Cry Baby

opinion 1
I care for an 11 year old girl. Her mother described her as social, forgetful and sensitive. In my time with her I've seen her be extremely manipulative. Friday I asked her to turn off the tv and get her chores done and ready for dinner. She turned up her face to cry, as she always does when she doesn't want to do something. I said, " X, this and this needs to be done, crying won't help you." But it does help her sometimes because her other nanny gives into her when she cries.

Daughter told mom what I said when she got home. Mom called me aside and told me I wasn't to bully and belittle her daughter in that manner and speak to her so negatively. Thinking daughter had exaggerated, I told her what I had said. She told me I wasn't to ask her daughter not to cry, that I would have to come up with another method. So what's another method? I must be honest here, I'm thinking of quitting.


Nanny S said...

Yes I have been in this situation. At the time, I thought my beef was with the pre-teen daughter from hell, but in retrospect it was with the parents who had no spines and were allowing a child to rule the house. As long as the parents don't support you, you have absolutely no power. Eventually you'll be let go and made to feel as if there is something wrong with you. There's not. Start looking for another job.

Laura said...

Aaaaand that's your cue to begin the job search. Unless you can afford to, I wouldn't quit until you've got another job lined up. But you won't get anywhere with this girl when her mother won't promote you as an authority figure. Good luck!

Schnoodled said...

Time to get a new job. This girl is used to turning on the water works to get her way and every adult in her life has caved ( or been instructed to cave). Seriously, 11 and crying in response to your request is ludacris. Like the previous poster said, without parental support, youve got nothing. And the child knows it.

I worked for a family where the kids ran the house, the 13 year old daughter questioned father about his sleeping pills, he denied the use, and she dug through his master bathroom trash then interrogated him, her Father! She also read her fathers texts messages and nagged him about his girlfriend. SHE was also involved in the process of of deciding certain factors of my nanny contract. The 8 year old son spit in my food, when I reported it to the father...the asshole laughed about front of the child. This man acted as his kids best friend, and allowed his daughter to behave as a nagging wife. The son assaulted me and tried to rip my shirt off in the grocery store, the fathers redponse is that i should have prevented the tantrum. I lasted for 3 months, when i quit, my afency dropped him and the kids were sent to boarding schools. Sorry for my tirade, what I'm saying is, kids know how to play the parents against the "help". They know that they don't have to show you any respect if the parents don't support you as an authority figure.

Jessi-NZ said...

The above posters have made a really valuable point about who is really in control of the house.
If you are determined to stick it out, or just want a technique to help while you look for a new job, I would do the following:
You ask for something, X cries, just ignore her. She wants attention and her own way. Just calmly state what you want done and leave her too it.

Also you could change up her schedule a bit so that the stuff that needs to get done, gets done before the stuff she wants. She wants to watch tv, she will first have to do her chores. Just be firm and calm

Aries said...

Wow She's 11 yet is acting like a toddler who gets a toy taken away.

And you never told her daughter not to cry so what is the mother talking about?

The mother should be telling her daughter that when the nanny says to do something, do it.. shes just letting her daughter think its ok to act like that and she will have alot of problems when reality hits her hard.

Just My Two Cents Just Now said...

In all of my many years working as a Nanny, I would say in 90% of the families I have been with, the children ruled the roost. Now I am an older woman and back in my day when my parents told me to eat my veggies, I ate my veggies because my parents told me to. I also had to do my chores when I was told to and as a young child, had to wear a jacket if my parents told me to wear a jacket. My point is that back in my day, kids were expected to listen and obey their parents or else. And we did just that.

Kids these days have too many options and not enough boundaries. So it's cold outside and little Susie doesn't want to wear her jacket to the playground. Well she throws a huge fit and Mom gives in. In her opinion, it is much easier to avoid all the unpleasantness than hold her ground. When I was a kid, if I didn't want to wear my jacket to the playground, then I just didn't go to the playground. And when I pitched a fit, I was sent to my room.

People wonder why the younger generation has such self-entitlement issues. It's because parents these days do not have the balls to stand up to their kids anymore. Sad, but true.

OP, you need the support of the Mother in dealing with this girl. And by what you stated, it does not look like you will EVER have it. Both parent and Nanny need to work effectively together in order to successfully discipline this child. It seems the Mother is too weak to stand up to her daughter thus this situation will never get better.

I would look for a new position. Perhaps one where the parents actually act like parents like they used to back in the day.

*Melanie Raye* said...

not only does the daughter not respect you, the mother doesn't respect you, either.
Look for a new job, right away...

UmassSlytherin said...

Look for a new position. An 11 year old, even if they have special needs, emotional or other, can be told, "Stop crying and acting like a baby! Be a big girl. Crying can't get you what you want."

I find nothing wrong in what OP said to this child.

Lyn said...

You did what I believe ANY of us would have done. You tried to correct the situation. Unfortunately, if the mom has let this go on for 11 years and (somehow) does not realize this is truly a destructive behavior for her Daughter, there is nothing you can do here. Somewhere down the road life will knock this girl down for the very behavior her mother allowed. Walk away, don't use them as a reference, and smile when you realize that you will miss this girls teenage years. *shivers* can you imagine?!

Phoenix said...

I don't think this 11 year old has social issues, I think she's learned how to manipulate people and not do what she's told.

I honestly wouldn't know how to fix this one. What I used to do with a little boy who cried like this, I would cry back and say he hurt my feelings then he would cave. Fight fire with fire.

I don't think would work for this girl though, shes crafty

Village said...

Have you tried saying okay, no matter what the child says? A child can't rebel when no one is pushing back. If the child does nothing, tell the mother the child didn't want to. It's the truth.

There is no "I" in Team said...

Quit. The parents are not interested in having you as a respected part of the team. Nothing else to it!

Logical Skeptic said...

Schnoodle, the word you're looking for is "ludicrous". "Ludacris" is the stage name of Christopher Brian Bridges. Please don't ever post anything anywhere ever again without running spellcheck.

This is why Latin should be taught in middle school.

Also, Phoenix, consistently using guilt to gain compliance from a child is a very damaging way of managing them. Once in a while is ok, and yes, of course children should learn empathy and how to deal with things without crying, but teaching a child that s/he *always* needs to do what people tell him or her or their feelings will be hurt is not a good lesson.

nycmom said...

As I've posted, I have an 11yo who is quite difficult. She can also be lazy and manipulative. However, this is not news to me and I am quite honest about this during interviewing nannies or occasional sitters.

Most sitters can handle her, some cannot, and a few are amazing. They have mastered some fine balance of bonding + firmness + not ever getting personally offended.

The difference in our home is that I *always* support the sitter. I state this in the interview and I follow through. We discuss disciple, but I also say that I understand she can't exactly carry an 11yo to "time-out." So if my dtr doesn't listen, I recommend she keep a brief written log of dtr's offenses and I will double the consequence when I get home. Then I follow through.

I also explain that I may not always agree with her discipline choices because we can't possibly envision every scenario. But I will always publicly support her, then she and I alone will discuss if I would prefer different options in the future. With manipulative kids, you MUST present a united front (including my husband and I) or they will just play everyone off one another.

Finally, I strongly advise my nanny not to get caught up in extensive power struggles with my 11yo. My dtr knows the rules and the consequences. If she chooses not to listen, there is no reason for the nanny to engage in a lengthy battle. They suck and she can leave those to us with the written report of any rule infractions/refusals.

You know, not every caregiver connects with every child. It's not a failure on your part, especially for challenging kids. I've found only 2-3 sitters/people who were amazing with my daughter without simply letting her dictate terms. I am not one of those 2-3 people! I have learned much over the years and I am very strict, but a very few people can bring out her best without her worst. Regardless, unless jobs are scarce and this is a very important one, move on.

The 11yo is only going to get worse and without parental support, you won't get anywhere.

Phoenix said...

that was my point. If you don't have help from the parents and you can't force the kid to do something. Manipulate her back. Will is cause un-due emotional damage? Maybe, but it wont be any worse than the damage that's being done now

Susannah said...

I agree with everyone who told you it's time to move on.

Mom does not have your back which makse your job impossible to do.

I would find a new job and give my notice.

As nycmom mentioned, it's always good to discuss discipline at interviews in the the future. Though I know parents can sugarcoat their child's behavior and you never fully know a situation until you're in it.

Bethany said...

As has been said it's time to seek out a new job.

You're screwed if mom doesn't back you.

Hope you can find something better.

♥ Amy Darling ♥ said...

Logical Skeptic....I was thinking the same thing..I am like..."Geez is this person so dumb that she refers to the rapper as an adjective??" ROFL. Hahahahahaha....... ;)

I love to eat my Eminems and drink my Ice-T...and don't forget to put some Ice Cubes in my cup....Specifically some Vanilla Ice...

I know this is really bad. I better quit now. LOL.

MissMannah said...

OP, you need to quit. This mom is never going to support you on this issue.

Skeptic and Amy...I think I love you both. I am laughing so hard right now.

Nanny Jenn said...

@Amy Darling:

That is SO funny. I can imagine you rapping it ♫ lol.

Mike Obey said...

♥ Amy Darling ♥-

That was hysterical!!!