Author Topic: S/O damaged laptop: The nanny and the damaged ipad  (Read 14511 times)

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turnip

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Re: S/O damaged laptop: The nanny and the damaged ipad
« Reply #120 on: October 13, 2013, 04:54:03 PM »
I'm concerned about the point of view that if the nanny is in charge, she is responsible for any damage the child does.

If the nanny takes the child out in public, and he damages something, would we expect her to pay for it?
 Suppose she takes him to a children's matinee, and he throws a Coke on another patron, who wants his clothes dry-cleaned. Would the nanny be expected to pay for that? Should she be expected to predict that giving him refreshments would lead to him throwing them?
Suppose he took off his shoe and threw it at her plasma TV. Would she be responsible for paying for the TV?
If she were babysitting him in his home, and he throws something and breaks it, would she be responsible for reimbursing the parents for their property?
I think you'd have to be paying a nanny a lot more than most nannies make, if you were going to expect her to assume financial liability for any and all damage the child does while in her custody. As someone pointed out, it's impossible to watch a child every minute, without being the sort of controlling person that would probably infuriate most 4 year olds (never leaving them alone, making them accompany you to the bathroom, stand next to you while you prepare meals, etc.).

It is not my view that if the nanny is in charge, she is responsible for anything the child does.

It _is_ my view that if the nanny is in charge, she is responsible for taking reasonable precautions to make sure my child is kept from things that my child could damage, or could damage my child.  Let's move away from the OP and assume the nanny is in charge of a typical 18 month old.  If she has assumed responsibility, assured the parents that she is experienced and capable of taking care of an 18 month old child, and then takes the child to her home, I would assume that she has taken the precaution of removing any glasses, vases, , scissors, small choking hazards, etc.   These are all standard precautions for taking care of a child at that age and development level, and if I arrived at her house to discover her outraged that my child had knocked over her precariously balanced Ming vase, I'd think the nanny had been a bit careless, and I don't think I'd offer to fork over a pile of money to replace it.

I think the question comes down to whether or not the iPad could have and should have clearly been kept away from this child.   Now in terms of 'could', iPads are small and easily movable, so I don't think there's any reason that it _had_ to be within reach of the child.  ( If the child had smashed their large-screen TV, I'd consider that the parent's responsibility as the nanny can hardly have been expected to re-decorate her house prior to the child's arrival ).

So should the nanny have known better?  We just don't know from the information in the OP.   If this is a child who frequently acts out, breaks things, destroys things, and the nanny has full knowledge of that, then she does bear some of the burden of trying to keep these sort of events from happening.  That would be - I assume - part of her job description, and part of the reason she was hired.   

Amara

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Re: S/O damaged laptop: The nanny and the damaged ipad
« Reply #121 on: October 13, 2013, 05:48:18 PM »
Having no children I can't add to the discussion on that. However, in reading the post just above mine I had the thought that perhaps the nanny had "child-proofed" her house (mostly) and that the iPad was one of those things that was so familiar in its place she didn't really see it when she saw it. By that, I mean she may have overlooked it when (if) she was making her place safer because it's one of those things that is so common you know it's there but you no longer really see it.

drzim

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Re: S/O damaged laptop: The nanny and the damaged ipad
« Reply #122 on: October 13, 2013, 07:02:31 PM »
I have been going back and forth on this one, but ultimately I think the parents should pay.  The bottom line is that the parents are financially responsible for the kid, full stop.  It doesn't matter who is watching him.  If he does damage, the parents should pay.  The only exception might be gross negligence on the part of the nanny...meaning if she deliberately left him alone for an extended period of time  playing hopscotch in a room full of breakables....but I doubt that this is relevant to the original situation.

I was always taught to pay for something if I broke it....it didn't matter if it was out of place or if I was careless or not.  I broke it, I pay.  Kids who don't have money to pay are covered by their parents.

My friend was in a minor car accident the other day.  The other car had parked badly (crooked), and backing out, my friend accidentally hit the car.  Common sense would say "Park properly and you won't get hit" however, when it comes down to it, my friend had to pay because she was responsible for hitting the car.  The fact that the car was parked badly is irrelevant.  It's not an excuse that would change the liability of the accident.

The same thing can be said for this situation.  Just because the nanny was somewhat irresponsible and left her iPad out, it doesn't change the fact that the boy broke it.  Since he cannot pay, his parents should.


perpetua

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Re: S/O damaged laptop: The nanny and the damaged ipad
« Reply #123 on: October 14, 2013, 02:45:26 AM »

It is not my view that if the nanny is in charge, she is responsible for anything the child does.

It _is_ my view that if the nanny is in charge, she is responsible for taking reasonable precautions to make sure my child is kept from things that my child could damage, or could damage my child.  Let's move away from the OP and assume the nanny is in charge of a typical 18 month old.  If she has assumed responsibility, assured the parents that she is experienced and capable of taking care of an 18 month old child, and then takes the child to her home, I would assume that she has taken the precaution of removing any glasses, vases, , scissors, small choking hazards, etc.   These are all standard precautions for taking care of a child at that age and development level, and if I arrived at her house to discover her outraged that my child had knocked over her precariously balanced Ming vase, I'd think the nanny had been a bit careless, and I don't think I'd offer to fork over a pile of money to replace it.

But this child isn't 18 months old. This child is 4. At 4, he should have some idea that you don't pick things up and deliberately throw them, especially not expensive things. This is in no way comparable to removing choking hazards from the vicinity of a toddler.

turnip

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Re: S/O damaged laptop: The nanny and the damaged ipad
« Reply #124 on: October 14, 2013, 12:25:53 PM »

It is not my view that if the nanny is in charge, she is responsible for anything the child does.

It _is_ my view that if the nanny is in charge, she is responsible for taking reasonable precautions to make sure my child is kept from things that my child could damage, or could damage my child.  Let's move away from the OP and assume the nanny is in charge of a typical 18 month old.  If she has assumed responsibility, assured the parents that she is experienced and capable of taking care of an 18 month old child, and then takes the child to her home, I would assume that she has taken the precaution of removing any glasses, vases, , scissors, small choking hazards, etc.   These are all standard precautions for taking care of a child at that age and development level, and if I arrived at her house to discover her outraged that my child had knocked over her precariously balanced Ming vase, I'd think the nanny had been a bit careless, and I don't think I'd offer to fork over a pile of money to replace it.

But this child isn't 18 months old. This child is 4. At 4, he should have some idea that you don't pick things up and deliberately throw them, especially not expensive things. This is in no way comparable to removing choking hazards from the vicinity of a toddler.


From the OP

Quote
a 4-year-old child who had ADHD and was prone to aggressive outbursts

This is a 4 year old with behavior issues which the nanny should have been aware of and prepared for.  Apparently she was not. 

One possibility is that the parents are at fault because they did not hire or prepare the nanny well.  That can certainly happen - they hired the nanny assuring her that little 'Billy' was a perfect angel who would never hurt a fly, and the nanny has only begun to understand that this child has issues which are not being addressed and are beyond her skill to handle. 

At the other extreme, perhaps the parents looked for a nanny with experience and interest in working with children with behavior problems, and the nanny assured them that she was well prepared for and comfortable with little 'Billy's' particularly issues, but, in fact, the nanny exaggerated her experience and is completely overwhelmed by little Billy and unwilling to just come out and say so. 

We know that a 'normal' 4 year old should know not to deliberately throw breakable items.  I promise you that not every 4 year old is at this level of cognition and self-control.   The question comes down to what this nanny should have expected.

perpetua

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Re: S/O damaged laptop: The nanny and the damaged ipad
« Reply #125 on: October 14, 2013, 12:31:09 PM »

It is not my view that if the nanny is in charge, she is responsible for anything the child does.

It _is_ my view that if the nanny is in charge, she is responsible for taking reasonable precautions to make sure my child is kept from things that my child could damage, or could damage my child.  Let's move away from the OP and assume the nanny is in charge of a typical 18 month old.  If she has assumed responsibility, assured the parents that she is experienced and capable of taking care of an 18 month old child, and then takes the child to her home, I would assume that she has taken the precaution of removing any glasses, vases, , scissors, small choking hazards, etc.   These are all standard precautions for taking care of a child at that age and development level, and if I arrived at her house to discover her outraged that my child had knocked over her precariously balanced Ming vase, I'd think the nanny had been a bit careless, and I don't think I'd offer to fork over a pile of money to replace it.

But this child isn't 18 months old. This child is 4. At 4, he should have some idea that you don't pick things up and deliberately throw them, especially not expensive things. This is in no way comparable to removing choking hazards from the vicinity of a toddler.


From the OP

Quote
a 4-year-old child who had ADHD and was prone to aggressive outbursts

This is a 4 year old with behavior issues which the nanny should have been aware of and prepared for.  Apparently she was not. 

One possibility is that the parents are at fault because they did not hire or prepare the nanny well.  That can certainly happen - they hired the nanny assuring her that little 'Billy' was a perfect angel who would never hurt a fly, and the nanny has only begun to understand that this child has issues which are not being addressed and are beyond her skill to handle. 

At the other extreme, perhaps the parents looked for a nanny with experience and interest in working with children with behavior problems, and the nanny assured them that she was well prepared for and comfortable with little 'Billy's' particularly issues, but, in fact, the nanny exaggerated her experience and is completely overwhelmed by little Billy and unwilling to just come out and say so. 

We know that a 'normal' 4 year old should know not to deliberately throw breakable items.  I promise you that not every 4 year old is at this level of cognition and self-control.   The question comes down to what this nanny should have expected.

Of course, every child is different. But that does not negate the fact that parents are responsible for (note: not 'to blame for', there is a big difference between blame and responsibility) the consequences of their childrens' behaviour until such an age as the children are able to take their own responsibility for it. I'm not sure why this is even up for argument. That's what being a parent *means*.

Redwing

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Re: S/O damaged laptop: The nanny and the damaged ipad
« Reply #126 on: October 14, 2013, 02:41:50 PM »


Of course, every child is different. But that does not negate the fact that parents are responsible for (note: not 'to blame for', there is a big difference between blame and responsibility) the consequences of their childrens' behaviour until such an age as the children are able to take their own responsibility for it. I'm not sure why this is even up for argument. That's what being a parent *means*.

This is the crux of the whole matter in my opinion.    Having three kids and a grandchild, I know just how quick a 4 year old can be.  He could easily have grabbed the I-pad while it sat on the table with the nanny in the same room and thrown it to the floor before she could stop him. 

lollylegs

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Re: S/O damaged laptop: The nanny and the damaged ipad
« Reply #127 on: October 15, 2013, 01:35:30 AM »
Of course, every child is different. But that does not negate the fact that parents are responsible for (note: not 'to blame for', there is a big difference between blame and responsibility) the consequences of their childrens' behaviour until such an age as the children are able to take their own responsibility for it. I'm not sure why this is even up for argument. That's what being a parent *means*.

This is exactly where I stand. Even if my child accidentally broke the iPad, I'd still be offering to buy a new one.

MariaE

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Re: S/O damaged laptop: The nanny and the damaged ipad
« Reply #128 on: October 15, 2013, 02:43:34 AM »
Of course, every child is different. But that does not negate the fact that parents are responsible for (note: not 'to blame for', there is a big difference between blame and responsibility) the consequences of their childrens' behaviour until such an age as the children are able to take their own responsibility for it. I'm not sure why this is even up for argument. That's what being a parent *means*.

This is exactly where I stand. Even if my child accidentally broke the iPad, I'd still be offering to buy a new one.

This is my opinion exactly as well.
 
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hannahmollysmom

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Re: S/O damaged laptop: The nanny and the damaged ipad
« Reply #129 on: October 15, 2013, 03:54:53 AM »
After reading many pages, I still feel the parents are responsible. Simply that they agreed to their child going to the nanny's house during construction. It was doing them a favor.

Put it this way, if the nanny has no children, then when you are in your own space, you don't think to put away items that might be broken by the child. I know that I forget to put away certain things when my granddaughter visits and then I scramble when she gets here.

Basically, it does not matter what the child has for issues, the nanny was doing the parents a favor! Therefore, they are responsible.

turnip

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Re: S/O damaged laptop: The nanny and the damaged ipad
« Reply #130 on: October 15, 2013, 03:52:48 PM »

It is not my view that if the nanny is in charge, she is responsible for anything the child does.

It _is_ my view that if the nanny is in charge, she is responsible for taking reasonable precautions to make sure my child is kept from things that my child could damage, or could damage my child.  Let's move away from the OP and assume the nanny is in charge of a typical 18 month old.  If she has assumed responsibility, assured the parents that she is experienced and capable of taking care of an 18 month old child, and then takes the child to her home, I would assume that she has taken the precaution of removing any glasses, vases, , scissors, small choking hazards, etc.   These are all standard precautions for taking care of a child at that age and development level, and if I arrived at her house to discover her outraged that my child had knocked over her precariously balanced Ming vase, I'd think the nanny had been a bit careless, and I don't think I'd offer to fork over a pile of money to replace it.

But this child isn't 18 months old. This child is 4. At 4, he should have some idea that you don't pick things up and deliberately throw them, especially not expensive things. This is in no way comparable to removing choking hazards from the vicinity of a toddler.


From the OP

Quote
a 4-year-old child who had ADHD and was prone to aggressive outbursts

This is a 4 year old with behavior issues which the nanny should have been aware of and prepared for.  Apparently she was not. 

One possibility is that the parents are at fault because they did not hire or prepare the nanny well.  That can certainly happen - they hired the nanny assuring her that little 'Billy' was a perfect angel who would never hurt a fly, and the nanny has only begun to understand that this child has issues which are not being addressed and are beyond her skill to handle. 

At the other extreme, perhaps the parents looked for a nanny with experience and interest in working with children with behavior problems, and the nanny assured them that she was well prepared for and comfortable with little 'Billy's' particularly issues, but, in fact, the nanny exaggerated her experience and is completely overwhelmed by little Billy and unwilling to just come out and say so. 

We know that a 'normal' 4 year old should know not to deliberately throw breakable items.  I promise you that not every 4 year old is at this level of cognition and self-control.   The question comes down to what this nanny should have expected.

Of course, every child is different. But that does not negate the fact that parents are responsible for (note: not 'to blame for', there is a big difference between blame and responsibility) the consequences of their childrens' behaviour until such an age as the children are able to take their own responsibility for it. I'm not sure why this is even up for argument. That's what being a parent *means*.


But - to back up to the top of my post - are the parents also responsible for the precariously balanced Ming vase broken by the 18 month old?    Perhaps you think they are - it is certainly possible to take a firm line with these things - but I thing it is a question a lot of people would disagree on.

It is rarely clear-cut when an object belonging to A has been broken by B - whatever the ages and circumstances involved.  B should not be breaking A's objects, but A has some responsibility to keep their objects in places where they are not likely to be broken.

If this 4 year old was likely to break an iPad, and the Nanny knew that, than the Nanny should have been more careful.

perpetua

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Re: S/O damaged laptop: The nanny and the damaged ipad
« Reply #131 on: October 15, 2013, 04:37:19 PM »
I do take a hard line in this case, because it wasn't an accident.

An 18 month old accidentally breaking something in the normal course of being an 18 month old - toddling into something, falling over and knocking something off somewhere - is *very* different from a four year old deliberately throwing something down the stairs and breaking it.

As far as childrens' behaviour that might result in an incident like this is concerned, the buck ultimately stops with the parents. Parents are responsible for their children until such an age as they can assume their own responsibility.

To extend your metaphor in the opposite direction: if your (you general) child threw a ball or a stone at a car and broke the windscreen, is it the car owners fault and therefore their responsibility to pay for because it wasn't parked in the garage? No, it is not. 

turnip

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Re: S/O damaged laptop: The nanny and the damaged ipad
« Reply #132 on: October 15, 2013, 04:49:35 PM »
I do take a hard line in this case, because it wasn't an accident.

An 18 month old accidentally breaking something in the normal course of being an 18 month old - toddling into something, falling over and knocking something off somewhere - is *very* different from a four year old deliberately throwing something down the stairs and breaking it.

As far as childrens' behaviour that might result in an incident like this is concerned, the buck ultimately stops with the parents. Parents are responsible for their children until such an age as they can assume their own responsibility.

To extend your metaphor in the opposite direction: if your (you general) child threw a ball or a stone at a car and broke the windscreen, is it the car owners fault and therefore their responsibility to pay for because it wasn't parked in the garage? No, it is not.

The 18-month old may have deliberately knocked over the vase too - 18 month olds are capable of tremendous mischief, they just are incapable of understanding the consequences of that mischief. 

So while the 4 year old's behavior may have been 'deliberate', I think that using 'deliberate' when talking about a 4 year old with known behavior problems can be misleading.   If he is like the 4 year olds I know with behavior problems, he acts out in destructive ways because he is suffering in ways most of us can't imagine and is reacting with the few tools in his limited tool box.

And again we are not talking about the child breaking a friend's iPad or a relative's iPad or a stranger's iPad - those are much more clear cut.   We are talking about a Nanny who possibly should have known better than to leave an iPad within easy reach of this child.

I'll tell you easily - anyone who knows my son ( who is 6 ) well _and_ deliberately leaves an iPad within his reach is a fool.   For the most part I would probably recompensate them,  but they made an easily preventable mistake and I would think carefully before leaving them alone with my child again.

perpetua

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Re: S/O damaged laptop: The nanny and the damaged ipad
« Reply #133 on: October 15, 2013, 05:14:23 PM »
Why is it deliberate when the nanny leaves out an ipad, but not deliberate when your (general) child picks it up and throws it? Maybe she just forgot? Maybe she was distracted? Perhaps by something the child was doing?

It works both ways.

The fact is that parents *are financially responsible for their children*. That's where the buck stops. That's just part and parcel of being a parent.

turnip

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Re: S/O damaged laptop: The nanny and the damaged ipad
« Reply #134 on: October 15, 2013, 05:35:07 PM »
Why is it deliberate when the nanny leaves out an ipad, but not deliberate when your (general) child picks it up and throws it? Maybe she just forgot? Maybe she was distracted? Perhaps by something the child was doing?

It works both ways.

The fact is that parents *are financially responsible for their children*. That's where the buck stops. That's just part and parcel of being a parent.

I have never insisted that the nanny deliberately left out the iPad.  I have only stated that _if_ the nanny _did_ deliberately leave out the iPad, than I can appreciate why a parent would think that she should shoulder some of the costs.  The OP does not say why the iPad was in reach of the child, so we are left to consider different possibilities.    If 100 different children throw 100 different iPads owned by 100 different nannies, I think that it is possible in 1 or 2  of the cases the Nanny shares some of the blame.  I will easily accept that in most other cases the child and parents should take the blame, which is why I have stated - repeatedly - that I would pay if this occurred with my child.