First a behavior question. I am nannying for a fairly new family. I began working for them last October, and I have been dealing with new/odd behavior from the two year old ever since.
The main part of my job is caring for a one year old girl twice a week. However, the last 3-4 hours of the day the two year old girl is also there. Ever since I arrived, she has been very sensitive to me being around.
For example, the first day I worked for the family, I was playing kitchen with the 2YO. She was making some pretend cookies for her dolls, and I asked her if she would make some for me. She just stared at me. So trying to play around, I did a poochie lip and sad face while saying “puweeese.” She started bawling… She seemed to not understand that I was just playing around. It look me 5 minutes to calm her down and make her understand that I was “pretend sad.” This is a completely new situation for me. I have never nannied such a sensitive child.
Since the 2YO is so sensitive, I have a hard time knowing how to deal with her behavior problems. I have tried doing fun things with her, such as decorating cookies or doing projects. These seem to help her warm up to me temporarily. However, she will just randomly seem to snap and get really sad and refuse to obey me or even look at me. For example, a couple of days ago I was making her dinner, and I asked her if she wanted some milk. She just looked at me and yelled “don’t say my name!” It was so weird and out of the blue.
She is also dealing with mommy issues right now. Once in a while she will refuse to let me put on her bib, give her milk, or something similar. Instead, she will run away and yell “No! I want mommy to (whatever it is).” I have no idea how to deal with this. I want to be sensitive to her feelings, and help her feel comfortable around me, but I also want her to know that it is not okay to yell at me. I have tried sitting down with her and explaining that I want her to tell me how she feels, but that she needs to say it in a kind way. But she just stares at me… And completely disregards what I’m saying. The mother is supportive and corrects the 2YO if she is disrespectful to me, but the mom also doesn’t believe in giving many time-outs (The 2YO has only had 2-3 in her life despite tantrums). Thus I do not feel like I can discipline the 2YO.
The other questions I have are about the job in general.
In the initial interview, when talking about wage, the mom offered $15 an hour for one child + light housecleaning. When I asked what the wage would be whenever the 2YO was around, the mom assured me that her oldest would not be around unless she was sick. But that she would pay around $20 an hour. That is more than I usually charge for two children, so I was ecstatic and surprised. The problem is that when babysitting, or when the 2YO has been around all day, the mom doesn’t consistently pay me $20 an hour.
The mom pays me at the end of each week, and has always just paid me $15 an hour no matter how much the 2YO was around. The only time she has paid me $20 an hour is twice (out of 10 times) when babysitting. Sometimes she will give me $20 an hour, and sometimes $15 an hour. There doesn’t seem to be any pattern or anything that decides which wage she pays me. I am really confused about the whole situation and I don’t know if I should mention something, or just be thankful for what I do make.
Another odd thing that I have noticed is with my paychecks. The mom normally pays me exactly what she owes. However, once in a while she will be $5-10 under what she owes. I have never mentioned it to her because I don’t view it as a huge deal, but IDK if I should.
Also, I need some advice about how to bring up a raise. In the interview the mom mentioned that since I usually charge $16 an hour for one child (+ some light housework), I could bring up a raise for discussion in a couple months. How long should I wait before bringing it up? And what is the best way to bring it up? I tend to be a more quiet non-confrontive person. So I have a really hard time bringing up issues or raises to my employers.
The last thing is that the mom recently cut my hours. I used to work Monday’s7:30-4 and Thursday 7:30-3. But after the holidays, she cut it to Monday’s 7:30-3:30 and Thursday 12:00-4:00. I am a college student, so I really count on all the funds I make to pay for rent and everything else. Because of that, I am going to have to find a job for someone else that is once a week. I don’t know if I should bring it up with her, or just keep on searching for another family that only needs me once a week.