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Nanny concern(18 Posts)
Just as a bit of background information, our nanny has been hard work since day 1 she cant/wont do things that were clearly in the job description and which she said in interview she would be happy and able to do (children's washing, cooking etc not unreasonable requests). But I have always believed her to be good with the children and as that is the main reason I employ her I have overlooked all other issues as the children's happiness is my main goal.
So here is my concern, DS (just 4 years old) and I were in the car the other day and he said to me "stupid cars" in an aggressive voice. I was surprised by this as we never use the word stupid at home (I dont like it at all) he is normally a very easy going and placid boy and I had never heard this tone of voice before. But I calmly said to him that we dont say things like that as stupid is not a kind word, to which he replied "stupid boy" in a similar tone, again I said not kind we dont say that very calmly. He then said "X (nanny) calls me a stupid boy and says you stupid boy get out of my face" again said very aggressively. I kept very calm and just said who says that, reply "X" and what does she say? Reply "stupid boy get out of my face". I replied well that still isn't very kind and I dont want you saying things like that and I didn't say anything else to him about it.
My bigger worry than "stupid" is "get out of my face". This is language we do not use at home at all, DH and I have thought long and hard and cannot think of any occassion when we would have said this to or around him. I have checked with the nursery who had agreed some children can say stupid but they have never heard "get out of my face" and agreed this is a very adult term to use. Nursery are brilliant nad if they say he didn't hear it there I am inclined to believe them, especially as DS is not saying it came from there. DS was not upset when telling me and more just relayed it as a fact, he didn't seem to want any attention from it and was happy to let the subjet lie after that, he can tell tales (not lies so much but so-and-so did Y) but that was definitely not what was happening here. My other child is younger and pre-verbal so I dont know what else is being said or done and I am very careful to ask leading questions.
Would you be concerned? What would you do?
Find another nanny. A seed of doubt has been sown as to whether she's treating your DS aggressively (and that would be enough for me to get rid of her) plus she's not exactly making your life easier with the whole no cooking / no laundry things. Children's cooking and children's laundry is totally within nanny remit if you discussed and agreed it at interview.
Did you ask ds where this occured? Maybe(its no excuse but may explain a one off) she got car rage (hence the 'stupid cars') and he was asking questions and she was verbally angry towards him? Even so, I wouldnt be happy.
I think I would be tempted to install a nanny cam at home. People use them for good reason.
Get rid, she's not doing what she agreed to do as per the job description in the first place anyway.
And FFS if you're at the point of a nanny cam you shouldn't be keeping the nanny anyway! Don't install a nanny cam, you need to tell them that you're installing one anyway so it defeats the purpose. There is no way I'd work for somebody with a nanny cam and if I found one you could be sure I'd be calling you home immediately as I would not be looking after your kids any more.
Talk to your nanny. They may well admit they said such a thing and give some context. Certainly not a nice thing to say, so make it clear that such language is not to be used.
How long has nanny been employed by you? Have you picked them up on not doing things that were initially agreed - children's laundry and cooking are certainly things in their remit.
Consider making it a written warning, for failing to do the duties required. They can then make an effort to improve or they may decide the job is not for them and give you notice.
If your son continues to say that nanny has called him stupid, then I would go down the written warning for that as well. Talking to nanny should result in it ending... if it does not then you need to make it clear that their job is on the line if they do not adjust their language.
No childcare professional should tell a child they're stupid or to get out of their face. If she doesn't get that, she shouldn't be a nanny. It's not a development point
You can't just get rid of someone, you need to follow employment law procedures. Check what procedures apply in your country, in the UK have a look on the ACAS website at disciplinary procedures.
This nanny may not be in their probationary period, so may have quite a long notice period.
Certainly should start with written warning, so making a start on the dismissal process. Then they can either improve, quit, or get another warning and then get the sack.
For those saying Get Rid, consider how you would want your employer to treat you in similar circumstance. People are not always aware that their language is inappropriate, that their job includes certain duties which overtime have lapsed. A firm reminder is sometimes required to get employees back on the straight and narrow.
cindy If I was refusing to do the tasks in my job description and I was still in my probationary period I'd expect to be fired. You don't take on a job and refuse to do things that are in the job description.
Not only that, but if you have to be told that saying "Get out of my face" is inappropriate to say around children, surely you should be wondering if it's the right job for you?
IF still in probationary period. OP has not said if they are or not, or have I missed where they said that?
Yes, I agree the nanny should be considering if they are in the right job. However at this stage they have not had any opportunity to give their side of events. It is inappropriate but in their own background (such as how they were brought up) it may have been common place, so under stress they reverted to what has been said to them in the past. Not defending them, just saying these things are never that simple... it needs to be talked about and problems identified plus resolved.
Resolving it may well involve the nanny resigning, or being dismissed.
If you want to dismiss her and she has worked for you for less than two years you do not need to follow any disciplinary procedures, you simply need to give notice (or pay and any other benefits in lieu of notice) according to the contract (or if longer a statutory minimum of one week for employment between one month and two years).
Thank you for all your responses. To be honest my gut feeling is that I don't really care about her reasoning, my DS can be irritating (can't they all) but I would never say that. Also as others have said this is a child care professional who I am paying to care for them. She is not young and has 10+ years experience.
She is no longer on probation, which is a shame and as I need time to organise some sort of replacement I am inclined to give her notice. I was worried I am over reacting but I am pleased other people feel the same way as me.
Regarding her not doing what she is supposed to, she either tells me she won't do it or does it so badly that I have to re-do it! I am a perfectionist so find it easier to do it myself than bug her only for her to do it badly. For example I now do a batch cook every weekend so I at least know what they are eating.
She tells you she won't do it - that is not on, she is an employee and should do as you say. Assuming you have previously talked to her about that, then I agree it is time to give notice and find someone who will do what you want.
However someone new may not meet your perfectionist standard, so consider what level is acceptable, otherwise you may find you are constantly getting new nannies.
Try to nip in the bud any problems during probation period. Communication between you and your nanny is vital, they need to know if they are meeting expectations, what they can do to improve and you need to know that your children are happy, well cared for and that other tasks are being done.
If you have employed her for less than 2 years, I would line up a replacement and then pay her notice and let her go.
I would check his tv/dvd viewing carefully before accusing the nanny. We had a similar situation with 'get out of my sight' in an aggressive tone. When asked where they'd heard it they told me 'daddy says that to us'. Turns out it's from Shrek . It's a throwaway line you might not notice, but it's in there and they obviously picked up on it! Luckily I knew there was no way Daddy would have said that!
Politely and calmly begin the dismissal procedure laid down in her contract.
She's gotta go.
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