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AIBU - nanny affection towards DC

(391 Posts)
GallopingFox Thu 25-Apr-19 18:50:32

First time poster so please be gentle as well as honest.

I employ a nanny full time to look after my DC who is just over 2 years old. She has worked for us for over a year and so knows my family and DC well. She is highly experienced, qualified and generally very professional.

Recently I have been off work for reasons I won’t go into but which have meant that I have been at home a lot more and able to witness first hand the interaction between my DC and my nanny. They get on very well and I have no concerns about my DC’s welfare or happiness - DC is safe and well looked after and for that I am very grateful.

However, I have noticed my nanny is quite physically affectionate with DC - fondling DC’s hair a lot, massaging DC’s feet, occasionally kissing them on the head or cheeks and very frequently cuddling DC / cuddling up to DC on the sofa and making DC sit on her lap a lot (all while I am around the house or in the room - I rather suspect it goes on even more when I’m not there).

It makes me very uncomfortable. Whilst I want my DC to feel loved and looked after, I don’t feel I am paying my nanny to give DC all the physical affection I instinctively give. Of course if my DC hurt themselves or was upset, I would want my nanny to comfort DC and hold them. But kissing and massaging them routinely or seeking cuddles / proximity from DC throughout the day feels too much. I should stress I am a very affectionate and cuddly person and so I shower my DC in cuddles and kisses all the time - DC does not lack physical affection and is extremely confident (DC is not the clingy type at all so it is not as though DC seeks physical reassurance). Instead, it feels like my nanny just likes cuddling and the affections of a little person.

Am I being unreasonable / should I tell my nanny to rein it in? I don’t want to hurt her as I think she means well and I don’t want to lose her. However, I am finding it increasingly hard to ignore and feel for what I pay her (v decent London salary) I should be entitled to tell her how I want her to behave toward my DC. How would you raise it with her?

my2bundles Thu 02-May-19 10:11:16

Your child sees the nanny as a loved family member, his main carer If you employ a nanny to work with your child for this length of time you need to understand beforehand that this us how tne relationship will work. I worked as a nanny almost 30 years ago and the eldest child age 3-6was closer to me than his mother because he spent more than 3 times the amount of time with me. Was I supposed to not show this tiny child any affection during the majority of his life?

ReganSomerset Thu 02-May-19 10:29:37

Maybe switch to a nursery gradually if it really bothers you. When I was researching child care, one of the stated negatives was that the nanny and child may well develop a very close bond and, in cases where they had a nanny from a very young age and more hours than they spend with their parents, they may seem to prefer the nanny. I do think just firing the nanny outright would be emotionally damaging to the child in this instance.

cinderfeckinrella Fri 03-May-19 05:52:26

@Priscilla. What a shame for your children. Are you having a laugh! Why because I'd rather they didn't get germs or herpes? I was with my children when they were little and still am. I only work 2 days a week so I CAN be with them for the remaining 5 and keep registered in my profession and pay bills. Not some cruel person who doesn't spend time with her own children. I also have friends. Of course I kiss my own children all the time but I don't go about kissing other people's children or children I am in care of on a professional basis as expected. I hug them and am affectionate to friends children but don't kiss them and none of my friends kiss my children either, it's unnecessary. Get of your SAHM high horse

SusieQ5604 Fri 03-May-19 06:05:16

OP you need a therapist.

cinderfeckinrella Fri 03-May-19 06:10:25

@PriscillaLydiaSellon also there's a big difference between kissing someone's knee better if they're hurt and kissing them on the face/lips without the child seeking the affection. It's not to do with how we want our friends to behave around our children. My friends are affectionate to my kids as I am to theirs but OP is about nannies and people who are paid to look after children. Which is the whole reason for op's post. I teach in a school and we cuddle children all the time but I've never seen teachers kissing children and wouldn't expect to.

Noonooyou Fri 03-May-19 07:07:41

This is why I loved teaching in Spain so much. Seeing all the Spanish people greeting the children with a kiss on each cheek just felt so lovely. Much more relaxed. People in this country have such a backwards view on kissing. I'm not about to go kissing kids on the lips who aren't my own but a little kiss on the cheek is nothing.

marycanter Fri 03-May-19 07:59:38

This is the hardest part of being a nanny - the jealousy of usually mothers.
Children know who their parents are and love them.
And nannies are very different from nursery workers.

marycanter Fri 03-May-19 08:00:53

cinder teachers have a very different relationship to kids than a nanny. A nanny often spends 10 plus hours a day with one child.

Gwenhwyfar Fri 03-May-19 08:41:59

"When I was researching child care, one of the stated negatives was that the nanny and child may well develop a very close bond and, in cases where they had a nanny from a very young age and more hours than they spend with their parents, they may seem to prefer the nanny."

How is this a negative though? Of course, a child will form a bond with its primary caregiver.

jellyfish70 Fri 03-May-19 17:26:10

I'm not about to go kissing kids on the lips who aren't my own but a little kiss on the cheek is nothing.

Only in a culture where that is standard greeting and the children know it and expect it.

cinderfeckinrella Fri 03-May-19 19:12:01

@marycanter I agree, was trying to highlight that there are clear rules for working with children in schools but less clear rules for nannies at home. I also worked as an au pair abroad when I was younger and had a great relationship with the family. I worked and lived with them and their 5 children. The Mum set out clear expectations, in writing,of my role so knew exactly where I stood.

ReganSomerset Fri 03-May-19 19:51:56

@Gwenhwyfar

Some people may consider it to be a negative as they want to be the most important adult in their child's life. Also because of potential for the emotional harm when that important attachment figure disappears at some point in childhood.

Gwenhwyfar Fri 03-May-19 23:05:22

"Some people may consider it to be a negative as they want to be the most important adult in their child's life."

Only if they're selfish people.

"because of potential for the emotional harm when that important attachment figure disappears at some point in childhood."

Better to have loved and lost as they say. A parent can also leave the family home.

forestafantastica Fri 03-May-19 23:13:01

I guess think about the alternative - your DC spending the majority of their awake time with someone who doesn't show them affection or make them feel loved and protected. I feel like that would be more damaging.

jerrysbellyhangslikejelly Sat 04-May-19 17:14:18

Haven't read the full thread but I do find your reaction a bit strange. Slightly different for me but I am a paediatric nurse so obviously deal with upset babies and kids all the time, especially coming out of anaesthesia. I cuddle them and rock them, massage their bellies and stroke their heads, sing to them, wrap them and me up in blankets and hold them close, anything it takes to provide them with comfort and a feeling of safety until mum or dad gets there (I obviously don't kiss them). But whenever the parent comes into the room and sees me caring for their baby in this way and them nice and settled, their relief is palpable and several mums have thanked me for caring for their little one like they were my own. When you take care of children, affection in an appropriate form should be natural and isn't something to be jealous of and is usually good for the child, kids need love and affection, it seems cruel to withhold it. I could not bear to see a distressed child in my care and not immediately pick them up and cuddle them.

ReganSomerset Sat 04-May-19 22:31:30

Better to have loved and lost as they say. A parent can also leave the family home.

Generaliy, a parent doesn't leave never to return. If they do, it's very traumatic for the child.

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