Nanny Is Yelling at My Child

Updated on November 24, 2010
T.R. asks from Chico, CA
24 answers

Dear Moms,
I would like to ask your advice. I have a 7 years old daughter who is sweet, bright but not very obedient child. I am very soft and eveveryone says that I am spoiling her. I am a single mom working full-time crazy schedule that frequently involves work at early mornings or evening and/or weekends. We have a live-in Nanny who was with us for over a year, officially employed (I am paying taxes for her etc) who also helps with housekeeping and cooking.

I firmly believe that yelling at anyone including children is not an acceptable way of communication, so I do not yell at my daughter, but the problem is that my daughter doesn't listen to me. My nanny believes that yelling is an acceptable pedagogic tool and ok to use. She believes that if she would not yell, my daughter wouldn't listen to her too, and it means she will be late for school, all activities where nanny drives her etc.

I really like this nanny and she helps me a lot but I really cannot accept yelling at a child. I discussed this with her on employment interview when she told she doesn't yell at children. After she started working it were several situations when I heard her yelling and I always discussed it with her and she tried to be nicer but my daughter actually stopped listening to her and was doing whatever she wants (like playing instead of going to school on morning at a risk of being late, or not going to shower and to bed on time, or being extremely picky with food).

Today when I was at home nanny started to yell at my daughter for a very minimal reason. I felt it is wrong and told this to nanny later when my daughter was at school. Nanny didn't seem to understand how serious my request is. So I wrote an official first notice and gave it in writing stating that if the yelling continues after 3rd notice the employment will end. Nanny became angry and told that she will stop yelling but she is sure my daughter will not listen to her and she will be always late for school etc. On evening she told me that she don't have timet do errand that she promised to do previously and that we have planned 2 weeks in advance.

We have several nanny's over the years but this one both my daughter and me like the most because she is usually fun, reliable (always helps for example when my daughter gets sick with minor illnesses she would go and pick her up from school even if this means missing her classes in college), helps extra with running errands like buying some household supplies, tutoring my daughter so she does very well in school, and also she and me became friends discussing a lot of personal stuff and emotionally supporting each other. I am sure my daughter would miss her a lot, she doesn't do well with changes like that. We both became attached to this nanny and I am sincerely grateful to her for all good extra things she did for us.

On the other hand my nanny doesn't seem to be able to understand that yelling at a child is wrong, and that is very distressing for me too. I feel awful and do not know what to do. She went for a weekend off to visit friend out of town and will be back on Monday.

one thing that makes it even more complicated is that she asked me recently to lend her a large amount of money so she can buy a better car, i agreed, and she planed to return it over a year, while working with us. She has a boyfriend who can lend her too but she doesn't want to accept it from him.

4 questions:
1. How to make your child listen and obey without screaming?
2. Would you keep this nanny or find a new one (she will likely continue yelling just do it when I can't hear :( ?
3. would you still lend money for a car given the fact that I am not sure how long can I continue her employment with us if she doesn't stop yelling?
4. Am I overreacting???

Sorry for a long message, will appreciate your s advice greatly

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So What Happened?

Thank you very much for helpful advice. We actually tried several times to solve yelling problem by finding a better solutions. I even took my daughter to a psychologyst, her testing showed she is normal, but counceling didn't help to change behavior. Timeouts did not work because she wouldn't stay in the room even for 1 minute. If we don't speak to her she would just read books. The punishment I usually use is taking away favorite activities like movies, going to library, going to pool , to farmers market etc. But it works very little. I can't come up with a plan that would work.

PS. Thank you all very much for your responses and my warmest thanks to those of you who gave actual advice what to do with my daughter and in a situation with nanny. I understood that majority of people feel it is not a good idea to lend monies to a nanny and I will not do this.

Regarding parenting I would like to add that I have read plenty of parenting and child development books including "Love and logic", and it is actually an approach I use with my daughter. the teachers in a private school she goes to also use Love and Logic approach. I have attended parenting classes too trying to find a way to get my daughter to listen and an alternative to a nanny's yelling.

I discussed this many times over the last year with a nanny trying to find a mutually acceptable parenting strategy. We did it with nanny, my daughter and therapist together as well, with little improvement. I was also very clear on her interview prior to hiring her that yelling and hitting should not be used at all, and she at that time told me she wouldn't do it, so I hired her and now having this issue. I'd like to clarify that as per our agreement nanny can help when the child needs to be picked up earlier (if I can't do it myself) for extra payment with overtime rate IF SHE WANTS TO, I am not "making her" to do it but I do appreciate when she does.

My daughter is and always been my top priority but unfortunately I cannot cut back on my work hours or to have a better schedule for now (it is more complicated than I can discuss here) and yes I am her sole provider.

I also had been consistent with consequences and everything and always supported nanny if she gave any discipline except yelling. We used a number of approaches as per Love and Logic book. Despite all of this I run out of options and that' why I posted this trying to get a specific helpful advice from more experienced moms who know how to make a child to obey without yelling.

Featured Answers



answers from St. Louis on

I am sorry, but you are out of line here. Re-read what Diana K. wrote until it sinks in and please be a parent.

More Answers



answers from Chicago on

I hate to say this but if you don't figure something out you are going to have a huge problem on your hands in the future. Your daughter is in charge and she knows it. And children want to be disciplined. They want to feel safe and secure by you showing her the ropes. They want to be taken care of. As far as yelling goes, I don't like to yell myself, but have done so. I also hear teachers yelling, we cannot curtail that. If you don't yell once in awhile you will get sick and I am serious. We are made like that. I am not talking about screaming like a bangy, I am talking about a firm disciplined tone of voice. The plan that will work and I guarantee this will work is that you show her who is in charge. You show her who will protect her and keep her safe. Do not let her get away with this another minute. You are too caring of a mom to lose your daughter to a world of pain,

8 moms found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

There are so many issues here. Your child is disobedient and you can't/won't control her. What nanny will want to care for her? You are the parent, you set the rules, you set the punishments, NOT your child. If she has time out and leaves the room after one minute, what happens next? In my house the child goes back to the room and the length of the time out is longer. You must be consistent. If you give in, then she knows she doesn't have to do what you say because eventually you give in. If you don't parent now, it will be hell when she is a teenager.

Next the nanny - if yelling is the only method your child reponds. How do you expect the nanny to perform all the tasks you have assigned her? If your daughter won't do as she is told then the nanny needs to spend more time getting her to do what she is supposed to do and has less time for other things. Your daughter not responding is your problem!

Actually it sounds like you have little respect for the nanny and I don't think it would be just her. You said she will miss her college classes to take care of your daughter when she is sick? That is your job! If she doesn't have things to do and is willing to do it, is fine. I would never have my nanny miss her classes for my sick child! I too have job with strange hours. I also can't walk away from my patients until I know someone else can cover them. My husband also travels frequently. Kids always get sick when he is gone.

Your the employer, not the bank! Keep those relationships separate. This nanny seems very good. You need to get your daughter under control, THEN you can expect the nanny to not yell. You need to do your job as parent first.

7 moms found this helpful


answers from New York on

This may sound harsh, but it doesn't sound like NOT yelling is working so...what would you like her to do?

It sounds like your daughter rules the roost. Does she have any discipline? What, in your eyes, is an effective punishment for not listening? Do you follow through on them?

My son is much younger, but I have noticed that sometimes yelling is the only answer (there's different types of yelling, too, there's raising your voice and then there's mean yelling which, I think is an obvious difference). Sometimes my son gets so involved with something that I have to raise my voice in order to get him to understand that what I'm saying is serious (whether it's because he's intentionally ignoring me or because he's fully engrossed in something else).

To me, it sounds like yelling is the least of your discipline problems.

Good luck.

7 moms found this helpful


answers from Miami on

I'm sorry to tell you, but you need to get a grip on your daughter. She's taking full advantage of you and your Nanny. I don't like yelling either but if I have to say it more than three times which should not be done the yelling is going to come out because your frustrated because your daughter isn't listening. She's 7 years old and old enough to understand what discipline is. Ground her, take things away from her punish her reasonably. If I were your Nanny I would probably yell as well. IF you like her so much and are really happy then both of you need to come to an agreement in discipline. Your Nanny is raising her just as much as you are. And it has to be on equal terms. It would be the same if her father were in the picture or a father figure where in the picture. If you say no tv and he says you can watch it for 5 minutes who do you think she's not going to listen to. "YOU". You need to develop discipline habbits with her and you need to share it with your Nanny and yes, you are spoiling her from the sounds of it.

7 moms found this helpful


answers from Boston on

First of all, I would not lend her the money, only because you don't want that to be a deciding factor in anything in this relationship. Never lend an employee money, period.

Secondly, having been a nanny, I'm telling you that you need to work _with_ your nanny to find an effective discipline method, now, or she is going to quit. You are putting her in an impossible position - she's responsible for getting your daughter to school on time, but you're not allowing her any tools to make that happen. She has to get the errands done, but your daughter rules the roost. Not fair.

What kind of yelling is she doing? There's screaming at someone in an illogical and cruel, and then there's yelling that is simply raising one's voice. If she's doing the latter, she's not harming your daughter, she's trying to get her to pay attention. She's not causing lasting harm. I think you are overreacting.

Finally, you mention that you've taken your daughter to a psychologist. It doesn't sound like there's anything wrong with your daughter - she sounds like a normal 7 year old who has no boundaries or discipline. I actually recommend that you go to a child psychologist _yourself_ to help learn some effective parenting techniques. I don't mean that in a cruel way at all, but if your 7 year old is like this, she's going to be much worse as she gets older.

The long and short is that you sound like you feel a little guilty about being a single working mom, and you try to make it up to your daughter by always being nice to her. That's not helping her, it's doing a disservice. Children require boundaries, even if it makes them unhappy.

I wish you luck.

7 moms found this helpful


answers from Minneapolis on

Don't let your personal attachments get in the way of facts.

Fact 1: You do not share the same parenting philosophy.
Fact 2: You are her employer and she is your employee, and that line should never be crossed by either of you, if you expect her to continue to be professional and reliable.
Fact 3: You are not a bank or lender.
Fact 4: She has not responded to your concerns let alone try an alternative method. She clearly is not very educated or skilled at her craft. A good nanny would actively work with you to find a suitable method of discipline. What is her training and background? Sounds like she's not licensed or educated in the area of child development. Did you get her through an agency, or is she someone who answered an ad? Don't blame your daughter's behavior. She's a child. The nanny is supposed to be the experienced professional here. If she can't deliver, she's not qualified.
Fact 5: You are not over-reacting...she's not fulfilling the requirements of her job, and you're rightfully frustrated with that.

Bottomline: It's not working out, you're dissatisfied, and the worse part of it all is you're being too nice with her. There should be no compromise when it comes to your daughter.

We are not there, but yelling can be abusive. The way I see it, if there isn't a life-threatening emergency or imminent danger, there is no need for a parent to yell as a form of "discipline."

Under any other circumstance yelling is the result of "anger" or lazy parenting because someone is getting impatient with the child. In the end it doesn't work, and will cause your daughter to be a yeller also when she encounters things she doesn't like or is frustrated. Depending on when (circumstances and frequency), how (is she physical and/or menacing), or what words (is she cutting the child down or threatening her) the nanny is "yelling", it can undermine your daughter's confidence, instill unhealthy fear, etc.

Yelling should not be confused with speaking firmly with a child by using the word no, or avoiding giving in to a tantruming child. When I think of someone yelling, I think of the interaction being very emotionally charged, sometimes physical if the person is in the child's face or pointing, and the person using very loud angry words and tone. On the other end of the spectrum, I'd describe someone being firm as being very strong yet controlled in their resolve as they carefully choose powerful but poignant words that clearly convey you won't be snowed over by tears and antics. The child knows who's boss without you having to demonstrate it in an out of control emotional way. Big difference. Since we don't know what you mean by yelling, I put this definition in here.

Your gut instincts are probably right on, and she needs to go. Why would you pay loads of money and benefits to keep a potential emotional abuser in the house?

I think her asking for a loan was crossing the line of professionalism and reveals something about how she views her relationship with you. There's a lack of respect indeed. If you are paying her benefits, and a salary, it is not your responsibility to manage her budget so she can get a car.

She needs to go to the bank like everyone else. If you're concerned about the nanny driving your daughter around safely during the day, there may be a benefit, but in the bigger scheme of things, if this isn't working out for you, you might be better off getting rid of her and then making it a point to hire a new nanny who has reliable transportation, can follow direction, manage her own budget/finances, and most important respect you as her employer.

Hope this helps shed some light from another perspective. You and your daughter deserve better.

One more observation or point: Your daughter is probably unresponsive to discipline because there are too many people doing the disciplining. She has too many people doing their own thing, and no consistency in discipline. If you are the primary disciplinarian, follow the same consistent method, she should come around. I agree with Janey J's assessment and recommendation.

7 moms found this helpful


answers from Kansas City on

Maybe you can put in a few less hours at work, so you can be with your kids more and you won't have any need for a nanny.

Perhaps your child is acting up because she needs more of her mommy, not a nanny!

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Sacramento on

Mom, time to get a new nanny but better yet find a job that allows you to be with your daughter more, she should be your the top priority in your life I feel and from the sounds of things she is not, your career is. I can tell you this will come bk to haunt you in the future when she is in her late tween and teenage yrs. It sounds like your daughter is being primarily raised by someone else and thus the reason for her behavior problems, she sees she is not a top proprity for you, your post was pretty sad to me. I would get some parenting books on child disciplining at the book store and read them for some pointers. Also, I would definitely not give out any more $ for a car. Please do the right thing for your daughter.

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Philadelphia on

Sounds like you are a self admitted non disciplinary parent, of a disobedient child, who wants the nanny to handle situations the way you do. If that is the case, find a new nanny and warn her that her job is doubly difficult because you don't discipline and your child is not forced to listen. I think who you're looking to hire is from a fantasy movie called "Mary Poppins".

You need to get a grip of your child. I couldn't imagine having to watch her as my job, it sounds like a nightmare job for your nanny. You say time outs don't work, for who I ask? They don't work for you or for your daughter? Your job is to make them work! How do you not have control over a 7 year old little girl. How is it that she doesn't have to listen to you or even worse a person who you put in charge of her care. Put your nanny's shoes on for a minute and look at how frustrating her job must be.
Personally I think you shouldn't be hiring someone else to take charge of your daughter if you can't take charge yourself. You set the standard as the mother of this child, and it sounds like you have not set any standard. I realize that you have to work and that you're doing this job "alone" but I know other working single parents who do a darn good job at raising their children even without a nanny. As someone else responded that they think "yelling is a result of angry or lazy parenting", I respectfully disagree. I think not disciplining is a result of lazy parenting, not yelling. Yelling is a natural response to frustration for some people.
I would like to recommend a book for you and nanny to read. It's an easy read and if you both agree with the suggestions from getting grip on your daughter then maybe it will put you on the right track. It's called "Making Kids Mind, Without Losing Yours" by Kevin Leman. I hope it helps.
I wish you all the best for you and your daughter.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

I would suggest finding another method for you both to use in disciplining your is frustrating when you can't get a child to listen and don't know what to do. Have you heard of Love and Logic? If not, I suggest looking into it and you both and learn the techniques. To answer your other questions...I think you should work with the nanny to find a workable solution - she just needs another way to go about handling your daughter. I however would advise against loaning money, as it can ruin the relationship.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

I'm a mom of a 7 &9 year old who was a nanny all through college, so maybe I can offer a little bit of insight. :)

1) I'm guessing that Nanny yells because she feels that she has a responsibility to care for your daughter, but feels powerless to carry it through. I would suggesting taking an evening with daughter & nanny. Tell daughter that you love her & want a good life for her but that means you need help- and nanny is there to help see that daughter is cared for. Tell daughter that you don't like yelling, but that her behavior is making it very difficult for you & nanny to take care of her. Ask her why she behaves this way (you'll probably get an "I don't know" but at least you've shown her that her thougths are important to you.) Then, together with Nanny & daughter write up 3-5 Family Rules that you ALL agree to follow. Example might be : We will speak respectfully to each other. We will be responsible for getting ready for school/activities on time each day. Then set a very clear consequence- if time outs don't work (I would suggest a place other than her room- we use our staircase- but anyplace where she can't see you, but you can hear her is best.) choose something else- maybe a point system where she can earn or loose points toward a bigger reward- like a day w/ mom.
The most important thing is that you and nanny stick to the rules and the consequences. The first several times will be hard- daughter will test to see how much you "mean" what you say. But stick to it and shortly you'll see her trusting that you mean business and will respond. Also very important is to praise her when she does follow the rules. Kind and encouraging words will qucikly become the thing she seeks.

2- If your only problem with nanny is the yelling, using clear discipline practices that take away the need to yell should solve the problem. :)

3-No, I would never lend the money. Your relationship with nanny is too personal and too important to your daughter to taint with financial issues. Maybe offer to help her budget her pay so that she can quckly save up a bigger down payment...

4- If you're acting out of love for your daughter, I don't think you can "over" react. :) Good luck!

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

what a difficult position for your nanny to be in. you admit you are an ineffective parent, but expect the nanny to be effective. yelling isn't a good response, but you haven't given her any tools to work with.
if indeed you like this lady (and it sounds as if you do) you need to sit down together and work out a discipline game plan and stick to it. that means you too. your 7 year old is too young to be the point person in your household, and she will be very relieved when you let her off the hook. 7 is far too young to be in charge.
if you conceive and implement a better parenting strategy and your nanny doesn't comply, find another one. but i'm betting she'll work out just fine if you quit hanging her out to dry.
do not lend her money.
you are not overreacting, but you are under-parenting. fix that.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

OK, I think there are several layers to this "onion" and each one needs to be dealt with differently.

- You and your daughter both like this nanny, do you like the other aspects of this nanny enough to want to help her come up with a better solution for your daughter? In my management experience, things really change when you are in a "arranged relationship" that can not be broken. I have many "arranged relationships" that force me to develop people that I would otherwise fire. In this situation, if you really like her, you should help her come up with other ways to handle the situation because who knows what you would get next and that it would improve.

- Remind your nanny that she is in control. I find myself yelling when I feel like I have "lost control of the situation"- which she somewhat indicates when she said "if she doesn't yell your daughter will not". The nanny is in control, and she needs to feel that way.

Both your daughter and your nanny need to work on these behaviors and I
do believe that your nanny could quit yelling if she can find better solutions.

- Tips we received from our school about getting our kids to listen is to get down next to them and talk to them- make eye contact with them. They say "parents who are good listeners raise children that are good listeners". Also, get their attention by stating their name first. Their relationship is so developed- your daughter may not be as "sensitive" to the nanny talking to her as she was at first. With our son, I will call him by a cartoon characters name sometimes because he just toons me out. If he is watching TV or on the computer- it is a lost cause, he has to turn it off because he can not hear when it is on.

- Another method we have found that works much better is to start earlier, lay out the next three things or so that need to be done to get ready to go and then send them on their way to get ready. I also love the "challenge" method- our kids resond really well to this. At bed time it is a race to the bathroom- we always joke about leaving someone if they don't make it to the car in time, or the first one to get buckled into their seats gets to pick the music. Simple rewards(or just bragging rights) can change the fight into laughter.

- I am not a big fan of loaning money to anyone so that is a personal choice. What if something terrible happened(outside of firing her) and she couldn't pay you back?

- You aren't overreacting to the listening, perhaps threatening the job is a bit scary for the nanny. I have been threatened with my job once and it really broke all trust I had for that manager.

We have dealt with yelling at our kids in our household as well- the only difference is the person yelling was not our nanny. We needed behavior modification and it takes time, but it is possible! Good luck!

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

How about some parenting classes for you and the nanny (since she is helping you co-parent your child? Or maybe someone or the library can suggest some self help books-like Talking so your child will listen (i can't remember the exact title). This might give you both the skills to better communicate with your daughter (which will probably get harder as she gets older) and get her to obey. I know that at times I have had to yell at my kids to get their attention and focus. It sounds like this nanny meets a lot of the needs of your family and would be difficult to replace. If her yelling was punitive, cruel or abusive, I would be concerned. If her yelling is reminding, attention getting: You've got 2 minutes to get down here for breakfast!!, I wouldn't be concerned. I would not lend her money to buy a car, however, if she is providing transportation to your child, I would want to make sure she has a reliable vehicle. Do you provide her with a car allowance or mileage for her vehicle? I don't know if you are overreacting, but this seems to have gotten your attention.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Savannah on

Hum......I don't like yelling at my kids either but I do find myself doing it from time to time, more out of frustration because they aren't doing what I asked them probably repeatedly. And I don't think I'd care for someone yelling at my child either.

Have you sat down with the Nanny and both of you came up with discipline ideas for you both to use with your daughter?? Like using time outs, when to use them, for how many mins, etc. That way you are both on the same page, she knows what is allowed for her to do instead of yell, you are both doing the same thing (consistency) and your daughter doesn't have to change gears between parent and nanny.

I wouldn't loan her money. That's what banks are for and what happens if you would have to end her employment to get it back??

Good luck!

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Denver on

It sounds like your daughter is doing what kids do and that is to take over when given the opportunity. I am not a yeller but have found that once and a while that raising my voice is necessary. Yelling for frivolous reasons is hard to choke down but we are all human and it does happen sometimes.

I tend to think I have quite a good handle on my kids (3), each of them have their trigger points that I have to give special attention to, but they generally want to make their father and I happy. There are a couple things I have noticed we do that works like a charm.

First, we NEVER make idle threats. In other words, if we say "you need to get dressed or we will not go to the zoo today", they can be rest assured they will not be going to the zoo if they do not get dressed. An "yes" it will affect the whole family. I also try not to make every action threatened with a consequence, it just makes the day tense. I try to talk about the benefits of the action. In other words, I also like to say "we really need to hurry up and get dressed so we get to see the animals at the zoo when they are most active!" It all depends on the mood for the day, and the child I am dealing with, etc.

Second, we do not focus on saying "you are such a good girl/boy for doing that", instead we focus on saying "I am SO impressed with the effort you put into doing that". I know it sounds silly, but just saying their good doesn't tell them the behavior you like them to do. Being specific with kids and explaining that you like the effort goes a lot further.

Another thing we struggled with early on was the getting places on time. I have learned that the more rushed I am the more stressed and out of control my kids are. We have discovered that we need to allow DOUBLE the time at least to get out the door. For example, my oldest needs to be to school by 8:15am (20 minute drive), I get up at 5am and get completely dressed then wake him at 6am. Seems extreme, but the first thing I have him do is get completely dressed to his shoes and jacket by the door. Then we get the backpack ready and we are done. All of this takes around a half hour or so. Some days longer, some days shorter, but it doesn't matter because we are so early we have the time to dilly some days. Now we have a solid hour and 15 minutes to have a nice breakfast, make his lunch, read a book, watch a show, whatever. It is the best time of our day. Then we just walk out the door - on time. No stress, no arguments. Maybe your nanny can focus on adding a lot more time before she has to get your daughter out the door. I bet she will find the need to yell and struggle to be on time will go away.

It sounds like this nanny is a good match for your personality and has become a good addition to your home. I totally understand how hard it is to find childcare that is comforting. Since you have a good relationship otherwise, you both should sit down and discuss ways to make this work and take control of your daughter. Don't get me wrong, your daughter is not naughty, she is just doing what kids do, she is working the system. Believe me, she knows you and the nanny are not cohesive right now and works it (this is not a conscious effort by the way, it is just what they do).

I would also see what you can do to be home a few mornings a week so you can try some techniques that you would like the nanny to try. It really is a team effort and you need to get your hands in there and see what works and doesn't.

Regardless of what works for you guys, the parenting and care for your child needs to be consistent. If you do not want yelling in your home then both you and the nanny need to come up with a way to not have yelling. This should not be an argument this is to be a solution. As the employer, it is your job to help your nanny find ways that work, pointing the finger and threatening her job will only make it worse.

Hope this helps. I know how hard it is to manage everything.

P.S. If you have already told her you would loan the money, then you need to loan it. If not, then don't do it.

P.S.S. Your daughter does not need counseling. She is perfectly normal. You and the nanny need a plan that works for your daughter.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Detroit on

Have you explained to your daughter that the nanny might 'leave' if she doesn't start listening and paying attention? That may be the jolt she needs to take her part in this triangle seriously. Do not tell yor daughter that the nanny may be fired if she continues to yell as this will give your daughter way too much power. Just explain to her that her behaviour is quite frustrating and that it needs to change if it doesn't change then the nanny may leave and you will have to find a new one which wouldn't be fun for you or your daughter.

If you have already said you would lend the money then by changing your mind now will put a huge strain on your relationship as the nanny will now assume that she will be fired soon and may just be proactive and find alternate employment/living arrangements before that happens.

It would appear that all three of you like and need each other so the two adults need to come up with an equitable solution and then get your daughter on board ensuring that everyone (especially your daughter) be held accountable for their actions.

Good luck

2 moms found this helpful


answers from St. Louis on

Get rid of her. She sounds like a mess. You are her employer, not her bank, and it sounds like a risky thing to get mixed up with. I also hope these nanny's are getting a background checks too. She said she yells at your daughter because she doesnt listen, well shes not listening to you when you tell her not to yell at your daughter. You are paying her, and if she is not listening to you, I think its time to move on.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Charlotte on

Oh T., you are in a real mess here. First, this woman doesn't know how to handle a spirited child, other than to yell. Why would you have someone in your home who does this? It doesn't work anyway in the long run. You have to make changes that result in her listening as a habit instead of being yelled at. Eventually the yelling won't work - what is next? Will the nanny hit her?

Secondly, you've made a BIG mistake agreeing to loan her money for a car. Don't you realize that you have just given her a reason to WANT to continue yelling at your daughter? She will do it in order to force you to fire her so that she can stop paying you back. Once she isn't working for you anymore, she will disappear and you'll never see your money. Tell her that you have changed your mind and will NOT be loaning her the money.

Third, start interviewing NOW. Tell the agencies point blank that you want a woman who has expertise in handling spirited children, including ADHD children. Add to this that you want someone who is successful in handling them WITHOUT YELLING. A woman with a degree in childhood development would be best, IF she knows how to put it into practice.

You may have to pay more, but what you'll have is a better child for it, a better home, and less trouble in school. And NEVER lend a large amount of money to your nannies. You give them power over you that they do not need.

Btw, someone mentioned your warning in your interview possibly breaking the trust she has in you as her employer. You know what, you aren't her mother. You are her boss. Bosses all over the globe have to give warnings to employees. Without the warning, there's just the firing! I'd so much rather as an employee have a warning than walk in one day and be given a pink slip. If the employee has the right attitude, one in which she respects the position of her employer, instead of "losing trust", she'll fix the problem which shouldn't be there in the first place. And by the way, I've had to do this myself as a manager, T.. For some employees, it kept me from having to fire them because they shaped up.

I'm serious here, T.. You have to stop being so nice. You'll hurt your child if you do.


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answers from Boston on

It sounds like yelling/raising your voice is the one way to get your daughter to even slightly respond and do what she should and it also sounds like your nanny has better control then your daughter. Stop letting your 7 yr old rule your home your the parent. Time outs would work if you didn't give in and let her out. You keep restarting the timer until she stays in there even if it takes an hour to get her to stay in her room.

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answers from Decatur on

Hi, I am a behavior analyst and a mother of a three year old. I'll let you know how you can get your child to listen to you without screaming or spanking, but I will tell you this, it is more work (but very much worth it). First you must pair with her. This means showing her that you are a lot of fun and you think she is a lot of fun. You need to become very involved in the things she finds reinforcing. Be on the constant lookout for what is most reinforcing to her at the time. With my son it is often a toy or an activity. First you must discover what the antecedent condition is. For example, does she want to escape your demand? Is she distracted? Is she very tired or hungry? Is she seeking negative attention? Once you have identified the antecedent, act accordingly. If she is escaping your demand, remove ALL reinforcement until demand is complied with. Do not allow her to read a book, play with a toy, etc. If you cannot get her to comply with the original demand, begin placing smaller demands which she is more likely to do or give her demands that you can actually make her do (for example raise your arms, clap your hands). For this you can gently guiding her hands to do the demands. Once she starts doing them on her own begin giving some verbal reinforcement, like "that is better behavior." Once she has complied with five or more demands on her own, you may begin reintroducing reinforcers. Then return to the original demand. An easy way to do this is to keep a chart. Have your child pick from a reinforcer from five or so reinforcers that she likes. It can be candy, a toy, game, or activity. Preferably it is something she can do with you, so that you become a part of the reinforcement. As she refuses to comply you can remove tokens from her board until compliance occurs. You can start adding them back on after she has complied with the original demand. Obviously if the antecedent is she is hungry, tired, or distracted, take care of those things first, then go back to placing the demand. If the problem is she is seeking attention from you, completely ignore the behavior. Be sure that you are a part of her reinforcement and giving her plenty of positive attention that way this negative attention seeking will lessen naturally. However if the negative attention seeking still occurs, do not show any reaction, just completely ignore her. Block any aggressive behavior and go on about your business until the behavior has extinguished. If she does the attention seeking at a time when you need to get out the door, do not say a word, avoid eye contact and gently guide all of her movement. Make her get dressed by putting your hands over her hands and guiding her. Eventually she will learn she gets no attention from that behavior and she will stop. Another common antecedent is frustration. If too many demands are being placed, a child may become frustrated. This is why it is so important to reinforce good behavior which helps a child deal with multiple demands. Also, she may need to learn some calming techniques if frustration is a problem. I don't know your daughter personally, but the best thing I can say is watch for what reinforces her, become involved with the reinforcement, then give and remove reinforcement according to the antecedent condition. I hope this helps!

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answers from Raleigh on

wow, if she does not obey now what s going to happen when she is a teenager????Read .....was a lifesaver for us.
I was a nanny for a long time, I never yelled, because parents did their job and kids WOULD NOT DARE dissobey that I am a mom I have moments when I yell at my kids, but working hard to stop it.

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answers from San Francisco on


You need to get a behavior specialist involved with your child. Your child needs to mind whoever is caring for her wether it is you or the nanny. Unless you give the nanny other tools to work with, she will be ineffective at her job and your child won't listen to her. Sit down with her and the behavior therapist and the three of you work out a behavior plan/chart for your daughter. You must all be on the same page or it won't work. Then put the plan in action. It sounds like you have a good nanny who loves your daughter-she doesn't want to yell, but that is the only thing your daughter will respond to at this point. Work with her on this-- you can work it out. As for lending money for the car--- NO~ Don't do it-- its never good to lend money in a working relationship. As for over reacting, yes, I think you have. Be more sympathetic to the nanny's position as well- she is trying to do the best she can and get your child to school on time etc. Work with her and the therapist- I think it will help~


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answers from St. Louis on

I am sorry, but you are out of line here. Re-read what Diana K. wrote until it sinks in and please be a parent.

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