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acceptable tv viewing (question for Nannies/parents)

(125 Posts)
uwila Tue 19-Apr-05 14:55:06

How many hours of telly do you let your kids watch while under nanny's care? I don't really think this applies to childminders because I think if you use a childminder then he/she to some extent sets the rules/schedule/activities etc. But if you employ a nanny than it is fair to set the schedule (or at least some guidelines) for her.

The reason I ask is because I'm convinced nanny lets DD watch quite a lot of TV. We will be getting a new nanny in Mid August and I'm thinking of writing one hour maximum tv viewing per day into the contract. Is this fair/usual? How do you monitor it? Or do you just trust nanny to do as you say?

uwila Tue 19-Apr-05 14:56:12

Sorry, forgot to add that I would welcome comments from parents (who employ nannies) as well as nannies themselves on this topic.

Thanks

GhostofNatt Tue 19-Apr-05 14:57:14

I wouldn't put it in the contract but I do tell the nanny that an hour a day is about the max subject to special circumstances (eg ill and grumpy). if they are watching more than that, you will porbably hear about it from kids...

Fran1 Tue 19-Apr-05 15:14:32

Rather than setting a min amount, why not express what activites you "expect" to happen.

E.g time in the garden/park
Messy sessions e.g painting, sticking, playdoh
Session of tumble tots etc.

The reason i say this is my first thoughts when i read your post, is that you have no way of monitoring the tv watching and a not so professional nanny would probably rebel anyway if you did stick a time limit on. At least there can be evidence that other activities took place.

And you approaching it positively rather than heading in with a negative straight away. I would probably mention in one of your first informal chats that you like them not to watch too much tv.

uwila Tue 19-Apr-05 15:22:08

Hmmm... these chats were my approach on current nanny. But, I stuggle with her because every time I ask her to do something a bit differently, she gets very defensive -- sometimes to the point where she tells me that my instructions are worng. So I thought I'd add it to the contract to eliminate confusion.

Oh, and I left out a critical bit of information. And that is that DD is years old. I only realise last weekend that she's been watching Max and Ruby (which I have made clear on several occassions is forbidden -- and one time nanny said in a rather stroppy tone (But it's just a cartoon.... and she likes it). TO which I replied, "But, I don't!" as I put in a video and handed nanny the remote. Anyway, I realised last weekend she's been watching it because when it came on the TV (before I could change the channel) DD yelled "ruby!" with a grin in expectation of watching it. And I of course thought hmmmm how come you know this show?????

uwila Tue 19-Apr-05 15:23:42

Sorry, DD is 2 years old.

GhostofNatt Tue 19-Apr-05 15:25:31

I think the ting is if you get the right nanny, you will not have these issues. with thw rong nanny you are going to have issues about stuff whatever you tell them, put in contract etc

uwila Tue 19-Apr-05 15:30:00

MAybe I'll put it in the contract for back up in case I need it, but I'll make it a bit vague so I don't sound like Hitler laying down the law.

jothorpe Tue 19-Apr-05 18:36:22

Regarding TV viewing, for many years (while I was nannying) I didn't give it a lot of though. However when I went to work for one particular family, my view got changed. That family didn't allow the children to watch ANY TV. Well that's not strictly true, they weren't allowed to watch Broadcast TV, they were allowed Videos. At first I thought this could be a problem but it wasn't, because the children were used to it. TV viewing (Videos) would only happen when they were unwell, when they needed some quiet time and refused to read books (rarely happened), or sometimes during school holidays when they got the treat of watching a movie first thing in the morning, before we set out on our adventures.

My feeling regarding putting a time constraint in a contract is that if say you put 1 hour per day, then a nanny could sit your child infront of the TV for 1 hour every day (I know some nurseries that sit children in front of TV for 45mins-hour, incase anyone thought that nurseries don't use TV, and I don't approve). I feel it would be better to put that generally the children do not watch TV, but may on occasion watch a video, especially if feeling unwell.

How do you monitor it - you can't, you're not there. So you have to trust your childcare provider, so you should discuss your feelings regarding the issue indepth so that your childcarer knows why it is that you don't want the children watching very much TV.

Remember, TV can be very educational. Most children won't get to go on safari in Africa, so seeing Elephants, Tigers, Lions etc. on TV is as close as they might get! Thomas the Tank Engine fans may love the TV series, but may equally love just waching Steam Trains, so if there isn't a local line with steam trains running near you, a Video of Steam Trains may well be better than Thomas the Tank Engine.

NannyL Tue 19-Apr-05 19:52:47

Im a sole charge nanny and look after a nearly 3 year old and 4 and a half year old..

Given that the job is sole charge it is up to ME to decide what we eat / do etc (well thats how it works with 'my' family)

The fact is that the children very rarely watch TV with me, and NEVER more than a maximum of 1 (rarely 2) programs at a time before the TV is switeched off... On average for at least 2 days per week the telly is not switeched on at all.

During school holidays
we watch mroe telly than term time as we are home more, but i would still say not more than a MAXIMUM of 1 1/2 hours per day and that would be a rainy day!

As a qualified proffesional i would be really offended if it was in my contract that we were only allowed to watch 1 hour per day afterall i am trained to look after children and realise that watching lots of telly is not really the best thing to be doing, when we can be painting / playing games/ lego / at the park / playdough baking etc!

I would therefor NOT put it in your new nannies contract!

At interview i would mention BRIEFLY that you dont like you child watching too much telly, and maybe suggest that telly is switched off after SELECTED program is viewed (as i think that is fair to say)

also IF i had 1 hour of Tv per day i would be more inclined to 'use' that 1 hour... rather than somedays we dont have time for TV.

Equally on rainy days i would resent it and think it really should NOT be a problem to select 2 programmes in the morning, 1 while lunch cooks, another midafternoon, and another while tea cooks, which could well go over the 'hour' limit, especially if we were doing other fun activites in between!

As said befire there is no way you are realistically going to know anyway... choose a nanny who you 'bond' with and get a feel for them and what they like to do with the children...

in my opinion any nanny who regualarly lets there charges watch LOTS of TV is unproffesional. There are many more more exciting things to be doing with our time.

To be honest most of the nannies i know have the same philosophy on this as myself, so surely it cant be that hard to find a nanny who for her own reasons will not allow you child to sit in front of the telly for long periods.

Sorry this reply is so long!

NannyJo Tue 19-Apr-05 20:19:53

Uwila, didn't thik you were prepared to pay a nanny?? may have that wrong.

If you employ a nanny and she is good then her judgement on how much tv to watch should be trusted. You can't watch over then to know what they're donig cos there would be no trust.

uwila Tue 19-Apr-05 20:47:56

Just not prepared to pay an expensive nanny. Not that I wouldn't like to: I'm just unable. But not everyone expects to make more than I take home. I have a nanny now, and I couldn't maintain my own job without one.

Yes, I think I agree. I now have a nanny who refuses to some of things which I have asked her to do -- and which I think are perfectly reasonable. I think my lack of satisfaction with her is perhaps causing me to try and control too much on the next one. So, thank you nannies for your perspective, and your reminder that a nanny should (and probably will) know better.

I think I'll just write something like "entertain as apropriate to age (with minimal tv viewing)." under her job description and leave it at that.

marthamoo Tue 19-Apr-05 21:08:22

No experience of this (not a nanny, have never employed one) but wanted to ask what's wrong with Max and Ruby? I think it's a really sweet, inoffensive little cartoon. Could understand if it was The Cramp Twins, or Yu-Gi-Oh but little old Max and Ruby...? Really intrigued!

ScotsNanny Tue 19-Apr-05 21:11:50

If your child has a particular fav programme, then take it from there.
For instance I start work at 8am, same time as Balamory is on, but he knows when it is finshed, telly goes off.

I sometimes take in one of my dvds (althogh he does have his own) to let him borrow for a few days, and he can watch some of it while I am doing tea, and sorting out the baby.

Any good nanny will knopw what to do.

I dont advise a total ban on it tho, cos my friends charges never watched tv before and now that they are in the playground at school, they have been "left out" a bit with reguards to disscussing some shows.
Hope that helps

uwila Tue 19-Apr-05 21:11:50

I hate Max and Ruby on the basis that I think it is unbearbaly sexist. And I appreciate that haven't much company in this view. The point is I have repeatedly asked my nanny not to allow her to watch this show. And she has taken it upon herself to override my wishes. I do not appreciate and will not tolerate paying someone to defy my parental decisions. Especially as this is the ONLY show I have specified as forbidden.

uwila Tue 19-Apr-05 21:15:14

No no, I am not looking for a total ban. There are shows we like (Noddy, Maggie and the Beast, Dora, Little Bear, etc.)

RTKangaMummy Tue 19-Apr-05 21:18:45

Scots nanny has made the same point as me

Boy next door never watches TV

He does not therefore understand what others are talking about when they want to play games connected to progs

He is 3 btw

I know I am TV addict so you will prob ignore everything I say

But IMHO that is unfair on little boy

marthamoo Tue 19-Apr-05 21:22:00

No, no, that's fine, Uwila - you decide what your child can watch and your Nanny should absolutely go along with that, no question. I just like Max and Ruby, that's all (my boys don't - they think it's "boooo-ring")

uwila Tue 19-Apr-05 21:22:12

RTK, why would I ignore you? Don't be silly.

marthamoo Tue 19-Apr-05 21:22:50

Now I loathe Noddy. But I will stop digressing on your thread, sorry

reindeer Tue 19-Apr-05 22:10:44

Sorry to digress, but this thread made me smile.

I remember being a nanny in the mid 80's and being really into watching Neighbours (God knows why!!).

The parents hated to think of their 2 year old watching something as common as neighbours and were horrified when they heard the little boy singing along to the theme tune.

I had to think up something quickly so I said "oh we were watching the 6 o'clock news and he must have caught the theme tune at the end of neighbours!......"

Funnily enough the parents said the only programme the 2 year olds were allowed to watch was the news so I got away with it!

Somehow I don't think the little boy was scarred for life by seeing the odd episode of neighbours, but now as a mum I still turn off the 6 o'clock news as I find it can be disturbing for my bright and inquisitive 6 year old.

NannyJo Tue 19-Apr-05 22:34:33

noddys great. i love it. I could even sit and watch it on my own, now thats sad

Tanzie Tue 19-Apr-05 22:40:28

We realised just how much telly our DDs were getting when we employed our evil nanny from hell, when DD1 (who was 3 at the time) could sing all the theme tunes from all the daytime TV programmes (including the dreaded "Neeeeeighbours..."). It doesn't matter what you say, whoever is looking after your child is going to say "Yes, yes" to whatever you suggest and do exactly as they like when you are out (and that could be going along with your rules, having no telly at all or non stop crap).

NannyJo Tue 19-Apr-05 22:43:38

i don't say yes yes to boss then do what i want when they are out cos i have far more respect of them then that. You have a very low image as nannies. You need to find a good one then appreciate the damn good job they are doing.

Tanzie Tue 19-Apr-05 22:50:03

I meant to add that the key is to find someone you can trust to carry out your wishes. I don't have a low image of nannies, I employ an excellent one. My evil one: served the children cold stew, microwaved fishfingers, sat in front of the telly all day and told the children to go away and "stop bugging her", left the place in a tip - toys everywhere, lunch and tea stuff still on table with paints when we got home and also told the children whenever the doorbell rang that it was someone coming to steal them away. 18 months on, they still have a fear of the doorbell. So if I do sound jaded, it's because of this experience. And she was qualified and very experienced.

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