Dear Mothers, do you know what goes on in the park when you send your kids with the nanny? Let me share with you some of my observations.
I went to the park yesterday with my husband and kids, to enjoy the last of this beautiful weather. It was quiet and there was only a few kids playing in the football field. Sa’ad, my eldest went on the football field to make friends and kick some ball, Meshal, my second, loved the slide and climbing around the play area, and Hamad, my baby, wanted the swing.
After a while, more kids started to appear with their nannies, no moms in sight, and everyone was excited. 10 minutes after showing up, the nannies started to walk away and site on a side bench with the other nannies, kids were now around the play area without supervision. Without supervision the kids started fighting, falling, and doing stuff they weren’t supposed to. Whenever the child went to his nanny to cry, she handed him a bag of chips or a candy bar to shut him up while she chatted to her friends or was busy on her mobile.
Half an hour later, all the kids in the playground were eating some sort of snack, not playing, and picking fights with each other. On many occasions I had to stop a child and explain to them that what they were doing isn’t acceptable, and then they would run to the nanny scared and she would hand them a candy bar. Some children were left alone on swings because the sun was too hot for the nanny, and some were left to run around without shoes even though the place had dangerous area’s that can hurt children.
I had a child that kept referring to me as “madam”, which was heartbreaking because this child is learning from her nanny how to address people. I had to sit her down and explain to her that other women are “auntie, not “madam”. Another child was gagging on something a chewing gum and decided that it wasn’t pleasant, so she spit it out on the floor just like she threw her juice box before that.
The boys were another story, as they address each other with swear words or get what they want by hitting each other, very common in older kids, not 3 to 5 year olds. It was a bizarre and sad experience; these kids couldn’t even speak proper Arabic or English.
This isn’t a post glorifying my efforts and judging other mothers; on the contrary, this is a post to help mothers understand what goes on in the playground and take necessary action to correct some decisions. You send your kids to play, yet all they do is eat junk food and be exposed to unnecessary accidents, how would you know if he fell and hit his head? The nanny sure wont tell you! How would you feel if you knew your child was left strapped to a swing waiting for his nanny to finish her conversation or snack until she tended to him? Nannies are human, I absolutely agree, they can sit and chat as much as they want and enjoy their time, but after they ensure the safety of the child, which is their first priority.
However, one thing I will judge is the language these kids use, if your 4 year old refers to someone else as an animal, that is a pure reflection of the language used at home. No matter how young your child is, he listens and imitates what you say and do, so please use your words wisely, and teach kids to have respect for people around them when they speak; I don’t want my son to learn these words at that young age.
Take some time to be with your kids, you don’t have to be actively with them while they play, I understand you have a hectic job and a busy schedule, but you need to make your kids a priority and be there to supervise, you will be making sure they are okay as well as make them feel happy that you are present with them.