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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! 

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

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

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.

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

She's year 6 by the way.

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.

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

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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).

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. 

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.

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

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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

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.

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.

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

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.

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 23:11:47

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

I spect mine was about number 936.

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.

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

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

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