Nanny Concerned Child Doesn't Seek her Comfort

opinion 1
I have worked as a full time nanny for a variety of households for the last decade. Working with so many children , I have built a different relationship with each one. My current situation leaves me perplexed because ive never encountered it before. I have worked with this single child family for a little over two years. I am not a live-in, i work 35 hours each week.

I started when the baby was about four months old and she is now two and a half. The fact that she doesn't know life without me is what makes the behavior unusual in my mind. Whenever she has an owie or is frustrated and having a tantrum, she doesn't want me to hold her. She begs for mommy or daddy... most times one of them is available but not always. If a parent is available they will come console her if it was an owie, but never during a tantrum (supporting my authority). If a parent holds her, she snuggles them and wants to remain being held until she feels better. If a parent is not available she continues to sob, and pushes me away if I try to help console her. This isn't stranger anxiety, as I'm likely seen as family in her mind. She would rather thrash on the floor alone with a pinched finger, rather than snuggle with me. She adores me, we play and snuggle plenty, she asks for me when I'm not around.... so why doesn't she seek me to comfort her? It sounds pathetic now that I see my question in writing, but I'm genuinely concerned that there is an issue.

I've worked with children who love me like a parent.... or children who hate my presence because they have realized that mommy leaves when nanny arrives... and also children who would rather have mommy but accept me as a substitute when in pain. Am I missing something? Please list my "screen name" as HappyElephant.


Nannyof2 said...

I think the answer is in your question this is her way of getting attention from mom and dad She expects them to come thus the carrying on when they don't.

She already has your attention at the time she wants their attention and it probably has very little to do with the amount of pain she's in or the comfort she needs.

She wants a snuggle with mom & dad the end.

Truth Seeker said...

I wouldn't stress about it too much. As long as you have a loving and compassionate personality, then you are doing all you can for her. Some kids only want their parents to comfort is normal and natural....

workingMom said...

We like to think that children are a blank slate, and given the appropriate care and environment, will develop a certain way and thus, behave a certain way.

Personally, I don't believe this to be true. I think children are born with their disposition or personalities pretty much in place.

I have many nieces and nephews, and treat every one of them the same - yet - some are more strongly attached to me than others. And as long as they're not rude about it, I don't take offense; it's basic personal preference.

Children can be just as selective in their attachments as anyone else, and they can be 'tolerating' you while still preferring the company of their own parent. It's perfectly normal, and does not mean it's a negative relationship.

Phoenix said...

well children are very good at reading people. There may be something about your character that she just doesn't like. That is not your fault and it is not hers. It is possible that she is only allowing her parents to console her because she misses them. She may be doing this behavior to get them to notice her. She knows you are around and won't leave her but she also knows that her parents do occasionally leave. This is nothing against you. She is just wanting her parents.

I wouldn't read too much into it. She will eventually grow out of it and don't let her know your feelings are hurt. And honestly you shouldn't have hurt feelings. You should be happy that she loves her parents and she does care about you but I think this is a tactic to get PARENTS attention, not yours

Logical Skeptic said...

Past a certain age, I couldn't stand to have my parents comfort me when I got hurt. It broke my mother's heart but to this day, unless I'm seriously injured and need major first aid or assistance (like sprained-ankle-level serious), I will momentarily push away anyone who tries to help or soothe me. It isn't tied to any particular incident that I know of, and I'm very affectionate the rest of the time, but it's just a little weird thing that seems to be ingrained in my character.

So if this little girl interacts with you well, if she "adores" you, asks for you when you're not there and isn't shy about physical contact when she's not hurt or upset (good job on the parents, BTW, for not getting involved in the tantrums!), I would chalk this up to a personality quirk and not take it personally. However, you might examine how you react to her owies and tantrums. She may feel you are overreacting or underreacting (2.5-year-olds are still figuring out that people are different in many ways) and not know how to deal with that, and want the more familiar parental reaction. Or, as Phoenix says, she may simply want some more attention from them.

In any case, don't worry and don't take it personally.

Phoenix said...

LOL. sprained ankle serious.'

I sprained my ankle so freakin bad one day and I asked my mom to drive me to my piano class and she told me to walk. I had to leave my house an hour before my class so i could hobble a block away. This was also in the summer so it was 110 degrees outside. That was really messed up

world's best nanny said...

I am a sufferer of migraines and I despise all attempts of comforting, but I am weird that way. Maybe she simply wants her mommy or daddy. You may have been a constant in her life, but you are still not mom or dad. Don't take it personally.

Amy said...

My son doesn't like to be cuddled by me, his own mother, except when he's tired. Period. He smashed his face into the wall and just wanted me to leave him alone on the floor while he cried and cried. He has smooshed his fingers in a cupboard and the same thing. He's 1 year old btw. When we're at my parents and he gets hurt he goes straight to his grandpa. It's pathetic and if I weren't okay with the fact that he loves other people too, I'd be crushed. But for whatever reason, in his mind, mommy doesn't make it better but grandpa does. The only time he wants me and no one else is when he is tired. Different kids, different personalities, different ways of dealing with things. Don't stress over it, it's just part of who she is, when she wants you, you'll know it.

Oh and I'm a nanny and a mom.