Monday

Nanny Group Needs Guidance

OPINION
I'm in a bit of a difficult situation and need some advice. For about 2 months I've been involved in a small nanny group, there are three of us that hang out together, take our charges to the park, library, museums, etc. One of the nannies in our group has become somewhat neglectful lately. I know she's having some personal issues but it's reflecting badly on her job and she's providing sub-standard care. When we first met she really seemed like a really sweet attentive nanny. But now she's constantly on her phone and just seems to be really disconnected from her charges. One of the instances we've witnessed is her allowing them to wander off and it seems as if we're constantly chasing them down for her. We want to confront her about this but think she'd probably get defensive. We've also considered letting her MB know what's going on but that just seems like a back-stabbing thing to do. We don't know how MB would react and she could potentially lose her job. We had hoped this would blow over but we're tired of covering for her. If we confront her what would be the best way? Or should we just go ahead and let MB know what's going on? Thanks for any help you can give! - Anonymous

21 comments:

Caring Mom All Day said...

Stop watching the child for her. If possible, gather up & walk away leaving her alone to handle her charge when she does that.

Caring Mom All Day said...

No moderation?! Whoowhoo!! :p

Jen said...

I know its not their responsibility to watch that nanny's charge but what if something were to happen since her head isn't in the game? That child is innocent. I think they should tell the MB whats going on, if the neglect is that serious.

RBTC said...

maybe try to talk to her as a group - if all of you are together she has to listen - do it in a caring way - let us know what happens

Lyn said...

Agreed with rbtc. Come from a place of caring and just remind her of her professional responsibilities. Maybe even mention it in a joking way at first "uh oh, have to look after *charges name* again because *nannies name* cant take phone call during nap time!" If she doesnt get the hint I'd be frank about it. You've got your hands full with your kids and shouldn't have to watch someone else when you aren't getting paid for it. If something happened to the kid while his nanny was ignoring him it will go one of two ways: 1) his nanny gets fired 2) his nanny drags you and the other into the mix.

pro-nanny mama said...

If you don't want her to lose her job, you are doing her a favor by staging an intervention. You can be caring but clear. If you softpedal too much she may not get how serious it is. As you all are professionals you and your other colleague's impressions are a valuable assessment.

You should start by acknowledging her personal issues being hard, so she is clear you are coming from a place of compassion. Then continue to say while we all have hard periods in our time, we can't let them affect our work. You and the other colleague have noticed it affects her work. Then maybe let her talk a bit. If she is defensive, repeat you are coming from a place of caring but she needs to step up in her job.

In my office job, if I had personal problems, I can't let them affect my work. I would get fired. Nanny jobs are even more important because children are involved.

Sometimes we have to have hard conversations. You know your intentions are in her best interest, I think if you start from there you will find the right words. Good luck.

BrooklynMomma said...

The next time one of her charges wanders away while she is on the phone, bring her charge back to her and interrupt her conversation. If you continue to cover for her, she's going to continue assuming that her behavior is ok and that her charges are safe because someone else is keeping an eye out for them.

sweater said...

Personally, if there was another nanny telling me I'm not doing a good enough job, I would be sort of mad. So I would be really careful how you phrase your concerns if you choose to do so.

RBTC said...

the pps bring up a very good issue - bottom line - the kids welfare is at stake - and if something happens to the kids in all of your presence it is unfair but all the nannies could be looked at as involved, especially as it is a problem that has been acknowledged

you guys have to do something asap - let us know how it goes

MissMannah said...

You really need to talk to her. We all have personal issues and occasionally they might coincide with work, but she needs to understand that work must come first.

Youngnanny said...

Will she be mad? Probably. But a good nanny is one who can accept suggestions and help, not one who gets angry. Personally, I dislike the current attitude of the generation where no one takes criticism and says, "no one can tell me what to do or how to do it." I would sit down and talk to her about it in a safe, comfortable setting. Let her know your concerns, and that you understand and only what to help so that she does not loose her job. I would start your sentences with words like "I noticed" so that you aren't attacking her. And again, while I understand you not wantin
g to get her fired, but is that worth more than the risk that her charges could come to serious harm? What's going on when you're not there? Could it be worse? If this is really affecting her, to the point that it is affecting her ability to provide care, she could easily be fired before you have a chance to talk to her. Also let her know that if things do not change, that you will be discussing this with the mb. Just a few posts ago, we read about A young girl who was left unattended, and while it thankfully ended safely, that doesn't always happen. Be sure to update us!

Caring Mom All Day said...

I really think there is little chance she will accept any critisism. She will be defensive & angry. I doubt the friendships would survive. She will feel attacked. Especially if everyone else in the group confronts her. She will know you guys were talking about her behind her back. She will feel ailenated by that and see it as gossip no doubt. It will forever change the dynamic of the group. It would be uncomfortable and there would be no turning back.

I think the quickest most effective solution is to physically walk away, leaving her to do what she is paid to do, mind her charge. As soon as she gets on the phone just gather up and move away. She will get the hint immediately. Unless she's not all there. Lol

Unfortunately Young Nanny is correct, people don't take critisism well anymore.

Aletheia said...

She's going to know you discussed what to do, and feel defensive at first, whether you talk to her or passive-agressively walk away, so you should talk to her. It's the adult way to handle it when you have a problem in a relationship. Anyone would be defensive at first, but then it's up to her to decide how to proceed. Hopefully if you talk to her and show your concern for her, she will come around and see that you're right. Maybe she will confide in you and you may even be able to help with her troubles. Good luck OP!

another nanny said...

I'd probably say something like the following- "I've noticed that you seem very distracted around the kids lately. I know you're going through a rough time right now. Do you feel like your personal issues might be affecting you during work hours?"
You could maybe soften the blow by saying, "When I was in a similar situation I really struggled, but I found such-and-such really helped me focus at work."
You can also offer support, as long as you're specific so it doesn't appear like you are willing to continue picking up her slack. For example, you could offer to meet up with her after work or on a weekend if she needs someone to talk to.

ericsmom said...

Exactly, Brooklynmom. She knows everyone else is keeping an eye out for the kid. She is now comfortable knowing she can talk on the phone while her "friends" chases her charge around.
Sounds like she is taking advantage of the group

Pittsburgh nanny said...

I would stop having playdates with her!! I have a nanny friend who really thinks she is hot stuff and forever will call me to go get coffee etc while I am nannying. I get so pissed..I have a wonderful nanny job but virtually no downtime. I work really hard and in addition to caring for 2 young kids I walk their dog a few miles a day, run errands, make a homemade dinner every night. This nanny has been fired from her last 4 nanny jobs yet acts like I am a bad friend because I am actually doing my job. Bottom line any attention you're giving her charge is attention that you are taking away from your own. I would just start to limit my time with her..an interventions going to go badly. She will just be defensive. If you do tell her mb make sure she keeps it confidential.

RBTC said...

i am frequently impressed with the posters on this blog who are so hard working - it comes thru in their knowlegeable advice

Dr. Juris said...

I agree with Brooklyn. Interrupt her phone convo and tell her she needs to watch her charge. I don't suggest making little comments, as those bug me and are extremely passive aggressive. If you have an issue with her, tell her. I also agree with Caring that if all if you approach her, it will completely mess up the dynamics of the group and make her feel like you're talking about her behind her back. So yeah. I'd just force her to watch her charge.

♥ Amy Darling ♥ said...

First, I think you and the other nanny friend of yours should have a sit down talk with this nanny. Tell her that while you both enjoy spending time with her, etc., you both are concerned with certain things that you have both witnessed. Give her a chance to improve things on her own. If that doesn't work, then by all means, let her boss know.

Anonymous said...

We have all had major life problems that keep us from doing as well as we like. However I have found that throwing myself into my charges helps to keep my mind away from my problems. It becomes a period of release for me, of happiness. I would be very sensitive and tell her you know life has been tough recently, and that you are always there as a friend to talk if she needs. Tell her first and foremost you care for her well being. Then suggest to her that she at least gives it a shot, to see if maybe fully and totally committing and playing with her charges helps her to feel better. The love of a child can completely heal your heart, at least for a little while. Even when you world is falling apart, hearing a charge tell you they wub you, or give you a kiss... It can help heal her. I would start there. Then if she still doesn't improve, you may have to tell the mb. It's not tattling, it's looking out for the nanny and the children. If a child gets hurt under this nannys watch, she will never forgive herself. Maybe if you phrase it right (again after you try talking to her) the mb can refrain from firing the nanny, and instead work on a plan to help her :)

Future nurse

Caring Mom All Day said...

I like "another nannys" idea to be a good friend and be there to listen to her.

I agree with "Brooklyn" & "Juris" that interupting her conversation is a good idea. It deals with it right away and leaves nothing to discuss. I also agree with "Juris" that making little comments here and there is passive aggressive.

"Future Nurse", your post was sweet. Sometimes I do that as a mom. I get on the big purple throw rug on the floor of my craft room, with my four year old son and we play with chalks, glitter, glue, stickers and just make a big ole sticky mess. It really does feel so good to get immersed in something with your child and escape.

I'm not getting how "Aletheia" sees walking away as being passive aggressive. Walking away addresses the situation immediately, which is the opposite of passive. And keeping the responsibility on the nanny where it should be, how is that aggressive? I totally agree to disagree-no biggie at all. :) Just curious as to your line of thinking that lead you to the passive aggressive pov? :)

I hope we get an update from you, OP! :)