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How much is nanny's perogative?

(11 Posts)
nanny2precious Wed 29-Jul-09 14:50:13

I'm fairly new to nannying, and am working with a 10yo at the moment. She's always been a bit developmentally delayed and very clingy, but the school holidays meaning she's with me 24/7 have really exacerbated it!

It all kind of came to a head today when she turned down every suggestion I made for things to do together, then sat and moaned at me that she had nothing to do. If it was a sibling or my own child I know that I'd instigate some, uh, supervised neglect, I suppose. Allow her to entertain herself for a while.

As a nanny though, I'm not sure how acceptable this is? I feel like if I'm being paid to look after her, then that's what I should be doing, and if she can't entertain herself I should be?

I guess what I'm asking is, as an employer, bearing in mind that your nanny had made a concerted effort to get the child to do some kind of activity, would you be upset if the child was left to her own devices for the rest of the day? Rather than me tearing my hair out trying to think of activities, which will inevitably be shot down...

meemarsgotabrandnewbump Wed 29-Jul-09 14:53:37

If I was her mum would have no objection to you going about some tasks and seeing if she can entertain herself for a while. It might be just what she needs.

Caring for her means teaching her skills like this, rather than simply entertaining her the whole time.

hercules1 Wed 29-Jul-09 14:53:45

Oh god, are you expected to do one to one activities with her all day? No parent would do that. I would be very happy if you offered activities she could do on her own tbh e.g. sticking, art stuff etc, took her to the park, swimming. The sort of stuff I'd do but also I would expect her to be allowed to do her own stuff for a great deal of the day even if that was nothing. hmm at her having to be entertained all day.

theoriginalmummypoppins Wed 29-Jul-09 14:57:33

yep me too as a nanny employer who has a 10 and an 8 year old.

I wouldnt entertain children of that age on one to one basis all day if I was home with them . They should have some sort of indepenedent play encouraged anyway.

But I wold discuss your concerns with the parents and say what you are doing and have done so there can be no doubt that they are happy with your appraoch.

Children of that age wont hesistate to dob the nanny in IYSWIM.

Blondeshavemorefun Wed 29-Jul-09 18:34:40

always good for children to play a little by theirselves imho

yes we are paid to be there/here for their welfare/entertainment etc, but if children are always played/amused then they dont learn to entertain thieiselves

maybe get a friend over and the 2 1oyrs olds can play together

nannyL Wed 29-Jul-09 19:07:54

i would nog be entertaining a 10 year old 24/7

i also do NOT entertain my 6 and 3 year old 24/7...

by 18 months (or before) they should be happy to amuse themselves with a toy etc while you cook tea, its a skill they need to learn!

this morning my 2 were squabbling and i was doing the beds / laundry etc so i told them to go downstairs and play in the play room. I have no problem with this.

nor do my bosses smile

2 weeks ago i proxy parented my ex charges (9 and 14) essentially i cooked them dinner, ensured they bathed etc and drove them to places we wanted to go but they completely amused themselves... and we had great fun together playing tennis, table tennis, swimming in their pool etc, but equally i did my own thing / had a bath / surfed online for an hour or 2 (or 3 or 4 wink) letting them do their own thing!

theoriginalmummypoppins Wed 29-Jul-09 21:18:11

Now nannyl proxyparenting may be different but I would not be happy if a nanny surfed online for an hour or had a bath whilst in charge of my 2 who are 8 and 10.

If its during the working day and she is doing chores for me then fair enough the children should be able to entertain themselves for a while but if I am paying nanny I expect work. Its not leisure time.

I got rid of a nanny a while back who sat and surfed the internet and told my children whilst she was doing it that she was too tired to play with them . This was 6pm in the evening when they had been at school all day and she had spent the morning in bed after doing the school run !

I guess PP is slightly different in that it could be 8, 9 or even 10pm if they are older children and its kind off down time even if you are still responsible.

frAKKINPannikin Wed 29-Jul-09 21:31:37

I had a charge like this - I instigated what I privately termed 'boredom time' while I was cooking lunch. Anything was allowed (within reason) except TV, computer, gameboy and me. When I left he was able to play quite happily by himself for up to an hour or so.

I'd also offer 3 options eg. painting, playing a board game, making a cake, if they're turned down then they come up with a suggestion or they're doing their own thing for an hour.

I sometimes pop online if he's watching TV - I'm next to him on MBs laptop - usually to check opening times for things/find something fun to do.

nannyL Wed 29-Jul-09 22:30:02

I agree mummy poppins...

BUT if staying there for 8 consecutive days im sure anyone will agree that i am entitled to have a bath (and sleep and eat etc...)

and also check my emails!.... and when they go to bed at 10pm i am not entertaining them til 10pm... infact 14 year old went to bed later than me, often after 1am shock... we also had some DVD nights with hot chocolate etc... the perks of proxy parenting wink

and its what mummy and daddy do anyway... and the boys are happy, so i see no problem

nanny2precious Wed 29-Jul-09 23:51:31

I have been allowing her some 'boredom time' it just seems like when it gets to 3 or 4 hours and the only thing she's done is sit on the sofa and moan... I guess it feels like I'm doing something wrong.

It isn't a lack of choice, I offered her 3 indoor options and 3 outdoor options, none of which she showed any interest in, but of course she still nagged me to think of more things to do. I suggested that I'd be happy to do something else of her choosing, but she had no ideas... it's driving me up the wall to be honest, and it's only week 2 of 4!

frAKKINPannikin Thu 30-Jul-09 00:05:46

Can you actually ignore her? That sometimes works a treat - just walk away and be busy with something else. Moaning children like to have someone to moan at because then you're doing something with them, just not something productive.

Or start doing something arty without her - maybe she'll join in if you have all the stuff out?

Here's what I'd do:

get a jar
write down every activity I can think of
tell her she can go through the lucky dip until she finds something she likes to do but if she doesn't choose an activity then she has to do the Wild Card (which is one I picked out first) with no moaning
stick to it!

I'd also involve her in writing down her favourite activities which could include arranging a playdate with a friend, going to the cinema to see something she really wants to see, having some girly pampering time...whatever. And get the parents to contribute things as well. Eventually you'll find something she likes and it's always the first thing that's the hardest!

It is tough when children want to be constantly amused but stick with it and it will pay off in the end

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