Author Topic: Should I call mom or stay out of it? UPDATE #75!!  (Read 18273 times)

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Cherry91

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Re: Should I call mom or stay out of it?
« Reply #60 on: September 17, 2013, 10:25:44 AM »
I can see why this would be a really really difficult situation. Personally I would talk to the parents, but I don't have kids so my opinion isn't very educated on the matter.

To the OP, maybe get a second opinion on a forum mainly for parents and childcare, like Mumsnet?

Shoo

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Re: Should I call mom or stay out of it?
« Reply #61 on: September 17, 2013, 10:30:07 AM »
Even if the nanny isn't being physically abusive, she IS being mean.  Maybe the parents are okay with this -- maybe this is THEIR approach to raising children as well, but I'd rather take my chances that it isn't and bring it up to the mom when I see her.  So what if that lables me as a meddler?  I'd rather err on the side of caution when it comes to a child's welfare.  I wouldn't involve the teacher.  The teacher has no more insight to a situation like this than I would have.

gramma dishes

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Re: Should I call mom or stay out of it?
« Reply #62 on: September 17, 2013, 10:58:49 AM »
I would like some teachers to post their opinions on this topic.  What would you do if a parent voiced this type of concern to you regarding a nanny?

I think I'd probably just smile politely and say something vague like "Okay, thank you for your concern." 

But then I would probably make sure to be within seeing and hearing distance of the nanny to surreptitiously observe how she actually did handle the children.  If it turned out that I agreed she was too harsh and confining, I'd discuss it privately with the parents, but I would definitely NOT tell them that another parent mentioned it.

Deetee

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Re: Should I call mom or stay out of it?
« Reply #63 on: September 17, 2013, 11:30:23 AM »
So the parents hid a recording device in the couch cushions and caught the nanny on tape, being very negative, borderline abusive, with their son.  They confronted her and she was fired.

I'm afraid it wasn't borderline abusive.  She was hitting the baby and now she's in prison.

I'm shocked at how many people in this day and age take a "Stay out of it" approach to someone witnessing the recurrent harsh treatment of little children.  Those parents probably have no idea that their nanny is mean.


This is not helpful at all.  There is no evidence at all that the nanny in this case is physically abusive.

If there are suspicions I would leave that up to the teacher, not to the other parents/nannies during pick-up time.  I was much more strict than many other parents in the neighbourhood when my sons were below about age 10 - yet, when they were older I was less strict than many.  They had learned self-discipline.  Please understand, I am not saying that my sons or I were parenting-saints - far from it.  But I think, overall, everyone needs a lot more information before the OP confronts the parents.

No one here said they would approach a parent if they were behaving this way. It sounds like it is not dreadful childrearing, but enough to make others uncomfortable. So there is (to my mind) a reasonable chance that the parents would not want to have their child treated this way and are unaware.

My daughter was in day care and I would often do a leisurely pickup or drop off. That have me a chance to see how the staff interacted with the kids and how the kids interacted with the kids. I wasnt looking for bad stuff, more how mykids day went. But with a baby and a nanny, it is difficult to get that candid observation in a casual fashion.

bonyk

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Re: Should I call mom or stay out of it?
« Reply #64 on: September 17, 2013, 04:15:47 PM »
I would like some teachers to post their opinions on this topic.  What would you do if a parent voiced this type of concern to you regarding a nanny?
.

I would pass it up the chain to an administrator, and let them figure it out. 

ladyknight1

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Re: Should I call mom or stay out of it?
« Reply #65 on: September 17, 2013, 04:36:29 PM »
The OP's business is that she sees an innocent being harmed.  Not physically, but still being harmed. 
There is a chance that the parents are OK with Negative Nanny, which is the only reason to not directly intervene in the moment.

POD!

POD. I would speak to the teacher and tell them I would be willing to speak to the parents if they desired.

Lynn2000

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Re: Should I call mom or stay out of it?
« Reply #66 on: September 17, 2013, 04:46:17 PM »
I would like some teachers to post their opinions on this topic.  What would you do if a parent voiced this type of concern to you regarding a nanny?

I think I'd probably just smile politely and say something vague like "Okay, thank you for your concern." 

But then I would probably make sure to be within seeing and hearing distance of the nanny to surreptitiously observe how she actually did handle the children.  If it turned out that I agreed she was too harsh and confining, I'd discuss it privately with the parents, but I would definitely NOT tell them that another parent mentioned it.

I think this would be a great outcome to the situation. Well, not great if the nanny was bad, but you know what I mean. I don't see the harm in mentioning it to a teacher, in a casual but discreet way, to get the opinion of a professional who has seen a lot of different childcare styles and sees at least one of the kids for a long stretch of time. Even if that professional never told me what their opinion was, or involved me further in the process--as really, they shouldn't. If the nanny was replaced or her attitude changed, that would be a relief to me, and answer enough.

Now, if I never saw any change in the situation--I don't know, that would make it tough. Would I be willing to befriend the family, so I could get to know them and investigate further? Some people would call that extreme, others wouldn't. I think it would be okay etiquette-wise if I was genuine in my interactions with them--like if they turned out to be people I had nothing in common with and I felt I had to lie about my views to keep getting invited to their house, that would be wrong, I think. I mean, if it's getting to that point, we're moving beyond etiquette into serious safety concerns.
~Lynn2000

EllenS

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Re: Should I call mom or stay out of it?
« Reply #67 on: September 17, 2013, 05:18:45 PM »
I would like some teachers to post their opinions on this topic.  What would you do if a parent voiced this type of concern to you regarding a nanny?

I think I'd probably just smile politely and say something vague like "Okay, thank you for your concern." 

But then I would probably make sure to be within seeing and hearing distance of the nanny to surreptitiously observe how she actually did handle the children.  If it turned out that I agreed she was too harsh and confining, I'd discuss it privately with the parents, but I would definitely NOT tell them that another parent mentioned it.

I think this would be a great outcome to the situation. Well, not great if the nanny was bad, but you know what I mean. I don't see the harm in mentioning it to a teacher, in a casual but discreet way, to get the opinion of a professional who has seen a lot of different childcare styles and sees at least one of the kids for a long stretch of time. Even if that professional never told me what their opinion was, or involved me further in the process--as really, they shouldn't. If the nanny was replaced or her attitude changed, that would be a relief to me, and answer enough.

Now, if I never saw any change in the situation--I don't know, that would make it tough. Would I be willing to befriend the family, so I could get to know them and investigate further? Some people would call that extreme, others wouldn't. I think it would be okay etiquette-wise if I was genuine in my interactions with them--like if they turned out to be people I had nothing in common with and I felt I had to lie about my views to keep getting invited to their house, that would be wrong, I think. I mean, if it's getting to that point, we're moving beyond etiquette into serious safety concerns.

My suggestion of playdates was not to spy on the family and look for secret abuse, but to actually form a relationship that might help her get to know them and their parenting style, rather than staying aloof from the situation. I think if the concerns were that serious, it would be foolish to play "private investigator". Concerns that serious should go straight to CPS. 

Part of my recommendation to contact the teacher was based on OP's statements that 1) this is her first child 2) she thinks the teachers have a wider exposure to parenting styles than she does, and and 3) she herself is not confident in her assessment of the situation, concerned that she may be mixing her personal dislike/annoyance with the nanny into the equation.

If OP herself, who witnessed the behavior, is not totally convinced that the nanny is out of line, I think it is an over-reaction to start imagining horrible secret abuse.  There is a very large spectrum of "normal" and appropriate caregiving.  Not every family - or every culture - agrees on the exact parameters of what is "too harsh" or "too lenient" in speaking to children.

She feels something is off - I think the teachers are in a better position to assess the situation. 
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Lynn2000

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Re: Should I call mom or stay out of it?
« Reply #68 on: September 17, 2013, 05:23:10 PM »
I think this would be a great outcome to the situation. Well, not great if the nanny was bad, but you know what I mean. I don't see the harm in mentioning it to a teacher, in a casual but discreet way, to get the opinion of a professional who has seen a lot of different childcare styles and sees at least one of the kids for a long stretch of time. Even if that professional never told me what their opinion was, or involved me further in the process--as really, they shouldn't. If the nanny was replaced or her attitude changed, that would be a relief to me, and answer enough.

Now, if I never saw any change in the situation--I don't know, that would make it tough. Would I be willing to befriend the family, so I could get to know them and investigate further? Some people would call that extreme, others wouldn't. I think it would be okay etiquette-wise if I was genuine in my interactions with them--like if they turned out to be people I had nothing in common with and I felt I had to lie about my views to keep getting invited to their house, that would be wrong, I think. I mean, if it's getting to that point, we're moving beyond etiquette into serious safety concerns.

My suggestion of playdates was not to spy on the family and look for secret abuse, but to actually form a relationship that might help her get to know them and their parenting style, rather than staying aloof from the situation. I think if the concerns were that serious, it would be foolish to play "private investigator". Concerns that serious should go straight to CPS. 

Part of my recommendation to contact the teacher was based on OP's statements that 1) this is her first child 2) she thinks the teachers have a wider exposure to parenting styles than she does, and and 3) she herself is not confident in her assessment of the situation, concerned that she may be mixing her personal dislike/annoyance with the nanny into the equation.

If OP herself, who witnessed the behavior, is not totally convinced that the nanny is out of line, I think it is an over-reaction to start imagining horrible secret abuse.  There is a very large spectrum of "normal" and appropriate caregiving.  Not every family - or every culture - agrees on the exact parameters of what is "too harsh" or "too lenient" in speaking to children.

She feels something is off - I think the teachers are in a better position to assess the situation.

Oh, POD. I think we are in agreement, sorry if that didn't come out clearly. :)
~Lynn2000

EllenS

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Re: Should I call mom or stay out of it?
« Reply #69 on: September 17, 2013, 05:35:08 PM »
 :)
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kudeebee

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Re: Should I call mom or stay out of it?
« Reply #70 on: September 17, 2013, 10:44:32 PM »
Teacher viewpoint:
I would answer something along the lines of "Thanks for letting me know."  Then I would try to observe the interactions if at all possible; if I thought something was out of line, I would mention it to the parents.  I would not mention that this was brought to my attention by another parent.

Virg

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Re: Should I call mom or stay out of it?
« Reply #71 on: September 18, 2013, 10:26:14 AM »
Winterlight wrote:

"I'd talk to the teacher. If it was my kid and nanny, an out of the blue comment from someone who doesn't know me wouldn't go over well."

I agree with the idea here, although I tend to think that it's less how "comment from stranger" goes than "comment from authority figure" would help.

Allyson wrote:

"On the other hand, you might just be seeing her in those 10 minutes of the day when she's super frustrated. Does Rachel seem to like her nanny?"

I would have agreed with this thought until family friends hired an au pair several years ago.  It took them a few months to figure out that she severely played favorites with their kids, which is why I wouldn't assess how well one child likes her in determining if she's a good fit for the other, and also why I'd speak up.  They weren't inattentive people but there was little outside feedback and so they didn't have any easy way to find out how bad things were getting, and a young child complaining that "she doesn't like me" is easy to ignore when said child is young enough not to be able to articulate how the treatment is lopsided.  Someone telling them that they noticed that she was harsh with one of the kids would have significantly shortened the lead time before they dug out the real story, and they themselves said to me that it surprised them how nobody who was in a position to say anything ever did.

Virg

Texas Mom

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Re: Should I call mom or stay out of it?
« Reply #72 on: September 19, 2013, 03:25:47 PM »
OP - Did you say anything at open house?

Lexophile

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Re: Should I call mom or stay out of it?
« Reply #73 on: September 23, 2013, 04:30:29 PM »
I did not. I took a deep breath and a step back.

After the first couple weeks of school, the little boy seems to have become more comfortable with the routine and is coming out of his shell. I see a devilish side of him that wasn't super-obvious before.

The nanny still bugs me to no end, and I would not want anyone talking to my daughter the way she talks to this kid, but I see it in context now.

I will still be keeping an eye on it, but I can at least get a word in edgewise and I've conversed with the boy a couple times.
"Submission to what people call their 'lot' is simply ignoble. If your lot makes you cry and be wretched, get rid of it and take another." - Elizabeth von Arnim

ladyknight1

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Re: Should I call mom or stay out of it?
« Reply #74 on: September 24, 2013, 07:45:58 PM »
I am glad things are a bit better. It would bug me to hear someone speak to a child that way.