't do it, but eventually they all learn to clean up by the time they move up to the 2-year-old Room.

3. TELL HER that oreos are for rewards, not desserts. She probably didn't know.