Did any of you read the article, "Spies Around the Sandbox" by Caroline H. Dworin that was in the NYTimes yesterday? It was about the blog, ISawYourNanny.blogspot.com that records hundreds of posts about bad nannies. Basically, it works by someone seeing a nanny (or who they assume is) neglecting, or at worst, abusing a child and then posting text and images to identify the persons. Sometimes we see this kind of reporting on the Yahoo boards. It happened in one of my Yahoo groups last month- and it caused a wildfire. The parent who reported it did it with a genuine concern- but did so with very little sensitivity to the working parent crowd by saying he "felt sorry" for those who had to hire a nanny. It was inflammatory and created a week-long ruckus. I admit, I too got caught up in it as I was mostly upset that our supportive community had fallen apart as the comments had escalated. At any rate, the employers of the nanny were found and they handled it. ISawYourNanny.blogspot.com has to work on the premise that the employers of the nanny in question can be found- and that isn’t always the case. Some of the comments horrify me as much as watching late night news with all the animal abuse stories. Apparently, the bulk of the postings are from Manhattan and Brooklyn. Some people think the Nanny blog is terrible and only creates more of a division between nannies and parents- and between parents (see posting below). I think it is important that we have some way of contacting fellow parents to let them know what is happening with their children if we see it as troublesome. The parents can always question their nanny and decide for themselves what to do. Armed with information, they at least have the choice.
Here is a post from ISawYourNanny.blogspot.com about a nanny in Brooklyn: (I removed identifying names)—-
Shortly after arriving at the playground I noticed a girl wandering
around looking for her caregiver. She was beginning to get upset and
scared. Her nanny was sitting on the double slide (which faces the back
corner of the playground),she was hiding from the little girl. The girl
wandered around the playground getting more and more upset looking for
her caregiver. The nanny was deliberately hiding from her. I said in
a quiet voice that what she was doing was cruel, especially since the girl
was now sobbing. The nanny revealed herself and consoled the child for
about 15 seconds before putting her down to play chase. The girl continued
crying and was not interested in playing anything.
A couple of people responded that they didn’t think this was a big deal and others thought the nanny was cruel and irresponsible. It is very emotional for everyone- the poster, the nanny’s employers, the responders and those of us reading too.
Here is the article from the NYTimes. It is definitely worth reading.
ILLUSTRATION: courtesy of Gary Hovland, NYTimes.