Nanny making comments about our income

(175 Posts)
MrsLion Sat 02-Mar-13 22:54:08

I have just gone back to work 3 days a week and have hired a nanny to look after my 3 dc- (6,3 and 1). 

She is about 50 and is definitely a 'mrs doubtfire' type of nanny. Very efficient, very proactive, works hard and is great with the kids (a little strict- but they still love her).

But, there are a few comments she has made about our income which have rubbed me up with wrong way.

I'll give you some examples and the context:

1) When talking about ponies and children
Nanny: you better not get DD2 anywhere near a pony, because then she'll want one- and you can't afford it.

2) Telling her what our weekly food budget was (she does grocery shopping sometimes) 
Nanny: Oh right, well, of course I'm used to working for doctors and lawyers

3) Telling her about school drop off and uniform etc
Nanny: Of course I'm more used to private schools as i often work with really wealthy families

4) When talking about dd1 spelling and reading homework 
Nanny: you should see what they're doing in the private schools- way more than this at your age (said to DD) 

So I generally completely ignore these comments and brightly change the subject without responding at all. At first I put them down to an unfortunate turn of phrase but as there have been a few I am now feeling a bit pissed off.

Ok so the last two are not directly income related but felt it was said indirectly. Btw I'm not remotely jealous of private school for a 6yo- we are very happy indeed with her local primary school. 

So, AIBU to think this is rude and out of line to make these comments. I have no desire to prove whether or not we can afford a pony- actually we couldn't. But more annoyed she felt it was her place to comment in the first place.  How do you think should I handle it- especially considering she's an excellent nanny in every other way.

Or am I overeacting - we've had some financial difficulties over the last year or two and maybe I'm a bit oversensitive. 

Hit me with it! 

RatPants Sat 02-Mar-13 22:57:09

YANBU - how rude! grin

WorraLiberty Sat 02-Mar-13 22:59:09

Apart from, "you better not get DD2 anywhere near a pony, because then she'll want one- and you can't afford it."

I don't see a problem really.

FelicityWasCold Sat 02-Mar-13 23:00:30

Yanbu it is rude- but IME people who talk 'straight ' like this but are basically good people take it well if you talk straight back. So next time make it clear that you find the comment rude. She will either not do it again or show herself up to being not actually a very nice person. In which case she isn't a good nanny.

foslady Sat 02-Mar-13 23:00:48

Hmmm.............looks like she thinks she's taken a backwards step..........I would not be happy either

bunnymother Sat 02-Mar-13 23:00:52

She is being rude.

IndigoCat Sat 02-Mar-13 23:01:33

It would annoy me and I don't think the comments are likely to end anytime soon either.

Jinsei Sat 02-Mar-13 23:01:59


I'd be tempted to tell her that, while she might be used to dealing with people who were richer/posher than me, you're more used to dealing with people who have some basic manners!

magimedi Sat 02-Mar-13 23:02:09

YANBU - she is rude, but if she's good with your DCs & you are happy with everything else she does you are just going to have to live with it.

kim147 Sat 02-Mar-13 23:02:19

She should not be saying things about spelling etc to your DD. How is that going to make her feel?

And quite honestly, I can see why her comments about being used to working for wealthy families would wind you up. She's working for you now.

MyHeadWasInTheSandNowNot Sat 02-Mar-13 23:04:51

I would say to her 'If you would prefer to look for another job with lawyers or doctors & with your charges at private school please just let me know smile'

Angelico Sat 02-Mar-13 23:05:53

Jaw-droppingly rude. Seriously. Can't believe anyone would not find those comments rude! She sounds a bit insecure, like she feels like she has somehow come down in the world working for you and has to put on a good show of 'Of course I'm more accustomed to working with... than you plebs'. And if I was paying her it would piss me off!

For some reason the grocery budget comment particularly incensed me - but made me snigger too. If she's a good nanny I would probably take the piss out of her tbh and hope she gets a grip.

chandellina Sat 02-Mar-13 23:06:14

Yanbu but try not to take it to heart. Our nanny previously worked for wealthy families and comes out with nonsense like this from time to time. Oh well, times change, we're not taking her to the Caribbean!

Angelico Sat 02-Mar-13 23:06:25

And what Jinsei said!

ReallyTired Sat 02-Mar-13 23:07:35

You can't be that badly off if you can afford to pay a nanny.

If she has offended you should tell her how you feel. It is appauling manners to insult anyone in this way yet alone your boss.

Comments about working for more wealthy families are irrelevent; she works for you.

germyrabbit Sat 02-Mar-13 23:08:30

why would you post this in aibu? did you make it up?

CloudsAndTrees Sat 02-Mar-13 23:08:38

Her first comment was rude and misplaced, absolutely. But I think you are taking the others far too personally. They weren't comments related to your income, they were comments related to her other experiences of employers. From the things you say she has said, I think she's talking about herself and you are making it about you.

MajesticWhine Sat 02-Mar-13 23:10:01

I don't think you are being oversensitive. I think she is out of order. If she does it again, I would directly challenge her.

kim147 Sat 02-Mar-13 23:10:06

Why would a nanny tell her DD that other children her age got much harder work? What's the point in that?

Viviennemary Sat 02-Mar-13 23:10:34

No she is a bit out of order especially with comment four. Hard to know what to suggest. I think if she was a good nanny I'd try and find some witty retort as a reply. But she might just get worse. Nevertheless if she works hard and the DC's like her that is worth a lot more than a few annoying remarks.

FloraFox Sat 02-Mar-13 23:15:10

Get rid. Do you really want her teaching your kids this sort of thing is ok? If she says this to you and DD shock in front of you, what is she saying when you're not there?

MrsLion Sat 02-Mar-13 23:15:33

Thanks for your replies.

Next time she makes a comment about our income in relation to grocery budgets etc I was thinking of saying something like: 

"Given your level of experience, I'm sure you don't have any difficulties adapting to all sorts of budgets" 

If I feel like she's putting down DDs education again - especially in from of her, I'll have to be a bit stronger.

No I can assure you I'm not making this up.

MrsLion Sat 02-Mar-13 23:16:50

grin at jinsei and bighead

MrsLion Sat 02-Mar-13 23:19:12

Cloudsandtrees- I did wonder if I was doing that. Hence my oversensitive remark.

Interesting mix of replies here.

oldraver Sat 02-Mar-13 23:20:38

Next time nip it in the bud.." I dont pay you to be rude to me"

Teapot13 Sat 02-Mar-13 23:26:35

Totally out of order.

I also find it extremely odd for her to be basically boasting about her wealthy employers -- as if their wealth is a reflection on her. She works as a nanny and presumably cannot afford most of the things she is talking about, so who is she to act superior? (I'm not saying it would be acceptable to make these rude comments if she were wealthy herself -- it would just be less odd.)

LovesBeingWokenEveryNight Sun 03-Mar-13 08:27:31

Maybe there's a reason she's had to lower herself to working for such poor people

zwischenzug Sun 03-Mar-13 08:35:41

It wouldn't surprise me if she is just a fantasist who is making it up to try to make herself look important.

HecateWhoopass Sun 03-Mar-13 08:37:51

Just tell her you don't like it.

You can pay her salary so you aren't doing that badly!

She is being very rude.

voscar Sun 03-Mar-13 08:38:36

Yanbu,however - in the same way that you're elderly granny refers to 'darkies' and' them gays' - and you have to cringingly accept that you cant change them and they mean no harm- its just the way they've lived. she's a product of her age/environment and no doubt means no harm. If she's excellent at everything else then you have to accept she's lived 30 odd years the other way, you can't expect the differences to go un-commented upon. At least a little.

The stuff to your daughter I would bring up - saying I didn't want her insecure that she wasn't good enough.

newbielisa Sun 03-Mar-13 08:39:09

Totally agree with Teapot, their wealth doesn't reflect on her. She's not wealthy herself she has to work.

It's like going in to a posh shop and the assistants being snooty I want to give them the finger and say you do the same job as someone in Poundland (but they are generally nicer).

She is the employee version of a celebrity name dropper.

Eastpoint Sun 03-Mar-13 08:42:03

I think lots of nannies, gardeners etc over identify with their employers living arrangements. I bought some flowers and our cleaner told me her previous employer had a 'flower lady who comes in every Friday to re-do the flowers in the house'. Lucky her. Mind you the previous employer didn't work, had a nanny, cook, flower lady & gardeners - different lifestyle.

HintofBream Sun 03-Mar-13 08:44:10

How about wheeling out MN's legendary " Did you mean to sound so rude?"

CabbageLeaves Sun 03-Mar-13 08:45:34

Tbh her remarks would irk me but I think any attempt to stop them will result in an offended stand off (might be wrong...she might be upset if she realised how she came over)

Why don't you try a polite 'not sure if you realise this but your comments come across as quite belittling' (or your choice of adjective)

Give her 3 warnings like this and then either accept she won't change and decide to part with her or live with it

Wishihadabs Sun 03-Mar-13 08:46:43

And this is why we no longer have a nanny

My nanny is also super experienced, has worked for super rich families etc. Only ever talks to me about it in a light hearted way, how ridiculous some of the houses were etc and goes to great pains to often say why she loves working for us in our decrepitude instead!

TroublesomeEx Sun 03-Mar-13 08:51:18

Perhaps she's a bit narked off that she isn't getting some of the perks she is used to with very wealthy families.

My friend is a nanny and some of the perks are pretty good!

But that's her problem and not yours.

Just ignore her. As long as you're paying her, what does she care what else you can afford?

I had a TA in a classroom who was a bit like this once, a right royal PITA with ideas above her 'station' which generally resulted in her finding constant fault with me.

montmartre Sun 03-Mar-13 08:54:30

Gosh! How astonishingly rude shock

You'd think in these straightened times shed be thinking thank goodness people are still using nannies. Did she take a step-down in pay to come to you?

MrsLion Sun 03-Mar-13 08:58:05

Thanks for your replies.
Yes it's very odd to have this attitude when I'm paying her salary confused

However, I'm going to try not to take it to heart or see it as a personal attack.
She seems like someone who tales pride in being a 'straight talker' so I may just have to be straight right back next time.
Especially if she says anything else about DDs education.
She is back on Wednesday so I'll be back with an update if there are any more comments.
I guess despite my comments about being a good nanny otherwise, I have a red flag now that she's not diplomatic and could upset the dc by something she says - so I might just keep an eye out.

PurpleRayne Sun 03-Mar-13 09:01:41

She is being plain rude. Nothing to do with age.

MrsLion Sun 03-Mar-13 09:01:51

takes pride

peggyblackett Sun 03-Mar-13 09:09:45

I would get rid personally. We have had lovely down to earth nannies over the years (just as well really grin) - you don't need to put up with this shit.

montage Sun 03-Mar-13 09:11:02

Talking down your daughter's work to her is not on. I would turn it around when she does this so she has to raise the issue with you (instead of commenting at your child)

If she does that again, sit down with them and tell your daughter how well she is doing learning her spelling, how her teacher is great and knows what level to give her etc etc. Counteract it immediately, directly in front of Nanny basically.

And if she says anything explain that you don't think it's appropriate to run down a 6 year's old homework to her, and you would prefer she approached you privately if she has any difficulties.

As these are non-issues she is raising, she will likely realise she has nothing to raise but she will see you've taken notice.

FWIW people sometimes comment on my son's appearance to him (he is very obviously disabled) as they assume that is ok when he can't reply and they are "making conversation" with me. I immediately get down to his level and tell him he's gorgeous. Which stops them. I think it reminds them they are talking to a child and what they are saying is not appropriate.

flatbread Sun 03-Mar-13 09:12:22

I don't see what is wrong with her telling your dc that she needs to work harder on her spelling?

Why does she need to be more 'diplomatic' to your dc. Will they wilt if they are not told they are the bestest and brightest every minute of the day?

KatyTheCleaningLady Sun 03-Mar-13 09:13:29

A good reply to the pony comment would be something like, "True, but we can afford you, which is all you need to worry about."

flatbread Sun 03-Mar-13 09:14:22

Btw, I think the pony and weekly shop budget were a bit pointed, but so what. Grow a thick skin. And appreciate that you have a nanny who is good in the things that matter..

In the old days, maids and servants got their status from their employers. It was reflecting better on the maid to be in service with Lord Winterbottom than with the cobbler down the road.

I reckon the poor old nanny is trying to come to terms with growing old, and not having secured a nannying position with a wealthy family who would take her on for the rest of her life.

Just a few years ago I got talking to two elderly ladies in a coffee shop (west London) One was a retired nanny. She talked about how she had spent most of her life with "her family" and when the children were grown up, and they did not need a nanny any more, it was the done thing in wealthy families to let the nanny stay on and just potter with house duties, until retirement. She lived in a loft extension at "her family"s home, like a granny. She said it was quite common in "her days" that the wealthy kept their nannies on and provided retirement housing for them. Where else could they go? No children of their own, and having spent a life serving a family, you got to stay.

Doubt really your nanny was hoping for the above, but I thought it was quite sweet.

Cherriesarelovely Sun 03-Mar-13 09:25:10

That would get right up my nose. I would find those comments unbelievably rude.

MrsLion Sun 03-Mar-13 09:25:46

No she didn't say that my daughter should work harder at her spelling.
She has no idea how well my daughter is performing I was simply stating what homework she has.

My nanny's comment was - you should see what they're doing in the private schools- and that students in private schools do a lot more and are spelling much more difficult words.

It would be rather an odd comment to make just to me- why would I be concerned what other schools, private or not are teaching their students?

But to say it to my daughter is inappropriate.

I don't expect my dc to be told the are the bestest and brightest- because they're not.
However, I do expect her not to make comments to their faces that imply other children have it better.

nosleeps Sun 03-Mar-13 09:29:05

I don't see why op should have to grow a thick skin when she is paying for a service. It's also not anything like yer granny's racism as someone else suggested. You don't pay you granny.
I think she's sounds like a snob who possibly thinks she's slumming it.

I think you need to have a word, or let her go. Your dcs do not need someone undermining them.

Act soon though.

scottishmummy Sun 03-Mar-13 09:33:09

Get shot of her immediately.look for another appropriate,pleasant nanny
Parent and nanny need good rapport,you need to be comfy with her comments
Clearly she has been quite rude,bit frightful and you're understandably unhappy

bakingaddict Sun 03-Mar-13 09:33:20

Flatbread I dont understand why the OP should grow a thick skin towards her nanny when she is paying her salary and keeping her in gainful employment. If the nanny thinks that the OP and her family are too lowly then it's up to the nanny to find something she considers suitable not instead making pointed comments to the OP. The fact she has taken this post means she should 'put up and shut up' regarding her employers perceived financial situation.

As long as she gets her agreed salary each month, the family's finances should be no concern of hers. Working as a nanny for many years she should be more than aware of her 'place' and know what is appropriate to say to her employers and charges.

leeloo1 Sun 03-Mar-13 09:42:09

How long has she been with you?

Can you have a formal review meeting (end of probation? 6 mths), where you say how happy you are with reliability, firm boundaries, pro-activeness, choice/range of activities etc etc.

Then say 'the only issue I have is that some comments you've made have been unsettling as they seem quite critical of our salaries and dd's schooling.'

See what she says - if she has normal amounts of tact and common sense she'll be mortified to have upset you and will try to change. If she has no idea what you're talking about then say your examples and tell her if you notice any comments in future you'll let her know, so she knows what to work on.

It may well be that she's trying to impress you with the 'quality' of family she's worked for and will have no idea that its backfiring and making you feel inadequate.

btw if you want advice from nannies on how to handle the situation then post in the childminders, nannies, au pairs topic. smile

Lavenderhoney Sun 03-Mar-13 09:43:45

Well, can you ask her to stay a bit later/ come in a bit earlier and have a chat? Along the the lines of " I just wanted to have a chat with you. The children like you and so do I. I feel very comfortable with the care you provide as their nanny. However.... now, nanny, when you make comments like xxx, it does make me feel inferior. Dd is a a very good level with her schooling and we are happy with her school. Do you mean to make me feel inferior?"

Then see what she says. She probably doesn't realise what she is saying.

Then say " well, I am glad we cleared that up. I have to go do x now, so I'll see you later"

Do you think that would work?

flatbread Sun 03-Mar-13 09:50:48

It would be rather an odd comment to make just to me- why would I be concerned what other schools, private or not are teaching their students?

Er, because your child will be competing against these other children at some point, whether it is a grammar school place or university place or a job?

If you want your dd to be best prepared in the competitive world, at the very least you need to know whether your dd's school is teaching at par with the best schools.

Honestly, I would be please to have a nanny who has high expectations of educational curriculum and teaching, rather than letting my personal insecurities govern my response.

scottishmummy Sun 03-Mar-13 09:59:42

Id have no qualms sacking her. You pay the salary, you need to be satisfied
If she's more used to v wealthy families she can seek another employer
I would immediately be recruiting another nanny,and if she agency id give reasons I'm unhappy to agrncy

I agree with flatbread on that point. If the nanny is used to helping her charges with homework and have seen what homework is set for other children, I would use her as a resource, and ask her to do some extra work with them, maybe getting some books from WHsmith.

Most of my friends children are privately educated, and I would often talk to them about what they are learning in school, etc. Luckily my dc's school is top of the league tables in our borough and very good, so most of the time it was quite similar. But I would want to know if my children s learning was way below what other schools set.

MrsLion Sun 03-Mar-13 10:01:52

Yes flatbread I can see your point about a thicker skin, and YY to the comments about status from employers.

If it grates me too much i should find a new one!

Ok I'm off- not flouncing grin I live abroad and it's bed time here.


Gigondas Sun 03-Mar-13 10:07:28

Pure and flatbread make good points about knowing what other schools are doing. BUT that isn't what op was asking.

But yanbu - It is not on for nanny to make such odd inappropriate comments about lifestyle matters - and you are certainly not employing her to comment on your choice of school.

I would sit down with her and say that you find some of her comments unprofessional - it is not directly related to the well being and condition of your children. It is idle chit chat.

Also some of the "my previous employers had /did x" is very unprofessional. Do you have a clause in your contract about nor disclosing personal circumstances? May want to remind her of that as what one person considers a passing comment/bit of gossip could also be construed as a breach of confidentiality.

scottishmummy Sun 03-Mar-13 10:08:55

You pay her wages you don't need a thicker skin,if her values/comments at odds with you.
She sound odd and disgruntled,if she so good with the wealthy she can seek another post
And no parent need to habitually be trying to play competitive keep up about schools,horses

MrsLion Sun 03-Mar-13 10:10:24

Sent too soon- meant to say thanks for the replies they've been very useful. Will take on board all view points.
Yes maybe I should be more concerned about other schools but DDs school is rated very highly. It's used as a selling point for estate agents and has a waiting list years long for families wanting to attend who live out of zone.

I'll update if there's anything else this week.

Teapot13 Sun 03-Mar-13 10:18:51

Also, I would not be impressed about her talking to me about former employers' personal situations. Private school curriculum is not exactly a personal matter, but once you get into things like what other families can afford it could be a breach of privacy. I mean, you have seen her resume and references and know who she's worked for. I wouldn't like someone who had worked in my house talking about how we spend our money.

It's also hilarious (and this is a classic MN discussion) is that she is trying to be superior by talking about money -- everyone knows that's not something posh people talk about.

I think I might have said "we could easily afford a pony if we didn't have a nanny". I appreciate tha this doesn't quite make sense as you need childcare.

MammaTJ Sun 03-Mar-13 10:29:58

Nanny: you should see what they're doing in the private schools- way more than this at your age (said to DD)

That is the most worrying, putting your child down like that.

Yes, the money comments were rude, but I would be more worried by that.

kilmuir Sun 03-Mar-13 10:30:00

She sounds like a bitter old bag.
Get rid, too much to say. She is PAID to work for you

You could always just start calling her Mrs Bucket, affectionately

Will sail over her head unless she watched 90s sitcoms, of course grin

scottishmummy Sun 03-Mar-13 10:44:45

What's the bucket reference?

Mrs Bucket
In my defence I was 10 when I loved that show

Tailtwister Sun 03-Mar-13 10:48:14

I think she's being very rude. You are employing her as a nanny, not to make personal comments about your income. Also, the comment she made to your DD about private schools is uncalled for. She shouldn't be saying anything like that to a child.

I would have a word with her and give her a chance to change. If she doesn't, find someone else.

MagicHouse Sun 03-Mar-13 14:20:15

She sounds like a snob! Personally, even if she seemed like a great nanny, I wouldn't want her and her snotty, tactless attititude around my kids.
I think talking to your dd about other children in private schools having harder words to learn is not appropriate (what exactly is she expecting your dd to reply to that? - it wouldn't exactly reassure me that she has a lot of empathy with/ understanding of children if she thinks it's ok to make comments like that to a young child.)

mrsjay Sun 03-Mar-13 14:29:17

she sounds a bit of a dragon has she always nannied for people, maybe she has worked for richer people and thinks she has come down the chain a wee bit grin you could always mention she is free to go back to the lawyers and Drs anytime she likes, some people are just forward just dont reply to her and keep conversations with the children between you and the children

FlouncingMintyy Sun 03-Mar-13 14:31:17

She seems to have no basic manners and an uncommon interest in status/wealth. I certainly wouldn't want someone like this looking after my children.

mrsjay Sun 03-Mar-13 14:32:26

I certainly wouldn't want someone like this looking after my children.

I wouldn't either she sounds really snooty

I'm guessing that she is finding it a bit of an adjustment to work for a "normal" family instead of a wealthy one, and perhaps she's trying to impress you with her "wealth" of experience (see what I did there? grin ).

But she's overstepping the mark, especially criticising your DD's education in front of her.

I would respond with a simple, "I don't think that comment was appropriate" when she does it, and see if she gets the message. Especially in front of the children.

flatbread Sun 03-Mar-13 14:42:32

Some of the comments are a bit bizarre...

How is it harmful or a 'put-down' for dd to learn that some other children her age have a more advanced curriculum?

In fact, that would be a good explanation and starting point to give dd additional homework/tuition.

FarBetterNow Sun 03-Mar-13 14:46:01

She probably has no idea that what she is saying is offensive to you, she probably just thinks that she is making conversation.
Her duties seem to be beyond looking after the children, if she does the weekly shop too, especially without a shopping list.
What are her other duties?
Does she live in?

signorapacino Sun 03-Mar-13 14:48:33

I think all these comments are rude. She sounds a bit of a snob. I think she feels her status has dropped a bit.

MagicHouse Sun 03-Mar-13 14:57:47

How is it harmful or a 'put-down' for dd to learn that some other children her age have a more advanced curriculum?

Because the original comment was obviously a criticism of the little girl's school/ teacher/ homework. I don't think it's fair to level that sort of critcism at a child, who can do nothing about it whatsoever. It would simply make her feel uncomfortable. I wouldn't want someone, who thought it was ok to make my child feel like that, looking after her.

If she truly felt that the dd was capable of more, there are much more positive ways of going about it, rather than implying to a little girl that her school isn't up to scratch. Does she even have any idea of what sort of homework the girl is capable of?

Also it goes without saying that sending vast amounts of homework home doesn't necessarily mean the whole curriculum is "advanced!"

flatbread Sun 03-Mar-13 15:07:13

Magic, I think you are over thinking this. Most children would just think 'groan, ok, have to do more spelling now' and put their head down and do it.

I just don't see the criticism. It seems a factual observation.

MagicHouse Sun 03-Mar-13 15:13:59

The thing is, it's not really about whether the little girl has more homework than everyone else, less homework than everybody else or no homework at all.

The point is, the nanny is criticising something that's probably really important to her (her teacher/ school), and there'll be nothing a small girl can do about it.

Personally I would rather my kids be looked after by somebody who was interested in what THEY (not children in other schools) were doing, and interested in developing their self esteem.

Alittlestranger Sun 03-Mar-13 15:14:08

From the way you've presented it she sounds rude, but you also seem very touchy. What is your income? Maybe she's worried that you can't actually afford a nanny and will have to let her go soon? If she's used to working for higher income families she might be genuinely surprised/confused that you're managing to afford her and be worried about how sustainable it is.

FlouncingMintyy Sun 03-Mar-13 15:14:46

"How is it harmful or a 'put-down' for dd to learn that some other children her age have a more advanced curriculum?

In fact, that would be a good explanation and starting point to give dd additional homework/tuition."

Well, its up to op if she wants her children to have a more advanced curriculum, isn't it? Not the Nanny!

JamieandtheMagicTorch Sun 03-Mar-13 15:17:27

I think she sounds like asnob who is discombobulated by the change in the income level of the family she is working with. She sounds tactless - her personal issues leaking into her interaction with you, and more importantly, your child. The comment about the spelling was NOT itended to be helpful and it is the intention which is important.

I'd take the suggestion upthread about some kind of performance review, see if she can change, but if not,..

JamieandtheMagicTorch Sun 03-Mar-13 15:18:15

Exactly Mintyy

JamieandtheMagicTorch Sun 03-Mar-13 15:19:03

And i agree with your post too, Magic

KC225 Sun 03-Mar-13 15:19:27

I think she sounds like a snob - now I know the party line is that 'snobs' are to be pitied because they are insecure etc. but it is bloody annoying. If it is irritating now, so early on, then it will grate even more later. I think you need to nip it in the bud before your 6 year old starts to take note - you don't want them turning out like Katie Hopkins kids

MrsMushroom Sun 03-Mar-13 15:20:35

I would talk to her. I would say that you do not like her comments about money and income and that it is very ill mannered to make such comments. Explain you do not want the DC to hear them and YOU don't want to either.

She sounds bloody awful imo.

MrsMushroom Sun 03-Mar-13 15:22:00

Can I also say that the older generation of Nannies have a sort of snobbery about them. Working for a titled person for instance afforded them some status among peers.

She's working for you...and may be trying to make herself feel better about it.

That sounds terrible and it's not personal but her age makes me think that.

LittleEdie Sun 03-Mar-13 15:32:00

Isn't she just trying to impress you?

flatbread Sun 03-Mar-13 15:32:26

It depends on the remit of the nanny. If part of the nanny's job is to supervise homework, then of course it is ok to comment on it and provide additional spelling lessons.

I seriously cannot imagine a child overanalysing the comment as some of you seem to be doing here. Quite overly precious reactions here grin

Lots of people identify with their employers 'worth'. Wouldn't you feel more proud saying you worked as a designer for say, 'Apple' or 'Google' than 'Huziang Guo' or some unknown company.

No offence meant to OP and I would just not take this personally. There is no perfect nanny or perfect family. If she is good at the stuff that matters and takes good care of the children, I would just roll with the rest.

scottishmummy Sun 03-Mar-13 15:56:52

Crucially,the rapport has gone,the relationship don't like her comments
Frankly I wouldn't be accommodating this any further,shed only stay til new nanny recruited
I'd have no qualms sacking her,she is undermine you by derisory pithy comments

expatinscotland Sun 03-Mar-13 16:06:23

I agree with scottish.

Pickles101 Sun 03-Mar-13 16:18:29

I'd have no qualms telling her to fuck off and showing her the door. Time for a new nanny!

MsTakenidentity Sun 03-Mar-13 16:19:19

shock Appalling. Downton Abbey has a lot to answer for wink

flippinada Sun 03-Mar-13 16:29:02

I think she sounds very rude.

Not that I'm an expert or anything but if you and the children are otherwise happy with her then maybe have a word and give her an opportunity to change, setting clear boundaries as to what is acceptable.

Otherwise, in the circumstances, send her politely on her way.

KindnessofStrangers Sun 03-Mar-13 16:47:35

I used to have a cleaner like this. We live on the Essex borders and she cleaned a lot of footballers houses. She constantly named dropped about who else she worked for, made comments about DD not having a 'play room' and generally tried to make me feel a bit shit. She was a great cleaner so I put up with the comments but one week she left a note saying our house wasn't to her 'standards' and she was leaving. Made me feel really great!

claig Sun 03-Mar-13 16:58:11

I think I would say something like:
"If you've got a hangup with wealth, you are welcome to take a job for a doctor or lawyer with kids in private school'

She'll probably give it a rest after that. It sounds like she is not very confident and tries to boost herself by association.

ImperialBlether Sun 03-Mar-13 17:01:07

Am I the only person who Googled "'Huziang Guo"?

cory Sun 03-Mar-13 17:06:27

A little taken aback at the comments about the poor old nanny struggling with growing old, or needing indulgence because she belongs to a different generation. The woman is 50! I'll be 50 in December, plenty of MNers with your children are 50, being 50 means you grew up in the 70s, not before the War or something.

Personally, I would not be happy with somebody with such a poor grasp of manners being in loco parentis to my children on a daily basis.

And pace flatbread, I am not really sure that the examply of dissing her employer is the best way in which the nanny can teach these children to get on in the world.

flatbread Sun 03-Mar-13 17:26:08

Am I the only person who Googled "'Huziang Guo"?

Lol, I just made that up as an example of an unknown company grin

marjproops Sun 03-Mar-13 17:35:01

I havent read all the posters but (may be repeating someone) next time she makes a barb about your finances just say '' o you dont' need to worry, you'll be getting your pay at the end of the week, if we were so poor I wouldnt be able to afford a nanny''.

Or diplomatically, ''Oh i dont think it would be anyones business our finances/school/etc, dont you think? '' Anyway instead of barbing she should be working!!

FarBetterNow Sun 03-Mar-13 17:45:37

I think some of the retorts that the OP is being advised to reply to the Nanny are incredibly rude and ill mannered.
I suggest that if the OP isn't completely happy with the Nanny, she should terminate her employment sooner rather than later as even Nannies have employment rights.

Emilythornesbff Sun 03-Mar-13 18:50:53

Oh well her comments are not appropriate.
I would try lavenderhoney's approach and keep it light.

Yfronts Sun 03-Mar-13 19:05:58

I wouldn't be offended unless she said it in a rude way. I expect they were all innocent comments that just rolled off the tongue without thought. I'd be quite interested to hear what the other kids in private schools were doing, how much a GP's grocery shopping costs and how much people pay towards a horse obsessed daughter.

She obviously isn't rolling in it herself but if you wanted to say something it could be 'ah money doesn't bring happiness'

Yfronts Sun 03-Mar-13 19:07:35

Or you could just ask lots of questions. I'd be quite interested in what her old clients were like.

Murphy0510 Sun 03-Mar-13 19:15:07

I would just think of retorts for each time she says these things; when she makes food budget comments you could say things like 'haha it must be strange working for paupers now'.

LynetteScavo Sun 03-Mar-13 19:18:13

Hmmm..I would be reading between the lines, and thinking the nanny sees this job as a stop gap until she finds something more lucrative.

Kiwiinkits Sun 03-Mar-13 19:26:00

I love to be appalled at what other people spend unnecessarily. So I agree with Yfronts, get the details...! Have a laugh with her about it.

MrsLion, a good nanny is really hard to find. And this is your first experience with one. And your kids have built a relationship with her. So, dont' be rash. Give her a chance. She's settling in with you and your family, just as you are settling in with her. You never know, you may have said something that is offensive to her, too.

LittleEdie Sun 03-Mar-13 21:02:18

She's either a bit insecure, or a bit up herself. A lot of people are. This doesn't reflect on you, so you're probably over thinking it. It's not the end of the world if she's generally a good nanny.

A small chat with your DD about private education and what it means vs the importance of hard work and parental backup I'm sure would be enough to counter any negative influence - after all, you're her mother.

Phosphene Sun 03-Mar-13 21:14:06

As long as she is paid on time and a fair wage I don't see why a nanny would profit from a richer family, but maybe that's just me.

LittleEdie Sun 03-Mar-13 21:42:40

Well, they'll often get to see the world and have a lovely working environment. Who wouldn't like that?

And the reflected glory. Again, this is nice.

If you develop a good relationship with her I think it'll probably cease to be a problem.

LadyHarrietdeSpook Sun 03-Mar-13 23:43:43

All of these things would irritate me: YANBU.

I agree with Flatbread - some of the comments on here are totally bizarre. Not sure we'd agree on which ones they were though!

Our first nanny made all sorts of assumptions/observations about us and other people. She didn't know what she was talking about 9/10ths of the time either.

RE your nanny the comments I would address NOW are the sort directed at your daughter re her spellings. Unacceptable and could well come across as a put down.

The other comments would grate on me but I would probably take a wait and see approach depending on how quick and fast they were coming before pulling her up on them. RE the food budget, I liked the comment up-thread: It's great you're so experienced, you can manage on all levels, etc or something like that.

Is there any chance she might be having some issues settling? What did her previous references say? Did she leave on good terms?

The other thing I would have my eye on is how gossipy she is about you, again based on our experience with my first nanny. This went hand in hand with us and I have seen it in another family too.

MrsLion Mon 04-Mar-13 00:04:27

I've read through all the responses again and most of you think the comments are rude and  inappropriate. 
I take on board though, the posters who suggest her comments may be just observations and that I should stop taking them personally.

There are 3 outcomes:

1) she stops because I let her know I don't like it

2) she carries on and I either let it wash over me or silently seethe.

3) I get another nanny who doesn't do it but who may not be as good in other areas (have had 3 over the years and know how tricky it is to find a good one)

I'm going to try for number 1. 

 I'm going to take a light- hearted approach. Just politely letting her know when I find a comment inappropriate or tactless without getting defensive or too confrontational.  I don't want to insult her with cutting retorts. 

When she's been with us for 3 months I'll have a review with her and address it again then if need be. Along with anything she might have concerns about.

If after this I'm still feeling unhappy, then I'll jump to option 3 and get another one.

MrsLion Mon 04-Mar-13 00:05:18

I've read through all the responses again and most of you think the comments are rude and  inappropriate. 
I take on board though, the posters who suggest her comments may be just observations and that I should stop taking them personally.

There are 3 outcomes:

1) she stops because I let her know I don't like it

2) she carries on and I either let it wash over me or silently seethe.

3) I get another nanny who doesn't do it but who may not be as good in other areas (have had 3 over the years and know how tricky it is to find a good one)

I'm going to try for number 1. 

 I'm going to take a light- hearted approach. Just politely letting her know when I find a comment inappropriate or tactless without getting defensive or too confrontational.  I don't want to insult her with cutting retorts. 

When she's been with us for 3 months I'll have a review with her and address it again then if need be. Along with anything she might have concerns about.

If after this I'm still feeling unhappy, then I'll jump to option 3 and get another one.

MrsLion Mon 04-Mar-13 00:18:19

I'll definitely be back to tell you what happens over the next few weeks

MrsLion Mon 04-Mar-13 00:30:48

Thanks for the good advice LadyHarriet, I agree with you.

Primafacie Mon 04-Mar-13 00:40:08

Oh god, I feel like I know who your nanny is!

We hired a 'supernanny' from an agency a couple of years ago to help with one specific thing we were struggling with. I remember calling DH at work and telling him Nanny Plum had arrived. Listening to her, she spent most of her time at the Chedi, as part as some princes' retinue. Her various complaints included that our flat was small; our oven was dirty; we didn't have enough staff; etc.

Very grating. I was relieved when she left. It made me appreciate our lovely regular nanny even more.

YANBU. I would get shot. She is rude. There's lots of good nannies out there, it's a buyers' market.

Primafacie Mon 04-Mar-13 00:52:22

Sorry x post and I see you are abroad! My post is totally irrelevant now grin

NadiaWadia Mon 04-Mar-13 04:20:32

Agree that some of the comments on here are bizarrely ageist!

At 50, your nanny is young enough (and old enough) to know better.

If the children like her, I would have a frank talk with her, not attacking her, just letting her know these comments are inappropriate. I would do this out of the childrens' hearing.

See how she responds. She might not realise how annoying she's being. If she changes, well and good, if not, then think about getting rid.

HouseOfBears Mon 04-Mar-13 05:29:13

Sounds like you have a good plan OP. If you are going to bring it up, I'd probably turn it around on her and go for something like "are you happy here? As I've noticed you've made a few comments that seem to compare us less favourably to your previous jobs" and use that as a starting off point. Hopefully part 1 of your plan will work!

LovesBeingWokenEveryNight Mon 04-Mar-13 06:01:26

Excellent plan

Littleturkish Mon 04-Mar-13 06:14:47

I like house of bear's phrasing.

I came on expecting to say YABU but shock The one about homework to your dd had me gasping (my children are in a mix of state & private schools so no axe to grind).

Good luck! I think you probably do need to do 1). I'd probably do 2) but then it begins to affect other parts of the relationship as well.

RedToothBrush Mon 04-Mar-13 08:04:49

If she was your employee at any other business would it be appropriate for her to make a comment about your income.

Purely and simply, its unprofessional.

Thats the point that needs to be stressed.

ssd Mon 04-Mar-13 08:09:11

op.she is judging you and you just dont need that

I'd get a newnanny who was more on my wavelength

(and I've worked as a nanny for years)

ssd Mon 04-Mar-13 08:14:00

actually your nanny reminds of of snotty middle aged shop staff, who work in some nice "ladieswear" shop and think as they work there, they are actually the customers

they wouldn't be caught dead working in asda as they think that's beneath them, but they'll work in Libertys as its posh

even though asda and libertys pay the same


Blu Mon 04-Mar-13 08:16:18

I agree that making derogatory comments about your dd's achool and level of work, esp to her, is outrageous.

And LOL at the outrageous ageism on this thread. People who are now 50 were at the forefront of liberation politics, only for a new generation to display the most narrow minded and ignorant prejudice. Oh the bitter irony.

valiumredhead Mon 04-Mar-13 08:21:39

I agree with Worra's first post - and even the pony comment can't be judged really as it depends on the tone used when it was said.

MTBMummy Mon 04-Mar-13 08:23:09

Personally I wouldn't be upset by the comments, and maybe you could even try and say to her, that as she's spent so much time with kids in private education, maybe she'd like to give your DD a bit of help so she's ahead of her peers?

valiumredhead Mon 04-Mar-13 08:30:45

She's probably relieved she doesn't have to plough through tons of homework with your kids OP, that's all.

To me it seems you are upset that she thinks you aren't 'wealthy enough.'

fedupofnamechanging Mon 04-Mar-13 09:57:08

I think she sounds a bit tactless and is possibly a bit of a snob, but I also think that you are very sensitive to perceived criticism.

I think she is just trying to make conversation, but isn't big on sensitivity or tact. I doubt that she means to offend you, but agree that if you are finding her comments offensive, then you need to raise that with her.

Most important to my mind is whether your children are happy and whether she is good at caring for them and respects your parenting decisions.

MrsLion Wed 06-Mar-13 07:17:42

No she isn't saying in relief that she's doesn't have to do the homework Valium. The tone she used was definitely positioning the private schools as way better compared to DDs school.

Which may well be the case, but   honestly, we're very happy with DDs primary school. 

And I would like DD to be happy and proud too, not be told, quite unnecessarily, that it's second rate.

Yes, I know she will get this her whole life -from friends, class mates etc who live in naicer houses and go on posher holidays. It's one of the facts of life and you don't get jealous, be happy with what you've got and accept it graciously.  But at 6 I think its ok for me to feel uncomfortable with an adult (who should know better) deliberately and unnecessarily pointing out an unfavourable difference that she would otherwise have never known about.

Regarding pony comments and such about our income- there are many people who know we're worse off than them (and we were definitely considered less 'wealthy' than most when we nearly went bankrupt and were, by all accounts dirt poor) and there are people who would think we're very well off now. How 'wealthy' other people, including our nanny think we are, isn't something my self-esteem is hanging on.

I just felt it was rude to say these comments at all. It's a personal remark and judgement. 

At the end of the day it doesn't really matter what is said, or why, or how true it is, I just don't think rudeness/ judgeyness is acceptable. Especially from someone employed in a central role in your family.

If this had been another personal comment eg
"my last employer was a size 8! You're not, you're a size 16. I can make a great cheesecake, but you shouldn't really shouldnt be eating it though" it would be deemed a lot ruder.

Just because it's an observation about income rather than weight, doesn't mean it's any less inappropriate. 

MrsLion Wed 06-Mar-13 07:21:34

Karma- yes the children like her and she cares for them brilliantly. As i saud, shes a good nanny.
But I do see our choice of school as a parenting decision, which she doesnt appear to be respecting all that much.

However, she worked today and was great. smile So I'll just proceed with my plan.

flatbread Wed 06-Mar-13 08:59:21

She seems like a good nanny. I would have warning bells if she said, 'ah, less homework' in a happy way rather than a disapproving way. That would sort of indicate that she is a bit of a work-shirker, and wants it easy.

You are making comparing school curriculums sound like a bad thing, e.g., a meaningless issue such as a posher house etc. There is a real difference between material things and education.

If your neighbour lives in a bigger house, your child loses nothing. But if your neighbour's child is being challenged more at school and given a higher level of education, surely you cannot just brush it off and blame the person who observes it.

And i am totally shock at people who think it is a put down to your dd. A child at 6 should be totally able to take this in the right spirit and just do extra tuition.

If being compared to others makes them feel insecure and bad, then how in earth are they going to compete in life? When we were growing up, we were always compared to others (relations, parents friends children etc) in terms of academic performance. You pretty much get used to it and if it bothers you, just strive to work harder and do better.

In my university (top 5 in the world), the classes were always graded on a curve. And it was clearly stated that there would be 2 A grades, 4 Bs and so on. So it was not enough to be smart, you had to perform better than your peers to get a top grade. We all still studied in groups, and made lasting friendships. But at the same time were competing against each other. Perfectly normal and easy to adjust to for children who had grown up in an environment where they were used to educational comparisons and competition.

scottishmummy Wed 06-Mar-13 17:21:27

Utter rubbish,a 6yo take a put down in right spirit. What like man up?stiff upper lip?
Rudeness from adult to child is not appropriate,and I'd expect adult to have better grasp of social norm
Right spirit and tutoring,yes why not beat the child too,teach humility

cory Wed 06-Mar-13 17:46:18

"A child at 6 should be totally able to take this in the right spirit and just do extra tuition. "

Ok? And how does she pay for it? Are there weekend jobs for 6-year olds? Or do tutors work for free in your part of the world? hmm

Isn't the whole point of the OP that the nanny keeps cricising something that the 6-yo has no chance of influencing, namely the family income?

WhatNow2013 Wed 06-Mar-13 19:37:21

Er, there are a lot of reasons one might not send DC to private school and not just because of cost!

And at 6, I don't think it is appropriate for a normally-achieving child to have 'extra tuition' if they're meeting all their milestones, reading and writing at an appropriate age level etc. It really doesn't benefit the child to be hot-housed and given extra work so they can be 'advanced', not at 6 years old! It's not like it will affect their GCSEs or anything!

I don't think that this is a case of 'comparing the child will make her feel bad'. It is a case of someone basically saying 'your school is crap. Your teacher is crap' to her. This isn't the case, I'm guessing. A 6 year old should not have to deal with the worry that she isn't doing as well as other normal 6 year olds because she's not being taught properly.

flatbread Wed 06-Mar-13 21:09:17

Frankly some of you seem to have chips as big as boulders grin

Cory, I assume the nanny was saying it because she was supervising the of course with encouragement from the OP she would provide the extra tuition..? At no extra cost I would guess, but just based on her helping students of a similar age who have a more advanced curriculum.

For me that would be a bonus, but I can see some of you it is a touchy subject, based on your own insecurities.

I still think it is bollocks that a 6 yr old would see it as a put-down or a criticism of her school.

If someone said that 6 year olds in China have a more advanced math curriculum, then your children would see it as a put-down/ criticism of their own country? hmm

The children I know would just take it as face-value and either be interested and ask questions or ignore or be happy that they are not in China.

Awks Wed 06-Mar-13 21:19:08

I'd just practice saying "really" or "interesting" with a qlazed look whenever she says anything stupid. Or "do you meanto be rude, as that really was"

MagicHouse Wed 06-Mar-13 21:29:56

Glad you had a better day.
I'd just boost your daughter's confidence in front of her if she makes disparaging remarks. Just say something like "oh don't worry dd's school is great, she's really happy there. I'm so proud of her reading/ writing." etc etc

Mintyy Wed 06-Mar-13 21:54:58

"In my university (top 5 in the world), the classes were always graded on a curve. And it was clearly stated that there would be 2 A grades, 4 Bs and so on. So it was not enough to be smart, you had to perform better than your peers to get a top grade. We all still studied in groups, and made lasting friendships. But at the same time were competing against each other. Perfectly normal and easy to adjust to for children who had grown up in an environment where they were used to educational comparisons and competition."

Granted I have missed a few posts as have been at work today, but how on earth is this ^ above related to op's problems with her ill-mannered Nanny??

flatbread Wed 06-Mar-13 22:04:39

It shows that making educational comparisons is not a bad thing. It is not enough to think you are doing fine, it matters how you are doing in comparison with your peers.

Dereksmalls Wed 06-Mar-13 22:11:15

I thought Chinese kids didn't start school until they were 7. If so a slow start in terms of early years education doesn't seem to be hindering them too much

Mintyy Wed 06-Mar-13 22:12:47

But, in relation to op's Nanny and her 6 year old dd and Nanny's relationships within the family ... it has zero relevance.

(But a nice opportunity for you to brag about how fabulous you are flatbread wink)

mrsbunnylove Wed 06-Mar-13 22:13:32

explain to her, gently, what you find acceptable and what you don't. if she doesn't listen, sack her.

flatbread Wed 06-Mar-13 22:38:35

Mintyy, of course it does. For you, educational comparisons may be all about 'put-downs' or 'bragging'.

But in the real world, educational and professional, comparisons are a normal way of life.

The reason I shared that my Univ. is among the top five, is to point out that the best academic institutions (i.e. Not backward or outdated universities) will be openly competitive and expect their students to be comfortable being compared favourably and unfavourably to others.

The best you can teach your child is not to shy away from unfavourable educational comparisons, but to approach the issue systematically and work on their education/ knowledge gap.

Mintyy Wed 06-Mar-13 22:49:45

"The best you can teach your child is not to shy away from unfavourable educational comparisons, but to approach the issue systematically and work on their education/ knowledge gap."

But I'm afraid I disagree. And I suspect op does, too.

MrsLion Wed 06-Mar-13 22:53:02

It wasn't very clear in my OP. My nanny has not been asked to supervise homework. 

DD was writing out her spelling words and we were chatting about it together. Dd likes learning and is proud of what shes doing at school. 
Nanny was in the room and so to include her in the conversation I said:
"we're just talking about dd's homework she gets this and that and bla bla etc, don't you DD? And are you enjoying it?' etc etc

This is when nanny pipes up with

"well you should see what the private schools are doing at your age. Way more and harder than this"  

And no flatbread, studying at age 6, when she's only been at school 12 months (start school on their 5th birthday here) does not require the same learning skills or attitude as an adult in a world-top-5 university after 14 years of education. 

That's the plan bunny smile 

Longdistance Wed 06-Mar-13 23:02:20

If your nanny worked with wealthier people, maybe she should find one to work for.

gimmecakeandcandy Wed 06-Mar-13 23:07:10

I would get rid of her. Her rudeness and innaprpriate remarks won't stop.

Matsikula Wed 06-Mar-13 23:09:47

Flatbed, I went to one if the top 3 universities in the world, so therefore, by your own logic, outrank you. I think you are being a bit of a loon. Of course it is wrong to imply to a six year old that she is getting a worse education because it is not being paid for. Probably incorrect as well, but definitely wrong.

Mintyy Wed 06-Mar-13 23:11:47

Out of interest, what are the Top 5 Universities In The World?

I spect mine was about number 936.

flatbread Wed 06-Mar-13 23:14:07

Well we can agree to disagree amicably smile

In my case, at any rate, my mum had a positive attitude towards educational comparison and competition from pretty much my earliest school memory. And it was all quite matter of fact and I think that is partly why I made it to a top university and enjoyed my time there.

Mintyy Wed 06-Mar-13 23:18:38

But are you happy flatbread? Are you a better and more content person than any of us who didn't go to a Top 5 University In The World?

That, to me, is key.

Dereksmalls Thu 07-Mar-13 00:48:17

And the nanny's attitude didn't sound positive, from what the OP has said it sounds uninterested and dismissive

anneriordan Thu 07-Mar-13 00:57:05

I'm another top 3-er (and from a comprehensive! It can be done) and if, when I was 6, an adult had told me my school wasn't as good as someone else's, I would have been upset and worried. And there would be nothing I could do about it, being 6. Comparing one child's performance with another's (how often, how helpfully) is a matter for a different debate, but comparing external circumstances beyond the control of the child has no justification that I can see.

At 40-ahem-hem, I would look back on this comment and think "what a childish woman". But it would be nice, at 6, not to be undermined at all. I think that comment - because made to your DD - is the one to pick up on. If she knows other six-year-olds know different things, maybe she could share those with your DD in a positive spirit, so they are treats, not put-downs.

cory Thu 07-Mar-13 00:57:25

flatbread Wed 06-Mar-13 22:38:35

"The best you can teach your child is not to shy away from unfavourable educational comparisons, but to approach the issue systematically and work on their education/ knowledge gap."

But the nanny is not approaching this systematically; she is just seizing every opportunity to point out to the family that they are not as rich and important as the families she has worked for in the past.

StoicButStressed Thu 07-Mar-13 01:16:11

Flatbread - for someone who went to 'one of the 5 best Uni's in world, you are astonishingly thick. OP was uber clear re the issues, and no normal parent would find it okay for a 6 year old (who is doing HER homework, and doing it well) to suddenly have someone butt in with how 'inferior' the work she had been set was.

May I suggest to avoid the thickness you add self-raising flour? Flatbread can be soooo thick; maybe a little yeast and self-raising flour may help raise you?wink

textfan Thu 07-Mar-13 04:47:35

Again not read all replies. Speaking as a former nanny myself...this is completely unacceptable. Your income is none of her concern unless u have difficulty paying her. Neither is your budget and your choice of education for your children definitely isn't. Act like a boss (that's what you are) have a private word without the kids but with your husband that such unnecessary comments will no longer be tolerated. Especially in front of the children ( makes me wonder if that's why she was so readily available frankly)

flatbread Thu 07-Mar-13 08:13:36

Lol, I guess we are all different. I went to a private school and it was competitive as can be.

I remember being 11 years old, I finished my math test early as usual and went to the teacher to get it marked. I had gotten everything correct and must have been looking pretty pleased with myself. My teacher looked at me and said "Flat, any fool can do math, but to find the most elegant solution requires effort"

I guess I was a hardy child, as I didn't see it as a 'put-down' at all. But as a challenge to do better.

From OPs latest it seems she was 'talking up' her child. Nanny probably thought 'what on earth are you going on about' and pointed out that the standard of spelling was not particularly challenging.

I would say if your dd loves spelling, then enrol her in a spelling bee contest, so she can be challenged by children from other schools. Build her confidence based on real achievements, instead of setting the bar low. (For some reason, OP, I think you are in the US , which can be a lot more competitive early on in private ed as compared to the UK)

And stop being so insecure grin you don't need your nanny's approval so stop seeing everything as a slight.

MrsLion Thu 07-Mar-13 09:32:36

Flatbread: It seems that your excellent education hasn't taught you to understand what you read terribly effectively, as you are still wildly missing the point.

I'll repeat once more time for you: 
This is not about a debate about the merits of different teaching techniques or types of schooling. I am more than happy with my DDs school, and her 'academic achievement' so far.

My op was regarding an employee making remarks that I felt were inappropriate and misplaced.

Your maths comment isn't really a good example though is it?  You just had to go away and try harder at a maths problem. Totally within your control to do something about it.

If she'd said:
"you've got them all correct flat, but the children at the more expensive private school down the road are getting far more difficult things right than you"
It would have been comparable.

Talking my DD up? What a silly thing to say.  grin It's also a rather sloppy and inaccurate interpretation of my post. 

No I'm not in the US btw. 

alifelessordinary Thu 07-Mar-13 09:57:59

Is your Nanny from the UK Mrs.Lion? I noticed you said you lived abroad. My nanny is from the Philippines, and well, she can be very blunt. Having lived in parts of Asia I know that that's a cultural thing (they're just very blunt).

StanleyLambchop Thu 07-Mar-13 10:04:33

'Well, if my money is not as good as those doctors & lawyers then I understand if you would like to hand in your notice'.

I bet she back tracks pretty sharpish.

flatbread Thu 07-Mar-13 10:12:10

You've got them all correct flat, but the children at the more expensive private school down the road are getting far more difficult things right than you

I think you are a bit hung up on the money aspect.

If my teacher was aware that other children our age were doing tougher problems, in other private or state schools, no doubt she would have commented on it. And then raised the bar higher for us grin

As it were, I did all the problems correctly, but could have used more elegant solutions. In other words, room for improvement. Yes, totally within my abilities to learn more and do better.

Your dd could also work on doing harder/advanced spellings, it is within her abilities.

The nanny didn't say 'Your dd's school is awful'. she just said that some other children that age have harder assignments. Probably factually correct.

Nothing to stop you or dd from doing more advanced assignments for her age, is there? If she can spell the assignment words easily, just give her harder ones.

I guess at the end of the day, it is about attitude. You choose to see it as 'put-down', I would just see it as an observation that there is scope to learn more, based on her peers.

BadabingBadabong Thu 07-Mar-13 10:31:14

I finished my math test early as usual
Yawn many different ways can you attempt to show off on this thread.
We're not interested.

Picturesinthefirelight Thu 07-Mar-13 10:36:34

Well my children DO go to private schools and I would be appalled at the nannies comment.

Harder work and loads more homework generally = burnt out children

Work set at the correct standard for each child with a teacher who has time to give individual attention and make learning fun = better outcome

Not all private schools are better.

How totally disrespectful to the OPs decisions and circumstances.

Katnisscupcake Thu 07-Mar-13 10:48:25


I think I would be tempted to say 'as much as having a pony would be lovely, I imagine that ensuring you get your wages every month would be a priority, don't you think?' wink

Farewelltoarms Thu 07-Mar-13 11:04:49

Our neighbour's nanny made the exact same comment about private schools being more advanced to our nanny in front of the children a few years back. I was flipping furious. Especially when the neighbours later showed me one of the child's 'books' from school and it had not a single piece of children's work in it, it was all print-outs and teacher's writings and words that no 4-year-old would be able to spell. It's idiotic - I'd rather my child could consistently spell the word 'would' or 'because' than in a spelling test know how to spell anaesthetist (which was in fact a ridiculous inclusion in a y3 test. At a state school).
Anyway, Mrs Lion, she's wrong and you should of course bring up your concerns in the context of a review in an unaggressive way. However, I absolutely don't think you should get rid of her. If she's great in every other way, then hold on for dear life. All nannies/childcarers are irritating in different ways (as we all are) and you just have to work around them. It's such a tricky relationship, open to so much tension.

Farewelltoarms Thu 07-Mar-13 11:05:43

And anyway, how on earth would she be able to make an accurate comparison between work levels anyway? I can't remember what my children are doing from one month to the next.

flatbread Thu 07-Mar-13 11:49:20

Pictures, I think spellings are in large part to sharpen memory and develop patterns of association. Not just practical writing skills , which they probably won't need with auto-correct and predictive texts, hopefully better than the current iPad one smile

It is fun to see the rhymes that children come up to learn new words and spellings, it can be really clever.

I used to love the US spelling bee contests. Thought this is tangentially interesting (OP sorry, a bit off-topic) as it relates to a very talented 6 year old in the spelling bee

Picturesinthefirelight Thu 07-Mar-13 12:04:59

Dd's spellings are really easy. She can however reason a philosophical argument brilliantly. Schools should teach kids to think - not just recite facts.

Picturesinthefirelight Thu 07-Mar-13 12:05:13

She's year 6 by the way.

MagicHouse Thu 07-Mar-13 21:17:27

Schools should teach kids to think - not just recite facts.

Completely agree. Children are individuals anyway. Some children can and do excel at spelling, some are brilliant at art but find spelling hard etc Some children will aspire to go to university, some will want to travel the world.... education is not all about churning out lists of spellings. I would be happier with a school who encouraged their children to play games/ be creative/ read with an adult..... rather than be impressed by one that gave their children reams of spellings to learn.

MrsMymble Thu 07-Mar-13 21:20:22

YANBU. I would particularly dislike comments being made to my children in this vein.

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