Designated Spanker

I am a nanny in Phoenix, Arizona suburbs & there are not many of us. I have met a few. I thought I had met a good quality nanny to become friends with. The second time I saw her at the playground, the three year old ran from her. She ran after him, grabbed him by the hand and hit him three times on the backside. I wouldn't say she hit him hard, but he felt it, he cried. When she came back to where I was, I said, "I can't believe you would hit the kid". She said, "I didn't hit him, I spanked him." She then went on to explain that she usually spanks the three year old three to five times a week but has only spanked the one year old once. She further explained that the parents are on board with it, they are spankers, she has been with them since the birth of  the first child and that they decided they didn't want to come home and be told that a child did this or that and have to spank the child as soon as they walked in the door. So, get this, the parents authorize this nanny to spanks the children. Is it  me or that completely nuts? She has been with them almost four years, She made several arguments about spanking. I am anti spanking of any child, but especially one that is not mine. She told me that children needed immediate consequences and that is why she was expected to appropriately spank them. Then she told me, I WAS MAKING HER FEEL UNCOMFORTABLE and she was going to JUST WALK AWAY BEFORE SHE SAID SOMETHING SHE REGRETTED.  I am not submitting this as a nanny sighting, but this whole experience was surreal. A mother was standing five feet away from us during this whole exchange and she was shaking her head AT ME. Has anyone else ever heard of anything like this? The parents I have worked for have always been non spankers. I'm really just shocked by all of this, and no, we won't be pursuing a friendship. Am I wrong that I also think it is wrong to "spank"/hit a child in front of other children on the playground? How does that get a pass of being not violent? And why on earth would you EVER spank a one year old? I really just needed to rant. Thank you for listening.

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Angi Martin, nanny of 30yrs said...

The fact that you are antispanking will make any situation like this surreal to you. What should be even more absurd is parents spanking a child hours-after-the-incident that warrented it. Then there is overspanking too which is seen here. If one has been there that long and the child gets spankinga several times a week, its evident in that situation its not working. I am a nanny and I am ok with corporal punishment as a last resort. I have also had permission to spank if absolutely necessary and Ive only done it as a last resort in life threatening situations (ie a child constantly yanking away and running off when time outs, parental discouraging and punishment havent changed the behavior).

Regardless, this is a heavy debate that has no win. You have your views, they have theirs and neither side will necessarily get the other. Move on.

Sarah said...

I would never spank another persons child; let alone my own. I ask, upon interview, what their form of discipline is... If I don't agree with it;I know they are not the right family for me. If I hire in a family and see this happening; I would sit down with the parents and explain to them I'm not comfortable with this.. Lets figure this out together and come up with displine thats right for everyone. No your not crazy... Those parents are. I dont agree with what nanny did-but shes is following "Orders"

Anonymous said...

I agree with the nanny who wrote in. It's inappropriate for a nanny to be spanking her charges especially a one year old. What could baby possibly do to deserve that? NOTHING.

If the parents spank their children there's nothing a nanny can do (unless they are abusing the children) and it's fine line.

There are other more effective ways to handle misbehaving without hitting a child.

Angi Martin, nanny of 30yrs said...

So because the parents dont follow your logic...their crazy? Judgemental much? No one here is crazy....its just different.

Angi Martin, nanny of 30yrs said...

I agree, age is a factor and Im a last resort person. However your definition of inapropriate is yours...not everyones. The only opinion that matters is the parents and to them its not inappropriate, thus it isnt. Of course, this is based on corporal punishment, not abuse or suspicion of abuse.

Anonymous said...

I'm very pro-spanking. I was spanked, I am not adverse to it, and I think it can be just as valuable a tool as trying to talk to a kid that can't talk.

That being said, time-out is generally more effective.

I don't think anyone should be spanking a 1 year-old, they barely even understand and it's just frightening.

However, I do not think it's strange for parents to afford a nanny a tool like spanking, since if they use it in their time with their child it only furthers to refute that bad behavior has consequences when the child is with the nanny as well.

Kids aren't special snowflakes. They're kids. Sometimes they need a spanking, sometimes they need to discuss why something is inappropriate. Sometimes letting them scream in their room is a good tool, and sometimes telling them to be quiet and stop whining is better. Every kid is different, and every family/nanny connection is as well.