Diana Baumrind was a developmental psychologist at the University of Berkley in the 1960's. After many interviews, observation sessions and much analysis, Diana Baumrind concluded there are three parenting styles.
The Authoritative Parent
Parenting in the authoritative style is the most recommended by child psychologists and development specialists. Authoritative parents set clear boundaries with consistent consequences. Communication goes two ways, and children feel they can come to their parents if they do not understand the reasons behind the rules. Children of authoritative parents have self-confidence without being too prideful. They are independent. They regulate their emotions well and are rarely impulsive or destructive.
The Authoritarian Parent
Authoritarian parents have high expectations, with little to no flexibility. They expect their children to always obey them without question, and do not communicate the reasoning behind their rules. Communication is very one-sided. Children of authoritarian parents have low self-esteem. They are more dependent on others and are not confident in their ability to make sound judgement calls. They do not respect authority. They often feel depressed and lonely.
The Permissive Parent
Permissive parents have low expectations with little to no discipline. Discipline is inconsistent at best. They are most likely to ignore potentially dangerous behavior and may intentionally avoid their children. Children of permissive parents often struggle with depression, suicide, anxiety and other mental health disorders. They may be bossy and aggressive. They often feel lonely and like they can not trust anyone.
In his blog post on 30 Seconds, "Nanny Responsibilities & Expectations: Consider This Before You Say "Not My Job," Matthew Lister suggests a one- size- fits- all approach to being a nanny. According to Lister our job is to do enough housework and other things that our nanny parents can come home and do nothing but give all their attention to their children. It may be convenient for parents to come home with dinner on the table and a clean house, but I think Mr. Lister misses the point of being a nanny. His condescending approach, and his way- too- short for comfort blog post lacks any evidence his approach works for everyone and implies that all nannies who disagree with him are somehow lazy, entitled and not doing their job.
The post lays out a series of one to two sentence arguments that are difficult to understand. There seems to be four main points in his less than 400-word piece. These points are so nuanced that one could write a book on each of them. While reactions have varied, many nannies (the very people the post seems to target) have not taken kindly to his condescending attitude. Going point- by- point, let's talk about the supposed 'lazy nanny' Mr. Lister has described.
"Most think a nanny is there to feed and change the children, put them down for naps and keeping them safe- anything child specific."
Our job is to work with parents to raise happy, healthy, capable and thriving adults. If we are focusing too much on house work and organizing the family schedule, we can't truly do our job. Nannies do many things, but keeping the house spotless so parents don't have to clean is our last priority. We are educators, nurses, facilitators, counselors and much more, but we are not the maid. If parents want a pristine house when they get home from work, they need to hire a maid. Parents won't come home to a thrashed house, but they should not expect every chore to be done either.
Many nannies do extra housework when we have time and energy, because we genuinely care about our nanny families, but our first priority is our charge. Our job is also not to organize the household. If the nanny family wants a household organizer, they can hire one. We are nannies. Many of us are also household organizers, but we charge extra for that. Families should only expect us to do the chores and planning outlined in our contract, anything more than that is our choice. Most nannies will do a little extra housework if a parent asks nicely, though.
Seattle Area Nanny, Carissa Moran says in part, "… getting kids on a functional sleep schedule, teaching self- soothing, helping children with behavioral issues, potty training etc, are all things that are just normal parts of the job that help parents a ton." A nanny does a lot more than just keeping kids alive and feeding them, but that is an issue for another post.
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"You will want extra hours sometime, or take an extra day or even want a great reference; going above and beyond will help with that."
Believe it or not, most nannies go above and beyond what is in their contracts. We just have to be careful how much more we do, because so many nanny families become entitled and start to expect us to do way more than what was originally agreed upon. Domestic workers like nannies are taken advantage of often. When we go above and beyond, we are doing it because we want to, but some parent come to expect it and become rude and disrespectful if we suddenly don't go above and beyond one day.
Countless nannies who have gone above and beyond every day have had their nanny family turn on them and start treating them like 'the help,' instead of an equal. Some nannies have had parents refuse to pay them when they can't go above and beyond one day. Our job is to follow our contract and help parents raise thriving adults. Anything we do outside of that is 'above and beyond' and we expect to work with parents who are grateful we are working so diligently to help raise their children to be healthy and productive human beings.
"If you can't take five minutes to help the family, then maybe you are in the wrong industry…"
Helping a family looks different for different nannies and families. Some families want a nanny to focus entirely on their child without worrying about housework or watching their pets. 'Helping' is not a one- size- fits- all concept. One thing to keep in mind is that most chores take more than five minutes. Most nannies are willing to do an extra chore here and there to help a family, but it is not our job to clean the whole house so Mom and Dad don't have to do anything but play with their kids. Again, ask nicely and most nannies are completely willing to do an extra chore that isn't in our contract once in a while, but if parents start expecting or demanding it, they can also expect to lose their nanny.
"I hope some will reconsider their views and make positive changes accordingly."
This author seems to think that any nanny who disagrees with how he thinks our job should be done is doing something wrong. What happened to an open discussion? Who is he to say that the changes he thinks we should make are positive for everyone? If he wants to engage nannies in a constructive way, implying anyone who disagrees with him is not good at their job is the wrong way to approach the subject. Who among you would want to listen to someone who is essentially saying you are bad at a job you've been doing for years just because you disagree with him? Mr. Lister should consider opening the conversation to different perspectives.
This is not to bash Mr. Lister, so please keep it constructive. Don't send this author comments that don't add to the conversation. Don't send hate. Am I angry? Yes, but more about the condescending tone than the points he made. This piece hurts my fellow nannies who have wonderful jobs and do them well. The condescending and entitled attitude of this author astounds me. If he wanted to criticize his fellow nannies, he should have done it in a less condescending way, and maybe asked some of his nanny friends for their input. I hope Mr. Lister stops writing pieces that treat anyone who disagrees as less- than.
Thank you to the Seattle Area Nannies Facebook group and the r/Nanny subreddit for idea contributions!
"When are you getting a real job?" "Oh, so you're a babysitter?" "How do you know? You don't even have kids." These are just some of the things people say when they find out we are nannies. Nannies are sometimes treated like we are just the help or worse. People sometimes act like this is just a phase we're going through that we will eventually outgrow. The truth is that many of us are career nannies who will stop when we retire, maybe. We love kids, but let's be clear; we are not babysitters. So please don't call us that. This is a job, and we don't just sit around and play games all day. Here are 14 things nannies wish non-nannies knew.
1. It is a 'real job.'
We don't just play with kids all day and keep them alive. We actually run the household. We do laundry, dishes, drive to extra-curricular activities, talk with teachers, manage medical appointments and everything a parent would do. Each contract is different, but some of us even care for kids for weeks (day and night, with no breaks).
2. It's mentally and emotionally draining.
It's not always physically laborious, but it is mentally and emotionally draining. It has been said that raising kids is the hardest thing someone will ever accomplish. It's true, and being 'just a nanny' doesn't make it any easier. Imagine if your job was to take care of a tiny drunk person who couldn't talk and might scream if he doesn't get his way. It might be fun, but it also requires us to always be on our toes, because just when we think it can't get any stranger, we turn the corner to find our two-year-old has pulled out the entire roll of sticky tape and is now caught in a web of clear plastic.
3. Nannies are not babysitters.
There's a reason Care and Sitter City has separate section for babysitting and nannying. Nannies are very involved in child-rearing. We are expected to be the 'stand-in' parent while Mom or Dad can not be there. Babysitters are tasked with keeping the kids fed and helping them with basic tasks for a short period of time. They are often uninvolved in the child's medical care, schooling and social and emotional education.
4. Illegal workplace environments are very common.
Many families will not hire men, which is discrimination. We don't get breaks, which is illegal in any other profession. We are sometimes offered well below minimum wage. Benefits are not common, so many nannies don't have medical insurance or a retirement plan even if they work full-time.
5. Nannies should still be paid when their nanny family goes on vacation.
We still have homes, utilities and other bills. We are adults with adult income needs. Families need to pay us, even if they go on vacation. We can't just go out and find a job for only one week to make up the difference.
6. Leaving our nanny family is the worst.
Non-nannies will never truly understand the bond between a child and his or her nanny. We spend 9 to 10 hours a day with them; longer if we are overnight or travel nannies. We treat them like our own. We love them and would jump in front of a bullet for them. When it is time to move to the next family, it is hard. We never forget our nanny-kids and would go to the moon for them if they showed up on our doorstep.
7. We work odd hours and often work overtime.
Some parents have predictable schedules and some have on-call schedules that vary week-by-week. Either way, we don't just arrive at nine and leave at five. We often work more than forty hours a week since we have to arrive in time for the parents to commute to work. If our nanny family works from 9 to 5, you can bet we work from 8 to 6, or 7 to 7. If we nanny for someone who owns a business or works in the medical field, we often have kids overnight.
8. Nannies who don't have kids still know a lot about child-rearing.
We have worked with dozens of kids from many families, usually for 200+ hours per month. We have seen almost everything, and going home each day gives a chance to reflect on the things we can do better and the things we did that worked. We usually know a lot of other nannies, all of whom have cared for dozens of kids from dozens of families, and we do swap ideas and learn from each other.
9. Nannies need to support their families, too.
Nannies charge anywhere from $10 an hour to $40 an hour depending on the number of hours, children workload and the area they live. It may seem expensive, but we are adults with adult bills and income needs. We are being paid to be a surrogate parent, of sorts, while Mom and Dad are away. If people want to pay less, they can hire a teenage babysitter or take their child to a daycare.
10. Not everyone is cut out for it.
Being a nanny requires patience, lots of creativity and someone who is okay with being the only adult all day. Kids push buttons and yelling only makes it worse. Nannies need to have a wealth of ideas for disciplining and distracting kids who are misbehaving. They need to be able to invent great boredom busters on a moments notice. Staying calm and being creative is the only way to win at this game.
11. It's isolating and lonely.
Our job is lonely and often misunderstood. It is not uncommon for us to get condescending remarks like, "When are you going to get a 'real job?'" and "Oh, so you just play with kids all day." We rarely have time or energy to socialize with adults and sometimes feel isolated.
12. We don't get breaks, or lunch or even peace in the bathroom.
Lunch break? What is that? Many of us hear people say, "Oh, just do it on your lunch break." We are with the kids alone all day long. We're lucky to go to the bathroom alone. We don't get breaks. Sometimes we don't even have time to eat lunch.
13. Condescending remarks are common.
We hear everything from "So, when will you get a real job?" to "Oh cute, you're a nanny! How fun!" It's fun and hard, but cute is not how we would describe it.
14. Some of us nanny as a career.
Yes, it's not just a job for college students. In fact, some of us get college degrees in early education or child development with the intention of becoming a full- time nanny. Many of us do it until retirement. Nanny 911 aren't the only career nannies!
Summer is almost over, but that doesn't mean summer fun is over. Print these summertime outlines for zendoodlers. Just add your own patterns.
To read more click here.
Three cheers for these 25 mind-benders. Get ready to throw out everything you think you know. Or just, ya know, overthink them all until your brain hurts and you need a shot!
About three years ago, I interviewed with author Marilyn Shannon about growing up without my twin. He died before we were born and I always felt like something was missing. When the book officially launched last month, I fundraised to get to the launch event in Raleigh, NC. While writing this post, I realized that I have not mentioned anything about the fundraising, event, panel about twins or anything in between. I apologize for that. I guess in my fundraising, I forgot a few things. It was a lot of work, and a lot to keep track of. This is the first of the (three, I think) blog posts I am going to write on my trip.
The first of three vlogs were posted Wednesday. In this post, I am going to talk a bit about some of the silly little stories I did not include in the vlog.
The Train Plane and the Man From Nigeria
On the way to Raleigh, I had a layover in Atlanta, GA. Not only was this, basically, my first airplane ride, but I also grew up in a small town with small buildings. So, when the person taking me to my next flight brought me to what looked to be a subway/ train station, I was totally confused. When I asked him why we were leaving the airport, he said “We’re not. We are going to your next plane.”
“Um… then why are we getting on a train?” I asked.
It was at this point that I heard a computer voice that said “THE TRAIN PLANE IS LEAVING IN 2 MINUTES.” Needless to say, I was very confused.
I turned to the man and said “WAIT! So this train is going to take me from one place in the airport…”
“... to another place in the same airport?!”
The man said “Yes. It’s a BIG airport.” His eyes got really big. He had a heavy accent. I think he said he is from Nigeria. His accent and my total shock made for a pretty funny moment. That is when I realized: you’re not in “Kansas” anymore, Merissa.
The Shake Shack Changed My Life?
At the Atlanta airport, near my gate, there was a Shake Shack. We don’t have those where I am from, by the way. While the Nigerian man and I were going past, a woman who worked at the Shake Shack was yelling “Come get some burgers. They gonna change your life! It will never be the same. They amazin’!”
I thought it was funny how she was telling passersby how amazing their burgers are and how they will change lives. Since it was dinnertime, and I didn’t want to risk getting lost by searching for a cheaper dinner spot (plus the woman was too funny), I decided to get a burger from her. I walked up to the counter and asked the woman “are you sure this burger will change my life?”
She said “Yeah! Of course.”
I ordered my burger and then said “ I probably won’t see you again, but if I do, I will definitely tell you how this burger changed my life.”
She said “Naw! I’ll see you, again. I can tell.” She pointed at me and then at herself. “We got a connection.”
I said “ Oh we do? I think you’re right. I’ll see you and tell you all about how your amazing burgers chaged my life!”
She said “ Yeah, and it will. I know it!”
I ate my burger. A couple of hours later, right before my plane started boarding, I went back up to the Shake Shack. The barrier gate was down, because they were closing. Everyone was cleaning up. I walked up and started just talking to the woman from before. I said “GUESS WHAT! That burger… it DID change my life. Yeah, I’m a millionaire, now.”
Everyone behind the gate, except the woman was looking at me quizzically. From their perspective, I am this rando person just walking up to them while they were closed and telling them how a burger made me a millionaire. The woman responded “Yeah, see, I told ya! ‘This burger gon’ change yo’ life!” When their coworker responded to me in a casual way, they looked even more puzzled.
As I was walking away, I heard the woman explain to her coworkers what had transpired a couple of hours before. But, for about two minutes, those people must have been super confused. There are a lot of crazy people in the world, and they must’ve thought I was one of them. Granted, I am, but not the sort they probably thought.
At the same airport, I walked into a convenient store to get some water. After grabbing my water, I noticed a bag of Reese's Peanut Butter cups was priced at only $3.99. I was surprised at that low price. I was, after all, in an airport. But, it clearly said $3.99. I grabbed the bag and my water, and went to the counter to pay.
The man who rang me up had just been goofing off with his coworkers right before I came to the counter. He rang up my two items and said “That’ll be $16.99.” For a second I thought I misheard him. In my mind, it should have been less than $7.
I said “Wait… what?! You’re joking, right?” Remember, he had been goofing around for the entire time I was in the store.
“No, I’m serious. It’s $16.99.” He said, blankly.
“Wha- how?” I asked.
He said “ Yeah, the candy is $12.99, bro.”
I jokingly said “What ya doin’ chargin’ that much, bro?!”
He said “Well, we got bills.” Only he said it like “ Wah, we got beeyahlls.” Shocked I put the candy back. I like candy, but not enough to pay THAT much. I was sad, though. The sad thing is that I had gotten my taste buds ready for some of my favorite candy. I never did get to eat those Reese's Peanut Butter Cups. 😢
That is the last of my stories for this week. I will be posting more stories next Friday. The second vlog from the trip goes up next Wednesday. It will be about the actual event. I was on a panel with other twins and told my story live. Also, the tropical storm from Hurricane Michael also hit. I got some footage of that.
These homemade cardboard blocks are a great craft for the whole family if you are willing to do a little preparation. They are sturdy, safe for little ones and fun to play with. I have whole box of them in my toy section. Some of which, were painted by the kids themselves.
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Another Way To Have Fun With These Homemade Cardboard Blocks
These blocks are also fun for your kids to paint after you have put them together. You can even cut out the pieces and have your kids stack and glue them together if they are old enough. If they make their own toys, they are more likely to be gentle with them. They will take better care of them.
Did you try making these blocks? I'd love to see your results! Please, send me pictures or tips and variations and I might feature them on my blog. Have fun!
These puzzles for kids are great for long car trips or for playing quietly at the doctor's office. They are easy to clean up, easy to make and easy to customize. They can even be made by the kids (well, all except laminating and hot gluing).
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School is about to start, again and I have made some fun back- to- school printables for kids! Feel free to print them out and use them this year.
Back- To- School Board Game
The Set- Up:
How To Play:
Here is a list of sample quiz questions by "
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'Connect With Nature Through Art' Cave Paintings
ABC Search Game
The Set- Up:
Have the child call out a letter while you find the right one. The child must determine if the alphabet apple you find is the one he/she called.
Pretend Back- To- School Supplies For the Little Ones
This print- out is meant for younger kids who will not be attending school with their older siblings. They are pretend school supplies. Your toddler can pretend to go to school when your older kids go and you do not have to worry that they will draw all over the walls or do anything they should not.
The Set- Up:
Now, he/ she can play school whenever!
I finally found an apartment! Yes, it has taken 7 months. A lot has happened in that time. Apartments in my town are few and far between, so I have been on several waiting lists. But, I have finally moved in. I just have a few more things to move and put away and I will finally have my own place, again. I'm sorry I have not been posting. I have not had much access to a computer and the app for my website is very 'buggy.'
Let's not talk about the bad stuff; let me tell you all about the really good things that have happened in about the last month. First, well, I got a really cute new apartment. It has a sun roof and is a converted school house. They converted one old school house into four cute little apartments. I am not going to post pictures anywhere online, but I can say that the walls are painted a really pretty color instead of a plain old white. The floor is faux hard wood. The bedroom has a small sun roof and the wall of the pulls out into the living room to make a bigger bedroom. It's really more of a tiny house. I like it a lot. I have always wanted to live in a tiny house with lots of storage. Yes!
Next big of good news... I made it on the FRONT PAGE of my local newspaper!!! I decided to teach a drawing class for kids and adults for free this July. The paper found out about it and asked if they could do a story on it. I did the interview and a reporter attended one of my classes. The picture is of one of my students working on a project. Saturday was the last class for the summer and since my birthday is next week, they gave me a birthday/ thank you for the free class present. It was a GIANT cup. I drink water very quickly and had mentioned in passing that I was planning on getting a big huge 64 oz cup from 7 11 or the like. I also received a magnetic clipboard and notepad.
I am hoping to be completely settled by August 8th (which is when my friend and I are celebrating my birthday). I can't promise an article by next week, but I can promise that I will be resuming my normal posting (every Monday by 8 pm) by August 9th.
To All My New Readers
If you are new to my blog, or are visiting after seeing the article in the newspaper, please comment below. I'd love to hear from all of you!
I was a nanny for over ten years. Now, I make homemade toys and write full time. Occasionally, I work at my local schools and provide back- up child care for some parents I used to work for and for my church's nursery. I am multi-talented and loves to paint, draw, crochet, write and sew.