Thursday

Qurestioning the Nanny's Day

If you were the new nanny for a family thus replacing the old nanny, or if you were the teacher of a child in your class who attended school part time and spent the rest of the week at home with the nanny, at what point would you question what the nanny is doing with the child during the day and/or her work ethic? Work ethic may not be the right thing to say, but you know what I mean.

Let phrase it like this: if you replaced the nanny after she worked for them for two years or if the child in your class was 2 years old and the nanny has been with the family for two years, when do you question what the nanny does during the nanny, and how would you bring it up to the child's parents about what you observe at school?

Of course being at home with the nanny and being at school are different-all of us know that. This child I am speaking of is 2, attends school part time, and has a nanny at home. The nanny is home with the younger sibling (about 14 months old) and the child attends two days per week. And he is a handful. An older sibling has autism and is non verbal, and M is concerned that the 2 year old may be on the spectrum due to lack of eye contact. He has gotten better since he has been there for nearly two months, but I question exactly what the nanny has done with him in terms of child guidance for the last two years and what she does with him now. I ask this because he doesn't listen, and he doesn't seem to understand the word no. For example, he was asked to sit down at the table for breakfast. We set him down at the table and the minute our backs were turned, he is playing in the block center. One of us was talking to a parent and the other one was doing something else-he got up again and went back to the block center. At that point he was told he could not play in the block center in a firm but gentle voice, and he was given the choice of sitting at the table or sitting on the floor, but he was not playing. He shouted no, shouted more at us, and started crying. Our sink is next to the counter and at the end of the counter we have post its, timer, bell, and a cup of pens which contain scissors. (The cup is a bit far of the reach of the children while on the step stool) This child got onto the stool and grabbed something off the counter. He has been known to climb furniture and open the classroom doors. He puts food into his mouth, spits it out onto his plate during meals and then eats it again. The other day he spit on another child after the child asked him to stop bothering her.

To put it this way: if there was a knife on the table, he'd play with it. He simply knows no boundaries. If we are alone meaning we have enough children for one teacher, this child has to be holding a teacher's hand at all times, or with a teacher in the bathroom during diaper changes because he gets into everything. If we tell him not to touch something, he does it anyway, and he doesn't understand he cannot touch that. Of course a 2 year old is going to touch everything, and of course they may not listen, For the most part, our class of 2's (we have nine 2's) listen pretty well and not one of them is like this child.

The child is very sweet, but to be honest, he stresses us out. It's like having a one year old in the classroom. M and D are very sweet as well. I'm just not sure how to bring up the fact their child doesn't listen and my question about what the nanny teaches him to them, because I feel like the nanny not is doing anything. Climbing furniture? Tell him to keep feet on the floor. Spitting out food onto his plate? Take his plate away. Touching things he shouldn't touch? Teach him not to do that. Teach him how to listen.

Of course one part of me is wondering if it's special needs, the part of the nanny or both...

11 comments:

Jess said...

Well, I nanny a 2 year old - if there's a knife within his reach, he'd grab it. But so would he take a spoon, fork, etc. Also forbidden things are way more tempting - this is normal behavior pattern for all children (of all ages too...). Toddles also quickly know when they can get away with behaviors that would have been unacceptable at home. You should ask parents if they also feel he has trouble controlling himself, taking directions, etc. If they don't see it, ask if they can ask the nanny if she has any observations. If they don't see any of the issues you are seeing, and have no concerns other than the eye contact, then perhaps the child is sill getting used to attending school, and testing boundaries.
He might have behavioral problems, and if there's a suspicion of ASD (and children, especially male with a sibling diagnosed with ASD are way more likely to have it too), he should be tested. Please encourage the parents to contact your state early intervention program. They offer free screenings for developmental, behavioral, etc delays and disorders and provide therapist for either for free or on a sliding scale (depending on household income), or via health insurance. He should also be seen by a developmental specialist (MD, not the developmental therapist via EI) so he can be evaluated more thoroughly on exactly what level he's functioning at. There're always huge waitlines for the pediatric developmental doctors, so appointments 6 months off are not unusual, and if the child does require an intervention, catching it as soon as possible (at 2 instead of 3 or 4) may make all the difference.

Anonymous said...

I should probably reread this before I respond, but I'm quite annoyed and will partially respond now and probably respond again later. . He's 2 years old, what do you expect?! . Of course at that age they don't understand danger they act on impulse! .maybe he has some development issues, but it sounds as though you are trying to find somewhere to lay the blame! why is this the Nannys fault! Not the parents or how about yours seeing this is happening on your watch???

Anonymous said...

sounds like a pretty average behavior of a toddler, are you a teacher? Do you have experience and educational background with this age group? Other than lack of eye contact I don't think there's anything out of ordinary with his behavior for a 2 year old, and would definitively not qualify as special needs. Some kids are more clingy than others. Some have security issues. Some are more rebellious than others or more stubborn - those are character traits! They are not tiny robots. Tantrums are pretty much why we call it Terrible Twos, and they are perfectly ok, as long as you teach the child how to calm down - and that process doesn't stop until the teens, if then.
Btw, I'm a special ed teacher with 2 kids who employs a nanny, and worked as a nanny while in college

Brianne Wicks said...
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Brianne Wicks said...

I'd say you're a bit out of line with your thinking. There's nothing even a full time nanny can do to curb 2 year old tantrums to the point that they'd never happen. He's testing boundaries and will continue to do so for years, though in time will learn to have a bit more emotional control but that takes years.

Basically your questioning of the nanny is borderline ridiculous. Especially for a two year old :/ tantrums are a common occurence of the 3.5yo I nanny for, and the twin has basically no fits ever. It's personality, development, so many factors. That behavior is normal and so is this boys, they're toddlers. I'd stop looking for blame and start coming up with plans to handle these issues and keep boundaries as clear as possible to assist him in getting used to following your centers rules.

Brianne Wicks said...

I'd say you're a bit out of line with your thinking. There's nothing even a full time nanny can do to curb 2 year old tantrums to the point that they'd never happen. He's testing boundaries and will continue to do so for years, though in time will learn to have a bit more emotional control but that takes years.

Basically your questioning of the nanny is borderline ridiculous. Especially for a two year old :/ tantrums are a common occurence of the 3.5yo I nanny for, and the twin has basically no fits ever. It's personality, development, so many factors. That behavior is normal and so is this boys, they're toddlers. I'd stop looking for blame and start coming up with plans to handle these issues and keep boundaries as clear as possible to assist him in getting used to following your centers rules.

Taleia said...

This has nothing to do with the nanny. It's not your place AT ALL to question the nanny's role in his life. If you have concerns, you can address them with the parents in terms of things they could work on or be aware of, but questioning the nanny's role in their son's development is so incredibly not your business.

Anonymous said...

How old is this child relative to the rest of the class? There's a huge difference between a "young" 2 (born, say, Sept-Dec) and an "old" 2 (born Jan-Mar). The difference is so big that my youngest child's preschool divides the class up into three groups by month age. My middle child went to a preschool that did NOT divide up the 2's class. Being a February baby, he was very verbal and ready to make friends, and frustrated that his class was mostly very young toddlers who could barely talk.

Also, often times an eager to please 2 year old becomes a boundary-pushing 2.5 year old. My daughter used to ask "Can I have milk please?" very sweetly, but as she transitioned to 2.5, that became a grab at the milk and angry tears because we wouldn't let her pour the gallon jug herself. It takes a while and some training to channel this move to independence into something socially acceptable. Yes, it is the job of parents, nanny, and preschool teacher to help the child in this process, but toddlers are notoriously willful.

Louise Bates Ames wrote a great series of books based on her studies of child development: I suggest all caregivers for toddlers read "Your Two Year Old: Terrible or Tender" and "Your Three Year Old: Friend or Enemy".

nannie911 said...

Your description of this child sounds like half the 2 year olds in my class. Some are just more rambunctious.

nannie911 said...

Your description of this child sounds like half the 2 year olds in my class. Some are just more rambunctious.

mandynanny said...

I agree w Anonymous from Sep.10! So true..we must educate ourselves first if we will ever be able to teach young children life's lessons...The 2's are probably the hardest..and 1.5year Olds testing boundaries just means they are willful or stubborn as well.This personality needs more control and ways of getting them to do what you want .It's a challenge and draining at times but positive redirection Is your best bet in getting this boy to act differently. He will always have tantrums though he's 2!