Thursday

Reaction Time

Something terrible happened today and I need to share it with you. I take care of a boy who is almost three and he's very combative. His parents don't have much patience for him and already ready to put him on medication. they have a part of me for the way that I treat her their son and the care that I show him. today during breakfast he started having a fit and throwing his bowl around. food. Everywhere I was okay with that I moved in close to him to start cleaning him off and he hit me really hard in the side of the nose. it shocked me and I honestly feel like I saw stars. without thinking I raised my hand and back handed him. the shop to him and made him cry but more than that shot him it shocked me. I apologize right away and fortune like it did not leave a mark. I can't stop thinking about it though because I feel so incredibly guilty. I also feel I should tell the parents what happened. for about an hour afterwards the child didn't want to come near me. after that things went back to normal and he was cuddling on my lap when I left. has this ever happened to anyone before? it's really hard to explain how it happened but I would never ever hit a child. I would really never ever hit anyone it was an actual reaction. do I leave it go and move on? do I tell the parents? How do I get over the guilt?

If you have a story to share please email isynblog@gmail.com.

41 comments:

melissa said...

I'm pretty sure this post has made me decide I'm done with this site. You've got to be kidding me. First off, is this even real??? Secondly, if it is, why would you post this? A girl (who can't type, or speak english) hit her charge. What is the question here??? My son threw himself back and landed with his head on my head. My reaction (I totally screamed because it was shocking and unexpected) was to see if he was okay. I was immediately worried about HIM. I would never even have considered hitting him. So again, if this is real, what a joke that you would even post this. Say goodbye to another reader.

yaya said...

This happened to an au pair friend of mine. She did the honest thing and let the parents know what happened. She was dismissed immediately. To tell the parents the truth is the right thing - but I'm sure you can guess what the consequences will be. And if you don't tell, I'm sure it will be very anxiety-provoking for you to be thinking every day about this and also wondering when it will come out from the little one's mouth! So sorry to hear this. I'm currently nannying for a violent child myself and have been hit, kicked, punched, scratched, etc. These are HARD children to nanny. But when my ire is up I leave the room EVERY time. I cannot afford to react...I have to be the adult and act. I bring her to a safe space, close her in, and take a few minutes to breathe and recalibrate because it isn't personal and she needs me to be calm and help her through her intense emotions. Good luck and keep us posted.

Anonymous said...

I have had a similar/ more mild experience....

It was my first nannying job and I was driving an older modeled vehicle which did not have childproof locks on the doors. I was driving the child (3 yrs) home from an activity on a main road when the child opened his door. I panicked, pulled over and smacked his hand while saying "never ever do that"
Then I was immediately overwhelmed with guilt.
It was a gut reaction. I was not thinking. The child did not cry, no mark was left. We were both just shocked!
That evening I cried and told MB what I had done. She was understanding, though firmly told me "that I was never ever to hit her child again and that if I did I would be terminated."
We then moved forward and discussed that we needed to look into transporting the child in a safer vehicle.
My advice OP, tell the truth but be prepared fot the consequences of your actions....If you are paid on the books and you get fired, you could collect unemployment.
If you are not eligable for unemployment maybe play a different angle, tell the truth, and then hand them a letter of resignation. They may ask you to stay if you resign first (a bit of a mind game, I admit it)
Personally, I would never work with a child that physically/purposely hurts me.
Start updating your resume....
Good luck!

Anonymous said...

I really think you should do the right thing and tell the parents and resign. This child is too much for you to handle, I'm not judging you because everyone makes mistakes, I've seen other moms hit their kids out of reaction and feel guilty, but they're their parents and can't really quit being them.

Also if I could just say how ridiculous, offensive, and petty it is for someone to pick on someone's English/grammar like that. It's very xenophobic and an ugly thing to do. I'm glad to lose a reader like that.

Anonymous said...

o.O?!You hit a child you're nannying? I'm asking because I have a hard time understanding the post with these random full stops and random words mixed here and there.
If you did hit a child you either should resign or be dismissed by the parents - caring for children is your job, and you are unable to do it, at least with this child. Could be that the child is too much for you, could be you shouldn't be a nanny, period. Hitting a child back should NEVER be instinctual. It's a child. Children have temper tantrums, some are physically aggressive - especially when they are very YOUNG - it's developmentally understandable! As humans we have to learn on how to deal with frustration & anger. Children under age of 5 (some take even longer) haven't mastered this skill yet and physical demonstration should be expected. As a nanny (especially one that is familiar with this particular child!) you have to be able to predict when child will react with physical aggression in order to teach it how to properly deal with his/her emotions.

MissA said...

As a former nanny turned behavior analyst, you are clearly not going to be able to address this child's needs. Unfortunately, for a variety of reasons, both medical and psychological, many children have persistent aggressive behavior toward others and/or themselves. While it can be exceedingly difficult to control one's emotions when caring for such a person, it is imperative to remain as neutral and calm as possible. This child will likely require more than a "discipline strategy" and a clearly outlined plan for how to respond should be put in place by a qualified professional. While it may, and should IMO, mean that OP is terminated, she should immediately tell the parents what happened and insist that they get the additional support they need for this kid. Being struck by an adult is traumatizing and can inflict long term damage, no matter a child's age or developmental status. Please consider another type of work, maybe in a child care center where you have other adults to support you during intense interactions with children or additional training in positive behavior support, therapeutic physical crisis management or just basic training about children with special needs or behavioral theory. If your first instinct is to strike when a child strikes you, you need to consider how to change that or change the situations you put yourself, and other people's children in.

Anonymous said...

If a big strong child or a teen throw a big fit and starts hitting me hard to the point that I get concerned about my safety,I won't hit him back but I can absolutely assure you that I will NEUTRALISE him! If is my child , I will be even tougher And follow with a very serious meeting with the parents probably followed with my resign letter. It's not only about HIM but also about the well being of the NANNY to be able to carry on her job SAFELY. If it's toddler or a small child, since the impact wouldn't be as powerful as a big child or a teen, I would put him in quiet time until he calms down and interact with him only when he is back in a state to communicate. This kind of behaviour occurs very often when parents are permissive and don't put any clear boundaries so the child keeps pushing the limits until it gets out of control over the years which is why I'm so reluctant to work for parents that don't "believe" in enforcing rules.

If as an adult , i go and start hit someone , I would have pretty big consequences and in most cases having the person hitting me back as a natural reaction. I am not excusing violence,just observing what the reality is. If a child goes on hitting another child , I can bet this one won't be very welcoming about that either.

It's soooo easy to juge isn't it ? I don't excuse violence but guess what , she is human having a natural reaction from a child hitting her very hard. In know another nanny who even had a child spit on her face.I agree she shouldn't have done it but she realised that she lost her cool and regret it.If she started to literally beating him up , then that's a whole other story but if she had a natural instinct of returning a slap in response a physical agression, I am not going to juge her although she should have left the position once she saw signs of violence in the child to avoid being in this situation. She has to be careful since as a nanny , even if she gets hit by her charge it's illegal by the law to hit back and she could get sued by the parents as well as barred from being a nanny again.

In France , we practice in those specific occasions a physical punishment called "la fesse" .I received them occasionally as a child and can attest I didn't become a serial killer or a psychopath.

Anyway, to be honest if the child has regular violent tantrum, this family will need a special need nanny that is specialised in children with violent behaviour. They should seek advice as well about the well being being of their child.

Violence is not ok weather it's a nanny or a child and if someone feels that the child is so hard that the person could loose her cool, you must leave ASAP to leave room for a caregiver specialised that will work with the parents and the child accordingly.

It's important not to forget that you need to enforce rules and structure from their very early years . Of course always giving them tons of love as well and whenever you punish them, not to forget to tell them that it's their actions that needed correction,not them as human being. Give them tons of love.The sooner you do it , the less likely you will get a difficult child. It's hard , and you need patience but it's worth it and rewarding in the long run when you see how the children grow up.

OP: even if you regret it , I am afraid that for the parents, you most likely passed a point of no return. You should resign, and move on to a new job . Remember , if you ever have even an ounce of feelings that the child is too hard for you to handle and that you could loose your cool, QUIT. Hope it will never happen again, and that you've leaned from this experience .

Anonymous said...

Sorry, but if your "natural reaction" to pain is to backhand a kid, you should not be a nanny. I've cared for dozens of children, and at least two have been violent (because of behavioral issues). I've had countless injuries, both from those two hitting/kicking on purpose and other kids accidentally injuring me, and I have never even had a fleeting thought toward physical retaliation. I'm definitely not claiming to be perfect. I recently had a long struggle with an 8yo and daily arguments she started every time I requested she do anything. After five straight days of constant struggle, I had the urge to grab her shoulders to drive a point home, but I didn't do it. I used the parents' recommended consequence instead -- cleaning a bathroom.

Anonymous said...

So are you saying that my mother, who has on rare occasions hit me as a child, only after I was violent during a tantrum, should not have been a mother? Sound logic. People make mistakes but I do agree that she should resign from the job because she is definitely not getting the support she needs from the family.

Judgy McJudgerstons on here. Some pretty high stools, I see.

Anonymous said...

Not at all. Being a nanny is nothing like being a mother -- it is our job. It is simply not professional to bring physical consequences into your job, no matter where you work. Also, while I don't believe in corporal punishment for my family, I also believe it's a parenting decision specific to each family/child.

Nope said...

I agree with Melissa 1000000%! This is pure B.S! Shenanigans! Lies! This is total crap and either the post is completely bogus or the 'nanny' is full of it!

Not believing a word of this nonsense!

RBTC said...

It's really interesting about how many posts - you get numerous posters very articulate trying and succeeding to help the OP. And then we frequently get... the poster saying - "this is not real, it's fake, liars " etc --when the premise of the post is reasonable ..weird, just weird. What does a poster get out of crying "lies" etc when a post is reasonable and they really do not know? And a human being seems to need help

I could understand if the OP said " I flew with the kids in a UFO, how do i tell the mom?" - then i could understand emotional attacks on the OP - but - I don't know - people attacking reasonable Ops on veracity - it's just weird to me

Nanny said...

Not real when a childcare professional writes illegible, unbelievable, poorly thought out drivel. It's not an attack on the op. It's a response to s truly unbelievable tale. I agree with Melissa that there's too many inconsistencies

Anonymous said...

That's not true. Many nannies are immigrants that may not be eloquent with English yet so yes, their thoughts may be scattered and not perfect, but this scenario seems pretty plausible. I just think people that write things in here are here to tell their experiences and ask for advice, not to troll a nanny sight, no one has that sad of a life. Maybe some things are outlandish in your own opinion, but crazy things happen in the life of a nanny all the time. If you haven't experienced it, you're lucky. I personally have been through A LOT of crazy things with families that no one would believe because it just sounds insane. If you don't believe what the OP says, get over it and move on, you're wasting your time commenting that it is BS.

melissa said...

Yeah, I think people are misunderstanding me... Don't get me wrong, the story sounds fishy. It just does. My bigger concern is that this blog is posting something about a girl who hit her charge. And then the nanny has the audacity to say that she doesn't hit children. Obviously she does. I've dealt with all sorts of children in my nanny career; I've been hit, pushed, punched in the nose (accidentally, but hard), you name it. Not ONE time was my instinct to hit a child, let alone backhand him/her. I agree with one of the above commenters that this girl is in the WRONG profession. If some of you want to call me judgmental, then so be it. I just don't understand. Literally. I don't know what this post says other than she backhanded her charge. I know ISYN is posting anything they can get their hands on, but I think we need to draw the line somewhere. Every entry isn't worth posting. What advice can this girl possibly want? You hit a child. You deserve to be fired. Is she looking for everyone to tell her it happens? It doesn't. And if it does, again, whoever finds that acceptable shouldn't be a nanny. Just saying. If there's nothing worthwhile to post on the blog, please don't.

Anonymous said...

Melissa, I thought you were gone?

Anonymous said...

Melissa, can you go now?

Anonymous said...

Sweet Sanctimommies, chill out. The OP KNOWS she made a mistake and is riddled with guilt. She came on here for help. It was a knee-jerk reaction, and she knows that it was wrong; she doesn't need holier-than-thou, "my child would never misbehave in a store" perfect mombies jumping down her throat. And Melissa, if you have a young son, you have just begun, sweetie.....get off your high horse.
OP-If you were my nanny, I would want you to talk to me about it. Brushing it away will come back to haunt you, and you never know when your charge might nonchalantly bring it up down the road...My nanny has talked to me about several incidents (none quite like this), but we discussed the situation and talked about alternatives and redirecting behavior. Yes, you messed up and this is not right but you know that--you are also human and made a mistake--mothers do too. Open communication is a good start.

Nope! said...

I still stand by my original opinion even after understanding melissa's pov better. This post is total b.s. No nanny worth her salt would strike a child. Point. Blank. Period! If one were to be out of her mind for a moment and lose control, she'd/he'd know that it is totally unacceptable and leave the profession asap!

This isn't up for debate as far as I'm concerned because nannies should never hit. No matter the provocation! If your charge is violent, out of control, abusive, you quit. You/the parents seek early intervention. Abuse is never ok from either side. I hold nannies to a higher standard because we're the professionals. This isn't a judgement of the nanny's caregiving technique. It's nanny 101. It'd be like the nanny wrote in and said: I forgot to feed the baby today. What should I do? The answer: quit. You're not fit to nanny if you think forgetting to feed or hitting the child are ok even once.

This is why, to me, this post is b.s. I know of not one nanny who would ever think this is ok. So the post has to be fake!

Kim said...

FFS! Put away your cape! "Reasonable" to you isn't to someone else! This is in no way a reasonable scenario.

This nanny is either lying about a completely made up situation or is a highly unfit nanny. Take your pick.

Another pov said...

I'm well within my rights to say I don't believe it. Just like you're within your rights to ride in on your horse and play Captain Save-em!

RBTC said...

i have a weird question - some of the people that come on here are very - just angry as people, very accusatory, utilizing name calling ( in re: - to people writing in here for help ) and many of these people claim to be nannies (!) - ie role models for children. I'm just wondering how that works - i am making the assumption that these same professionals would not act this same way to their charges as they know it would be wrong, so why act that way ....at all?

i could understand if an OP wrote something really horrible or evil - but asking for help and opinions - i just don't get the rage/insults/venom angle

Kara Ivy said...

I 100% agree with you!!

Selena said...

Not seeing any name calling. Saying a post is fake is not name calling. This post is fake AF.

And also, who said ISYN was was for helping nannies? From its inception, it was a regulatory place for parents. Somewhere where bad nannies could be reported.

If on occasion a mistreated nanny got advice, great, but isyn isn't around (imo) to help nannies. Especially nannies who lie and or hit children

nannyrobot said...

1. It's wrong to hit your charges. Period. No reasonable person is going to feel bad for you. Your knee-jerk reaction to a child's temper tantrum should not be violence, no matter what the circumstances are. You deserve to be fired and you should seek employment in a field not related to children (try being a caregiver for the elderly or a receptionist). I'm not saying you (OP) are a bad person. I am saying you are not capable of caring for children properly. If you tell the parents, they could file charges against you. You could be in legal trouble. You are better off resigning immediately... No notice, just "sorry, goodbye."

2. I do see a lot of posts that seem unreal on here. Maybe instead of commenting "troll" on such posts (which is what they want) we should just ignore them. If people would stop responding so much to fake posts, they would probably stop being posted. The "troll" comments just contribute to the popularity of the stupid posts.

CHa Cha Pa said...

My guess is Melissa lives a very dull life. I have seen strange things in my job, in my personal life, in my neighborhood deli. So, I guess I'm happy for you!

Secondly, grammatically incorrect doesn't mean someone wasn't trying to get the English words right. It doesn't make some unintelligent and writing is much harder than speaking, so you are judging this wrong.

Lastly,
You are done with the site?
Okay, so I guess they'll refund your membership dues?
Oh right..;

Melissa the reason I would stop reading, but I wouldn't probably not anyway.

CHa Cha Pa said...

is you!

OP & Thanks for Nothing said...

I'm not sure how you view this as fake. The sibling of the child that I nanny for is in residential day treatment because he is so agressive and violent. He is only 11 and requires 4 people to hold him down something when he loses control in class or something. How wonderful that you don't know such struggles. My point being that I would never want to hurt a child ever, and the hitting was not a punishment it was a spontaneous reaction to be hit a certain point. If I wanted to be technical I would say I batted at him, more as a defensive block, but I didn't write to excuse what I did but to say how guilty how I felt, probably especially because I wonder if the parents hadn't had such a hard time with the older, maybe they would give the younger child more effort instead of feeling like they would eventually "lose him" too.

Again, I am glad you don't have such struggles in the lives of children you love, I am glad you don't know mental illness in children and I am glad you never found yourself sitting with your own mouth open aghast that you just did what you did. But, there is NO question how much I love this kid. And If I did tell the parents, my overwhelming feeling and fear is that Oh no, now X already can't manage this child.

But just wow. Wow.

And before I worked with this child, I worked with hearing impaired and autistic children. You would not believe the situations that come up and the creative solutions thinking parents and caretakers think of. I'm sure you'd decry them all fake, but in real world USA, people struggle.

OP

OP & Thanks for Nothing said...

And by the way,
I am an third generation American who sent my original submission via my android phone. Really, is that so hard to imagine? It could be easier to read, but you get the gist.

OP

RBTC said...

OP - If you read this site for any length of time, you will see and know that there is a group or element that is just - harsh and non-helpful / name callers who need to vent anger from things which have nothing to do with you

But - there are also people on here who gave very good advice in a reasonable and experienced way

IMO - anyone can make a mistake but a physical reaction is very serious - if i LOVED the job, and the child, quite honestly i would not tell the parents and REDOUBLE my awesome work with the child and learn my lesson - if the child somehow said something later i would, wthin reason say to the effect " gosh i'm not sure, he went this way and my hand went the other way and wow, hm i am so sorry i will be more careful" I'm not saying it's right but that's what i would do

Because - hitting a kid is grounds for dismissal with many people - not all

Your case is not cut and dried as you can see from the many responses - ignore the angry people and go with the sincere people - keep us posted - many of us care

Sunshine Babysitting said...

It is shocking to know that there is a nanny out there posting personal experiences and huge mistakes she has made as a nanny.

Anonymous said...

SERIOUSLY are you guys adults on here???
If it's made up then someone needs to seriously get a new hobby in life. HOWEVER what if it is true. Does it help that people have childish comments and attacks on the OP and others on here? NO act like adults. Either say things that are helpful to the persons questions or leave it alone. So if it is real we just attack and make immature comments that don't help the person? Give helpful advice or move along.
It's never okay to hit a child we all know that. People are human and some make big mistakes which is why you see people being fired and children being removed from parents and caregivers. So yes it does happen. Not okay but it does.

Nope said...

Again. Not believing OP =/= attacking op. I still call shenangins. No way you hit a child and then asked for advice. What did you expect? A bunch "it happens" " dont beat yourself up"?

No! It doesn't happen. It's wrong on every level. If you back handed (tf!) Or blocked him it's still horribly wrong. You should quit. There are things you just cannot come back from.

Melissa Sucks said...

Melissa,
so your child bopped you in your cushy lap/knee area with his head and you think you're Jesus Fucking CHrist because you didn't backhand him? Apples to oranges bitch. Clearly she's dealt with this before. Maybe she thought he had calmed down. You ever get hit suddenly? Unexpected? Sorry, but anyone who isn't a total doper has natural reactions. Sounds like OP didn't feel good about this. Also, I hate you and you're stupider than shit.

You're a stay at home Mom of a newish freaking kid. What the fuck you know about being a nanny or having a nanny? Shut the fuck up.

Good grief! said...

Holy overreaction, Batmat! Why are people so butthurt over what Melissa said? So what she didn't like this post. Many people didn't.

FWIW, if your gut reaction to being hit is to hit back, you shouldn't be working with kids, the elderly or animals. Most people can hold the hand of a hitting child or hold their arms firmly without hurting the kid. I took courses on this when I worked with differently abled kids. Some would hit or attempt to hurt their caregiver/themselves. There's a way to do it without causing pain/hitting back.

You need to take a chill pill or something. This level of anger over an online post is ridiculous!

STAHP said...

Worst advice in the history of bad advice. As a parent, I MAY forgive my nanny if she came clean and explained that it was a knee jerk reaction ( and she had no history of this) but I would frakking call the cops on my nanny if I discovered the hitting on my own.

Corina said...

Nope

What do you mean it's wrong to block a kid from hitting you? Do you really think someone will just sit there and get hit?

Nope said...

No. I definitely don't think anyone should be hit. I should have been more clear. I meant violently /forcefully restrained.

I've been a nanny to an aggressive child so I understand that, but I still didn't/wouldn't react with violence.

Anonymous said...

OP, I know mental illness in children. I've nannied for a child with PTSD. That's about as tough as it gets. Once, I twisted her arm until she cried. Why? Because she picked up a paring knife and pointed it at me - and she refused to drop it when I told her to. So, yeah, in that situation I felt completely justified because a) I had no way of knowing what she was going to do with that knife, b) not just me but her little sibling could have been seriously injured had I not disarmed her, and c) that behaviour in general society is just flat out unacceptable - had she done that at school, she would have been suspended/excluded. So sorry, I completely don't buy that because this has happened, that makes me unfit to look after children - since that terrible day, I have worked to learn better coping strategies for managing problem children, and it greatly improved my relationship with that family although it didn't fix everything because I am not a psychologist. Also, to show you what a really fantastic nanny I am, I've had a panic attack on the job - in front of a teacher. That family chose to keep me on, because for the most part, I do a fantastic job.

My advice to the OP would be to TELL THE FAMILY. You do not want this hanging over you, believe me. If you don't tell, and you stay with them, you will forever be wondering whether their boy will tell them himself - it'll be better if you just tell them. If they decide to keep you on, work on better behavioural management strategies immediately. If you want to avoid telling them, resign without notice and site a personal family crisis as the reason.

this_nick said...

So much this.

this_nick said...
This comment has been removed by the author.