Oh! The Chaos!!

I am 51 and was a nanny for 6 years before I had my first child 24 years ago. I have subsequently parented 3 amazing kids into adulthood.
I am back in a Nanny position and have been with the family for a week. And I am shocked!! These kids run the show. There is no respect for the parents or any adult for that matter. They set the schedule, "order" dinner and are so entitled.
This is a young family with 3 children 7,5, and 2. The mother is sleep deprived because all 3 kids end up in their bed. The house is a mountain of toys, the children don't even know they have. The kids are shuttled everywhere for extra curricular activities and there is little "play" time for them. She knows it is chaos, but I really don't think she has any guidance .
I am curious to know what is my responsibility to the parents. What guidance is appropriate? these kids need firm and loving parenting.
I'm a great believer that children focused marriages make for divorce and teach the children entitlement and emulate poor partnerships.
I really want to help this family.
Thanks for your input.


I don't have much input or advice to give but I do agree with you. Children are worshiped in our society today and parents think that if they aren't doing everything for their children then they are failing as parents. Don't get me wrong I love kids! I just think children today lack proper guidance. A lot of children I encounter also lack respect for adults. For example, the kids I work for are lovely (most of the time) dads way of parenting is much different from moms parenting. Mom will drop anything and everything that she is doing to help her kids even if it's something as simple as getting her son a pair of socks that he is fully capable of getting himself (I am a strong advocate for teaching independence early on) They also inturupt mom while she is on the phone or conversing with someone and she allows it. She gives in to this terrible behavior by stopping the conversation she is having with another adult to answer to her children. This has created awful habits because the children will yell and scream at their mom until she pays attention to them. I have noticed over and over again that even if her and I are talking about the day, school activities, important things etc. if one of her kids is yelling for her she will ignore me to attend to them. It's frustrating at times and communication starts to break down. It also shows the children that all they need to do to get attention is to yell and interrupt an adult which is not okay. Dad on the other hand does not do this. He will finish the conversation he is having with me or anyone else before he answers to his kids and he will explain to them that adults are talking so they need to wait their turn. This is exactly the approach I use and it works rather well for me. I wish mom would see that but that's not my problem. I can only do so much. I hope you figure out a way to either talk to the parents or start implementing a better system. Thanks for your post.

So, I too, am an older nanny with a 20 year-old and this seems to be the "new family". The 7 and 5 year-old should be in school and have home work nightly. It seems that working parents want others to care and raise their children whether it be a nanny like ourselves or grandma. I think they want the kids "totally worn out" at bedtime so they can just put them in bed at 7:30 p.m. and then they are Done for the Day. I don't think at 7 and 5 that the kids need constant activity. I can see on a Saturday, doing a gymnastics class, but the Family Should be Together and then take their own children to these activities. I have witnessed this with my last family. The father takes the two boys to Grandma's at 7:30 a.m. no breakfast, while mommy gets ready for her job in quiet. Dad does the drop-offs and picks up at 5:30 at grandma's each night. Grandma Feeds these boys breakfast, then runs them to preschool and classes during the 9-12 a.m. mornings, then brings them to her house and feeds them lunch, mostly fast food, and then dinner at 4:30. Their mother is at work all day and does not cook at all for these boys. Then on Saturday, she has the nerve to come over again to grandma's with the boys. Grandma is her mother. These boys have not started kindergarten as of yet, but will next Fall. Grandma takes them to parks, swim classes, and any other activities to get them out of her house! She just informed me that the oldest is going to Camp and Preschool 4 half days this Fall as she needs to keep him busy and give herself a break! I helped her with this for 6 months and just could not relate, as you, on how can parents "dump their kids" daily with grandma or at an activity weekly. Grandma also pays for all their fast food meals, 3 meals weekly at her home, holiday outfits, photos in these outfits, book orders from preschool, and memberships yearly to places (museums, gymnastics, swim lessons etc.) just to get them out of the house. Honestly, all kids want is time with mom and dad and staying home with them or doing something with mom/dad and it doesn't have to be expensive, not running all day and night. Their mother told grandma don't give 2 year old a nap because he won't sleep at 7:30 p.m. and stays up til 10:30 at night, keeping her up! Like you, I just could not sit there daily and go along with what the parents were doing week after week. Taking advantage of her mother.
Grandma agreed to care for the first baby, and now they are pregnant with #3! I have a niece who has 3 boys 15, 11, and 7. All boys are in school daily but she has them in all sports year round and complains about it, but won't stop it. She says they need exercise and need to be worn out daily. I think all this go, go, will backfire on these parents. When the kids are older, they will not want to be with the parents, have a family meal together or go on vacation as a family. We wonder why?? kids get in trouble as adolescents and teenagers? No attention, no family unit, no direction. All of this is done by non-family members and coaches. Nannies who are doing all the work will be let go if we comment and ask why?? I just stopped caring for older children after this grandma's family, I just cannot deal with it. I now limit my business to Newborn Infants to age 2 only. No older children. I feel too sorry for the kids. I just cannot keep my mouth shut. I see it yearly. The more money parents work, the busier they want the kids. Honestly, out of the last 4 families, I have worked for, only 1 family really wanted to care for their child and be with him nightly and spent time with him on weekends. Sad. I also cannot transport Any Child in my Personal Vehicle as my car insurance will not cover me. Parents are quick to sue you if their child gets hurt in an auto accident in your car. Another thing to consider. I see a lot of ads on Care.com of "pickup and drop off my kids to school", feed and help kids with homework after you pick them up. So, what does mom and dad do with these kids? Why have children? Once the couple earns six figures each, they will not give it up. My heart goes out to you, but yes this is the new family. I have been seeing this since 1999. If you decide to stay in the nanny business, I would switch to infants only. Good luck to you and let us know what you decide. miss pat

I’ve decided to wait a week or two and get to know the family better. I’m a pretty straight forward person and a great believer in rigorous honesty.
I’m planning on sitting down with the parents and discussing what would be best as far as discipline is concerned.
Both parents are doctors and incredibly intelligent, but don’t know squat about children.
I think with gentle guidance and sincere want for the kids success we can come to a “meeting of the minds”. If not there are always people looking for a firm and loving Nanny

I worked nannying 3 children, 1, 3 and 5. Never again. I am currently nannying 2 kids, 3 and 6. I drive my own car to drop off oldest to school and I aways worry of something happeninng while transporting them to school and activities. I believe this is the last time I nanny older kids. I rather nanny newborns to 2 year olds.:)