Mumsnet Logo
My feed

to access all these features

Discuss everything related to paid childcare here, including childminders, nannies, nurseries and au pairs.


How can I help my nanny deal with DD?

16 replies

hovely · 20/09/2005 08:54

We have recently hired a patient, kind live-in nanny (L) for the first time to coincide with my return to work (part-time and often working from home). She looks after DD (3.10) and DS (20mths) for 2 full days p/w and takes to/picks up from nursery 2 days pw.
However DD seems to be having a lot of problems adjusting to the situation. She is generally going through a stroppy, argumentative phase with me and DH, but she saves her worst anger and defiance for L. She adamantly refuses to do what she is told, she shouts, spits, kicks, pushes DS around, insults L,etc.
I guess she is testing the boundaries with us both, and probably expressing some dissatisfaction about the loss of my full-time attention, but it is draining us all and I am concerned that L is going to get fed up with it or feel unable to deal with it.
So far we have responded by trying to support and back up L all the time when we are here as well, eg insisting that her instructions are followed, by making DD go back to her and ask for things in a polite calm way instead of shouting and screaming, and also by making a point of giving DD focused attention at weekends. is there anything else we should be trying? And when will it all end, ie will DD settle down with L and actually be the sweet co-operative kind child that she can be? L has been with us for a month now, and so far as I can see she hasn't put a foot wrong. She uses the same discipline that we do, ie quiet firm voice, counting to make DD do things, as a last resort make DD stand in the porch. I am not sure what else to do.

OP posts:

MaryP0p1 · 20/09/2005 09:10

Keep going is the only thing I can say. Perhaps have a word with DD. smething along the lines of I know you want Mummy and Daddy to be here but L is looking after you and when you are unkind to L you make Mummy very sad. It might work.


NannyL · 20/09/2005 10:03

Sounds like you are doing all the right things!

im sure in a few weeks it will all calm down!

alos any professionla nanny would expect a child to be less than pleased with them (rather than mummy) loooking after them and it is completly normal...

is she like this when you are not there? have you asked your nanny?
If she behaves better when you are not there maybe you could try and 'keep out of sight' for a while IUSWIM.

It may be that when you are NOT there you child is v good.... but she knows that by beingnaughty you will come out and back nanny up.... which in itself is you giving your daughter attention.... and unltimately what she wants?

just an idea

Sounds like you are doing your best, and that you are a nice employer to work for BTW


auntymandy · 20/09/2005 10:07

I would leave dd with L as much as possible. Get her to take Dd out without you and ds, you go out with ds and sometimes go out together. But try and let DD and l spend as much time together as pos. Ignore the bad behavour when pos and dont ask her to be good for L.


RTKangaMummy · 20/09/2005 10:31

I am impressed with how you are supporting L

I am wondering though whether giving DD focused attention at weekend may be making the week seem worse for DD


aloha · 20/09/2005 10:36

I think that it might well be the case that if you pop out of your office when she kicks off you are simply teaching her that to get Mummy's attention, she just has to be naughty.
Maybe you could switch that round so you never appear when she is kicking off, but when she is being cooperative and lovely, the nanny could say, 'Oh, you've been so wonderful doing that, so helpful and clever and kind (etc!) that we must go and tell mummy!' - cue lavish praise and attention!


RTKangaMummy · 20/09/2005 10:38

good idea aloha


hovely · 20/09/2005 10:42

Thanks for all your helpful responses.
Auntymandy why do you say not to ask dd to be good for L?
Yes, DD is like this when I am not around. I can see that when I come home or become 'visible' DD immediately starts to play up, but that is understandable in a way, and we just try to carry on being consistent.
i was thinking that focessed attention at the w/e would reassure DD that she is still important, and she does get to go to things she likes with L such as ballet (altho always with Ds around). I think that's a really good point for L and DD to spend time together without DS.

OP posts:

hovely · 20/09/2005 10:45

yes aloha, that is a good point, i generally do keep my head down, I meant more that when I am working at home and we all eat together, or at the end of the day if I am at home for bathtime, then i back up what L says.

OP posts:

RTKangaMummy · 20/09/2005 10:55

I meant that the extremes for her may be making it harder when it is week time

I was just thinking of one of my friends

Her DH spent all weekend doing stuff for children 100% of the time and then on Monday morning children were a nightmare cos other stuff happened like shopping cleaning etc but most importantly DH was at work

So when DH stopped doing 100% what the children wanted during weekend

Monday morning wasn't a nightmare any more


hovely · 20/09/2005 11:44

sounds like an exhausting lifestyle for her DH!

that is worth considering, though I don't think DD feels she gets her way all w/e, she gets special time ideally 1-1 with DH or me.

OP posts:

RTKangaMummy · 20/09/2005 11:50

oke doke I think I misunderstood

It was his/their choice to have the whole weekend revolve around children, if they want to go somewhere they went, if they want to paint they did, go to the park they did, etc etc.

So come monday morning with just mummy who also had to do washing cleaning shopping Mega temper tantrums.


AUBINA · 03/10/2005 23:16

When I was nannying a five year old boy he was rude and difficult to handle. It turned out he thought that I had arrived and Mummy was going. He hadn't had a nanny before and he was also traumatised by his parents divorce.

I think consistancy is so important and you seem very supportive of your nanny. I must say that from a nanny's point of view it is very hard when a parent works from home. The child knows you're there and the nanny feels it is hard to act naturally.


Pol25 · 04/10/2005 10:43

I nannied for a boy of 3 who had the same problem! It took around a month of perseverance but it paid off.
We had warnings for shouting or being rude to one another, if I was hit, kicked etc... I would warn and if he did not listen he used to be stood in the corner for 5 mins, It worked... he used many tacks to try and not be taken into liking me but eventually he caved in and I actually had a better relationship with him than his sisters who liked me from day one.
Tell L to hang in there, and the praise you give her in front of your D will work wonders.
Have you tried maybe you, L and your little one polaying together and if your D won't cooperate excluding her??? Sure she may come round to the idea then.


hovely · 13/10/2005 20:55

Thanks for additional messages, we are hanging on but it is still hard work.
At least L says that DD has definitely got better when I am not there. I think it is worst when I am working upstairs and they have all just gone down to get ready to go out, ie 'transition' time to just L being in charge. A sticker chart is also working quite well.

OP posts:

starshaker · 13/10/2005 21:09

a 3 yr old wee boy i used to nanny for was a total monster. if he was bad rude etc i just ignored him and he soon became the sweetest wee thing that when he said i love you i said how much and he said 2 much and gave me a big hug.


Amai · 13/10/2005 21:29

get a new nanny

Please create an account

To comment on this thread you need to create a Mumsnet account.

Sign up to continue reading

Mumsnet's better when you're logged in. You can customise your experience and access way more features like messaging, watch and hide threads, voting and much more.

Already signed up?