Author Topic: S/O damaged laptop: The nanny and the damaged ipad  (Read 15245 times)

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jpcher

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Re: S/O damaged laptop: The nanny and the damaged ipad
« Reply #75 on: October 08, 2013, 07:41:12 PM »
I'm seeing so many good arguments for both sides of the fence.

I still say that there was a strong possibility of negligence on the nanny's part. Leaving an iPad on the coffee table where it's within easy reach of a known destructive child is a big part of that negligence.

I'm picturing this possible scenario: Herman was doing whatever Herman does while Nanny was playing on her iPad without paying too much attention to or interacting very much with Herman. Nanny is getting aggravated because Herman is getting aggravated and she finally says "Fine. I'll get you a snack." Nanny puts the iPad down on the coffee table and goes to the kitchen. Herman, seeing the "thing" that's taking up all of Nanny's attention, figures the best way to get Nanny to pay attention to him is to throw the "thing" away.

I don't see this as a far-fetched scenario at all and, to me, it speaks loudly of negligence on the Nanny's part. In the above case, I would not offer to pay for the iPad.

As an employer I think that I would be perfectly within my rights to ask Nanny what was going on when the incident occurred. And I would most definitely ask my child what happened. ADHD, destructive behavior or what have you, the child still has a voice.

Virg -- you keep mentioning the pragmatic thing by doing what's necessary to keep a good nanny. I understand your point of view, however your POV is on the Nanny's side when the nanny might not be that good to begin with. I paid my nanny almost 1/2 of my weekly salary so Nanny was making almost as much as I was. It would really 'hurt my feelings' to pay out for damage that was done just to keep a "good" nanny, when the nanny wasn't really that good anyway. (Okay, how many times can one write the word good in one paragraph? :P) When I fired my nanny, it wasn't due to just one incident. Was it practical? No. But it was necessary.



Like I said, a whole lot of strong statements for both sides, but I'll stand firm by saying it's not a must that I pay for damages until I know further facts.

« Last Edit: October 08, 2013, 08:10:46 PM by jpcher »

TootsNYC

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Re: S/O damaged laptop: The nanny and the damaged ipad
« Reply #76 on: October 08, 2013, 10:07:23 PM »

I'm picturing this possible scenario: Herman was doing whatever Herman does while Nanny was playing on her iPad without paying too much attention to or interacting very much with Herman. Nanny is getting aggravated because Herman is getting aggravated and she finally says "Fine. I'll get you a snack." Nanny puts the iPad down on the coffee table and goes to the kitchen. Herman, seeing the "thing" that's taking up all of Nanny's attention, figures the best way to get Nanny to pay attention to him is to throw the "thing" away.


And I'm picturing this possible scenario:

Nanny was using her iPad to check in w/ faraway family members last night on Facebook. She sets the iPad down on the coffee table, and it gets partially obscured (or camouflaged) by magazines and the TV remote. She goes to bed.

The next day, she forgets it's there, because she thinks she tucked it away on the shelf. She runs around putting a few other things away, and then Herman arrives.

She's busy w/ Herman, including getting him snacks. He wants to do something and she won't let him because it's not allowed; he's unsettled by being in a new place, gets mad, and sees the iPad.

We can picture any scenario we want.

LifeOnPluto

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Re: S/O damaged laptop: The nanny and the damaged ipad
« Reply #77 on: October 08, 2013, 10:09:33 PM »
jpcher, I was picturing something similar too. Of course, we don't know what really went on, but I can easily imagine that scenario happening.

For me, the crux of this matter is the nature of the object - an iPad. It's a small, portable, fragile item. It's not the same as the kid breaking the television set (which is heavier and not as easily moved elsewhere). I think the Nanny was rather silly not to have moved her iPad out of the child's reach. Especially since she was fully aware that this was a four year old with destructive tendencies. 

Yvaine

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Re: S/O damaged laptop: The nanny and the damaged ipad
« Reply #78 on: October 08, 2013, 10:10:28 PM »

I'm picturing this possible scenario: Herman was doing whatever Herman does while Nanny was playing on her iPad without paying too much attention to or interacting very much with Herman. Nanny is getting aggravated because Herman is getting aggravated and she finally says "Fine. I'll get you a snack." Nanny puts the iPad down on the coffee table and goes to the kitchen. Herman, seeing the "thing" that's taking up all of Nanny's attention, figures the best way to get Nanny to pay attention to him is to throw the "thing" away.


And I'm picturing this possible scenario:

Nanny was using her iPad to check in w/ faraway family members last night on Facebook. She sets the iPad down on the coffee table, and it gets partially obscured (or camouflaged) by magazines and the TV remote. She goes to bed.

The next day, she forgets it's there, because she thinks she tucked it away on the shelf. She runs around putting a few other things away, and then Herman arrives.

She's busy w/ Herman, including getting him snacks. He wants to do something and she won't let him because it's not allowed; he's unsettled by being in a new place, gets mad, and sees the iPad.

We can picture any scenario we want.

Yeah, this. I think it was just out because it's her house, she'd had it out before Herman came over, and forgot about it right in the moment because she was focused on Herman. Jpcher, I see no reason to assume a situation where she's playing on the iPad and ignoring the kid. None at all.

Dindrane

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Re: S/O damaged laptop: The nanny and the damaged ipad
« Reply #79 on: October 08, 2013, 10:19:29 PM »
As Dindrane pointed out, the caregiver has responsibility for those behaviors the caregiver can reasonably influence. Putting away a small portable expenisve item would be somethign easily influenced to prevent the distructive action.  I see leaving an iPad on a coffee table where young children can access it without appropriate monitoring as very careless.

I did say that the caregiver has responsibility for behaviors they can reasonably influence, but since Herman was being cared for in a non-usual environment, I don't think "putting away every single valuable/breakable/expensive/potentially dangerous thing in a place where Herman can't get to it" is something most people would be able to reasonably do.

If the nanny left her iPad on the coffee table at Herman's house, where his parents presumably live in a state of "keep the valuables/things we care about/expensive/potentially dangerous items far away from Herman," I'd agree more with the idea that her negligence was partially to blame for its destruction. But I don't think that is equally true at the nanny's house, especially if she often keeps her iPad on the coffee table when she's not using it.

I don't live with children, and I don't have pets. As a result, I have things that could be dangerous to a 4 year old lying around. I have expensive things I care about out where there are easily accessible. My computer pretty much lives on my coffee table, because I mostly use it when I'm on the couch. Even with, say, a week's notice, I might not be able to put all of those types of things in an inaccessible spot. For one thing, I don't have a lot of extra room. For another thing, I'm not necessarily going to realize in advance all the things that could be problematic so that I can move them.

In the case of the iPad on the coffee table, if the coffee table is similar in color to the iPad, or it got obscured by something, or it's even just where the nanny habitually sets it down, I can see overlooking it. I don't always actively notice that my laptop is on the coffee table, because my brain has filed that away as "object that is in the right spot." It would take some effort on my part to reject that previous idea and form a new one about where the laptop should go, such that I would notice it on a quick scan of the room to see what needs to be put elsewhere before a child like Herman visits.


turnip

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Re: S/O damaged laptop: The nanny and the damaged ipad
« Reply #80 on: October 08, 2013, 10:38:21 PM »
OK - I have a SN child who can be destructive.  I also have a Nanny hired due to her experience with difficult kids, who I pay to watch DS.

So if it happened to _me_ with _my_ DS and _my_ Nanny, I would pay for the iPad.  I love my nanny, I know her to be a careful, responsible person, and I want her to to love her job and stay with us forever, quite frankly, so I'd pay and not look back.

_However_ I would consider that I was doing it out of a kindness.  I don't know that I'd feel that I owed her the money.  She's been with my son for 2 years, she knows as well as I do that he shouldn't be left unsupervised around electronics, and and I would feel like she had some responsibility for what happened.  However because of my deep trust in her, I'd assume it was just a "stuff happens" moment and wouldn't suggest we split the cost or anything like that.

If we had a different relationship where I really felt like she had been negligent in letting my son around the iPad ( and he's a chewer too, so aside from breaking it it's not unlikely he could have started chewing on it and ended up with a mouth full of glass and electronics ) I would be more inclined to say it was entirely her responsibility to cover the replacement cost.

MariaE

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Re: S/O damaged laptop: The nanny and the damaged ipad
« Reply #81 on: October 09, 2013, 12:52:39 AM »
I pictured the scenario Toots described as well. No neglience at all. Why on earth assume the worst of the nanny?
 
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bonyk

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Re: S/O damaged laptop: The nanny and the damaged ipad
« Reply #82 on: October 09, 2013, 05:38:33 AM »
I don't think the child necessarily threw the iPad to break it, or that he was intending to be destructive.  Many children w/ ADHD do things before they even realize they've done it.

And now I'm on the other side of the fence, lol.  Nanny should have put iPad away.

perpetua

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Re: S/O damaged laptop: The nanny and the damaged ipad
« Reply #83 on: October 09, 2013, 05:49:24 AM »
I don't think the child necessarily threw the iPad to break it, or that he was intending to be destructive.  Many children w/ ADHD do things before they even realize they've done it.

That does not absolve the parents of their financial responsibility to make good any damage caused by their propensity to do that.

Sharnita

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Re: S/O damaged laptop: The nanny and the damaged ipad
« Reply #84 on: October 09, 2013, 08:08:27 AM »
bonyk, the OP said he is prone to aggressive outbursts. He has throne and broken things before. Now, I do agree that might not have anything to do with ADHD. There might be other behavioral issues there and those would be the respinsibility of the parents.

Virg

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Re: S/O damaged laptop: The nanny and the damaged ipad
« Reply #85 on: October 09, 2013, 04:54:03 PM »
jpcher wrote:

"I'm picturing this possible scenario: Herman was doing whatever Herman does while Nanny was playing on her iPad without paying too much attention to or interacting very much with Herman. Nanny is getting aggravated because Herman is getting aggravated and she finally says "Fine. I'll get you a snack." Nanny puts the iPad down on the coffee table and goes to the kitchen. Herman, seeing the "thing" that's taking up all of Nanny's attention, figures the best way to get Nanny to pay attention to him is to throw the "thing" away."

This scenario describes a nanny who's pretty awful, and the fact that this is the scenario you're entertaining seems to indicate that you don't think much of the nanny at all.  I agree that if a nanny is neglectful and irritable to the level this describes, that losing her wouldn't be a problem at all, but what makes you think she's anywhere near this bad?  I don't think I'm being off the wall to assume that Herman's parents consider her to be competent at her job, and I don't see the simple fact that Herman got hold of the iPad is proof that she's negligent.

"Like I said, a whole lot of strong statements for both sides, but I'll stand firm by saying it's not a must that I pay for damages until I know further facts."

I think this is where we're on opposite sides of the issue.  My take is that responsibility for paying for the damage defaults to Herman's parents and they should only refuse if there's proof positive that she was negligent, and as I said above I don't see the simple fact that he laid hands on it to be proof enough because I can come up with a number of plausible scenarios that do not require her to be negligent.  Your statement indicates that you shouldn't pay before ascertaining, which indicates that the nanny would need proof negative before you'd pay.  Said another way, I think that the burden of proof lies on Herman's parents to prove she was negligent and your statement indicates that you consider burden of proof to be on the nanny to prove she wasn't.

Virg

jpcher

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Re: S/O damaged laptop: The nanny and the damaged ipad
« Reply #86 on: October 09, 2013, 07:38:15 PM »
Said another way, I think that the burden of proof lies on Herman's parents to prove she was negligent and your statement indicates that you consider burden of proof to be on the nanny to prove she wasn't.

Virg


Ah! The old "Innocent until proven guilty" thing! ;D Excellent point! I do, honestly, agree with you 100%.

However asking the nanny AND the child about what happened before I dish out some money doesn't necessarily mean that I immediately thought the nanny was guilty of negligence. As a parent, I'm practicing due diligence simply by looking for the facts and ensuring that my child is well taken care of.

Toots' scenario was also an excellent possibility of what really happened. So were the other "What if's?" that were brought up in this thread . . . so many scenarios can be built around the one paragraph that we were given.

I pictured the scenario Toots described as well. No neglience at all. Why on earth assume the worst of the nanny?

Because not everybody is lucky enough to have a nanny like turnip posted about.

Because I had a couple of badish (not horrible) experiences with day-care providers, where my parental antennae were twitching.

Because nowhere in the OP was the statement that Nanny was a long-term trusted employee.

Winterlight

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Re: S/O damaged laptop: The nanny and the damaged ipad
« Reply #87 on: October 09, 2013, 10:52:41 PM »
I think the parents should pay regardless if it was intentional or an accident.  First of all, a child is the parents' responsibility.  Secondly, an employee is also the employers' responsibility.

I guess I view this more as business etiquette.  If the nanny is a good employee and having to reimburse him/her for things my child has broken is a rare occurrence, then I'm going to pony up the cash to keep my employee happy.  If the nanny is a bad employee, and it's the third expensive item to be been "broken" by my child in a month, then I'm going to pay the item so there can be no complaints when I also let him/her go.

I agree with this.

And regadless of the etiquette issue, the child needs to be held accountable for his actions, in an age appropriate way. While ADHD is a very real disorder, using it to "excuse" a child's inapproriate actions teaches a poor sense of responsiblity and just encourages out of control behavior. I think its a far more powerful message to say to a child "You did something wrong, now we as a family are going to make it right" instead of "You did something wrong, now nanny is sad" or even worse "Nanny didn't watch you, so you did something wrong."

Good point.
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Virg

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Re: S/O damaged laptop: The nanny and the damaged ipad
« Reply #88 on: October 10, 2013, 02:47:04 PM »
jpcher wrote:

"However asking the nanny AND the child about what happened before I dish out some money doesn't necessarily mean that I immediately thought the nanny was guilty of negligence. As a parent, I'm practicing due diligence simply by looking for the facts and ensuring that my child is well taken care of."

I'm with you on this.  I don't think it's unreasonable to ask what happened and in fact I think it's very wise in any case because it's a good way to figure out how to ensure that it's not as likely to happen again.  I just take the stance that, unless the questioning produced some pretty ironclad evidence that the nanny dropped the ball, that the responsibility for the damage falls to Herman's parents.

"Toots' scenario was also an excellent possibility of what really happened. So were the other "What if's?" that were brought up in this thread . . . so many scenarios can be built around the one paragraph that we were given."

This is very true, and it's possible that Herman's parents might never find out exactly what happened, but again I agree that asking isn't accusing and it's a good idea.

Virg

turnip

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Re: S/O damaged laptop: The nanny and the damaged ipad
« Reply #89 on: October 10, 2013, 03:27:39 PM »
I don't think that there are easy answers here, but I wonder at those who are quick to assume that the parent's are using the boys diagnosis as an 'excuse'.

Alternate question - if the boy had epilepsy - frequent, uncontrolled seizures - and was normally kept away from breakable items as a result, would it change anyone's answer?   

There is overall often a tendency to treat mental problems as not as 'real' as physical problems.  Saying this boy has behavior issues is not the same as saying that if he had good parents, the behavior issues would obviously be solved.  It is not news to me that my son has behavior issues.  It is the reason he has been in behavioral therapy 6-10 hours a week for the last 3 years.  It's the reason we have team of therapists and specialists we work with.  It is the reason he goes to a classroom that is prepared to deal with his issues, it is the reason we pay for childcare that has the ability to deal with his issues.

None of this means that his issues have gone away.  He can still be destructive and possibly always will be.  We all do our best to reduce the frequency, but that is as much as we can currently do with the tools we currently have.