Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Attention Moms With Nannies: Here's What Your Nanny is Doing

She's in my children's room, sitting on a sofa with 2 other nannies, gossiping (often in Spanish) and having a good time.  Or she's sitting on a chair, pretending to watch your child play while her head is bent over her phone, oblivious to what he or she is doing.

Your child is playing with other toddlers with little or no supervision.She's wandering about the room into the areas with shelves where books can topple onto her and where she could cut herself on sharp metal shelves.  He's crawling across the room, pulling books off the shelves and possibly finding things to put in his mouth.  She's racing out of the children's room towards the front door and the street. Hopefully a nice homeless person will catch her before she gets to the road--it happened this past summer, so perhaps she'll luck out too.

Your nanny isn't reading to your kid. She NEVER reads to your kids. There are boxes of paperbacks with junky TV characters, boxes of paperbacks in Spanish, tons of bright board books in Spanish and shelves and shelves of English board books. She doesn't so much as pick up a book and look at the pictures in it with your child.  She doesn't check out any books either--you could give her your card (if you have one) or get her one so she could do so. But you don't. And so she ignores the books.

She isn't talking or playing with your child at the library. She's just dumping your child on the floor and hanging out with her friends.

And when I had tons of great interactive toys, not only would she do the same thing, but she and her friends would walk out of the library, leaving books and toys scattered everywhere. That's why there are fewer toys with moving parts now. My husband made them a great toy kitchen, but the pieces went everywhere and they stuffed other random toys in the opening on the bottom.

Speaking of kitchens, she's feeding your child goldfish crackers or cheerios right under the "No Eating" sign, leaving them to be crushed under other kids' feet. That's if she isn't pulling out an applesauce and feeding it to them--or handing them little pieces of the fruit we found all over the shelves last week!

Now it could be that your nanny is NOT doing that. I have some wonderful nannies who DO come in and interact with their charges. Who read to them here and take books home. Who clean up the toys and put them away in the right boxes, and don't let the kids pull books.  But they're few and far in between.

It was a lovely fall day today. Your child should have been out in the park, running and playing and developing large motor skills that more and more studies show are key to brain development.

Instead they were here.

I know all about this, and you don't. Because you're never here. But I am.

The Library Lady
(Who is very, very grateful her kids had wonderful home day care providers who didn't have to take them on an endless round of "enrichment" classes, but let them be part of their home life, and took them to the playground just about every day.)

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