To all you nannies out there, do you tell your charges "I love you"? If not, why? To all you MBs out there. what are your feelings on this issue? Would you prefer your nanny to say it or not? Why or why not?


missmary said...

I do, but I never say it first. They're very loving little girls, and will give me a hug and say "I love you!". I have to say it back, I'm not heartless!

Bethany said...

I do as missmary does. I tend to conduct my nanny positions in a similar fashion to how I conducted myself as an early childhood teacher. I didn't go round telling my students I loved them and the same goes for my charges.

I also think you can act lovingly towards the kids you care for without telling them you love them.

If one of them tells me I'd say it back without a problem. It would be cruel not to.

I have said it first to a baby over my career, but it isn't as though I flip out , and wash my mouth out and say prayers.

Why? I try to keep professional boundaries in place. They are not family no matter how close we get. I tend to keep I love yous for family.

I've also come across parents that are not fans of a nanny using those words with their kids.
You need to know your bosses and what they are comfortable with.

Saying or not saying I love you does not make you a better nanny. It's one of those many gray areas in life.

Just My Two Cents Just Now said...

Usually my charges say, "I love you" first and of course I always respond I love them back! ♥

As a Nanny, I LOVE all of my charges to death.

MileHighNanny said...

I usually will tell smaller children that I love them, because I do and it models a good way to show love to others. As kids get older, I try to figure out their "love language" ( great book btw) and try to show them love that way. If a kid tells me that they love me at any age, I will say it back!

Nanny of One said...

I have had my current charge since she was under two years old and now she is four years old. I always have told her that I love her, especially when I am putting her to bed.

I read a story, close the door, and stay who loves you? I do!

She tell's me that she loves me various time throughout a typical day, and I always respond that I love her back.

Mind you, I work for a single father, who has no jealously issues and has never commented on the issue. Her mother however, is not fond of me at all, and would hate to hear that my charge loves me or that I love them.

Susannah said...

I think you have to know the parent, as pps have pointed out.

I've told charges I've loved them before. It's not a big deal for me.

Even if I don't say it, I've loved all my charges.

NannyPants said...

Of course I do. My charge is one year old and I tell him I love him all the time! The parents know and don't mind. If I'm not working and they have him they send me picture texts of him with captions like, "I love you Jamie!!" and give me cute cards "from" the baby that they I love you. Heck, my MB says "love you" to me! We are a loving bunch haha.

Lyn said...

I always say I love you to my charges, always have. I think all little people need to be reminded that they ARE loved and how to show love. And thankfully I've only worked with families who also value those things. So it's never been an issue. And who wouldn't say it to a little one when putting them down for a nap/bed? :)
But as a professional, I see the flip side of the coin too. Getting too attached, possibly going over boundary lines, etc. So I get why some Nannies would feel comfortable saying those words.

Tales from the (Nanny)Hood said...

I have always told "my kids" that I love them, and I don't wait for them to say it first, although there is nothing like the first time they respond in kind.

I wouldn't be able to work for parents who expected me to not express my love for their kids. IMO, kids thrive on having multiple loving relationships with adults, and when an adult is not allowed to say "I love you." to a child they care for, that establishes an emotional barrier.

leftcoastmama said...

I wouldn't be upset if my nannies told my kids they loved them.

I wouldn't expect them to either.

I have nannies that told my kids they loved them, and nannies that didn't.

At the end of the day, as great as you are in your role you are just the nanny.

I do not need you to love my kids.

My kids do not need you to love them.

Care for them, play with them,etc, if you happen to love them great, but it's by no means a requirement, or the mark of a good nanny.
It will not earn you a raise or a reference, it will not make it any harder for me to let you go when your services are no longer needed.

If you want to say I love you do so. If not don't.

As a mother, I can understand why another mother would be botheres by someone else not a family member expressing love for their child.

Many woman struggle with issues surrounding the nanny and relationship she has with the child she is caring for along with guilt for not being the one at home with the child.

I'm not saying it's right or rational. The mind of a mother can't always be explained, especially a new mother.

leftcoastmama said...

I can only think of one scenario where I would be upset, and that would be if nanny had the audacity to proclaim she loved my child more than me, or best, or anything of that nature.

DevilWithARedDressRedDressOn said...

Just a nanny? A nanny that spends more time with the children than the parents. A nanny that knows more about the children than the parents do. You're just the mom.

*Evil Grin*

Chelsea said...

I typically don't say it first, unless I'm ultra-comfortable with the family. For example, I worked for my third grade teacher a few weeks back, and truly felt as if and was treated as if I WERE family. I told the baby (who was only a few months old at the time) that I loved him regularly. It just felt right.

With my last job, I was somewhat close to the family, and I was very close to the kids, but I never initiated "I love you"s. The 3-year-old would tell me she loved me, and even give me kisses on the lips, and I'd return the comment and not pull away from her or anything like that...but I never initiated it. It just didn't feel right.

It's just situational. I don't feel like I'll get to that point with my current family--I'm very new right now, but I just don't get the feeling that it will happen. And that's okay. I don't need to tell the kids that I love them totally unprompted for them to know that I love them.

Chelsea said...

*Oops, that was meant to say "I worked for my third grade teacher a few YEARS back."

Beezus said...

Kisses on the lips?
My grandma does this with my littlest cousins and it weirds me out lol.

nycmom said...

I am fine either way. I am secure in my role as Mom and do not feel threatened by a nanny saying "I love you." I also do not feel love is restricted solely to families. I do believe in professional boundaries, but I do not believe in rationing love.

I am also fine if a nanny does not say "I Love You" and would never be offended by her not using those words, though agree it would be a little odd to not reciprocate affection in some form if a child expresses it.

I am fine with hugs, cheek kisses and lip kisses. But I am an affectionate person and lip kisses are normal for us.

NannyPants said...

To the poster who said "you are just the nanny", you are the kind of boss no one wants to work for.
I have been told by countless Moms I have worked for that finding someone that not only takes great care of your children but truly LOVES them, is huge. Why wouldn't you want that for your children? Never say "just" the nanny. That is so degrading. We are doing our jobs the best that we can in order to please you...we know you're the mom and so do the kids. We're not trying to take the role over.

Bethany said...

We are nannies, not family members, most likely we will not be a permanent fixture in the kids lives.More often than not they will not remember us when we're gone.

In the big picture it's very unlikely saying I love you will have a huge impact on the kids and your time with them.

We would all freak out if during an interview a parents asked if we intended to love their kids, and how soon we will introduce those words?

Say it if you want to. Doesn't make you more or less of a loving person or good nanny. I think the moms in this post have confirmed that.

leftcoastmama said...

I should have phrased myself better. I did not mean to offend you.

I have a great amount of respect for what nannies do.

It is true that in the great many things I look for and expect from a potential nanny, love is not one of them.

I expect my sister to loe my kids, my parents to love my kids. I do not expect my nanny to love my kids.

If she does end up loving them. That's fine. If she says I love you that's fine. I do not expect these things.

I expect her to treat my kids lovingly, that is very different from loving them or saying I love you.

leftcoastmama said...

Devil: I happen to spend more time with my kids than the nanny does. I know my kids more intimately than you ever could. They lived in me for nearly a year. I am the mom.

I certainly hope you don't try to compete with the mother of the children you care for!

leftcoastmama said...

NannyPants: My oldest child is 13 soon to be 14 years old in 14 years we have had 5 nannies. The first we lost because we moved to a different state. Two were brought in temporarily one to help the nanny we hired, because the new baby was premature and needed a significant amount of care. My husband and I didn't feel it fair to have one nanny be responsible for 3 children one of them needing extra care. The other because a nanny need time off to attend to a personal matter. The other left to become a mother and raise her own children.
All my nannies , receive generous salaries, benefits, and our respect.

But at the end of the day, I know caring for my kids is just their job.
I don't expect them to stay forever if they don't want to.

I don't expect them to love me, my kids, or our dog.

It's sad when one leaves, and I always wish them well when they do, but that is the nature of the relationship.

Phoenix said...

I remember as a kid telling my nanny that I loved her, she would say it back.

I think that the child should say it first. If a child says 'i love you' and you don't say it back that is kinda mean

Bethany said...

I think that's right Phoenix.

I have not nor would I ever not return an I love you from a child.

That would be beyond cruel, and if a parebt told me I couldn't respond to an I love you I would have a problem with that.

Smile said...

I always tell my charges I love them! And, YES, no matter if you are only with them a few weeks, months, or with them 5 years, they need to hear that they are loved! If they are 3 months old, they won't understand the words, but they can see it in your eyes when you say "I love you".
C'mon, surely when asked, "why did you become a nanny?" on job apps, most of you replied, "because I love children". Well, then, if I was the parent, I would be sorely disappointed if that nanny never bothered to TELL my babies that she loved them! When I worked at a daycare, I told them I loved them. At church nursery, I love them. Even when I did my student teaching for elementary school kids, I told each one of them I love them, and I believe in them. Every kid, every baby, needs to hear from those who care for them the words, "I love you". Sincerely and frequently!!

Lyn said...

That absolutely warms my heart! :) I share your thoughts and actions. I had a rough childhood and I credit who I've become to 2 women who probably don't even know how much of an influence they were in my life. While each of them were only in my life on a twice a week basis for just a couple of years, they served as incredible role models to me just because of the genuine spirits behind their loving words and gestures. You may have someone holding you in that same light. :)

DevilWithaRedDressRedDressRedDressOn said...

Leftcoast......I'm not a nanny. And if your having to look back to when you were pregnant as the most time you've spent with your children, no wonder your nanny knows them better than you.

Nannygal said...

I say this to my charges all the time!. The fact of the matter is- I do love them! I have literally fallen in love with everyone of them! It sounds so pathetic and cliche but it actually happens this way. Ever read the Nanny Diaries? That is the exact reason Nan doesn't leave Grayer- despite the low pay and disrespect she dealt with on behalf of the parents.

Beezus said...

I don't find "lip kisses" bad, it's more like something I tease my grandma about-shes a super affectionate women.

One of my charges tells me she loves me about 50 times a day.No exaggeration. I will always return her gesture, but I also toss in, "Yes, I love you! and mommy loves you, and daddy loves you too!" I think it's so important to remind them that even though mom and dad aren't there and I am, that they are being loved from far away as well.

Vanessa said...

I have cared for my 3 charges since they were 7 months and a day old. They are now 4 and 2 and a half. Of course I love them and of course I say it as much as I can.

Vanessa said...

@leftcoastmama you make no sense, at all. You claim to not expect your nanny to love your kids, but to treat them lovingly and care for them. Guess what? It take a small amount of love to want to do those things. A nanny who doesn't love your kids, won't treat them the way they deserve.

And to you we may be "just the nanny" obviously you're some sort of snob. I am not and have never been "just the nanny" I am part of the family. They love me and I love them and part of that comes out of gratefulness for the love I give and feel for my charges.

Personally, I wish to find a nanny with whom I can have the same loving relationship my bosses have with me. After all a nanny is someone you trust the most precious things in your life.

Chelsea said...

The children I cared for were 2 and 7 months when I started. The baby had just begun "kissing" those giant open-mouth slobbery kisses all over everyone's face, and it stuck, because I was there 40+ hours a week and anyone who held him got lots of kisses.

The older child got really affectionate around age 3, and I was kind of taken aback by the intentional lip kisses, but I wasn't going to turn away from her or anything. I never want to discourage affection, as long as it's appropriate, and I didn't feel, at that point, that her kisses were inappropriate--like I said, I was with her 40+ hours a week, and I'd been working for the family for over a year by that point, so...she was just showing her love the way she knew how at her age. Fine by me!

OceanBlue said...

@ smile you're an I love you slut just like me! I say it all the time to just about anyone.
It never occured to me that a parent may not like it.

I haven't been a nann ylong , but I can say I haven't loved all my charges. The last one was a huge pain in the @ss!

I still kind to that one. Hugs and all that I may have even told them I loved them.

The babies I care for now, it's hugs and loves all day, and I actually do love them.

NannyPants said...

@Leftcoastmama thank you for clearing up what you originally said. It just upsets me when I hear "just the nanny" because I feel like so much more than that to my charge and my bosses. I understand where you are coming from and thanks for the explanation.

Handynanny said...

I don't usually flat out say I love you, but I most certainly do love them after about a year of 50 hr a week with them. How could you not? If they tell me they love me I tell them how incredibly sweet they are and wonderful that makes me feel to be special to them. I tell them they are special to me too, and then we hug :-) the little girl I care for now tries to kiss me on the lips and I tell her I prefer cheek kisses better and she is fine with that. She is three :-) her mom refers to me as part of their family and treats me like one too. I always love my little ones by the time I leave, and I do tell them I love them once the job ends and I become the occasional babysitter. Moms have always loved my close relationship with their kids and I wouldn't want to nanny for a family who didn't value someone's love for their child. In fact in most interviews parents state they are "looking for someone who will love their child and provide another nurturing relationship for their child to depend on".

Bethany said...

I've had a change of heart over the I love you thing the last few days.

One of my little charges had to spend some time in the hospital last night, he is ok, but it bothered me so much that I had never given him an I love you.

I know I'm not his mother, and he hears it all the time from family, but I was bothered.

I still don't think a nanny is bad or cold for not saying it.

But, I may have to rethink my policy.