Do you know what your nanny is really doing? by Mimi Smith

I have decided to write an article on this subject based on some recent experiences I have had whilst looking after a 22 month old. I spend a lot of time looking after children in various environments and children of varying ages and I am always amazed how many people are constantly on their phones. I am aware in this day and age it is hard to never use a phone as we are all so attached to them but when a child’s well being is involved I draw the line.

Firstly, it is a safety matter. The little girl I look after moves so quickly, if I take my eyes off her for a second, she is half way across the park. I certainly cannot make a lengthy call. Secondly, our jobs as child carers or indeed parents is to educate and help our children to understand and experience the world. If we are continually on the phone and paying them no attention, how are they expected to learn? I don’t just mean learning what colour the trees are but also how to behave socially. Children imitate what we do and if we are ignoring them, how are they supposed to understand how to behave?

Just yesterday I was in the sandpit playing with Molly and I often let her play by herself, so she learns independent play, but I am always nearby in case she needs help or wishes to interact with me and I am not just sitting on my phone. I ended up having six children all needing my help or attention because one was pushing another child; another child was throwing sand, a little girl wanted Molly’s bucket. In a twenty-minute period not one nanny or parent came to help, I was on my own helping these children. I looked around and all adults were either talking to each other or on the phone. How is this acceptable? How do we expect our children to behave with this example?

Nannies are paid to look after your children so why are they being paid to ignore your children? It is a job at the end of the day and a very important one at that and phones are ruining the level of care the children receive. Since seeing so many children being annoyed over the last few weeks, I have spoken with all my babysitters who work for me, making sure they know that unless there is an emergency, or the children are asleep, I don’t want them to EVER be on the phone! Are our phones ruining the next generation?

For babysitters who are English speaking, DBS checked, first aid trained, experienced and NOT on the phone, please check out my website www.mimisminis.co.uk

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