Looking for the 'perfect' nanny: Experience or up-to-date 'expertise?'
A nanny's years of experience raising children wasn't enough for one mother looking for the 'perfect' childminder. Have babies changed so much in the last few years that child-care providers need the most 'up-to-date' expertise?
(Page 2 of 2)
New things?Skip to next paragraph
Lenore Skenazy is “America’s Worst Mom.” (Google it!) The New York City columnist-turned-reality show host got that title after letting her 9-year-old son take the subway alone. In response to the media blowback, she founded the book and blog, “Free-Range Kids,” launching the anti-helicopter parenting movement. She lives in New York City with her husband and two sons.
After 30 years on death row, can a wronged man forgive?
Crowdfunding spotlights innovations ripe for parent support
Gamer dad gets a reprieve
Hold the phone, are texting parents bad for kids? (+video)
Sheryl Sandberg aims to 'Ban Bossy' so girls can blossom as leaders (+video)
Subscribe Today to the Monitor
If there’s a spanking new version of the Diaper Genie or the car seat (and I’ll bet there is), I’m sure Joan could master it. But is there really a “new” way to raise a baby? Has human evolution taken a sharp turn in the past 36 months? Do nannies and parents really have to be up on the latest studies, products, programs, manias and mantras to do their job “right"? Does that mean anyone who raised her kids before 2012 did it wrong?
The grandma couldn’t hold out anymore. “I completely agree! But there’s no way I can tell her this. I promised I’d look for someone with recent baby experience, and I have to shut my mouth.”
That I understood. It is hard for anyone (especially a mother-in-law) to tell a new parent anything that isn’t in the latest book or magazine. And it is hard for a parenting magazine not to endorse all the new products and programs that grace (and pay for) its pages. And it’s hard for the media not to flog some new, surprising study as the most important stop-whatever-you-were-doing-before thing to do for your kids.
But the latest, greatest thing to do for your kids is also the oldest and boldest: Trust yourself; trust your kid. Babies do not need everything to be perfect. And besides, whatever is “perfect” today may be denounced tomorrow. (Remember when we were supposed to use trans fat-filled margarine instead of butter?)
Thank goodness that our kids are far more resilient – and brilliant – than pop culture tells us they are. Believe it or not, they don’t even need a black-white-and-red heartbeat-playing mobile above the non-drop-side crib.
The grandma apologized again, and we said our goodbyes. Off she went to find the “perfect” nanny. And even though that means Joan is back on the market, it also means she dodged a bully. Er, bullet.
The Christian Science Monitor has assembled a diverse group of the best family and parenting bloggers out there. Our contributing and guest bloggers are not employed or directed by the Monitor, and the views expressed are the bloggers' own, as is responsibility for the content of their blogs. Lenore Skenazy blogs at Free-Range Kids.