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DS's keyworker called him "sexy"...

(27 Posts)
HensMum Mon 01-Jun-09 11:38:54

OK, thought about posting this in AIBU but I want sensible answers rather than a flaming..

DS is 19 momths old and has had the same key worker since he started nursery at 12 months. She adores him and, in general, I've been really pleased with how she looks after him. She seems to really know his personality and notices when he's off-colour etc. And I was pleased that he's got someone looking after him who seems to really like him, IYKWIM, rather than it just being her job.

When I picked him up the other day, she said that she'd taught him a new word, "sexy". She said she'd called him sexy when she'd had to change his clothes and he repeated it. She seemed to think it was very funny but I think she got from my reaction that I didn't. I think I just said "oh, ok then" or something like that.

I absolutely hate children being referred to as sexy but had shrugged it off as a one-off. I can't control everything that anyone says to DS when he's at nursery so there's no point getting wound up about it. However, I mentioned it to some friends the other day and they were horrifed that she'd said that to him while he was naked and think I should talk to the nursery about it.

To give a bit of background, the keyworker is really fond of DS...really, really fond of him, to the extent that she says she wants to take him home, which I just laugh off with a "well, you'd be welcome to him when he wakes at 3am then!". She's offered to babysit and even asked to take him out at the weekend as she was on holiday the following week and would miss him. It's starting to make me feel a bit uncomfortable but not sure if I'm just being a bit overprotective and PFBish.

Should I talk to nursery about it? Not sure what they could do though...tell her not to like him so much?!

suwoo Mon 01-Jun-09 11:44:14

One of the mums at DD's school calls her DS 'sexy beast' every day when she collects him- he is 6. I find it a bit strange although of course its nothing to do with me.

I would feel uncomfortable with the sexy comment too. Not sure about the other things though DS's key worker at playgroup always says how lovely he is and jokes that she would like to take him home- I come back with the same retort as you grin.

No advice though, I am rubbish at giving- I just take wink

PortAndLemon Mon 01-Jun-09 11:49:48

I wouldn't like the sexy remark, but I know that a lot of people do think it's an OK word to use of children and don't think through the overtones, so once I'd made it clear that I didn't like it I wouldn't talk to the nursery about it. With any luck your reaction will have made her think it through a bit more.

DD's keyworker has offered to take her one Saturday and was going to babysit last weekend (although in the end another nursery staff member ended up doing it) and she's definitely not in any way bunny boilery -- she was in the baby room when DS was at the nursery and just as lovely then. So I wouldn't be bothered about that at all -- it's a good thing that the people looking after your DCs have a genuine emotional bond with them.

vicky275 Mon 01-Jun-09 15:27:14

If you are unhappy abouth this you should talk to the pre school he is your child and you should have the final say on any hing that he does and changing into my pre school teacher hat for a mintue I would say that it is un proffesional for a member of staff to make such commints

HensMum Mon 01-Jun-09 15:28:30

That's what I was thinking PortandLemon - lots of people do think it's an OK thing to say to a child, like calling them "handsome" or "cute". I still don't like it but the intent was fine.
They're having an open day at nursery soon and I was going to go in anyway, and look at DS's development folder and have a good chat with the keyworker so may mention something about the "sexy" thing then. Or not. grin

BonsoirAnna Mon 01-Jun-09 15:40:10

I think it is quite reasonable to expect nursery workers not to model vocabulary that it would be inappropriate for nursery children to use themselves.

How would the nursery feel about your DS calling the nursery workers "sexy"? How would you feel if DS started calling people he meets out and about "sexy"?

beanieb Mon 01-Jun-09 15:47:29

Perhaps you should just explain to her that you would rather she not teach him words like 'sexy' as there is no reason for him to need to know that word as he is so young?

Why would a child that age need to be taught a word like Sexy?

atworknotworking Mon 01-Jun-09 16:04:44

When I worked at a nursery we had a staff member which sounds similar to this, she had obvious favourites and spoke to them a bit like what you said and often joked about being their second mummy shock. Personally I don't like this looking after children is a job, we are not surrogate parents / grans or aunties, we cannot replace the bond a child has with it's parents and it's not our place to try, of course we care very much for the children but care which shows respect for the position that the parents have and of course the children.
I sometimes get the mindees I look after asking to come on days they arn't due, sometimes if we bump into each other at school etc, occassionally I will say they can come and play (if it's ok with mum and my ratio's are ok) if they ask on a weekend it's a positive no this is my time with my own DD and DH. In the case of the worker I mentioned earlier, the parents quite liked the extra attention that their DD's got, the management did not. They said that it was unfair to the other children, inappropriate and unprofessional, I totally agree with that if someone called my DD sexy when she was at nursery I would say something, if a worker became cloying and wanted to look after DD on a weekend of their own volition I would find that a bit wierd. I think you should perhaps have a chat with the room leader or the manager to see how they feel about the comments or if this worker says this to other children and I would certainly not like my child at 19mths to be saying sexy.

crokky Mon 01-Jun-09 16:26:22

I would be happy that someone who adored my child was looking after them. I have a 3yo and a 14mo and I have just started my 3yo at nursery having not sent either of them before. I don't think I would mind if either of them started using the word sexy, although I would not teach it to them myself. His keyworker is using the word in the context "you look nice".

Anyway - I think it is a bit much that she wants to take him out at the weekend because she would miss him. It would be fine if she offers babysitting services for the nursery children at the weekend and she was helping you out in exchange for money, but her feelings seem to run deeper than that. She seems to love him, which is nice, but I suppose it is a bit too much. Not sure really, it must be quite natural to form a bond with a child you care for a lot.

I personally don't think I could say anything to the nursery at this stage because she is motivated by love/kindness and probably would feel deeply betrayed if you complained about her. I think I would see how it goes and complain if she got any closer. For a nursery worker, it must be a difficult balance between being kind to a young child and loving them too much. It is especially difficult because the child has no idea that this person is looking after them for money - how could a child tell the difference between his keyworker and say his granny/aunty? The child will be giving love IFYSWIM so difficult not to give love back to a child you are fond of?

I took DS to a softplay where a pair of nursery workers had taken a group of nursery children. One of the workers started talking to me, just basic stuff at the start like how old is your DS etc and then as we were talking, she said "this is xxx [name of child] and he's 3 and a half. I've had him since he was 6 months whilst his mum is at work and he's my baby".

Rhubarb Mon 01-Jun-09 16:29:16

She sounds scary!

TBM Mon 01-Jun-09 16:55:52

I hate children being called sexy! I don't think that she really finds him sexy nor most adults who say it, but it is horrible.

I would mention it, not to get her in trouble but because she needs to understand her place in the child's life better. How is she going to be when he goes to school? Will she transfer to another child afterwards? What's she like with the other children she looks after? I think her bosses need to know.

hf128219 Mon 01-Jun-09 21:07:31

I hate the use of that word re children. My cleaner says it to my 16 month old dd when I carry her downstairs dressed - 'Oh, don't you look sexy.'

It's a class thing I'm afraid - to some people it's just a word like cute, pretty etc.

Try and ignore it - I do! smile

PaulaYatesBiggestFan Mon 01-Jun-09 21:10:09

i agree with Anna

vile anyway

Ceolas Mon 01-Jun-09 21:14:03

I would definitely have a word with the nursery. Unacceptable language to use about or in front of children, especially of that age.

Ruthylou Mon 01-Jun-09 23:16:59

Sorry but new to this - please can someone translate IYKWIM,DS, DD and DC??!!

Oh and I think it is slightly odd that the nursery teacher is teaching your kid to say sexy but i am sure her intentions are good, as someone else said its your child and you should have the final say on what is said or taught to him

Ruth x

beanieb Mon 01-Jun-09 23:25:35

If You Know What I Mean

I think DD is Dear/darling Daughter
DS is Dear/darling Son
DC is Dear/darling Children

MadBadandDangerousToKnow Mon 01-Jun-09 23:35:55

I agree that you should speak to the nursery. No child needs to have the word sexy in their vocabulary. I'm sure she isn't sexually attracted to him - some people do just use the word to mean good-looking - but this might encourage her to step back a bit.

SolidGoldBrass Mon 01-Jun-09 23:40:43

Is she quite young, by any chance? It sounds a bit teenager-ish.

MrsEricBana Mon 01-Jun-09 23:45:01

Exactly the same here hf128 - don't like it though.

giraffesCantRunA10k Mon 01-Jun-09 23:49:25

I think she sounds fairly new and has a strong bond with him, IME the first children you look after are the ones you bond with most - after that you learn to become slightly more detached.

The sexy thing is normal for some people - I personally dont like it, but I dont think it is meant in a perverted way. However its not acceptable in a nursery setting.

HensMum Tue 02-Jun-09 09:14:57

She's fairly new to the nursery - started about the same time DS did. She's not that young. I'm rubbish at guessing ages but I'd put her at about late 20s. She has a school aged son of her own.

DS does seem to be her favourite - but maybe all the other parents think that about their kids grin

He's not said "sexy" again since she taught him. I think if he starts saying it all the time, or she mentions it again I'll let them know that's not the kind of language I want DS to learn.

I'm going into nursery this afternoon for an event so it'll be a good opportunity to see their relationship in action.

LilMiss Fri 05-Jun-09 22:42:54

Erm.. Just wanted to say... as a nursery nurse myself (and parent) never would i ever call someone elses child "sexy"
Its not professional and a child doesnt need to be hearing words like tht, especially at nursery!
I would mention it to the manager if yr concerned

SammyK Tue 09-Jun-09 20:24:56

I used to childmind and now work in a nursery, also have a ds.

I think this is weird and unprofessional and would definately bring it up as a parent or colleague. Yuk.

Does your ds go to nursery full time OP? Hope you don't mind me asking just wondered how much time he spends with key worker.

random Tue 09-Jun-09 20:27:30

A class thing? ....sits on hands

FreakGeek Thu 18-Jun-09 15:17:43

its unproffesional- could you have a word with her directly and suggest that you think children shouldnt be sexualised at this age and that you dont use the word at home. But as random says, it may be a class thing, or immaturity, in that some people wouldnt see the connotations of it.It is difficult cos you dont want to upset her, either.I find it so easy to speak to people at work if they are out of orderm without offending them- but with care givers of your child, it's so much harder !

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