22 November, 2012
Negative Connection Needs Positive Outcome
I have been with this family for about a year and have actually just renewed my contract. My charges are 3 and 14 months. I love MB and DB although I secretly don't agree with all of their philosophy on parenting (I know I can't be the only nanny who says that). I'm content with the schedule, the requirements, the pay and have an honest, trusting relationship with this family, including aunts, uncles and grandparents. I adore the 14 month old and she's so easy going.
So what's the deal? The 3 year old, my oh my! I don't know what it is and for the past 10 months I've exhausted myself trying to resolve this but I don't like him. I can't say it any more plainly than that. There is something about him and maybe we just don't click but everything about this child annoys the life out of me. Now I've worked with children for several years now, taught preschool and Sunday School. I think any professional in our field would be lying if they said they have never encountered a child they didn't care for or didn't click with. This is different. From how he plays with others, to how he speaks, his attitude, his lack of respect for others around him, his loud outbursts and his obsessive need to be the center of the universe. Even when he's not being loud or rude he never stops talking, it's all day. He just talks so someone, anyone, will listen. I have stopped taking them out a lot in public places because I'm embarrassed by his behavior. Sounds ridiculous but any type of method used to encourage a smooth outing does not work anymore.
He's a very cute and intelligent child but he is just off the wall. He's not physically aggressive with me but by lunchtime, I want to pull my hair out. Every. Last. Strand. Now before anyone thinks I'm an awful person who secretly hates children, let me clarify that I love children, all of them. In fact, when I taught preschool, the children who were the most challenging were usually the ones I held dear. I have talked with others in our field, I've read as much as I can, I've prayed about it.... and I can't change how I feel about this kid. There are moments, rare moments when I think I just adore him.... but then he does something so insane that I just forget the good. I continuously look for the good, praise him for the good. I've tried every tactic for changing and guiding his behavior (outbursts, Mr. Universe attitude, talking back) but nothing works. It does not help that his parents are extremely passive with discipline.
I have moments throughout the week where I don't even want to look at him and I drive home in tears sometimes feeling awful. Regardless of how frustrating my charge is, I am fair and I give hugs and praise and am attentive to him. I have never treated him badly. I don't know if this is just not a good connection or chemistry... Right now the only thing I have been doing that seems to work is to completely ignore the unwanted behavior. Every screech, outburst, disrespectful answer. It tries my patience but when I ignore the behavior, he's lost his audience to perform for. He's well aware of what he's doing. *Note: I am ignoring the bad behavior, not the child. I've tried talking to MB but everything to her seems to be a "phase" a "bad day" or he didn't sleep well, eat well the night before, family was over... there is always an illogical excuse for his repulsive behavior. It is also ten times worse when the parents are around. I honestly don't know how they do it by themselves. They treat his behavior as typical and I have had enough experience and have worked with enough children to know that it is not.
I love MB and DB but I'm at the point where I just say he's had a great day and leave it at that. There's no getting through or coming to an agreement on how to resolve the behavior. An easy way out would be to get another job. The thing is, I'm happy with everything else about this job and the family and in the meantime, it's paying my bills. So my question is, how do I deal? While I'm comfortable here, I am looking to get into the field that my degree dictates once I graduate. My plan is to stay until at least September(ish). How do get though the next 10 to 12 months without losing my sanity and how can I help this child? - Anonymous
at 6:24 AM