The Parent-Teacher-Child Connection: 10 Common Ways That Kids Show Disrespect For Their Nanny or Babysitter

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

10 Common Ways That Kids Show Disrespect For Their Nanny or Babysitter

This guest blog comes from, but the advice applies not only to nannies, but also to babysitters and a step-parent.  Disrespect should never be tolerated with anyone.

Even the most well-behaved child can have trouble adjusting to a full-time childcare provider, especially if they’re accustomed to having a parent at home during the day. Here are some signs that your youngster may be finding the adjustment difficult.
  1. “You’re Not My Mom!” – Kids know how powerful a weapon this phrase can be, and will not hesitate to use it if they get upset enough. If it’s brought to your attention that this is becoming a problem, it may be time to sit down with your child and have a talk about what’s causing the behavior.
  2. Going Over Nanny’s Head – As tempting as it is to solve the problem that an unhappy child presents, it’s important never to undermine your nanny’s authority. Once this precedent is set, it will be nearly impossible for her to regain control.
  3. Ignoring or Defying Commands – Defiant behavior and deliberately ignoring requests to do chores or homework is one of the most common ways a child displays their lack of respect for the person in authority. Be sure to keep an eye out for signs of this behavior, as it can be very difficult to correct if left unchecked for too long.
  4. Blatant Disregard For Rules – If your child knows bed time is at eight, but is still running wild when you get home at nine, it may be time for a conversation with your nanny. If you find that there’s an established pattern of flagrant rule-breaking, this could be a sign that there are respect issues between your child and the nanny.
  5. Invading Personal Space – Your live-in nanny’s quarters are often the only place that she can view as a sanctuary. It’s very important to explain to your children that Nanny’s space is her own, and is off-limits unless they’ve been invited. A child that frequently ignores this request is being disrespectful of the boundaries you and your nanny have set in place.
  6. Ignoring a Live-In Nanny’s Off Hours – Much like her personal space, your nanny’s free time must be just that. Children that don’t respect their nanny will often place unfair demands on her, such as expecting her to attend to their needs when she’s off the clock.
  7. Breaking Curfew – A child that has no respect for their caregiver will often ignore curfews and time limits. Aside from creating a stressful work environment for your nanny, it may be dangerous for the child.
  8. Lying – One of the most common signs of disrespect, habitual dishonesty can cause chaos in a household. Untrue statements made by a child to a parent about the nanny’s behavior may injure the trust that parent has, straining the relationship and even leading to the loss of the nanny’s services. Try to give your nanny the benefit of the doubt, at first, especially if your child has a history of stretching the truth.
  9. Frequent Temper Tantrums – A child that throws themselves on the floor to scream every time they’re gently reprimanded or asked to complete a task is a nanny’s worst nightmare. Most children will only attempt this behavior with people they think will allow it, but it can also be a sign of defiance.
  10. Talking Back and Arguing – This is par for the course with most teenagers, but if your younger child is in the habit of arguing with your nanny or talking back to her, it’s a clear sign of disrespect.
While good communication is a key part of your relationship with a childcare provider, it’s also important to be observant. A nanny with a soft heart may be hesitant to “tattle” on your child and may not be developing the respect needed; also, acting out can be a sign that your child is under stress. Either way, quietly keeping your eye on the interaction between your child and their caregiver is imperative.

Happy parenting!

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