Are you a parent? Step-parent? Grandparent? Teacher? Person with just lots of opinions that likes to give advice? Then this is the post for you!
As most of you know, I’m a nanny. This is my first nanny gig and let me tell you, I love it 98% of the time (ok some weeks it drops down to like 45% but it all balances out). I am technically a licensed elementary teacher, although my dues are outstanding so I can’t teach in Ontario until I re-up those, but I hated teaching. It destroyed me emotionally and mentally (and I didn’t even make it to an LTO contract). My nanny job is the perfect job for me.
Technically I have 4 kids. They are referred to here as 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th. Current ages are 12, 11, 10, 7. They are great kids – polite, well-behaved (most of the time), fun to be around. 2nd is reading my all-time favourite book right now (Ella Enchanted) from my recommendation and she is loving it. I am so happy!
I’m also kind of the nanny to nine homestay students from Japan and China – basically, I just check in with them on homework stuff and offer help when needed. I was an English teacher in South Korea for two years so my skills are at a prime in this job. These nine students range from 15-18.
If you’re counting I went from no children on November 25th, 2016 and now I have thirteen. B-A-N-A-N-A-S
But what I’m having issues with is follow through and discipline. I have to admit, I was better at this as a supply teacher. Spending only one day in a class (the most was 4 consecutive days) makes it easy for follow through. But as a nanny, I’m kind of sucking. Discipline rules aren’t really set up and it’s a “go with the flow” type of deal, and I mostly revert all discipline to the parents – that’s not really my job.
Last week we had a technology issue. After a very emotional karate class, we were all in the van driving home. It was fine until 2nd realised that 4th was playing a game she had downloaded for herself on my old phone (without asking) and then there was yelling, tears, grabbing, my new phone gets thrown down onto a hard surface AND I’m trying to drive a mini-van in rush-hour Toronto traffic. Yeah – fun times.
When we got back to the house, I told the kids that we would be taking a break from my technology for a while. I didn’t say how long, just a break. They aren’t allowed to download things without asking and any games on the devices are there for everyone.
It’s been a full week now of no “T technology” at the house for them to use and 3rd is getting a little annoyed. But he also is giving me lots of attitude every single day over everything. Homework, dinner, bathtime, answering simple questions like if he had a good day at school. Sure he’s tired but it’s a little much. So I’ve just been keeping the technology at home. He says he’s bored but he doesn’t do anything else if he has put his mind to playing on the Ipad.
They all know that when I bring the Ipad and phone back there will be a discussion about the expectations around the use of the technology – hopefully so that this sort of breakdown doesn’t happen again.
Ok so everyone is caught up, and here are my problems:
- How long is long enough to keep the technology out of the house but still make my point? When 3rd asked me last night, I said I don’t know because I keep having hard times with them. He whined and stomped back into the house ranting about how long it’s been (he does that when he’s tired: just rants in circles for about 20 minutes)
- Do I change up the rules and download the games 2nd had downloaded (she forced 4th to delete them because by playing, 4th “ruined everything”) and make a file or page just for her that “no one else can play”? I want the devices to have games that each child will enjoy but I can’t have fights.