Use of Discipline

I was kind of confronted on a previous post and if the editors will let me I want to address a different issue,other than my original one, brought up in the comments. I give treats and toys to kids, and plan activities also in a furniture store. Never was a nanny but had 3 younger siblings, minored in Child Development.

In my PP I mentioned that sometimes a mom or nanny will let one kid have the treat but not the other one " because they have been bad"

My policy is to say, " Well let me put this in Mommy's keeping, and she will decide when there is improvement and time for the treat"
I got jumped on here for that but I can say that it works every time. It reinforces the authority of the nanny or mom, it gives the child a "carrot" so to speak to meet expectations. Notice I am not using the word "good" as calling kids "bad" is atrocious in my view.

And now my RANT! Assuming the child does not have a medical condition barring treats, or a religious reason etc - and the other kids are allowed the give away- I don't like the parent/nanny using me as the bad guy with the kids. I do not like seeing them sad in my section as their siblings get something special and they do not. IMO the discipline should be something between you and them - a fave tv show or video game or going to bed early etc.

My job re: my boss is to make the kids smile, make them look forward to coming to the store and I don't want to be involved in making the kids feel bad. I don't want to take away any one's authority - but cannot adults compromise and work together? It's what we teach the kids.


Jess said...

I want to state, that at no point I'm attempting to attack or offend the poster. This is educational/child development advice, that all! As all advises, it's based on my believes, and someone else may hold other which is absolutely fine, and I appreciate all thoughts and views.
So here's a little something I think you are confusing. A child is never good or bad. Their behavior can be good or bad, and if a child behaved badly it will receive either a negative reinforcement or punishment (worse case scenario). This doesn't change if a child does something good later. The child will receive positive reinforcement or reward for that. Children cannot make up bad behavior, that's already done. Say, in a situation where a caretaker (parent or nanny) say, if you don't eat everything on your plate you won't receive a treat at the store - there is no way I will allow this child to receive that treat, for later or not. The negative reinforcement is not, you won't receive the treat right away when given, it is you will not receive it, period. If a child does something really good, like sharing with sibling, helping with cleaning, etc. it will be rewarded. Even if the child does something good before going to the store they will still not receive the treat because that treat is a privilege that was already taken away that day. This child may receive an extra helping during dessert, or a new toy, or extra 5 minutes of TV, or perhaps the right to choose a movie/TV show, etc.
You may not like seeing unhappy kids in your section, but that's work with kids. It's not about you, it's about helping this child grow up into a good person. As a nanny I want my kids to love me and be excited when I come in. I could feed them chocolate to make sure that happens but since my real goal is for this child to grow up into a good, healthy, intelligent adult, I won't. I will force carrots, spinach, reading aloud, maths, etc. I will try everything under the sun to make it enjoyable but I will not replace it with chocolate and cartoons.
If a parent/nanny is ok with you giving that treat to them and saying it's for later, then that's ok. If a parents says, no then perhaps saying something like ' I bet you'll be extra good from now on, and you will get a treat from me tomorrow! I can't wait!'would be better.

Anonymous said...

I agree 100%. OP, it's not an attack on you. But like you've said, you were never a nanny (and I guess I'm assuming you're not a parent). Giving children boundaries is SO important. Whether at a furniture store or not. And I don't think that any parent or nanny means to make you the "bad guy." Unfortunately, you just get caught in the crossfire.

Anonymous said...

I agree, If you don't witness REAL abuse toward a child that is clearly being neglected, you need to mind your own buisness.

Not everyone has the same views when it comes to child care. There are permissive, authoritarian and authoritative ways of parenting/nannying. You sound permissive, and you need to leave the discipline parts to the professionals. A lot of us have years of experience, and know exactly what we are doing.

If a child does something BAD , he will get a warning followed by a consequence if those are ignored. I don't see the removal of a treat in this case as child abuse. If a child does something normal, he will not be rewarded either. Adults aren't rewarded by doing something that is normal and the point of having kids is to raise them to grow into responsible adults(not entitled ones). If he does something particularly good, then I will reward.

Do I like it to enforce consequences on a child when I have to and see them cry as a result of it? Absolutely not, but I have to, because I know that it will lead to positive results. The kids I look after love me, and i love them as well . We have plenty of fun . I am of course their Friend but I am before all responsable for their well being,safety,trainings and EDUCATION when the parents aren't able to be there to do so. In other words, firm but fair. The parents are leaving us with their most PRIZED possession to take care of. We don't deal with furnitures or customers but with little human being learning about life. This is an amazing although hard profession, emotionally draining. You just CAN'T mess up. We don't live in the perfect magic worlds of Elmo and the teletubbies but in the real world where once kids become adults, they will face the consequences of their actions (GOOD or BAD) . So once again, leave the discipline part to the professionals.

Now obviously if neither of them did anything wrong and that is "treat time" , of course both of them would have it, but if one of them didn't deserve it, I wouldn't hesitate not to give it to the one that didn't behave.However, what I would probably have done differently from the Nanny that you describe is that I wouldn't have given the treat to the other kid in front of the one not aloud (no need for the kid to watch the other one eating his treat)

I second the above comment when it says that a child is never good or bad but they BEHAVIOUR can be, and when it happens, good parents/nannies/daycares will correct it to ensure the kid doesn't do it again, even if he cries or is frustrated as a result of it. Nothing wrong with that.

It is really about the fact that people have different childcare philosophies. Whatever you do , you will always be kind of judged by other people. For exemple, last time a mom gave me a nasty look for "daring" to instruct to my charge not to run by the pool because it was slipery so it presented a risk of falling down. Same exact thing happened When I explained my charge that He wouldn't be able to walk ahead of me and will have to hold my hand if he doesn't stop in the pavement's corners to watch out for potential cars going through. You'd be judged no matter what.

The Nanny you described was put up on this site when it really wasn't necessary unless she showed obvious child neglect or abuse. The thing with overly permissive parents is that they think that a simple firm NO or not giving in to a child's tantrum is child abuse so you really can't win with them. That's why I only work with families that shares the same exact views than me because the other problem i noticed when I worked for permissive families in my early naive professional career is that the kids would see me as a vilain for simply establishing rules to follow.

If I find out that someone put me up on a site just for enforcing consequences after the breaking of a rule, id be livid , and would even sue if a photo or/and details such as name and neighborhood were posted.

Taleia said...

1) You weren't attacked or even really "confronted" on the previous post. Nobody said anything "mean" or out of turn. They simply disagreed with you.

2) This is not about you. You're really saying that you feel like people should compromise/change their discipline techniques to make the lady giving out treats at the store happier? (Read that a couple of times and see if it doesn't sound absolutely ridiculous.) Not to be mean, but get over it.

3) having younger siblings is nothing like nannying/parenting. I can say this as a nanny with five younger siblings of my own - there were aspects of childcare that were easier for me, such as diaper changing and bathing, but aalmost all philosophical/diciplinary/theory I learned as a nanny. It's different. That's why people don't look for a nanny who had siblings - they look for actual qualifications.

Anonymous said...

This is why I come to ISYN!
I love this back and forth, discussion of difference of opinion!

not JUST a Nanny said...

WOW, I missed a lot being out of pocket for a few days!!

I actually understand both sides on this one.... its sounds like to OP did not want to be the one that was used a punishment, BUT if we as caregivers don't follow thru with what we say, then our charges will run over not only us but everyone!

OP, I beleive what Taleia said is true, it is not actually about you, but you were made to feel like the bad guy and I am truly sorry you feel that way. You are not and never were the bad guy, just think that the next time they bring the kids to see you, I bet they will have not been naughty and you can give them a treat, therefor you will be the "good guy".

OP, please understand we are not bashing you, just trying you to make you understand where we are coming from. I like the fact that you dont want to upset a child, but by not saying "no" at times you will create a self entitled brat.

Treat Lady said...

OP here. I brought this subject up to a nanny friend and she amplified some of your insight - she made the point to me that she and the kids might be on the way to an event and with warnings etc a child might just be contrary and misbehave in spite of warnings. So - do they cancel the trip and upset the behaving kids. So i can see that. But I still feel a compromise can be beneficial to all - for example - warn me before I offer the kid the fun activity or treat and say it in a way that gives me a chance to agree ie EXACTLY what Jess said - I am writing that down. Not using the words "bad " or " stupid"
As an aside - i am not just a "treat lady", I am the manager of a FREE PLAY ZONE, we do everything from setting up movies, crafts, treats, games and much more. I have a background as a teacher and in child development and more,I will not bore you, and in my book - nannies are heroes, I do not know how you do it. There is a good reason I plan the fun and let you guys do the discipline - I might last an hour as a nanny - maybe. But I love it when nannies and moms shake my hand and say " Thank goodness you gave me 10 minutes of peace and quiet" And my boss sees the kids leave with smiles - that is my job and I see no reason why we both can't do our jobs together.

You know, I never got decidedly helpful advice on how to handle the situation with the little girl - who is always in dutch almost every time they come in - something rubs me the wrong way there. I just try to do my best to engage and work around the situation, but good advice above I will be taking it.

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