How to Talk to a Parent About Their Spirited Child


Every nanny has had one of those kids. The kids who just won't stop screaming, won't listen to anything, throwing tantrum after tantrum and by the end of the day you're convinced the only word that kid knows is "NO". The child that is head strong, and nothing you can do or say will get in the way.

You start counting down the minutes until the parents get home, and you can have some quiet.

The parents get home, ask how your day was and all you can say is "fine". Was it really fine? No, but it was just easier to give a one word answer, than to have "that" talk with the parents. The talk no parent likes to have, but some need to have.

Here are some tips for having the difficult conversation with parents about their spirited child.

Be direct.

It can be hard , but it is necessary. Instead of "it was fine" say "We had a rough day". This will open up the floor for them to ask what was rough that day.

Phrase it in a way that paints the behavior as a hard time, and not like you calling the kid hard. This will give the parents insight to the behavior, but not feel like an attack on their kid.

"Levi had a hard time listening today"

"Levi had a hard time using his words today"

Give examples of the behavior. Keep out emotion and stick to the facts.

"I asked Levi to help clean up his toys, and he just yelled no."

"Levi hit when I asked him for help, instead of using his words"

Give an example of how you addressed the behavior.

"I told Levi I would help him clean up and use team work, but I did not make the mess alone".

Follow it up with something encouraging

"I think this was just an off day. We can try to be a better listener tomorrow".