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Boy pushes nanny down stairs; mom punishes her for giving him a 'time out.' AITA?

Boy pushes nanny down stairs; mom punishes her for giving him a 'time out.' AITA?


Caring for other people's children is a tricky role.

You are entrusted, as a professional, to care for their precious little ones. But, sometimes parents can disagree with the child rearing methods of their childcare givers. One nanny was at her wit's end with a repeatedly misbehaving young boy. His mother didn't want her to She had tried everything. When that he needed to sit in 'time out' and think about the consequences of his actions.

Don't let your kid have consequences? Ok!!


So I'm a 23F nanny. For the family I work for there are 7 kids. Yes 7. All ranging from 14 years old to 10 months old. I have been working for them for 8 months. And never really had an issue. They are a good family for the most part.

A key part here is the kids are all homeschooled so they do not get out a lot. Unfortunately that leads to mom and dad spoiling them quite a lot. And since I've started had a bit of a discipline issue. They throw tantrums, throw things and scream a lot. Finally I recently put on discipline because their tantrums led to me getting an injury.

I was pushed down the stairs. So I implemented a timeout routine. And it was going well for almost everyone. Here is where the story truly begins. The second to youngest it 2 and a half almost 3. His tantrums are some of the worst and instead of really discipline him she coddles.

If he screams and yells she just picks him up and gives him whatever he wants. He will also throw things and hit whoever is telling him no. And mom doesn't do anything. On Wednesday this week mom had an appointment and when he woke up from his nap and she wasn't there he freaked out.

I tried to calm by playing games, food, or reading books. But nothing worked he just got louder and more aggressive. He even hit me and his siblings. Eventually he woke the baby and when I got her tried to even hurt her.

So with no other real options working to calm him down. I pick him up sit him on his bed and said timeout you do not behave this way. When you calm down you can come out. He finally is calming down after several minutes and mom comes home.

She was quite upset that he got a timeout because she says that he is too young and doesn't know better. Now I understand he is young but I've been a nanny for awhile and I have learned 2-3 is normal age for discipline so they learn to know better.

I only do a minute per year age and only goes longer if they can't calm down though I check in every minute. She was also upset I used his room as a timeout. Now that part I get and can understand that at this age associating timeout with where he sleeps.

I can agree we don't do that. But I had to ask when he's acting like this what do you want me to do? She said let me handle it. If I'm not there give him what he wants hits not worth the fight. Ok.....but what if it's something I can't give.

She replied 'if you can't just let him go through it he'll calm down quickly' I looked at her like are you serious? You do realize how he can be right? But ok. Cue malicious compliance; The next day mom had another appointment and she was gone when he woke up. And of course he wanted her and only her.

I said sorry she's not here why don't we play a game. He screams no. I ask if he wants a snack? No he screams and starts slapping at my hands. I ask to go read a book or go to his siblings room for play time. He screams again and hit me in the face. I told him please don't hit me.

So he screams in my face and goes off throwing things at me and everyone around and just goes off. I tell everyone to go to their rooms. I tried everything to calm him down and it didn't work so I did exactly what she told me. ABSOLUTELY NOTHING!

He continues his tirade throwing things, pulling things off shelves, and screaming. I obviously kept him from things that would hurt him like glass, ceramics and when he got on a table to push something I picked him up and put him down.

Though he did bite me really hard when I did that. Not enough to bleed but enough to leave a good mark. I let this go for about oooh 15 ish minutes until mom came home. And when she did he was still freaking out.

She just goes what is going on. I explained the situation and told her I'm just doing what she said and letting him cry it out till he calms down. She said that's not what I meant! I asked what did you want? She didn't really have an answer.

I told her I couldn't use discipline and I couldn't calm him you said to let him go he'd calm down and he hasn't yet. I made sure anything dangerous was taken away but I didn't know what else I could do.

Now respectively I could have picked up what he threw around but I wanted her to see what he was capable of. And I wasn't going to risk getting hurt again from taking things away. She looked upset but didn't say anything and just looked at him still throwing his tantrum. The baby wakes up and she goes to get her.

When she comes back to try and calm him he screams to pick him up and he hits her and keeps going till she puts the crying baby on the ground and picks him up. I was kinda shocked she fed into it. I told her he's old enough to know what he's doing.

He knows that he'll get what he wants when he does these things and it's only going to get worse. And if it's going to continue I'm going to continue to do nothing because I won't risk getting hurt or the other kids in the process.

I showed her my bite mark and she went pale a bit and said he did that I said yes he did. She took a breath and said why don't you go home for the day and I'll talk to dad about this.

When I came to work this morning there was a timeout chair for him. And I'm allowed to use it at my discretion.

Here are the top responses to the OP from readers:


They owe you for every injury, including the biting. The stairs incident is scary. You could have been seriously injured or even permanently injured. Are they not aware you could be filing multiple civil cases against them?

The fact that there are other children in the household that are potential victims is another concern, especially an infant. And the mom put the baby on the FLOOR to coddle the little spoiled brat!!

Parents need to start parenting! Unless, of course, they plan to keep all the kids away from the outside world for their entire lives.


Wow: you're a way better person than I am. After the 1st round of 'no consequences,' I would have waived 2 weeks' pay & just left. (& moved across the country, gotten really far away)


Hello, not a behavior therapist but worked in a very specific behavioral school with kids 5-21 for a very long time. This happens all too often, a lot of our kids, especially the newer ones, would not deescalate for a very long time, to the point of physically harming themselves and others and it all had the same exact source: the parents.

I know parents mean well, but we’d have parents come in who had kids who would nearly critically injure other people and when we would ask “how do you respond to situations like this?” They would nearly admit every time that they fed into it.

I even remember this one child, the only thing he ever cared about was his iPad, and when he punched and slapped the mom they would GIVE HIM THE IPAD TO CALM DOWN. And in this case he came in at 15 years old. They seriously didn’t realize how damaging that was.

I feel bad for these kids, they are going to grow up with the wrong idea of how to get people to do things for them and get such a kick in the teeth later in life if parents don’t set boundaries.


Oh, you played it hard. You took a beating to prove your point, and you sure made it. I guess your method was better than punting him into next week like I would have. You have the patience of a god.


I don’t understand how you are still working for a family that doesn’t have consequences for kids who PUSH PEOPLE DOWN STAIRS. The family won’t realize how ridiculous they are until they go through multiple Nannies for the same issues: violence, prohibition on discipline, and low, low pay.

The OP responded here:


So I will say because I told in the comments I only get paid 22 an hour and it is low. I am quitting this job soon. Or rather I already did my last week is in May I promised id stay till then and then I have a much better paying job backed up. And yes I did get extra pay for the stairs incident not the bite but yes for the stairs.

What would you tell this nanny? Is she right to try to discipline the son or is that not her place?

Sources: Reddit
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