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3.5 year old rude to nanny

(11 Posts)
pimlicomummy Wed 05-Dec-12 21:56:35

We have recently engaged a nanny, for a couple of reasons, and have chosen one who speaks only in her native language to our children. This is my husband's native language as well as we want them to have more exposure to it. When she is at our home, I speak in this language too.

Our 3.5 year old son is rude and difficult towards her. He has had babysitters and has gone to nursery since he was 18 months old and has never been rude to another carer.

He says things like "go away" and this evening he called her "Stinky Pete".

At each instance when I hear this behavior, I stop what I am doing, and tell him that we don't speak rudely to people in our home. I remind him that he doesn't speak like this to his other teachers. And I tell him that she has come to help me. He tells me after this that he understands and that he wants to be a nice boy.

Sometimes he interacts really well with her, repeating words and engaging in games, but sometimes he is impossible!

What is going on with him? Is he frustrated that he doesn't understand everything that she says or can't respond as fluently as he can in English? Is he resentful of having someone else around (I am always home with them as it is over the dinner/bed time period)?

What can I do to improve this situation?

lechatnoir Wed 05-Dec-12 22:09:39

This sounds like he's worked out being rude to nanny = mummy's attention so I'd leave her to deal with it (or ignore?)& I'm sure he'll stop when he realises the nanny won't go as a result & you're not reacting.

ReetPetit Wed 05-Dec-12 22:43:49

my only thought is, why are you speaking in her native language as well when she is there?? isn't this slightly confusing for your ds? every other evening of the week you are speaking (presumably) English to him and when the nanny is there all of a sudden you are speaking a diffeent language entirely. or have i got the wrong end of the stick? hmm
is there a reason why you chose a nanny who speaks only your husbands native language? aren't they exposed to it antway from your husband and his family?

it sounds like you are doing the right things with trgard to the rudeness. it does sound like attention seeking behaviour and he does sound as those he is resentful of her being there. he may not like her!! ow is she with him?

kiwigirl42 Wed 05-Dec-12 23:30:49

I was a nanny and had kids say things like that to me at times, usually in the first couple of weeks but once they knew me and had moved on from previous much loved nanny they were fine. Give him time and keep telling him off when he is not nice. He will settle

Stinky Pete? Arf!

Blondeshavemorefun Wed 05-Dec-12 23:52:59

Is your son bi lingual - does your hubby speak to him
In his language?

Not sure why you have her only speaking dads language when She is there - tbh not surprised he is playing up and rude - things change when she is there

Also of this lady wants any respect / authority over your son they SHE needs to deal with this matter and not you as seems to me that the nanny can't discipline and your son as any 3yr+ will pick up very soon x

StillSquiffy Thu 06-Dec-12 08:38:07

Instruct your nanny to deal with this. HTH. He needs to know she is in charge.

botandhothered Thu 06-Dec-12 09:06:45

I had a similiar experience working with a child who didn't speak English. The family wanted him to learn English. As the position was not sole charge the child always had someone else to go to, who he could communicate easily with in his own language. He constantly rejected my attempts to engage him in any activity, was rude, and hit me alot!
I think it would have worked had it been a sole charge position, but the parents couldn't see that. Needless to say I left after 6 weeks. Does your nanny get plenty of time alone with your Ds? He knows when you are there you are in charge, and probably ,for him, she has no reason to be there, as he would always rather have Mummy to play with?

Frontpaw Thu 06-Dec-12 09:18:45

Are you there with the nanny, or are you working? The nanny needs to know what reprimand she can make - tell off, naughty step, time out, whatever you do when he plays up - and you back her up. He needs to know that she is in charge, not him!

Strange he hasn't acted up before - Im assuming you aren't rude to her (definately not calling her Stinky Pete!), so he may well just not like her! Do you get and vibes from her - is she stern, unfriendly, cold...?

2plus1 Thu 06-Dec-12 12:31:38

I agree with others that it sounds like he is trying for your attention especially if both you and the nanny are home together. I would expect the nanny to discipline him about this too, however you suggest she only speaks a different language. If she cannot speak english or understand our culture/sayings/humour etc then I assume she is unlikely to know or understand what he is saying hence she wouldn't know if 'stinky pete' is a rude thing to say! Very difficult situation I would have thought. How good is his communication with the nanny in her language? Typically toddlers play up when they have no effective means of communication hence displays of frustration, agression, tantrums etc. If DS communication skills do not have an acceptable level in this language he will rebel against it, thus favouring mummy. DS may need some time to adjust to this situation.

andagain Thu 06-Dec-12 13:09:20

OP hi,

I agree with others. It may well be that your DS is not as comfortable speaking your husband's language and he is showing his frustration by being rude to the nanny.
I think you speaking the nanny's language when she is there may not necessarily help. It might be best for you to do the OPOL approach.

I always have au pairs who speak my native language, the reason being similar to yours, I want my child to remain bilingual (which is a constant struggle as my husband only speaks English, we speak English at home, and all our friends speak English).

What I think is important is that the nanny doesn't ram the language thing down his throat if you see what I mean. She should speak to him in the other language but also observe if he is understanding it and when she notices that he might not, she should just ask him if he understands and then say "in English you would say..." It is meant to be something they want to do (in my opinion anyway) rather than a chore.

The other thing is, regardless of the language issues, I have always told my DD in front of the au pairs that when they are in charge then what they say goes and no rudeness will be tolerated. Kids try it on inevitably and my DD has done on occasion so be very clear and tell your DS in front of your nanny that he is not allowed to do so and tell your nanny in front of your DS that you expect her to discipline him and deal with this in the way you see appropriate. Then he will know everyone is on the same page.

All of the above is obviously assuming that generally you are happy with your nanny and the way she is with your DS.

pimlicomummy Thu 06-Dec-12 22:44:21

Many thanks to everyone. We are happy with the nanny, and she is very gentle and patient and keen to help them. Definitely my son's language skills are far behind his English, so probably it is frustration and resentment that he can't communicate as effectively. I'm going to keep an eye for the next couple of weeks and see how things change. Will keep you posted!!

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