BG: My DD just started Pre-K. The teachers open her classroom exactly at the start time for class, so many of the parents hang out in the common art area together and chat if we arrive early. If a parent is unable to drop off their child because of work schedule or whatnot, sometimes a nanny will do it. This post is about a nanny who drops off and picks up one of my daughter's classmates, I'll call her Rachel.
Rachel has a younger brother, I'd guess him to be about 2 years old, who I'll call Billy. The two kids are quiet, well-behaved (when I see them) and seem like normal, bright kids. The nanny, however, comes off as a total shrew. She's constantly scolding the little boy if he's not holding her hand, walking when she tells him to walk, or being perfectly quiet when she tells him to. She talks to him as if she's just had enough - frustrated sighs and raised voice included like he's being overly naughty - when, from what I can see, he's being a perfectly normal little boy in a fascinating new environment. As in, we wait in a whole room full of big, colorful art supplies that are meant to be handled, touched, and used, and the moment this little one lets go of nanny's hand, she responds with an intense scolding, asking him repeatedly if he "left his listening ears at home" and getting frustrated if he doesn't respond.
I've tried addressing him gently when talking to his sister, and the nanny jumps in and answers for him. I've tried talking to Rachel and the nanny jumps in and has to put her two cents in there as well. I asked Rachel if they have a dog and the nanny launched into a long story about her own pet, preventing either of the kids from answering. I've met the mother once at a family picnic before school started, but otherwise, we don't know these people. I am starting to feel really bad for the kids, especially the little boy, who she harps on relentlessly. <End BG>
The way she talks (and talks, and talks), she's been with this family for awhile now. I sense that some of the other parents are put off by the way she treats the kids as well. People don't really talk to her that much anymore, and I've noticed the subtle distancing that tends to happen with people who just don't want to deal with the drama. Moreover, I seriously disagree with the way she treats those kids.
Now, the parents might be perfectly fine with that - maybe there is a situation I am unaware of or they have a parenting philosophy with which I would not agree, but is none of my business. I am empathetic to the kids, though, and I see some major problems down the road if this person continues to treat them this way.
So my question is this - Do I do anything at all? If so, what? Do I call the mom from out of the blue and just say, "Hey, FYI ..." or do I stay out of it? I would definitely want to know if someone were treating my child this way, but I'm not their parents. I do not want to put myself in a situation where I'm in the middle of something like this, but again, those two kids.
We have a parents night coming up next Tuesday and, if the mom is there, I will have an opportunity to discreetly put the bug in her ear. What would you do?