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Help! Don't know what to do about our nanny

(10 Posts)
Indigobloo25 Tue 05-Apr-16 20:31:11

Hello everyone, I would really appreciate your advice. Sorry in advance for the length of this message, I'm trying to be as comprehensive as possible...

Our nanny started working for us 6 months ago. She is a brilliant nanny in most respects. She's punctual, loving with our children (21 months and 2 months), really energetic and fun and creative, and helps us greatly around the house. I'm currently on ML, and am planning to return to work in November, and my relationship with her is mostly good.

However my DH and I are alarmed by her behaviour when our DD (23 months old) plays up or has a tantrum. She panics in those circumstances, and loses control, and will often raise her voice (eg by saying "stop crying" repeatedly). We can really sense when DD gets on her nerves, as she becomes very grumpy and stroppy with us and our toddler, and has on occasion even left our home in a huff without saying goodnight to our DD.

She claims to have never witnessed a previous charge have a temper tantrum, and on a few occasions has recorded DD's tantrums on her phone for us to look at, as she is concerned there is something intrinsically wrong with her. To us this shows that she's not very emotionally intelligent, and our expectation was that an experienced nanny should know how to deal with these types of situations - we are very concerned for DD's wellbeing.

It also seems as though the way she deals with DD is leading her to have more temper tantrums, as she does not seem to know how to diffuse a situation before it escalates.

When we have raised our concerns with our nanny in the past, she hasn't seemed to understand where we were coming from, and she hasn't changed her behaviour.

The reason we haven't yet asked her to leave is that on her good days, she really is amazing, and DD loves spending time with her. But on her bad days, there is lots of tension and tears, and the stress is really starting to get to us.

We are reaching the point where we feel that it might be time to look for someone else, but was wondering if any of you have had experience of a nanny being able to change?

Thanks very much for reading this, sorry again it's so long!

LittleNelle Tue 05-Apr-16 20:33:54

What a bizarre reaction. If she deep down just doesn't 'get' toddler behaviour and doesn't see the problem then it seems unlikely she'll change. I wouldn't risk my child in the hope that she will anyway!

Newyearnewbrain Tue 05-Apr-16 20:39:41

If you have strong reservations about the way she's looking after your child and, despite talking to her, she hasn't changed her behaviour then I think you have to let her go. You'll all be a lot happier and your DD will soon adapt to someone new

ChocolateBiscuitCake Tue 05-Apr-16 20:41:02

I had a nanny who looked after my three boys: 5,3,2 - the smaller two were very prone to tantrums as both had speech delays. They were both capable of being pretty bloody minded and terrors, at times.

I never ONCE heard her shout. And I am a SAHM, so was around a lot.

A good nanny shouldn't need to (other than warning them in a sudden dangerous situation).

And you should never have that gut feel of music-trust.

You need to let her go.

ChocolateBiscuitCake Tue 05-Apr-16 20:41:50


Indigobloo25 Tue 05-Apr-16 20:54:55

Thank you very much for your responses, everything you say makes sense - I think we know this deep down, we just feel really bad about having to let her go.

Cindy34 Tue 05-Apr-16 20:56:18

Tantrums are part of life with a toddler. She needs to adopt your style of dealing with a tantrum if her own method is ineffective, especially if you are unhappy with how she deals with it.

As you have had a chat already and the situation has not improved, you are now left with giving a written notice about her conduct, emphasising that she is great at x and y but z needs dramatic improvement, otherwise she will be dismissed from the job. ACAS can give more information about dismissal procedures as could your payroll provider.

Will she change? Will she be able to cope once you are not there? You do not want to lose her, emphasise that to her but also make sure she realises that she needs to buck her ideas up about how she deals with tantrums and undesirable behaviour, as you need someone who understands toddlers and can spot likely triggers for tantrums and try to calm the situation before it becomes too explosive. If it does become explosive then you don't want them adding to it by shouting, you need them to calm the situation, not make things worse.

Sure there will be bad days and good days... perhaps it was just a bad day but are there too many bad days? Is she not learning what things can distract your DD from a tantrum? She needs to learn fast.

SleepyRoo Wed 06-Apr-16 10:55:48

I've had a few different nannies. The one that reacted like this just wasn't up to the job , temperamentally. The good ones are calm and understanding. Certainly not collecting evidence of something being "intrinsically wrong".

Blondeshavemorefun Wed 06-Apr-16 12:56:58

A good nanny should be able to deal with tantrums from
2+ yrs old

How do you approach dd when having a tantrum? Can the nanny do the same as you?

Ignore - try to calm - bribe - distract etc

So both have same approach

Does dd tantrum more when you are both together?

If you have had a chat and nothing changed then not good news and I would give nanny a warning and one more chance or she is out

Amazed nanny has never had to deal with a tantrum in previous jobs. Is she experienced?

What made you Employ her?

Indigobloo25 Tue 19-Apr-16 08:27:32

Hi everyone,

Just wanted to give an update - two days after I posted this message, our nanny and I had a heart to heart, and she admitted to me that she's been feeling out of her depth for a while and wants to resign. So it all worked out great in the end, and has meant that we are remaining on good terms.
Thank you so much for your messages at the time, it was lovely to get some support and not feel like I was going nuts!
Sending you all lots of positive energy x

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