Do nannies create boys that cheat later?

Time Magazine recently wrote about a doctor in England who believes that boys who have nannies are more likely to cheat on their wives later.

Here is an excerpt explaining from Time.com:

“Mothers who outsource the care of their sons to other women may be inadvertently raising adulterers. Or so claims Dr. Dennis Friedman in a book that has kicked up a bit of a ruckus in Britain. A Fellow of the Royal College of Psychiatrists, the doctor argues that men become womanizers because their mothers left them with nannies.”

“According to Friedman, having two women care for a baby boy may cause his little brain to internalize the idea that there are multiple females to meet his needs. “It introduces him to the concept of the other woman,” he said in London’s Daily Telegraph. He explicates the relationship in his book The Unsolicited Gift: Why We Do The Things We Do, which explores how a mother’s love for her offspring can determine how those children behave as adults.”

Friedman recommends that women don’t work and if they must work they wait until the baby is at least one years old.

Many critics aren’t buying it.

“It also doesn’t make developmental sense, says Dr. Jean Mercer, professor emerita of Psychology at Richard Stockton College in New Jersey, who specializes in infant development. ‘Babies don’t form attachments solely to their mothers — they become attached also to fathers, grandparents, nannies, child-care providers, older brothers and sisters, or anyone else who interacts with them socially and frequently participates in care routines like feeding and bathing.’ These relationships are healthy and part of normal development. And becoming attached to a nanny doesn’t equal becoming detached from a mother, or that the two are interchangeable. “A nanny or other person is added to the existing relationships most babies have.”

Most of the comments on the story think it’s untrue. Check out the whole article and the comments here.

So what do you think: Do nannies inadvertently create cheaters later on? Do you buy into his theory or think the critics’ theory makes more sense?

Do you use a nanny? Will this article make you think twice about it?

Did you personally have a nanny and are you a cheater now?

104 comments Add your comment

JJ

March 29th, 2010
10:34 am

OMG we waited 4 days for this??????

DB

March 29th, 2010
10:39 am

Oh, my . . . I have no opinion as to whether or not this is true or not, but it is certainly an interesting theory!

The thought I had when I read the critics rebuttal was that yes, babies form attachments to lots of people growing up. However, I wonder if Friendman did any subsidiary research into the quality of the child’s relationship with their mother. In a strictly casual observation, it would not seem unreasonable that Friedman’s theory may have some basis IF a mother is already emotionally distant and turns over not only physical but emotional care to a nanny.

The problem is quantifying adultery and cheating and trying to tie it to early childhood experiences — trying to accurately get a picture of someone’s cheating has always been a problem, since it is self-reported.

Theresa Walsh Giarrusso

March 29th, 2010
10:40 am

It hasn’t been 4 days — breast cancer was on Friday — so it sat. sun — two days!!!

Jeff

March 29th, 2010
10:41 am

LOL. Welcome back TWG. I don’t think nannies create cheaters in men any more than they turn girls into high-maintenance, gold-digging women. But it makes for a good conversation.

Becky

March 29th, 2010
10:44 am

LIke Jeff, this will maek for a great blog today..Women have had babysitters for a long time, so no, I don’t think that it will make cheaters out of men..

Bubba

March 29th, 2010
10:44 am

Well, my old daddy didn’t have a nanny when he was a kid, and it didn’t stop him from tom cattin’ around as long as he was able.

fred

March 29th, 2010
10:45 am

If nannies created cheaters, then so would care by sisters, aunts and grandmothers. what a load of hogwash.

cuthersomeslck

March 29th, 2010
10:45 am

cut her slack, it totally takes likes 15 minutes to google, cut and paste something, and the view is about to come on.

Aquagirl

March 29th, 2010
10:45 am

Another attempt by a man to blame their cheating on women. What a surprise.

Monroe Burbank

March 29th, 2010
10:45 am

I would think this problem would be evident in the male long before he gets married. Cheating on girlfriends or fiancees, for instance. Also, gotta love the use of the word “outsource” here.

Theresa Walsh Giarrusso

March 29th, 2010
10:49 am

Aqua girl – that was one of the complaints that is pushes the problem back onto women and not on the men who do the cheating — seriously check out the comment on the site — people were not buying this guy’s theory at all!

???

March 29th, 2010
10:53 am

What about women who cheat??? Was their nanny a man?

DB

March 29th, 2010
10:53 am

I read the initial study and thought there was a difference between a “nanny” and a “babysitter.” A true English nanny is a very different from a casual babysitter, and generally has far more responsibility for a child than a babysitter. A babysitter is usually considered temporary childcare for when the mother is busy. An English nanny, on the other hand, tends to be more a part of the family and have far more hands-on time with a child that goes from waking up to bedtime than a babysitter. It may be useful to determine what, exactly, Friendman means when he refers to a “nanny.”

What I’d be more interested in is seeing how much adultery/cheating comes about because a son sees his father engaging in such behavior and comes to feel that it is acceptable.

Theresa Walsh Giarrusso

March 29th, 2010
10:55 am

??? — having a nanny for girl also gives her issues that the article says

“Not having her mother around creates in the infant female a “vacuum of need,” says Friedman, which she might try to fill in later life with substance abuse or promiscuity — presumably with those married men in her social circle who were also raised by nannies.”

so not good for her either according to this guy.

Read more: http://www.time.com/time/health/article/0,8599,1975371,00.html#ixzz0jZsFlg67

The G-man

March 29th, 2010
10:55 am

Okay AJC: Are you all going to run some actual news today? So far, the T-Mobile story is the only somewhat important event of this morning.

Theresa Walsh Giarrusso

March 29th, 2010
10:56 am

DB — I started but haven’t gotten very far into a book about Princess Di (The Queen and Di by Ingrid Seward) and in the beginning of the book it talks about how much Di resented that nanny that Charles used because she felt like she was way too important in the boys’ lives. She talked about an incident where I think William chose the nanny to visit his school instead of Di on like a parent day and Di was just crushed!!!!! As any mother would be.

Van Jones

March 29th, 2010
10:57 am

I wonder how a wet nurse would figure into this.

Jeff

March 29th, 2010
10:58 am

DB, you are exactly right, and given that fathers are less and less involved (through divorce, never marry, etc), I’d like to see how many cheaters come from an absent father environment.

I’d also like to see how the statistics have changed (increased)over the lasst 30 years for females who cheat. I’ve personally had DOZENS of married women, um, make their intentions clear.

Curious George

March 29th, 2010
11:05 am

Does this mean that “Adam & Steve” raising a girl together would create another Madonna/Paris Hilton-type adult female?

Theresa Walsh Giarrusso

March 29th, 2010
11:05 am

Van — holy cow — I can’ t even imagine the problems with that puppy!!

Cedric E Arle

March 29th, 2010
11:14 am

No. People become cheaters because of character flaw and/or because their significant other is not significant enough.

Elliot Garcia

March 29th, 2010
11:15 am

You can blame both the man and the woman for cheating….

GeekGirl

March 29th, 2010
11:18 am

Historically, children were not raised in our neat little nuclear families, but in large extended families. This is still true in many cultures. Even back in my parents’ generation here in the South, all the aunties and uncles were around, providing extra parenting. So effectively most kids had multiple adult role models. This was economically and socially much better for children than the isolated nuclear family. The extended family is also a protection against neglect and abuse. So if you apply the historic perspective, this “research” does not hold water.

Lurking&Smirking

March 29th, 2010
11:25 am

It can’t be true. Those cheating politicians, sports figures, and clergy saying they were raised middle-class or dirt poor couldn’t have ALL had nannies.

jbgotcha

March 29th, 2010
11:32 am

How can anyone “create” a cheater? It’s a choice.

[...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Michael A. Giarrusso. Michael A. Giarrusso said: RT @AJCMOMania: Do nannies create boys that cheat later? http://bit.ly/d60wSv [...]

Tolerant

March 29th, 2010
11:33 am

I was assuming the study / article was detailing dads who were fooling around with the nanny due to the easy availablity of a young woman in the house, so I’ve got nothing

lead balloon

March 29th, 2010
11:37 am

Nature creates boys who later cheat.

Men who cheat are simply too weak and give into their very natural desires. They are hard wired to desire to spread their seed far and wide. They must fight back this natural desire in order to properly fit into society.

This is not asking too much. Naturally, if we saw someone with something we wanted and they were smaller than us, we would simply take it. However, we are purposely supressing nature in order to form a society. Conscious over subconscious.

Nothing turns a man off more than a woman he has already slept with.

Only if the nanny...

March 29th, 2010
11:37 am

…looked like Elin…

Theresa Walsh Giarrusso

March 29th, 2010
11:38 am

tolerant — that’s a whole different study — I think that depends on how cute you nanny is -

Gee, lead balloon...

March 29th, 2010
11:40 am

…bitter are we? But, in case you did not know, women cheat just as much and as often as men – so what turns a woman off more? Oh yeah, most already turned off the spigot when they said “I won’t” when saying I do…

TechMom

March 29th, 2010
11:44 am

@Tolerant, that was the same thought I had when I saw the title (How many husbands are cheating on their wives with the nanny?)

While I don’t think having a nanny causes men to be cheaters, I think it raises them to value motherhood in a different manner. If you were essentially raised by a woman other than your mother, how would you value your mother? How would you view her as a wife to your father? I think it distorts what one *thinks* a mother should do or be.

If we look at the type of families that have a nanny like the English do in this survey, then why wouldn’t we come to the conclusion that well-to-do families (they are presumably well off if they can afford a nanny, right?) are more likely to produce children that do not value monogamous marriages? And what is the percentage of these families have a husband and wife who are committed to each other and monogamous? I would venture to guess it’s more likely that these children are simply doing what their parents did.

Lee

March 29th, 2010
11:52 am

Too funny…now another to way to cheat; I had a nanny therefore, I cheat. I guess having a nanny eradicate the word “no”, out of your vocuabulary…..and morals and values out of your conscious and your subconscious.

I needed a good laugh, Thanks!

Tiffany

March 29th, 2010
12:19 pm

This is a funny article. I am a female and a nanny. None of the little boys I have nannied for are cheaters. They are smart and responsible adults. Its funny it seems that a man wrote the article and wants to blame someone for his cheating ventures.

Roaming Gnome

March 29th, 2010
12:21 pm

TWG, I guess he wont admit then about the whole priest thing then huh?? :)

Steve

March 29th, 2010
12:22 pm

I think a spouse who is thinking of cheating, can always come up with a way to justify it in their mind (at least temporarily).

Roaming Gnome

March 29th, 2010
12:29 pm

Cedric, your below comment is way off base.. its because the cheater is a jack ass.. There is no reason for the cheated to feel guilty…. She / He should have never been treated this way…..

Cedric E Arle

March 29th, 2010
11:14 am

No. People become cheaters because of character flaw and/or because their significant other is not significant enough.

Ben Derova da Sofa

March 29th, 2010
12:31 pm

Nannies don’t cause the babies to be cheaters, but they might cause the daddies to be cheaters (with the nannies).

Jeff

March 29th, 2010
12:36 pm

So if the man who wrote the article is trying to blame women for cheating men, who do we blame for women cheating? I think I know the answer some of you will so pleasantly provide me with.

The Latent Philanderer

March 29th, 2010
12:44 pm

How is anyone supposed to know if a boy’s nanny would set off some latent philandering? If Momania is asking what we think of the scientific process by which deductions were made about bumping uglies outside the sacrament of marriage then we would have to understand the protocol that comprises a valid scientific study. Then we’d have to find two experts who would agree about any sexual theory. We could look into our own lives and observe if our own cheating spouse ever had a nanny. We could ask our friends about their own experiences with their cheating spouse, or we could research whether Tiger had a nanny, or Sandra Bullock’s spouse had a nanny, or Hugh Heffner, or Bill Clinton.

There is no validity to questions like this. It’s just fun to titillate each other with stories about playing hide the salami.

Sad side note, and alarming statistic. I read a report that there is an epidemic of aids in women aged 40–60. I think it’s the fastest growing aids demographic. A latent philanderer would necessarily target older women. Perhaps the answer would lie there.

JJ

March 29th, 2010
12:49 pm

My ex husband must have been raised by a slew of nannies……

Michelle Obama

March 29th, 2010
12:53 pm

If I catch my old man cheating, I’ll cut him and cut him good.

Tiger Ochocinco Mellencamp

March 29th, 2010
12:53 pm

I think most of your are not realizing how groundbreaking this study is. this is far reaching stuff here about how external, seemingly benign conditions we face in our youth completely give us passes for personal responsibility? I mean really, am I the only person who wondered why I liked to hump things as a kid and my family had a DOG, whereas all the cat owners I knew had kids who liked to pee in the sandbox? this all makes sense….no one is responsible for their actions…..ever.

@ Michelle Obama

March 29th, 2010
1:00 pm

girl you should know by now he has screwed every free American out here

Van Jones

March 29th, 2010
1:08 pm

@ Michelle Obama

D’OH!! Tell it like it is.

Charlie

March 29th, 2010
1:17 pm

I tried to post a new song I wrote but it is not showing up

JATL

March 29th, 2010
1:19 pm

I heard this yesterday and giggled at the absurdity! If EVERY man who ever had a nanny cheated, then there would be even more out there cheating than there are now! It’s nonsense. What about little boys who go to daycare and are taken care of by 2 women every day in a class? How about those who stay with their grandmothers or aunts during the day? There are many different reasons men (and women) cheat, but I don’t think this is one of them!

I do have a nanny and two young boys. I certainly don’t think I’m raising cheaters, and if one of them ever does step out on a relationship, I don’t think it will be because of their nanny! Everyone needs to take a giant dose of personal responsibility for their own actions!

JJ

March 29th, 2010
1:34 pm

JATL – may I inquire as to WHY you have a nanny?

@JJ

March 29th, 2010
1:35 pm

Because she can and why does it matter?

Mistress #18

March 29th, 2010
1:38 pm

Tiger’s mom must had a lot of Nannies!

@Mistress #18

March 29th, 2010
1:42 pm

did you hear what he said what his dad would have thought?!! I almost cracked a rib laughing… his dad would have kicked his rear end!

FCM

March 29th, 2010
1:42 pm

People are not making choices (including cheating) because of Nannies, they are doing so because their ideals of personal responsibility and commitment are skewed.

(By the way cheating is not new. John J Astor, FDR, Kennedy).

@FCM

March 29th, 2010
1:43 pm

George Washington

Miley

March 29th, 2010
1:49 pm

Sorry but this study is one of the dumbest theories they have come up with yet. Of course I don’t believe this crap.

Lori

March 29th, 2010
1:56 pm

This sounds absurd to me. Have they done some number crunching on this to back it up? Here’s my theory….Assuming that there is some validity to the claim that having a nanny produces cheating men and addict/slut women, I think it is more to do with the type of families that employ nannies, more than the fact that they have one. The whole reason to have a nanny is so you don’t have to be bothered with the day to day troubles of raising a child.

Alecia

March 29th, 2010
1:57 pm

What a load of crap!!! I had a live in nanny growing up and have 2 brothers. Neither one of my brothers nor I have ever cheated on our spouses. However, one of them attracts the wrong women and married a cheating spouse.

TK

March 29th, 2010
2:03 pm

This is a joke right? I mean with all the other real issues, this is the one you chose?

MomsRule

March 29th, 2010
2:03 pm

@ Lori, while I agree the theory is absurd, you are completely off base with your statement on why a nanny can be needed.

I’ve had two Au Pairs, basically the same as a nanny but they are not from the US. Our decision to have live in assistance had absolutely nothing to do with not wanting to bother with dealing with the day to day troubles of raising a child.

Becky

March 29th, 2010
2:18 pm

@MomsRule & JATL..If you have (or had) an Au Pair or a nanny, that is awesome..I think that every parent needs an extra set of hands at some time, so what is wrong with having it if you can afford it..

My Mother had a nany for us, I called her sister..Beings that my oldest sister is 17 years older than I am, she was all that my Mother needed..

for(i = 0; i < 0xFF; i++)

March 29th, 2010
2:21 pm

“Women are supposed to stay at home to cook, clean and raise the children. If a man cheats on you, it means you failed as a wife.”

What a dumb thing to say.

DUMB!

PS: Theresa!!!! Can you possibly use!!! More exclamation!!! Marks!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Sug

March 29th, 2010
2:28 pm

What’s the point of having kids if you’re going to pay someone else to raise them?????

SRH

March 29th, 2010
2:33 pm

Teresa – your comment: “I think that depends on how cute you nanny is -” is crazy. I think we’ve all seen that looks have little or nothing to do with cheating spouses. Look at Halle, Elin and now Sandra.

SRH

March 29th, 2010
2:37 pm

Sorry – I meant Theresa!

Becky

March 29th, 2010
2:48 pm

What about Steven Segal? Was the nanny that he cheated with prettier than his wife Kelly Lebrock? Just a guess, but I’m thinking NOT..

Becky

March 29th, 2010
2:52 pm

Oops, sorry for the typos and misspelling today..

Barack Obama

March 29th, 2010
2:52 pm

Yes, I’ll admit it. I do occasionally “step out” on Michelle, but it’s because she won’t do that nasty trick I learned from Rahm Emanuel. He made me do it to him and now I want her to do it to me. Robert Gibbs and David Axelrod can watch, then we’ll all get in a pile. It’s good to be the king!

Elin was a nanny/au pair...

March 29th, 2010
3:15 pm

…when she started dating Tiger, so does this article mean that it was her fault?

Debbie

March 29th, 2010
3:18 pm

I work in the nanny industry and this theory is crazy.

jd

March 29th, 2010
3:20 pm

This is so stupid!!

JATL

March 29th, 2010
3:32 pm

@JJ -because I work full-time and I don’t think they would do very well at home by themselves! I have a 4 year old and an 18 month old -not exactly “home alone” ages!

JATL

March 29th, 2010
3:37 pm

@Lori -you know many, MANY people use nannies instead of daycare centers -it’s not because we’re all so wealthy we just “have a nanny.” In my case, I went back to work around two months ago, and it’s an odd time of year for getting into decent daycares and preschools. My son’s preschool is only a part-time mom’s morning out type program. Instead of having them at two different places or paying EVEN MORE for the one place we like that had availability -I found an fabulous nanny. She’s great!

MomsRule

March 29th, 2010
4:10 pm

@Glen Beck, LOL, Thx for the chuckle :)

BC

March 29th, 2010
4:11 pm

Yea……Right………

Whats the phrase I am looking for……A Bunch of Hooey??

FCM

March 29th, 2010
4:12 pm

AFCM: I just picked a few more recent men. We can certainly go back further in history in most if not all cultures and find notables who strayed.

FCM

March 29th, 2010
4:12 pm

er I meant to direct that to @FCM

FCM

March 29th, 2010
4:16 pm

JATL I am looking for someone who can watch mine this summer (work full time)…do you use a service? I am trying to determine if a Nanny or Day Camp is the best financial option for me.

Magenta

March 29th, 2010
4:21 pm

Sure…”Mothers, stay home.” Next month there’ll be a follow-up study saying barefoot in a calico jumper with waist-length hair increases a son’s IQ by 25 points. Pass the Pepto.

Lori

March 29th, 2010
4:37 pm

No way I’d trust someone to come into my home and watch my son with out any supervision. Too many horror stories of kids dying from being drugged with cold meds to get them to sleep. I only send him to care centers who employ video monitoring so there is always someone watching what’s going on.

motherjanegoose

March 29th, 2010
4:40 pm

This topic is something else and I am at a loss for words ( imagine it). My sister was a nanny for 2 different families. By the time she got there, the boys were older. She does not have contact with them now.

@ FCM….too bad you cannot find a high school or college student. We have several, in our neighborhood, who watch other neighbor’s children. A boon for both families as they tend to know one another and live close. My daughter watches our neighbor’s son 2 days per week and has done so for years…after school now and then full days in the summer. She also works a part time job, 2 or 3 other days per week.

I have a question related to this topic and need a truthful answer. My daughter has blocked M and W to meet the boy ( after school) at the bus stop. She does not get scheduled at her part time job, as she has this obligation. She also comes straight home from school ( no clubs) or ( if I am home) I walk down and meet him. Some days…the Dad gets home early. His schedule is more flexible. He will walk over or call and tell us that he is in. I AGREE that it is foolish for my daughter to go to the bus stop; however, some days she walks down the street to meet him and then the Dad pulls onto our block or shows up within 10 minutes.

We have known these neighbors for years and they are really very nice folks. Am I wrong to think, they should at least offer her $5 for her time and commitment….even though she does not have to stay to watch him…she was fulfilling her obligation and prepared to meet him each M and W. She has not missed a day in YEARS.

Perhaps I am wrong? I am sure some of you have thoughts on this.

Really

March 29th, 2010
4:41 pm

You are so right Lori, there are no horror stories of bad things happening at day care centers.

MomsRule

March 29th, 2010
4:51 pm

@Lori, I shared your opinion before mine could talk and did not employ an Au Pair while they were very young.

But once they were older and they could easily communicate their needs, etc…for us, live in help was the best option. I had issues with every daycare center, even the one that cost us almost $2500 per month for 2 kids with the video monitoring in every room, I had zero issues with my Au Pairs.

And they do have nanny cams that can be installed in your home.

MomsRule

March 29th, 2010
4:58 pm

MJG, I’m a little unclear. So she makes a point of being available two days a week to ensure the neighbor boy gets off the bus and home safely. And she receives no compensation?

TechMom

March 29th, 2010
4:58 pm

@MJG I think she needs to have a frank conversation with these folks. Tell her it will be tough but there will be plenty of other times she’ll have to do this when she gets older (like asking for a promotion or a raise so it will be good practice). She is obviously OK with being obligated to them but they need to do the same in reverse; it’s a matter of respect.

If they don’t want to pay her when they show up 10 mins later, they should give the kid a key and tell her they don’t need her (that would be crappy parenting IMO but a different topic). If the dad isn’t sure when he can make it home, they should still plan on giving her something for her time and effort. After school programs charge the same amount for an entire week whether your kid is there or not because they are committing to being there for you. They should do the same for her.

Rally One

March 29th, 2010
5:10 pm

MJG, where I work if we show up and they do not need us that day they still have to pay us for 4 hours work since they did not give us notice that we would not be needed…

motherjanegoose

March 29th, 2010
5:11 pm

@ MomsRule….CORRECT.

@ TechMom ….my thoughts align with yours.

Thanks for the input. There are only a few weeks left of school, so she will probably just ride it out.
I mainly wanted to know if I was actually expecting too much. Out of respect, I would do this if someone were watching my child but not everyone is the same. My daughter will be at college next year and thus someone else will be involved.

Again, they are wonderful neighbors.

She has already told them when we are going on vacation and when she is going to church camp….well over a month ago…so they could make plans for those 2 weeks. The apple does not fall far from the tree with her, as I plan WAY ahead and she follows my lead.

MomsRule

March 29th, 2010
5:15 pm

@MJG, is your daughter bothered by it? Or does she just enjoy the boy and helping a neighbor? Even if she is doing it out of kindness, a gesture of gratitude from time to time would be wonderful on the neighbors part.

HB

March 29th, 2010
5:26 pm

MJG, $5 for a dropped job is too low. Your daughter needs to set up a contract with these folks for a minimum number of hours to be paid each afternoon. For example, she could agree to work 2-3 hours per day, meaning they pay her for 2 hours even if they come home early and that she is expected to never stay longer than 3. If they want to set the minimum lower (say, 1 hour) then she can decide if only one hour’s pay is worth rearranging her schedule, skipping afterschool activities, etc. If the family wants to reserve the right to end a shift early unpaid, then they may find someone younger willing to work on those terms — perhaps a 14 or 15-year-old who would have more trouble obtaining a job with many businesses and has to stick with babysitting and mowing lawns for now.

Your daughter sounds very responsible and like someone who would be sought out by many employers — she needs to be careful not to undervalue her time.

HB

March 29th, 2010
5:28 pm

Just read where you said she doesn’t get paid. If she’s not paid for meeting him, then there’s no reason why she should be paid when she’s not needed either.

motherjanegoose

March 29th, 2010
5:46 pm

She gets paid $20 for watching him from 3:10 to about 5;45 or 6:00…sometimes a bit longer.
This is what happens 80% of the time. She has been doing so for the past 4 years.

She is very responsible and has turned down activities with her friends, to come home for her obligation and then finds out that she really does not have one.

New twist…I just mentioned this to my husband who says, ” Oh yeah. another family called to see if she is interested in watching their 2 kids this summer. They pay $50 per DAY for 2 kids.”

She gets $50 per day for the one boy she watches. Maybe I am really too old to know what is the going rate? She drives and will be 18 in May.

HB

March 29th, 2010
8:02 pm

Got it — if they’re paying her $20 per afternoon regularly, then she should negotiate a minimum for when they come home early with less than a day’s notice. I think $15 (or even the full $20) would be a fair cancellation rate — she kept her commitment and deserves compensation for the activities she gave up to do so.

Is the $50/day for an 8-hour day? If so, that seems very low to me for even one kid ($6.25/hour?). For a high school student, I would think no less than $8/hour is appropriate for one child and $9-10 would be better for two — plus a little extra for gas money if she drives the kids places. For an 18-y-o, I think $10 for one child would be reasonable, but in my experience, parents didn’t really think of us as college sitters who deserved a higher rate until we came home for winter break after that first semester away. Good luck to her!

JATL

March 29th, 2010
8:30 pm

@ Lori -Rally is so right -just google something like “day care center horrors” and see where that takes you! My 4 year old is quite verbal and I speak to him about what he and his brother do with the nanny every day. They go on field trips and do art projects and hit the playground constantly. The kids love her, so I don’t think she’s a monster.

@FCM -Everything happened so fast when I got my job -I was really under the gun to find childcare fast. I paid about $50 to join sittercity.com and was REALLY pleased! I only joined for a month. Lots of experienced nannies, college kids, etc. are on there. Within 4 days I interviewed over 10 people and had about 45 messages from interested people. We would have been delighted with any of our top 3. They also provide background checks for many and tell you if they’re CPR certified, etc. Another site I know people have had success with is Care.com . Good luck!

TechMom

March 29th, 2010
9:07 pm

@MJG, just came back to shut my laptop down and thought I’d hit refresh… $50 a day! Wow, that’s great for not having to change diapers or anything. Most day camps for kids at daycares or YMCA aren’t $250/wk – more like half that amount. I know in-town prices are higher but still that sounds like pretty decent money to me. Wonder if the family with 2 kids would be willing to negotiate and if the two families would be OK with her watching all 3 this summer. Quite frankly, sometimes watching 2 or 3 is easier anyway (they entertain each other).

I think the $20 per afternoon is pretty reasonable as well; she’s presumably not paying taxes on that money so it’s probably more than she makes at a ‘real’ job and she’s also probably not getting in trouble for talking on her cell or texting ‘on the job’ or getting some of her homework done while the boy is doing his.

I think how to handle this situation depends on how often is she getting cut loose early. If it’s once in a while, I would think they should still pay her $5-10 for her trouble but it may not be worth bringing up and jeapardizing her last summer with the boy. Maybe they feel like they pay her well enough the rest of the time that they shouldn’t have to pay her when they don’t need her. Perhaps they’d get the point if she asked them to give her more notice so that she “can be put on the schedule at work since she’s trying to save for college”. Maybe they just don’t think it’s a big deal and they’re giving her a break when they let her go early.

Either way I think it’s pretty cruddy that she even has to bring this up to these people. I would think they would respect her time enough to pay her for her consideration even if it’s only 15 mins.

HB

March 29th, 2010
10:31 pm

Isn’t minimum wage $7.25? Anything under that is a bad deal, especially for an 18-year-old (I think lower wages are acceptable for a mostly supervised younger sitter, like a 14-year-old mother’s helper). It amazes me that people think it’s ok to pay less to someone they trust to care for their children and keep them happy and safe than the movie theater pays a kid to tear tickets. Babysitting is a ‘real’ job and an important service and should be treated as such. What YMCA charges is irrelevent — their workers probably make at least $9/hour, but definitely make minimum wage, even though each child isn’t charged that much. Yes, parents can save by being part of a collective, like daycare or a camp, so those are great options, but that doesn’t justify underpaying a private sitter in one’s home.

I do think that families hiring a sitter together is a good idea. These two families could pay $12/hour for 3 children and it will be a good deal for everyone. In DC, nannyshares are common with two families pooling funds to hire a nanny for two or three children to be kept in one of their homes.

Big Daddy

March 29th, 2010
11:43 pm

I’ll put it this way: I’ve never seen a nanny mislead one of my children or heard of such a thing.

On the other hand, if she’s willing to give me a “happy ending” (hand job) for some bonus cash while the Mrs. is out trend-setting and spending my money, she’s showing she’s multi-talented.

I’ve met many “multi-talented” nannies in my time.

;)

DB

March 29th, 2010
11:51 pm

@MJG: In my neighborhood (and you know where I live!) $50 a day would be DIRT CHEAP to care for two kids all day long — and by all day in this neighborhood, it’s often from 7:30 – 8:00 am until 5 or 6 pm. That’s 9-11 hours a day — so no, I don’t think $5 an hour is such a great deal for her. AND she’s driving herself, so the mom/dad doesn’t have to pick her up and drop her off, and she can take them places. $50 is $250 a week for individualized care in their own home. For example, a popular child care referral agency here has rates of $12-15 an hour, PLUS a daily fee to the agency, which effectively pushes it up to $13-$17 an hour. So, for 8 am to 5 pm, at a minimum of $13 an hour — that’s over $100 a day.

Yes, they can argue that camps and day care centers are cheaper. They are, becuase they are not individualized care, which is what the parent are going for. My daughter makes $8 for the first child, and $2 for each additional child, with a bonus for holidays such as New Years. One New Years, she watched 5 kids from 8 am until 2 am — and made $50 an hour. The parents were DELIGHTED to pay only $10 an hour each on New Years, the kids were sound asleep by 11 pm, and she made out like a bandit. :-)

As far as your daughter’s dilemma with the neighbors, I think what they are doing is rotten, taking advantage of her like that. I would NEVER leave a babysitter hanging with no compensation like that, especially if she was one I wanted to keep and had been so loyal for so long. I think she should suggest a different payment schedule: They pay her $40 a week as a flat fee to guarantee her availability two afternoons a week. If they choose to come home, then fine — but she has set aside the time and given up other things, and she should be compensated. The parents can’t have it both ways — the peace of mind that they are covered, and being able to cut the expense out completely if they are so inclined. Most babysitters would have found other jobs after the parents had treated them like that a time or two, but your daughter stuck with them. I can see that part of it is being neighborly — but the parents aren’t being very neighborly, leaving her hanging like that.

FCM

March 30th, 2010
5:55 am

“Most day camps for kids at daycares or YMCA aren’t $250/wk – more like half that amount” where are your kids in camp? It cost $195/child/week where mine go….that is $1600/month in the summer. It is half that when they are in school. That is why I am wondering if a Nanny (professional not a HS student) would be the same or less….you get 1:2 ratio for the same rate as 1:20 sounds better to me.

MJG $50/day is a good rate for your daughter IF she is happy with it. If I were paying a HS person to watch my child YES I would want and expect to pay them less.

I would also expect to pay the cost–admission rate, etc– if they did planned “extras” (movies, zoo, etc). Perhaps a weekly “kitty” but I would expect receipts like any other petty cash fund. If she/he wanted to do other extras from her pocket that is her/his business.

FCM

March 30th, 2010
6:04 am

I would even consider more on a Nanny….honestly haven’t looked at it in years. I also believe you should pay according to the child’s ability levels. For instance I didn’t charge as much when I was in HS to stay overnight while parents were gone for the weekend and the kids were HS age. These same “kids” (14-17) were babysitters themselves and were left alone all day (parents working) so I was only needed “to keep it legal” at night–and make sure there were no parties. I got a flat fee to do that and it was much less than what I got if I sat an infant who needed more care.

My oldest at 10 still needs supervision but can do things like make lunch. We need an of age person to keep it legal. If we get one that can drive them places then I should pay more sure. I also need one that guide my 10yo so in 4 years or so she can take over the “sitting” job of her and her sister for compensation, and she sure isn’t going to be get $1600/month from her Mom when she does that!

FCM

March 30th, 2010
6:07 am

oh and yes I know that $1600 turns out to be very little by the hour.

motherjanegoose

March 30th, 2010
7:22 am

Funny how, like everything else, the opinions here are sometimes polar opposites!

Thanks for the opinions…I was baffled with the new consideration of the neighbor for $50 for 2 children. My daughter does not want to watch all of them together as it is not a good mix. She likes her part time job and does not want to give it up.

One other thing….IF the children are sick….when you have someone come to your house, to watch your children….they still come. I presume they cannot go to day camp and you still pay? That seems to be a bonus for those who work, that you cannot get a day camp.

HB

March 30th, 2010
8:38 am

MJG, it sounds to me like these parents are ripping off your daughter, so if she enjoys her other part-time job and can increase her hours during the summer, it sounds like she should do that. As for sick kids, I think you’re correct that the daycare money is usually money lost. Sitters may or may not watch the child (depends on how sick the child is), but I don’t think parents usually pay a young part-time sitter if they cancel for sickness. A full-time nanny would likely be paid regardless. As a high school and college-aged sitter, parents almost never asked me to care for a very sick child. The one exception was when I was scheduled to pick up a child from preschool whose parents went out of town after dropping him off that morning. When the school called them a few hours later to say he had spiked a fever and needed to be picked up early, they were 200 miles away!

Sadie's Mom

March 30th, 2010
9:34 am

Another case of “it ain’t my fault”.

Candi

March 30th, 2010
4:50 pm

A nanny is a mom-away-from-mom. When mom cannot be available, a nanny is there for the children. A nanny loves unconditionally. She kisses ouchies, encourages intellectual, emotional and social development; and provides a safe space for the children. She does all the things that the mother would do if the mother were available. Thus, she too plays a pivotal role in shaping who the children become. http://www.nannies4hire.com

[...] researching the nanny rearing cheaters story I ran across another crazy story I wanted to [...]

Candi

April 2nd, 2010
11:47 am

Really? Let’s approach this logically.
1. A large percentage of “cheaters” have never had a nanny.
2. A large percentage of men who have had nannies do not become “cheaters.”
3. Even if we assume that, as a child, the boy misconstrued societal boundaries on relationships with women, it is important that, as a man, he acknowledges receipt of information from our culture about what is and is not acceptable, and he accepts responsibility for the decisions he has made since becoming an adult. In other words, even though he may have misconstrued boundaries as a child, he has since had societal clarification of boundaries, yet he decided to cheat anyway. Thus, the decision to cheat has less to do with childhood misconstructions and more to do with adult decisions to act with disregard for societal convention (not to mention the feelings of his wife or significant other, any children they may have, and any other negative consequences he may experience for his infidelity).
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