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Wrong to discuss concerns with LO's mum?

(86 Posts)
Preferpetstopeople Tue 12-Nov-19 22:51:30

Hi everyone!

First up, I'm a nanny and LOVE my job! I adore my nanny kids however I have concerns that little one aged 4 should be getting some help. She has challenging behaviours which are triggered by a multitude of things and her behaviour is increasingly violent and aggressive! Behaviours include: irrational fears- a dog is the main one currently, she goes lightheaded she holds her breath for so long when we see a dog and shakes with terror and bites me to try and force me to cross the road away from the dog, but she's also been afraid of leaves, wind and teaspoons, a motorbike driving past will render her rigid and she'll cover her ears, busy buses cause her to sob and then lash out if we can't get off but most of all it's clothes! She dislikes clothes such as tights, socks (the seams at the toes drive her to meltdown, screaming, kicking, yelling and general refusal to wear them, not ideal when she needs to go to school) anything made of wool as she finds it itchy, light coats like a rain jacket make her sticky or anything with cuffed sleeves as they are too tight!
She doesn't hug either of her parents, doesn't even like to be too close to her parents but will hug me after school and holds my hand on the way to school as she understands safety is very important and unless we've had a spectacularly bad morning she doesn't usually put up a fight in regards to hand holding. Her younger sibling is absolutely terrified of her because of the meltdowns, violence, yelling and likelihood to "snap" without a seconds notice and is used to bigger sister getting her own way ALWAYS! When we watch a new movie or read a book she asks " but why?! " So many times that we can't can't continue until I've answered all the questions she has or she has an absolute hissy fit and scratches her arms because she HAS to know! LO also has issues with pooping, she'll hold for weeks until the pain is unbearable for her and is on laxitives daily to prevent a blockage but if she doesn't want to go she simply won't go! She is massively picky about food, will only eat food that is crunchy as long as she can dip it in sauce and has had the same school lunch every day since September! On the whole she is a wonderful, wonderful little girl who is incredibly articulate, has a heart warming giggle, is incredibly intelligent and very academically advanced! It breaks my heart that she finds the world so challenging and frightening!
School mornings in particular are horrifying! It takes over 50 minutes for her to get underwear on but she'll change them 20 times, she refuses to wear whatever is laid out for her however if you also give her the option to choose her own clothes the night before, as soon as you acknowledge her, it leads to another meltdown and she'll refuse to get dressed at all! After a solid two hours of screaming (Her, not me, I'm calming her younger sibling who is shaking like a leaf) she is distressed, sweaty and sobbing and then we still have the shoes and coat battle ahead! She ADORES school and the horrendous morning is forgotten about the moment she waves me off at the door and can't wait to go back the following day so school isn't the issue! Her parents give in to her every whim, screech and demand for an easy life and so she absolutely governs the household and the younger sibling is often pushed aside as they are so laid back and timid!
I would love to approach her parents about it as I feel I absolutely have to but after speaking to a nanny friend who'd been in a similar situation I'm terrified to approach the topic with her parents after her experience; the children's parents were FUMING and offended she shared concerns and terminated her employment! WIBU to mention concerns gently to parents then or would I come off as though I'm criticising which is of course not what I'd be doing? Common consensus is that parents will be offended and I should wait for their lead in case they ever want to investigate this behaviour?! But that absolutely feels wrong as LO is struggling and unhappy! WIBU to risk it all and mention it to her parents or would it be more unreasonable of me to keep quiet and struggle on?

So sorry it's so long and if you stuck around until the end THANK YOU! And somebody please give me advice, I'm desperate!!

PeopleWhoRun Tue 12-Nov-19 22:56:47

Wow, that was a long read indeed!
I think you should definitely have a little word with the parents. Very tactfully of course.
Do you have a good working relationship with them? And how long have they employed you?
Have the school ever said anything?

1Morewineplease Tue 12-Nov-19 23:02:57

ASD/OCD springs to mind initially. Clearly has sensory issues and is very reactive.
You really need to tell her parents about your concerns and they need to take her to a GP.
I’m assuming that you keep a daily diary of your observations... if not then you need to start as this will provide evidence.
I appreciate full well that you’re reluctant to speak to parents but the child’s behaviour may well deteriorate and you could be really hurt or compromised. She’s already biting you... you shouldn’t be subject to this.

BiMum5 Tue 12-Nov-19 23:07:16

How is she socially in school?

Halo1234 Tue 12-Nov-19 23:09:50

How do they deal with her? Do u get a chance to see how they interact or do they only deal with it when you are not there? I disagree that you shouldn't say anything. They might be reassured by the fact you arent saying anything. They might not know how bad it is. Do you do the school run every day? If I had a nanny I would like them to come to me if they thought my child needed help. If I suspected a problem I would maybe reassure myself that the nanny has not voiced concerns and would assume you were more experienced with children than me. I think my children's tantrum level is fine but I dont really work with children so dont have much to compare it too...if the school/nanny/anyone used to working with children told me there was concern then I would take them serious and respect their opinion (not that I am saying she is tantruming I understand it's more serious than that. But do they?) I think you sound lovely and could easily diplomatically say something to them.

user1473878824 Tue 12-Nov-19 23:44:19

Of course you need to speak to her parents. I’m not sure why you think that would be unreasonable

SleepingStandingUp Tue 12-Nov-19 23:52:44

I would aplroa H it as speaking to them about how best to manage her behaviour when she's self harming others. See where it goes from there.

TheTeenageYears Tue 12-Nov-19 23:52:50

There are some real red flags there OP and you absolutely should speak to the parents. It’s a bit of a chicken and egg situation all round in speaking up or not and also in documenting behaviour or not before you approach. They could be dismissive if you just take concerns to them without a diary of events but equally if you go with evidence they may say why didn’t you bring this to us as soon as you thought there might be a problem.

There are no winners here but ultimately you sound like you have the little girls best interests at heart so ultimately what will be will be, at least you will have a clear conscience if you take it to them and they don’t like what they are hearing.

Is sounds very much like ASD in one form or another and the sooner she’s seen the better. It’s not just about her, it’s about her sister who is clearly having a terrible time and will potentially need years of therapy to get over events of her early childhood if things continue. The parents have a duty of care to both children and so in turn do you.

Areyoufree Tue 12-Nov-19 23:59:25

My daughter’s childminder was the first to notice red flags in her development. At that time, my daughter was our only child, so we didn’t have anything to really compare her behaviour to. Having the childminder’s input was really helpful. It’s possible you will just be reinforcing what they are already thinking. Obviously, it’s also possible that it won’t go well, but it would be in the girl’s best interests for you to gently bring it up.

Preferpetstopeople Wed 13-Nov-19 00:00:42

Thank you everyone for your replies, I'm so relieved my instinct was spot on! @PeopleWhoRun I've only worked with them since 3rd week of September as their previous nanny quit two weeks into the job so I've allowed for "teething troubles" and them having to adapt to another person minding them. The school haven't said anything, I've mentioned concerns very casually to her class teacher a few times who said she's very well behaved and hasn't noticed anything out of character. To be frank, the poor lady seems very overwhelmed and has only just learnt all the children's names! Our poor teachers!
@1Morewineplease that was my thoughts process too! I once mentioned an interesting documentary I'd watched about ASD just to throw the topic out there and her mum rolled her eyes and said that parents should easily be able to tell when their child has an issue and that she's thankful her children are as close to perfect as children can get and don't have "that condition"! As though having either ASD or OCD makes a child less perfect!? I suspect she may be in denial, it's what made me more anxious to broach the topic with her!

Preferpetstopeople Wed 13-Nov-19 00:06:19

@BiMum5 she seems to cope well in school but has clung onto another little girl with a frightening intensity, if said child isn't in her world comes crashing down. Understandably I guess when best friends are your world at that age! But I feel LO mimics behaviour that she deems acceptable a lot so that she fits in.
@Halo1234 thank you so much for your input!! So reassuring that you'd be thankful if it was mentioned to you! I only had them 1 day a week and added an extra day two weeks ago. Her mum is very afraid to say the wrong thing, so if she doesn't want breakfast her mum doesn't encourage her to eat it, she allows her to wear fluffy socks to school with her pinafore and change when she gets to the gates as she has less of a tricky morning that way apparently.
I do daily reports and have written down all incidents including times of incidents, how long a meltdown lasts and what seems to have triggered it so I can be prepared when talking to mum!

Preferpetstopeople Wed 13-Nov-19 00:11:49

@user1473878824 I guess out of fear that she won't take it seriously or that on the other hand she'll be annoyed I collated evidence and didn't come to her sooner!
@SleepingStandingUp thank you! I tried previously, showed her the mark on my arm from when I tried to distract LO from scratching her own arm and then me and her mum laughed it off as a biting phase 😕
@TheTeenageYears thank you thank you thank you! I thought as much too, everyone here seems to make sense and be on my wavelength, in the real world everyone seems to be governed by feelings! My suspicion was ASD but I'm by no means am expert! Thank you again!

WorraLiberty Wed 13-Nov-19 00:14:10

Of course you should have a word with her parents, I'm surprised you need to ask.

However, there's a very big risk they're going to see this thread on such a massive public parenting forum.

If anything's going to make them 'kick off', I suspect it'll be that.

Preferpetstopeople Wed 13-Nov-19 00:14:35

@Areyoufree thank you! I think tomorrow evening after work I'll ask mum if I can have a few minutes of her time and mention it. I'll try and be tactful and sensitive though! As @TheTeenageYears said, I have a duty of care to not just LO but also her poor little sister!
Thank you so much folks! You've reaffirmed that I'd be making the right choice! Sorry for rambling on, apparently I talk a lot 😂

Preferpetstopeople Wed 13-Nov-19 00:17:12

@WorraLiberty thank you. Just a fear of how to approach the topic and afraid of how parents will react! Don't worry, neither parent "holds with or has time for" forums of any kind, I thought very carefully before coming onto here!

user1473878824 Wed 13-Nov-19 00:25:33

Totally understand OP, but maybe put it like you have here. That she’s absolutely wonderful but you’re a bit worried because at other times etc.

Caledoniahasmyheartforever Wed 13-Nov-19 00:32:50

I have two children, my ds who is diagnosed with autism and my dd who is very close to being diagnosed officially with autism. I also have PA’s who help me with everything from personal care, to looking after my dc. When my first PA started, she had concerns about my ds- she basically realised he was autistic ( having spent years supporting autistic children). She was afraid to speak to my dh and I about it, but we were struggling so much with our ds that after blindly searching online I asked for her advice (knowing her previous experience). My ds was 4 when she started, but five when I asked for advice. When I asked, it all came tumbling out about how she had realised from the first day she started but was worried it wasn’t her place. I asked her to please tell me her concerns in future, as it would have saved me so much time thinking I was failing my ds. My pa was instrumental in my sons diagnosis, she came to the appointments where possible and her knowledge and experience was a fantastic help.

Please write everything down, tell the parents your concerns, that you think she really needs support. My sons school were adamant that there was nothing to worry about with Ds. Yet it took only 10 minutes for a psychologist to realise my ds was autistic and after an hour tell me ‘off record’ that my ds was autistic and I needed to read everything I could ASAP. That was not following procedure but it does illustrate that schools really have very little knowledge on autism. I myself was a primary teacher and whilst I had taught several autistic children, I never spotted autism in my ds (I was very much in denial too). Not to mention, as a teacher I was not taught anything about autism- anything I have learned since has been voluntarily- rather than a standard part of teacher training.

You need support, this little girl and her younger sibling need support! You could be describing my ds prior to diagnosis. My ds hasn’t had a violent meltdown in over 6 years and my dd is no longer scared of him- they are best friends.

Bluerussian Wed 13-Nov-19 00:32:55

I can't top what others have said on this thread, Preferpets. Poor kid, she does have problems and needs some professional help.

Presumably she is with her parents some of the time, they must have noticed these issues too.

woogal Wed 13-Nov-19 00:34:12

You have described me as a child.

My mum put my tights on inside out because of the line on the toes, I can't wear velvet, wool or have that plasticky rain coat stuff on my skin so I avoid.

LittleMy77 Wed 13-Nov-19 00:41:39

I'd mention it. Worth pointing out (even if you don't really touch on it) that there are a lot of red herrings / stereotypes still used by medical practitioners and those in education to 'see' a kid with ASD. i.e, you can actually be autistic and keep eye contact and be ok touching other people, you can keep it together at school (and melt down spectacularly at home) worth also noting it can present very differently in girls to boys, which is why girls re so under diagnosed

Andsoitisjust99 Wed 13-Nov-19 00:46:58

I think based on what you’ve said you should be prepared for the parents to have a very negative reaction. You sound wonderful and I think your observations sound insightful, but people on a forum won’t react like a mummy whose world is suddenly crashing down. Speaking from experience (it was my job to sometimes tell parents about suspected SEN) it usually goes to two extremes , 1) parents are utterly relieved that they haven’t been doing something wrong and that you notice and care about their child 2) parents are furiously angry.

Preferpetstopeople Wed 13-Nov-19 00:49:15

@user1473878824 thank you! I've got about 5 weeks of written incidents so if I can couple that with my genuine concern then she'll realise and listen 🤞
@woogal oh my goodness, I'm so glad your mum was understanding! I tried the inside out tights trick last week and it took her a while to get used to it being different but hopefully tomorrow that will help avoid some tears!
@Bluerussian yep, her mum has her the other days in the week but doesn't seem to want to notice anything 😔 she calls her spirited and lively and says that it's normal behaviour for a 4 year old.

WorraLiberty Wed 13-Nov-19 00:51:31

Don't worry, neither parent "holds with or has time for" forums of any kind, I thought very carefully before coming onto here!

Oh come on, unless you live with them 24/7 there's no way you could possibly know that.

user1473878824 Wed 13-Nov-19 00:53:02

I hope @Caledoniahasmyheartforever has reassured you! If you were my nanny and seeing stuff maybe I wasn’t I would definitely want you to tell me. I don’t think there’s an easy way to have the conversation but I don’t think it’s something you can’t have.

user1473878824 Wed 13-Nov-19 00:54:35

And I agree with what @Andsoitisjust99 says. It’s never going to be easy and yes she might be furious and it may be a case of kill the messenger, but I think you do really need to tell her parents.

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