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Problem with nanny and iPhone WWYD

(10 Posts)
ImagineJL Tue 15-Jan-13 09:05:45

I've had a live-out nanny for 2 years, who looks after my daughters (ages 8 and 4) 4 days a week.

She's never been brilliant at "playing" with the girls as such, is far more "supervisory" in her role, but this has been compensated for by the fact that she's great at taking them on trips out. She's also very flexible with her working hours, which has been a life saver for me at times.

However, I've noticed in the last few months that she seems to be tapping on her iPhone a lot of the time. Today DD1 told me that she's always on her iPhone tapping away, never plays with them, just sits on settee all the time with her phone.

But here's the problem - 4 weeks ago her gran died. Her gran brought her up and she was really close to her. She was pretty fit and sprightly and not expected to die so soon, despite being quite old.

So I know she's going through a really really rough time. I've offered to help as much as I can and I think I'm being pretty supportive. So, obviously now is not a good time to be raising concerns about her phone use. I explained this to DD1 (who is very grown up for her age), and she said OK but she was just the same before her gran died, always on her phone. I'm sure she's telling the truth, because it fits with what I've observed myself when I'm here.

So, should I say something now, despite the fact that she's still very recently bereaved? Should I leave it a while and then say something? Or should I just accept that no one is perfect and if I'm happy with other aspects of her work I should keep quiet, and take the rough with the smooth?

Incidentally I have no idea what she's doing on her phone. As far as I know she doesn't have a boyfriend, nor a huge social circle of friends to text, so I'm guessing she's on chat forums (although hopefully not this one!) or facebook or something like that.

LadyHarrietdeSpook Tue 15-Jan-13 10:09:08

Well, we recently had to deal something similar with our au pair. But she is live in and it involved her computer. We cottoned on to the fact that she was using it almost continuously during the hours she was with the girls and we recently said that our DDs are too focused on trying to get screen time themselves, Moshi Monsters etc which they are (v similar ages to yours) so no computers downstairs during the core hours she is working.

It's awful about her grandma but to be honest...I think you still have to say something if it is getting in the way of getting other things done.

Is that the phone she uses to keep in touch with you?

Can you say your kids are becoming screen/phone obsessed and that you'd appreciate it if she set it aside when she's with them? You could give her a phone she uses just for you.

Kiriwawa Tue 15-Jan-13 10:14:05

4 weeks ago is not too soon to bring this up. You're paying her to look after your kids, not chat on the net

Ebb Tue 15-Jan-13 11:48:13

It's not too soon to bring it up. As has already been said, she's paid to look after your children not sit on the web all day especially as I'm assuming your children are at school/nursery during the day so she'd have a bit of spare time then? I think it's unprofessional to constantly be on your phone/laptop when working. I think it's fine to have a look when younger children are sleeping or if you want to find a class / recipe / directions etc but that's about it. Ask her not to use her phone when she has the children.

RabidCarrot Tue 15-Jan-13 11:59:51

If she was sat in an office doing this she would be pulled up on it, you need to talk to her

ZuleikaD Tue 15-Jan-13 13:41:13

She's being unprofessional - agree with those who've said you need to talk to her.

ZooAnimals Tue 15-Jan-13 13:49:21

She is being unprofessional and you do need to speak to her.

Personally I would wait a bit though. If her Gran brought her up, it's not much different to if her mum had died and I wouldn't want to add to anyone's stress or upset in the weeks following their mum's death.

If she's been like this for 2 years it can wait another month, unless you think there is a safety issue i.e. one of them could be injured because she's not watching what they're doing.

JustFabulous Tue 15-Jan-13 14:27:46

I wouldn't say anything about your children becoming screen obsessed. If they are that is a separate issue and you would be using them instead of just telling her she is paid to do a job and that does not include hours on her phone. Give her an out by saying if she can't manage without being on her phone all the time then you are happy for her to leave.

LadyHarrietdeSpook Tue 15-Jan-13 17:55:55

OP do you have any means to cross check what your DCs are saying?

In our case, I could tell from my phone when the au pair was for example on Facebook.

ImagineJL Tue 15-Jan-13 21:40:29

No I don't, no way at all. Thanks for the advice everyone, it's been very helpful.

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