Hi Cathy, I have just become a nanny. I love it but the little boy can be very cheeky and says things like ‘My mummy is the boss and only she can tell me what to do’, and if I’m singing a song to the baby, he says ‘She doesn’t like that song so can you stop singing it please?’ Today he hit his bother and when I asked him to apologies he raised his voice and said ‘Don’t look at me like that! I don’t like angry voices!’ despite the fact that I hadn’t used an angry voice, simply a firmer tone. I’m writing down everything in a diary to back myself up, but I’m worried that he will tell his parents things and twist it around. I’m telling the parents what the children have been doing every day, but there’s part of me that’s worried that his parents may misinterpret something. I think it’s mainly because he is used to having his mummy and daddy around all the time, and now I have come along. How would you deal with this situation?
CG: Congratulations on your new post. I am sure you are doing a great job although I can see why you are worried. You are right to be making notes of what the child says in respect of your care of him and his siblings. It is also appropriate to advise his parents. I think you can say to the parents that you feel he seems to resent your role so that if he does make an allegation they will have a better understanding of why. Foster carers see a lot of this type of behaviour and we always keep detailed log notes. You are right when you say that the boy is reacting because a nanny is now looking after him and not his mother. Even so he needs to learn that you are in charge and his comments are not acceptable. You can say this to him but it would be better if you and the parents sat down together to speak to him. Also, there are lots of useful tips and strategies in Happy Kids including a chapter especially for Nannies.