22 November, 2012
The Tactical Nanny
Hi, I have been a nanny for awhile now, on my 3rd family, plus have years of other experience with children of all ages including short term nannying (e.g. when the parents are away for a wedding/business trip/romantic getaway). In my current family, where I have been for 5 months now, as a live in, are 2 boys aged 9 and 7. The first 2 months were hard - the family had just moved to a foreign country and were still living temporarily while they waited for their house to be ready but after a month or so I felt like there was starting to be a bond between the kids and I. Things really improved when we moved into the house and everyone had a bit more space, the boys were settled in school and everything was more comfortable for everyone.
However, the last few weeks the 9 year old has been becoming steadily more disrespectful and downright rude towards me. He regularly criticizes my language skills in front of his native speaking friends (although I'm a certified speaker and 99% of native speakers don't even pick up that I'm not from here) and anything of mine he sees around the house - always little things when his mother is there, so she won't notice but as soon as she's gone it gets much worse. The last few days he won't even look me in the eyes and only speaks to me when his mother forces him to. There have not been any out of the ordinary incidents and I'm not sure what has brought on this behaviour but it's really taking its toll.
I've tried several different tactics - ignoring bad behaviour and rewarding good, being nice, discussing his behaviour, time outs, removal of privileges, but nothing seems to work. I know his parents have spoken to him several times about it but that has also done nothing. I was thinking maybe he's hitting puberty and starting to think he's too old/cool for a nanny and I tried to be more like a friend from the start than another parent type figure, because that's what the mother said he'd respond to best but that didn't work either. I really am wondering if it's even worth keeping this job. I would love any kind of advice because I'm really at the end of my nerves with this. - Anonymous
at 6:15 AM