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Does your nanny go for coffee?

(76 Posts)
GirlRunning Tue 25-Mar-14 10:53:14

This is very much a first world problem and sounds ridiculous writing it down but I'm slightly niggled by the fact that our nanny seems to spend a lot of time in Starbucks / Costa etc.

In her daily diaries that she writes for me on the childrens day, she'll say "walked into town and had a lovely coffee in Costa". "Town" is about 15 minute walk away so children would have to be pushed in buggy.

I absolutely don't have a problem with her going to playgroups, soft play, rhyme time etc and using the kitty to have coffee/cake whatever - my primary concern is that the girls are having fun. Sitting in a buggy for 30 minutes and sitting in a coffee shop doesn't sound much fun?

So I have said I'd prefer her not to do it but a few of her nanny friends bosses apparently don't have a problem with it. Last week she didn't get into playgroup because tickets had all gone before she got there (poo emergency!) so she "bumped into" her friend (and her charges) and they all went to starbucks because there was nothing else to do when they couldn't get into playgroup.

Am I being silly? What do your nannies do?

mummytime Tue 25-Mar-14 11:01:30

I think you sound a bit over involved!

Sorry. If she couldn't get into playgroup going to a coffee shop with another Nanny sounds great - both sets of charges can interact, and the Nanny's get company.
Just going to a coffee shop gives your little one: experience of the outside world, experience of noise (coffee machines can be a bit scary at times), possibly a chance to get out of the buggy and play (local ones have some kids toys and play tables), a chance to learn how to behave in a social setting (some children would just scream), and possibly new vocabulary and new experiences, maybe even chances to choose (a drink or a biscuit).

What does she do the rest of the time? Do they do crafts? Make things? Cook?

BTW children should not be having "fun" every minute of the day - that isn't normal life, and will not prepare them for school, or even be healthy. A trip to town can involve lots of chatting, numbers and so on; so it sounds pretty educational.

grabaspoon Tue 25-Mar-14 11:03:55

My bosses have never had a problem with me popping in for a snack - especially in the bad weather when we have a warm hot chocolate. On my own we often have a drink, read library books, which we will have picked up, have a chat etc, with friends the children enjoy chatting to their friends or playing with table top toys and the grown ups have a warm drink and chat to the children; before we move on. In the summer we often pop in for a cool drink, and again sit out in the sunshine; people watching, chatting.

grabaspoon Tue 25-Mar-14 11:04:30

Totally agree with Mummytime

GirlRunning Tue 25-Mar-14 11:20:56

ok now I feel really bad. I am usually not over-involved at all (maybe I am) so I will have a think about how to approach. Not sure I should just do a u-turn that makes me look ditsy and my nanny may not feel she knows where she's up to.

Other than this yes she's really good, they make stuff, bake, go to playgroup, have friends round etc. Slightly disorganised on the nanny duties but I let this go because we have 3 little children (under school age). This is my first experience with a nanny so still learning smile

pussycatdoll Tue 25-Mar-14 11:25:47

What do you think sahm's do?
Drink coffee with friends of course while kids play !

Viviennemary Tue 25-Mar-14 11:31:47

Well that's a surprise pussycatdoll. Listening to some folk you'd think working down the mines was an easier option than being an SAHM. Even when your children are all at school it's total toil from dawn till midnight. No slacking in starbucks. grin

CoilRegret Tue 25-Mar-14 11:35:02

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

pussycatdoll Tue 25-Mar-14 11:35:28

grin

Honestly I think if you want non stop entertainment you need a nursery op

Nannies offer a more home from home environment

TheScience Tue 25-Mar-14 11:36:12

Going to a coffee shop because playgroup was shut - fine imo.

Routinely sitting in a Costa/Starbucks - no. The children aren't really getting anything out of it, are they?

Can't she go to a play cafe/softplay etc if she wants to chat with a coffee? Then the children can actually get out and play.

BitOutOfPractice Tue 25-Mar-14 11:39:43

I had a nanny for 8 years and tbh no she didn't go out for coffee much. And I'm not sure I'd have been too happy if she did it a lot. I'm not convinced coffee shops are very interesting for kids every day.

She did go round to nanny friends houses and have coffee. Or her parents (who became like another set of GPs to my DC) Or they would come to mine. That seems different to me somehow but I'm not sure why.

Just have a chat with her OP. There's no need for it to be a dressing down or confrontaion, just ask her and have a chat.

Yerazig Tue 25-Mar-14 11:39:59

If your nanny 90% of the week is doing child appropriate
Activties and occasionally goes for a coffee there shouldn't be a problem. Yes as the employer your entitled to dictate what they get up to but if it is just the ocassional coffee I would let it go.

nannynick Tue 25-Mar-14 11:58:51

As a destination in itself no, as part of an outing to the library, shops, waiting for older sibling to finish afterschool activity - not so bad then.

We used to do a regular walk with a group of childminders, the children strolled through the woods to the cafe (playground in good weather) and back again. About a mile each way with lots of bushes and trees to play in on the route.
Is going in the cafe to warm up that bad? The children would all sit together and have their snacks, adults would sit next to them and supervise as necessary.
Social skills, behaviour in a public place, sights and sounds (dogs, horses, flowers, strange things in the shop, art exhibition from time to time) - yes, award yourself a prize if you think we are at RoyalLandscape Savil Gardens building.

minipie Tue 25-Mar-14 11:59:43

I agree, it all depends how often this happens. If occasional and a back up when other plans have failed it's fine. If all the time, no. Coffee shops might be an interesting experience for DC once or twice a week I suppose but not more often than that IMO.

Are you happy for her to have playdates at your house? If so maybe suggest you'd prefer her to invite nanny friends here rather than meet for coffees? That way your DC (and your nanny) still get to socialise but there will be toys and activities for your girls.

BitOut I think going to another nanny's house for coffee is completely different as there will be children's toys and space to play.

Bonsoir Tue 25-Mar-14 12:02:19

It is absolutely fine and normal to not want your nanny to take your DC to coffee shops!

BitOutOfPractice Tue 25-Mar-14 12:10:51

Yes you're probaby right minipie

I guess I personally would not find going for a coffee at a coffeeshop with two pre-schoolers a particularly relaxing or enjoyable experience myself. And I can't imagine my kids would have done either

TheScience Tue 25-Mar-14 12:15:04

Going to a cafe at a destination - eg. cafe at the park, at the swimming pool after swimming, at the museum would also seem fine to me. Going to Starbucks as the destination itself is different.

Onlyconnect Tue 25-Mar-14 12:17:00

I tell the lady who looks after my DC to go for coffee, meet a friend etc. I want it to be as similar to when I look after DC as possible and I think it's important that the nanny is not bored herself.

Onlyconnect Tue 25-Mar-14 12:19:34

PS also, I'm not the sort of parent who thinks everything should be geared up to the kids all the time. I think it's important that sometimes they accept that what they're doing might not be all for them. I think it's a positive if for an hour or so every now and then they are not being full on entertained.

LingDiLong Tue 25-Mar-14 12:20:54

How often are we talking about? Once a week? Several times? I'm a childminder and wouldn't take kids to coffee shops on outings, maybe once in a blue moon but not as a regular thing. I wouldn't WANT to, to be fair. 3 young kids in a confined space surrounded by hot drinks?! No thanks!

TheScience Tue 25-Mar-14 12:22:01

Not being full on entertained is fine if they are able to entertain themselves, but what can preschool children do in Starbucks except sit still/quietly?

LingDiLong Tue 25-Mar-14 12:30:38

I think there is a balance to be found between constant entertaining of kids and dragging them along to places/activities that they can't really enjoy or participate in. A coffee shop for an hour a day or more would be too far the other way for me personally.

drspouse Tue 25-Mar-14 12:38:33

I have one day off a week and I almost always go to a toddler class and then go to a cafe that has toys, with my mummy friends.

I hope DH doesn't think I'm slacking in my duties to DS.

TheScience Tue 25-Mar-14 12:41:09

Does Costa have toys generally?

werenotreallyhere Tue 25-Mar-14 12:43:26

My 2 year old daughter loves going for a cuppa with me, she sees it as a real treat. I don't just ignore her, she can colour, chat to me about things, drinking her milk usually entertains her for a while, and if there is another kid there she enjoys it even more

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