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What would you do about this nanny/TV ishoo?

(31 Posts)
rupertsabear Sat 11-Jul-09 09:21:36

OK, we have a nanny housekeeper. At the mo, dcs (7, 4, 3) are in summer activity centre/nursery respectively. She picks them up and they're all home at 5-ish, then have tea around 6 or 6.30. I get home between 6 and 7 usually. I have repeatedly said "no TV" in the week. DS1 has revealed that they actually always spend this 1 1/2 hours watching Power Rangers, Pokemon, and a load of horrible ads for junk food and plastic rubbish.

Now, my problem is that the carer in question is a nice person, but just useless with small children, with exactly zero imagination for games and no techniques for coping with tantrums and rows. When I confront her with this, she just says "but they were fighting" and looks dumbfounded when I ask whether she had thought of initiating a game, doing a puzzle, starting a painting session.

But, I don't think power rangers is suitable for 3 and 4 year olds as too violent. And I don't want them watching the adverts.

But, they seem to have found their happy medium in this way, and we are only talking until mid-August, when we will have other childcare arrangements. I don't have time or inclination to engage in extensive training for the nanny/housekeeper, as we are moving house, I'm busy at work, and she's leaving anyway, and it's just not a complete train wreck (though this is one of a series of problems, which is why she's leaving when we move). But I am a bit cross.

So what would you do? The options are:

1. Let it go. After all it's hardly child abuse and everyone's happy.

2. Say no TV, and babysitter has to be responsible for making sure they have something to do apart from fighting.

3. Say they can watch TV, but only a DVD from the kids selection (extensive) that we have at home. The problem with this is that they always argue about what to watch.

FluffyBunnyGoneBad Sat 11-Jul-09 09:24:38

I'd go for 3, then pick one out for them.

The BBC childrens channels are more appropriate, less commercials. Could you not insist that they watch these instead?

WriggleJiggle Sat 11-Jul-09 09:27:36

I'd go for option 3, then insist on which TV channel it is or leave out ONE dvd each day.

moondog Sat 11-Jul-09 09:29:11


Everyone chooses in turn,so problem solved.

SlartyBartFast Sat 11-Jul-09 09:34:11

why do you want no tv?

holdingittogether Sat 11-Jul-09 11:16:59

If they have been out doing activities all day until 5pm then I really think an hour in front of the tv is no bad thing. But ofcourse your children and you make the rules. I would say they can watch tv but restrict which channels. Cbbc and cbeebies have no adverts. Can you put a block on the channels you don't want them watching?? Or say 1 dvd each day and they have to take it in turns to choose?

Blondeshavemorefun Sat 11-Jul-09 11:24:54

with that age differecne obv 7yr doesnt want to watch what 3yr does - i have the same prob smile

tbh i would let it go - its only for a few weeks and if been out all day an hour of tv isnt that bad

tho of course a good nanny should be able to entertain 3 children for 90mins!!

how about she gives them tea, and then baths them and then last 30mins watch tv?

each child can choose one day their choice of dvd

rupertsabear Sat 11-Jul-09 11:32:52

We don't live in UK, so there's no intelligent kids telly! I'll think I'll go for rotation choosing of a DVD. Thanks for your views.

debilicious Sat 11-Jul-09 14:10:32

if she's already ignored the no tv rule it seems unlikely she'll be receptive to your suggestions now, sorry - either get rid or put up with it for the remaining time IMO

piscesmoon Sat 11-Jul-09 14:27:09

It sounds as if she is a housekeeper who has to look after the children. If she is a nanny housekeeper I would find someone else-I would have thought that as the nanny requirement she would need to be good with small children.

nannyL Sat 11-Jul-09 14:30:01

I agree go for 3.

BUT i really dont see why they cant choose... me ex charges (boys, then aged about 5 & 8, or maybe 6 &9) were trying to decide on a video once... they would not agree... I gave them a certain amount of time to decide, they still hadnt, so neither watched anything.... and ever since then they always managed to compromise and decide amicably! wink

Are your children not really hungry by 6.30? My nearly 4 and 6 year old charges really cant start their tea after 4.45 as they are so hungry... and if left later they will fight etc (as they are hungry)
Could an earlier tea time help solve your problem?

hocuspontas Sat 11-Jul-09 14:32:41

If she's 'useless' with young children then watching TV sounds like a good, safe activity to me. Why would you be querying what she does if you know she's not good with them?

danthe4th Sat 11-Jul-09 16:28:26

power rangers is on sky tv isn't it, try taking the sky card out then at least youve only got 5 channels to choose from. Leave a box of toys games etc out for the children to choose from, try adding a few new ones as a surprise

LynetteScavo Sat 11-Jul-09 16:40:26

I agreee with hocuspontus. While watching TV isn't ideal - atleast you know your DC's are safe. I imagine they are pretty tired after a full day of activities.

I would go for letting them choose a DVD - let them take it in turns,adn if they argue about it, no DVD

foxinsocks Sat 11-Jul-09 16:46:21

I think this is the problem with a nanny housekeepers as pisces moon has pointed out

we looked at a few and generally, they have to juggle a lot of balls in the air. You may find she is cleaning the house while they are sat in front of the TV, or whatever other housekeeping duties she does.

Now I know most mothers balance that, but when we started interviewing nanny housekeepers, we did realise that the children would most likely get someone who was a housekeeper who could look after the children rather than a nanny per se iyswim.

I think you need to decide whether you can live with it otherwise you might have to plump for a nanny if that makes sense.

piscesmoon Sat 11-Jul-09 19:21:25

If she is a good housekeeper I think you just accept that is her primary job and that child care is secondary-she keeps them safe but isn't going to be stimulating.

rupertsabear Mon 13-Jul-09 06:18:25

No, we're not getting a nanny. Apart from the fact that they're a British thing (have lived in lots of countries and the notion of qualifying to look after children is regarded as very eccentric everywhere I've been including Europe) so don't exist where I am, I'm not paying a fortune extra for someone to play with the boys for 1 1/2 hours a day. Really you shouldn't need NNEB training to build a train track and make a puzzle.

She's a pretty lousy housekeeper too, so has already had notice and I'm hiring someone else. But apart from that piscesmoon is right that the best I can aspire to is that she keeps them safe.

DVD it is from today.

EyeballsintheSky Mon 13-Jul-09 07:13:50

No but surely you want someone reliable to be (I assume) solely responsible for your children during that time? Sometimes I feel people talk about having their children looked after in the same way as getting the plants watered. Yet in the same breath you want her to have childcare skills and be able to entertain three tired and hungry children who very likely don't want to be actively entertained at that time of the day. So you need to let the tv thing go and bide your time till your better replacement comes along.

rupertsabear Mon 13-Jul-09 10:33:20

Don't be judgmental Eyeballs - getting wrap around childcare is not so easy. I had a fabulous housekeeper who was brilliant with the kids until 2 months ago. Now the nursery and summer activity centre are both wonderful, the gap afterwards is not really. One can't always resolve these problems at the drop of a hat - for me it will be resolved when my mum comes to -save-the-day- stay next month. After that I will take a few months parental leave to sort things out, but I can't really do that now.

Our nanny/housekeeper is a nice person and I actually like her, but she is just no good at either cleaning or playing with children, so has misrepresented herself and been misrepresented by referees in her job application. None of this means I treat my children like plants that need watering.

EyeballsintheSky Mon 13-Jul-09 15:53:48

No I'm sure. I do appreciate that. I guess I'm questioning having a housekeeper who does childcare rather than a nanny who does housework. It seems round the wrong way to me.

Not being judgemental, ok maybe a little. wink

rupertsabear Mon 13-Jul-09 20:05:30

I need a lot more hours of cleaning, ironing and cooking than of childcare!!

JamInMyWellies Mon 13-Jul-09 20:49:31

Rupertsbear I am shock at your suggestion that a nanny is ssen as a British eccentricity and that you dont need a NNEB to build a train track. That comment is rather insulting.

I am NNEB trained and nannied throughout the world for many years am now a SAHM and I have never come across your POV before. As far as I am aware NNEB qualified nannies are in great demand throughout the world not just in the UK.

rupertsabear Mon 13-Jul-09 21:10:57

Maybe so, I'm not a nanny so would not have seen the demand in action. I am sure that there are people around the world who want to employ NNEB nannies.

And, if you'd read carefully, you would have noticed that my point was that I don't need to hire a qualified nanny to look after my children for 90 minutes. ie, a normally adjusted babysitter without childcare qualifications, and with no requirement to have particular knowledge about child development could reasonably be expected to manage. Making a train track is the sort of thing I used to do quite competently when I was a 15 yr old babysitter.

And all that said, I've lived in 4 different countries, am expat so mix in rather well-off, private school etc circles, and have never, ever met anyone who employs a qualified nanny, ever, in 14 years. In my experience it is seen as a British peculiarity.

JamInMyWellies Mon 13-Jul-09 21:24:58

rupertsabear clearly my expat circles and yours have never mixed as they appear to be polar opposites in what they expect of child care workers.

frAKKINPannikin Mon 13-Jul-09 22:53:36

I also clearly move in different expat circles to rupertsabear. Qualified British nannies are in very high demand overseas, but you're right that locally trained nannies don't really exist.

I do agree that 90 minutes shouldn't be a problem for any normal babysitter - maybe she just doesn't have much initiative in which case maybe you could leave a list of activities she can refer to if they're fighting?

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