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How do I discuss with my family a better way to do dinnertime?

Hello everyone! I am seeking advice as to how to broach the conversation of mealtime routines with the family for whom I nanny. I am only there part time, several days a week, with the parents in the home, which has made this conversation harder to approach. I fundamentally disagree with many of the ways they choose to handle mealtime with their 2 year old toddler, including but not limited to the fact that she plays on her iPad during dinner, she does not self-feed (as they still spoon feed her), and she spits out food. From my years of experience as a nanny, I have many suggestions as to how to try to improve the situation, and I implement my routines with success the few times I babysit without them in the home. However, until now, I have fallen on the side of biting my tongue and following the parents' rules when they are present. How do I bring this up in a way that does not put them on the defensive, but instead gives me the chance to show them how dinnertime could be easier and better for everyone involved? Thank you!

Answers
Nita in Palatine, IL
Oct. 13, 2019

just follow up family instruction

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Maria in Berkeley, CA
Sept. 17, 2019

I would agree , not discuss with family for dinnertime.

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Paola in Brookline, MA
Sept. 10, 2019

My time and energy is precious and I chose not to tolerate it. I used my tactics to curb this behavior when I'm there sitting with the kid(s) at the table. The parent is in the room and I know they know the behavior is ridiculous. I don't ask the parents permission to teach respect and manners. If they interrupt to tell you not to teach their child how to be respectful and have manners, flee! Parents tolerate it because they want the child to eat, but they also know the behavior is poor. You can have a more direct chat with the parents and tell them you would like to see if you can work on better behavior at the table. Perhaps they'll be thrilled to see you try. You could say that either she self feeds or she doesn't get the iPad. If she spits out her food, she gets the iPad taken away until she can eat properly at the table. These are reasonable things to implement, but you can speak with the parents first if you would like to ask if they would be ok with you doing that. We choose our battles, but many parents forfeit the war and let their children rule the roost.

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That is a tough question. Children at the age of 2 are too young for ipads. It sounds like the ipad is interfering with meal time. Say something to parents how they are holding their child back by not allowing self feeding. Meal time should be a time to focus on food.

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Touchy subject for certain! Perhaps, not ask, just do. None of these changes would be harmful to the child and perhaps they would see how helpful it really is. First time, younger parents is what I'm hearing. Be gentle, but helpful. Good Luck!

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Talk to them the advantage of having iPad while eating. Ask the parents whether they want you to help their children to be dependent or independent. Sometimes you give some bits clue her and there like oh! you are 3 years old and what are the things that your Pediatrician say about your personal growth? Are we in our target? Open conversation is good.

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Alyce in Honolulu, HI
Aug. 20, 2019

If it was me, I would ask the parents for a time to sit down and talk about my concerns regarding meal time with their precious child and that to help their child be on a steady but meal time should be a relaxing and enjoyable meal time by taking away the electronic and replacing it with a mellow but enjoyable meal time because the electronic device is disturbing and distracting. The earlier this can get corrected and reach a goal where the child will understand and will remember that meal time should be a time to relax and enjoy her meals instead of focusing on the device. As for self-feeding, I do agree, I have a baby at 12 months already learning to be independent during his meal time. Anything is possible when you are determined to help the parent understand and show love and care regarding the concern you have.

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Amy in Zuni, VA
Aug. 14, 2019

These are my questions. Are the parents bothered or upset by the dinner time feeding? Or is it you? If parents voice frustration, certainly add your advice. If not, follow their lead - it is their child, not yours. Amy Carr

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Hi! In my years of experience working as a Nanny, I learned Children behavior is different when the nanny is working alone or work with parent in home (Testing the Nanny infront parent to see What nanny will do :) ) If I am in your place and dinner is dificult time. tell them and ask them if you can try another way some time parent need some one teach them the correct way. I worked with a family that used candy as reward in less that 5 minutes 4 candies. I know this is wrong because in long term can bring health issues for the child. The first, I cut the ammount of candy and in the end of the week the child continue with the routine and good behavior with out candy, I told her mom. Offcourse next day the bowl was missing alot of candies.

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You can suggest nicely that when you are home alone with their daughter, during dinner you try to teach her out to feed herself and that the ipad is a little bit of a distraction. Sometimes as parents, things go unnoticed and they may just want to take the relaxed way of feeding her. Tell them that she has been able to feed herself when the ipad is not in the picture during dinner time! Some of my favorite memories with my mom were when we were eating dinner together and talking. They can use dinner time as a chance to see how her day was and help her to feed herself without them spoonfeeding her.

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Amy in Zuni, VA
Aug. 7, 2019

Why don't you just ask? Say, mom would you be willing to try something a little different that might make your life a little easier? I would be glad to share with you. Amy Carr

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First, I would communicate with the parents so it's not a drastic change and find out if any of the children have food allergies or dislikes where they may refuse to eat certain foods. Also, I have been CPR certified., so I am prepared in choking matters, if needed.

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It depends on the family, try not to overstep your boundaries, if you try slowly different angles, it Amy upset them

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Karren in Ogden, UT
July 21, 2019

That's an interesting question! How much time do the parents spend with the daughter? Perhaps they spoon feed her because that's their main interaction with her. (If they think she can't operate a spoon, then I think they haven't spent enough time with her to know what she's capable of...) So I would suggest doing a family activity with the toddler where she shows off her developmental achievements. Did they hire you as a professional? Cause the next time the kid turns a month, 6 months, or a year older, you can pull out the child development reference page and say, "alright, so now that she's x months, we should be able to expect the following behaviors from her:..." If they hired you as a non-professional, and if they believe they are knowledgeable about child development, than that's sticky. You could show them a youtube video of a kid the same age doing something awesome (and showing off developmental skills) and then ask the parents for permission to do the same thing with their daughter. See what they believe about her skill set. If you prove successfully that she doesn't need spoon feeding, then the parents are going to need a new way to connect with her. Spend family time demonstrating connection during some things the child currently likes. Suggest a way to connect that's developmentally appropriate (and be sure to mention when its appropriateness will expire, for example, 6-year-olds no longer enjoy peek-a-boo!:P) Hopefully that helps!

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Maria in Encino, CA
July 19, 2019

My house, My rules! Get on board with the program and things will go much smoother.

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Linda in Roswell, GA
July 18, 2019

I believe no electronics at the table. I too would shy away from telling the parent how to do things. I might make up something like my sister does it this way....Or ask the parent how do they feel about electronics at the table but since the child already has it while she feeds her, I guess she thinks it helps keep her attention. It can ruin the tablet especially if milk spills on it. I have youtube if they have youtube see if you can pull up how to feed that age child at the table and view it with the parent. I love Youtube and I get my skills that way as well. Especially putting the child to sleep.

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Parents rules are what need followed, unless they ask for advice. Unless they are totally clueless about parenting, and you know them well enough to know they will not take you telling them how to raise their children negatively, I would not even go there.They are your employer. If you can't abide by them, you should move on.

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That's a very complex question because you definitely don't want to come off offensive at all. I usually try to bite my tongue, especially when it almost seems like its too late in me working for a family to really mention anything. However, definitely if they bring up a frustration about it bring in your ideas with several different ways if they wish to change it, but if they truly don't see any issues with it, some families just are the way that they are.

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Bless the parents' hearts, that will regret that lax discipline when the child hits her teens. They are allowing her to be in control. I worked for one family who used those sorts of guidelines with a 4 year old, and was criticized when I would not allow the child to throw things at me/hit me/scream at me. I quit!

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I'd say, let them lead, period. If they want your advice, they will ask. Continue your routines when feeding on your own. Children love boundaries, she will start to seek you out and will most likely give her parents a very hard time later on. That is when they will probably ask you what to do, I would wait until then. In the meantime, just learn from this and use it to move forward. If you can't stand not saying something or if you just feel it pains you too much, give a months notice and start looking for a family more in tune with your own parenting styles. If your current family wants to know why you're leaving, I would not disclose too much as you need them for a reference and may still risk offending them (also, you still have to work side by side for another month).. If they press the subject and you feel you can speak freely, do it -- it may be just what they've been wanting to hear, or it may not, it's hard to say. My parents sometimes use food as a reward. They give their toddler the iphone to play games on and it's just what it is. Sometimes we forget that parents are On 24/7, they don't get to go home, shut out the world and reboot. They are basically on survival mode. They are doing what seems to work. I know you want to make some changes so that in the long run it's easier for everyone, but sometimes it's better to just either come to terms with it or move on.

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Taylor in Chicago, IL
June 27, 2019

Be straightforward without overstepping. Bring it to their attention that you've noticed such behavior and put the ball in their court. For example "I've noticed Cheryl spits out her food during dinner time-- I don't see this behavior during meal times when I am here a lone. If you'd like to compare what we do differently I'd be happy to share." This way you've made them aware that there are solutions without saying "you can do this better" which is what prompts defensiveness, in my opinion. At this point they'll decide whether they want the advice or not. Either way you've done your job.

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Katherine in Kent, WA
June 27, 2019

If they are not frustrated by the routine you have to mind your own. If they too seem burnt out by the nightly game of dinner, then approach it like that. "I see you too are tired of this routine, this is what I've seen work in the past, this is what's harming the routine, and in my opinion this is what needs to change" say something like "can we try it my way for a week or two and see if you aren't less stressed by it?"

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Education is the best way. Do some research and put some credibility behind your words. Come from a position of care; do not be condescending. "So I've been think about ways we can help [child's name] learn and develop...I've been reading a lot about how iPad use during meals is not good for someone her age as it causes ...(fill in with what the research says)" While I agree that the way the family handles mealtime is not ideal, you ultimately are the employee and need to approach the situation as such. If the parents are amiable to change, then great. I would approach each change one or two at a time. Also keep in mind that the change will not come overnight and you may need to compromise. Do not enforce your beliefs; rather, educate the family and provide alternatives. Hope this helps!

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It is important to fallow and respect parents rules. BUT I would have a conversation with the parents. Reinforcing the importance of family quality time, the relevance of teaching them good manners and to correct bad habits in each and every stage of a kids life. If we do not correct bad habits further on the parents will be not able to help their kids. studies very often show us that the reason so many teenagers end up in prison is because their parents never say to them NO, never correct them, they just give them material things! I care about kids and their future. If they do not care about and you are not feeling comfortable with the situation you should live the job.

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Not for me or you to say "Change" unless asked. As in any position, and many held by myself, the boss pays you for a job. Their rules apply. If this is not suitable for you-change your job-you usually can never convince parents that things they do a certain way is incorrect. This is a conclusion a parent must receive from their own self-reflection. Whatever you say they will hear that you are thinking they are not doing right as parents. Reflect on this? Can you really not stand this? And other self questions. Questioning parents on their techniques of raising their children is very touchy subject.nrs

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this is a tough question, yet very good. I think that in my shoes I would probably try to start off the question by asking if the toddler ever feeds themself, even if you already know the answer. Once you wait for the response, maybe try to say something along the lines of, oh do you think if she starts to try, she will be rewarded and tell them to maybe try that 4 or 5 times a week till she can feed herself on her own. it will be difficult and have to probably be at the perfect time, but I know the if you just suggest something similar like that they may respect it! Hope that helped :)

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Lena in Plano, TX
June 23, 2019

family style meals are important and older kids can help prepare meals or set the table

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Pamela in Seattle, WA
June 22, 2019

Ask them if they would like to hear helpful ideas to assist in the developmentally growing child. Most parents want their children to progress and are just very busy. We all like our routines and because its easy for us we fail to see we are doing more than is necessary. Your a competent and capable nanny, ask them if you can share what your observing and what the child is capable of when she is alone with you. Often times parents are at a loss and simply have not thought to ask for help to make changes.

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Ciarra in Dallas, TX
June 21, 2019

Well I think that you should consider sitting down with the parents one on one before your shift or after & in a kind way suggest that you are wanting to interact with the children on a more intimate level to where you would be more comfortable and it makes it hard for you to do that when the child is on their ipad. As for the self-feed issue, that will come to a end in time. Patience is a Virtue. God Tests his Strongest Soliders :) Have a Blessed Day!

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This will not be like that all the time so nanny must always be ready to face most request from parents.

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Ugh! So hard. In my experience it is extremely difficult to Nanny with the parents present. The children don't want to listen and when you give them direction that they don't like they run to their parents and then there's that awkward "stepping on toes" dance. I think the best thing to do in those situations is to talk to the parents outside of the event that's happening. For example, if the child is eating lunch, talk to them about it later in the day. Don't confront, just chat. You say it once and you don't press further. At the end of the day, you're not the parent and all you can do is offer advice and help the family the best way you can. Since you've had success with different plans when they're not there I would talk to them about what you like to do and what the results are from it. Hope any of this works! Good luck!

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Lydia in Odessa, FL
June 10, 2019

first and foremost is to tell them how much you appreciate being able to assist them and their little one, but you must let them know also and tactfully how equally important it is for you to be open with them, then maybe you may say, i was thinking,could i make a suggestion, go on from their,never make it seem as though they are not parenting properly, but you can offer a suggestion,that way they dont feel threatened.

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Make an attempt to spark a conversation about routines. Once sparked,offer feedback about routines. In which offer praise to some other routines and then offer "feedback" on the dinnertime routine.

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Kayla in Salem, OR
June 3, 2019

Just sit down with them and say you have a suggestion based on past experience that you'd like to share and suggest that you'd be happy to help them make these changes if they would like to.

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I believe I would share with them how you are doing meal time, incase they want to follow suit. You might tell them how you find it helpful and beneficial to the child and dinnertime.

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This is a great question. Well, unfortunately, the parents run the house and as much as we would like to change their dinner time table mannerisms, we are not in the position to change anything. You are there to help and not run the house (sad to say). If the parent does not have a problem about it You could bring it up by saying, "I noticed that Suzie has been spitting out her food, have you noticed that? I wonder why she is doing that? maybe we should see if we could change the meal or show her to not spit it out?" Also if you eat with them at the dinner table, model proper table mannerism and narrate what you do, for example (spitting) "Yum, this food is delicious, I want to make sure it goes in my stomach, I need to chew and swallow so it could go in my stomach" or redirect the child, "Suzie if you spit the food eat something on the plate you like" As for promoting the child to work on self-help skills, tell the parent, "did you know that Suzie ate by herself? she used the fork to feed herself etc." (if it is actually true) Address it in a non-intrusive way.

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I would decide first if this was something the parents are concerned with. Sometimes the parents just do not care. I have been in situations where i would implement rules and they would allow the children to break them whenever I was gone. I can become exhausting to keep reteaching. If this is something that really bothers you, I would just discuss in the moment while they're on their ipad at dinner.

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Although I am not certain how to approach the parents about this situation, I would suggest telling them that if you helped teach her to be more self-responsible, it could alleviate some of the parents' work (not having to spoon feed or clean up after the child's mess, etc). Plus, growing up using an iPad during dinner could be bad for the future, as the child wouldn't understand that it's rude to do that. Perhaps try involving everyone in the family together during dinner time in some way. It could help give the toddler a reason to participate with the rest of the family, as well as make the parents feel more relaxed and willing to listen to your advice. This is all theoretical of course, but I wish you the best of luck.

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Children love to play a lot. For him to accompany the parents at the dinner table, it is better to distract him from playing with the iPad and immediately he forgets about it, you then lure to the dinner table and tell him after eating the iPad will be given back to him.

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I will be patient with the child to see if I can distract him from using the iPad to accompany the parents at the dinner table.

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Hi, My name is Lucrecia my friends call me Mily. I have 18 years of experience and excellent references. I care newborns up to 6 years. I'm very tidy, punctual, honest, flexible. And I dedicate 100% to the care and protection of the child. If you would like to know more about me, please contact me. Thank you for you attention.

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First you need to remember not to over step. Yes, they are asking you to help watch after their child, but that does not mean they are asking for you to tell them how to do that or change how they do that. If done in a respectful way, I don't see it being an issue if you wanted to ask if you could propose a new idea or make a suggestion. But don't overly insert yourself where no one is asking you to. Not only are they the parents, they are also your employers.

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First, You can talk the parents. there is time to eat and time to play. tell them you need to focusing to feed the child it is very important to have eat.

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Please communicate with me in regards to days in which a lighter meal would be more appropriate or a slightly different meal time for days where sport activities, music lessons, may crowd a relaxed family atmosphere. Please allow children to participate with some of the meal preparation or dinner settings on days were more time is available. A change in routine is acceptable, buffet style, sit-down formal occasional, build your own sandwich.

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Inform them of how you would like to handle the situation and ask if they are okay with that. Be respectful of the fact that THEY are the parents.

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It is hard to make improvements when parents don't directly ask for your input. You could maybe broach the subject with a question such as "how do you feel about mealtimes? I notice lunchtime and dinnnertime goes a little differently. I typically do XYZ and was wondering if you want to continue that during dinnertime as well."

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Mary in Alexandria, VA
April 30, 2019

you don't need to cook every time you can sometimes use cane or pack food also for dinner.

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Kayla in Sandown, NH
April 28, 2019

be nice about it think before you speak.

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Alisa in Hillsdale, NJ
April 18, 2019

Hmm. That's a hard one because they are the parents. I think you may want to nonchalantly tell them a story about how you were able to help other kids and also just say "hey I don't mean to be out of line, but I was wondering if I could ask you guys about how dinner time is going" or something like that.

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Andrea in Cerritos, CA
April 18, 2019

Sharing personal testimonies with enthusiasm is a great example to add value. This allows parents to gain insight and effective, positive, and better ways for family units to work together.

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Start by complimenting their children and letting them know that you want what's best for their development as they get older. That way when you give your opinions, they'll know that it's coming from a good place. Maybe also let them know a few things that you really like and respect about the way they raise their kids so that they don't get the impression that you're coming at them with complaints. Finally, you can talk about how a healthy meal time routine benefited you growing up and why you think it would be beneficial for the parents to enforce certain rules that stop the youngest child from becoming too entitled and impatient. Mention the harms of screen addiction at a young age. Most importantly, though, make sure to ask the parents if you can have this conversation in private so that there's no question about power dynamics as far as the kids are concerned.

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User in Vancouver, WA
April 18, 2019

Think out how you'd like to broach the topic, normally just being straightforward and open with communication is the best. I always recommend conversations like that to be in person if possible. If you have a way that might flow more smoothly for everybody involved, bring it up!

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Kate in Weatogue, CT
April 18, 2019

Making sure they are home and letting them know when it is dinner time. Tell them what your cooking and making sure they are okay with what is being brought to the table

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Hi, I recently moved to Vallejo, my information says San Francisco because I have always worked in the Marin area and also I have a room in San Francisco. I have 18 years of experience with newborns up to 6 years. If you would like to know more about me, please contact me. Thank you.

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Lily in Biloxi, MS
April 14, 2019

personally, if i were to approach the situation in my family i would come to each family member individually and ask what they would prefer and if they would like to sit together as a family certain days of the week in order to fit each family member's schedule. i would then access each of the preferences and schedules and then come together as a unit with the family as a whole and then come to a conclusion

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User in Braintree, MA
April 12, 2019

I would start out by asking them how they feel meal-times are going, that the reason you ask is because it seems that meals go smoother for you when you do x,y,z. If they are happy with their routine and don't want to change anything, you're going to have to keep going with the flow. Highlight any child behavioral differences- like if the kid feeds herself w/o the ipad for instance. Subtly offer to handle mealtime while they are there to help them out- and basically demonstrate how much easier it can be. They might not realize there's any other way.

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Ana in Providence, RI
April 11, 2019

Maybe you could bring up the fact you've been seeing some difficulties during mealtime and remind them you want best for their child. You could also just implement the changes

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In this age of technology and artificial intelligence, many families allow their children to watch their iPad during dinner time. I have seen children as young as one year old, using iPads. It is a different generation. Questions, do you sit and eat with them? If you do, then maybe you can ask the child, can you eat that piece of broccoli by yourself? Making it like a game.Most children want to show that they can do thing by themselves. I would not override or interfere with the parents rules, or how they do something. The only time I would suggest another way to do things, if you found their discipline styles to be harmful to the child. If you really feel you must say something, then, maybe it can revolve around a well check up doctor's appointment. Does your doctor have any suggestions on encouraging the child to begin self-feeding? Please refer to the CDC for Developmental Milestones that address what children should be doing from Birth to Five. Another site is Zero to Three, if the child/children are within that age range. Good luck! I would be very careful not to overstep your bounds, as parents will definitely respond defensively and you may find yourself looking for another job. On the positive side, you can try different approaches when you are alone with the child during mealtime. Good luck, Kathleen Wright (recently retired pediatric nurse).

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Hi, I'm live in Vallejo my information says San Francisco because I have always worked in the Marin area, also looking for work over there, but I have a room in San Francisco my friend house. I care newborns up to 6 years, I'm very tidy, punctual, honest and I dedicate 100% to the care and protection of the baby. My references there are excellent.

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Kaylei in Paris, TX
April 3, 2019

Open up to them. Have varies points to present and try to handle the conversation as smoothly as you can. You and your boss should have a conversation. Both parties want the best for the child. Wish you the best of luck!

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Christine in Buford, GA
March 30, 2019

Going to be difficult because although it is not your child, you are with that child at their most "moodiest times". Parenting is one of the many things that can be done so differently. Communicate with the child's parents and explain that their child will not fully be focusing on what their child is eating while watching television on their iPad, causing the child to be "overfed". Explain that their child's best concern is in your hands and that's all you are trying to do!

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User in Canton, OH
March 25, 2019

For me, it is up to the Family. The days you are not working, they see how the child behaves while eating. So they are aware. If the child is spitting food at you or makes an effort to grab the spoon, then let the child hold a spoon while you still feed them and do not be afraid to say "No" when they spit out the food. Also, put the iPad away. Thats not a crime, the child does not need entertainment to eat, that is silly. You are not responsible for the learning of their child if they do not instruct you to teach them. If you believe it is a problem, maybe take it up with them and say something along the lines of, "Have you guys been feeding *child name* the same recently or is there any other things I should be aware of" It makes them think and lets you ask the question indirectly.

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Carina in Oviedo, FL
March 20, 2019

I personally will show them good arguments or benefits to do that.

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The number one thing I think of when is read this is... You all are on the same team! And your team goal is to raise this toddler to be the best they can be in the best environment ever. I understand that bringing up opposing ideas to the parents can feel scary but they will love you for it. Because it sounds like your heart behind changing dinner time is to help the child and everyone involved. That being said, approach them like you'd want them to approach you. Instead of saying "You guys are doing this dinner thing all wrong" say "I think dinner time is great way to teach (insert Childs name) how to be more independent, i've learned that it gives children a sense of pride when you cheer them on for doing something themselves!". Pick your battles wisely. In other words, don't make this conversation harder than it has to be. Lastly, always remember team work doesn't work without communication. Good for you for caring so much! Keep up the awesome work.

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Jennifer in Gardena, CA
March 19, 2019

ID STAY QUITE ABOUT THAT JUST GO WITH THE FLO

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Maybe you could ask for a sit-down with the parents(child not to be present). I would approach it from point of view of asking for information/clarification about how they want to go about teaching the little one manners. It could be that their way of doing it is a cultural preference, or that's how they were raised, or they don't know/don't care how to do it. If they think all is going well, and you say something that implies you know better than they how their child should be raised, your job could be in jeopardy. Good luck!

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Call a family "meeting". Ask for everyone's opinions on making dinner time better for the family as a whole. Then, request suggestions, from everyone individually.

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"I have some ideas I'd like to try to make dinner easier, that will also help Sue progress w her fine motor skills, if it's OK w you" (They're gonna seem like jerks if they say no, you're the one w the experience) then later work in how the combo of TV and eating leads to obesity, and that the focus should be on food.

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I would say continue to do it when they're not there, but make sure they know how you handle mealtimes. Bring up the fact that the child should be feeding themselves at this time, and do it softly, hopefully they'll agree. If not, you can't really do anything else.

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Nichole in Reno, NV
March 5, 2019

It is up to the parent how to raise their child not the hired caregiver. All you can do is mention your very successful meal time experiences when they are gone but in a very non judgmental way. I have been both a caregiver and a mom and things are very different with your own child. I would not be receptive to a nanny who is biting her tongue about our parenting practices. You are being paid to care for the child and it's important to speak up if something dangerous is occurring. Other than that your "expertise" needs to be exercised with caution. Parents rule...rule. They are the client, the parent and the ultimate authority in their child's life. Never you.

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Don't, under any circumstances tell or suggest to them what to do. They will continue to manage as they must when you aren't there. The best you can hope for is to gently suggest to the children your way,and helping them around with their way. It's a comfort factor that you are going for. They are all trying to do everything at once. They don't learn not to do the computer at the same time until something happens that is really expensive.My son finally learned this the "hard" way after he spilled his coffee all over it. I think it just goes with the territory these days. As long as it's not your direct fault, try not to get involved with this part.

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I will tell them. You baby is very smart. If they asked me I will give the advise about their baby mealtime. I only can manage my children. She is the mom and I have to do only my parte. Care for her and do my best.

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if the parents seem at a loss as to what to do about her behavior approach mom first asking if there is anything she thinks you might be able to do to help. or politely pull the parents aside one day before leaving and openly discuss with them the routines you've been working on and express the results you've had using these techniques and ask if they might like to watch and see for them selves , or if they would like for you to tech them so they to can see the same results.

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Amy in Zuni, VA
Feb. 19, 2019

Are the parents stressed about dinner time? If not, it seems it is not your place. If so, when the events are occuring, offer your suggestion. Amy C.

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Veronica in Katy, TX
Feb. 18, 2019

If you are helping with dinner you could say "i noticed the child was doing this. Have you tried doing this instead?" or maybe I noticed this, would it be ok if i tried doing this instead?

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Dawn in Newton, NJ
Feb. 10, 2019

try to together

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I would make a only parents present table time, I would write down a like a" care plan and goals"( I am a licensed nurse 42 yrs. experienced, its my opinion: talk to them ,conversation need verbalizing How they want they kiddo developing emotionally ? Cognitively? Put down on paper all the requests, time start time reevaluation in 1-2 months, follow up ,make a check list, success met ? or "not met?

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User in Weston, MA
Feb. 2, 2019

I would buy a spoon that is appropriate for the little one, let her feed herself, I would read to her while she is in the highchair. Ipads are not good for child, reguardless of what is easier for the parents.

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communication

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have kid's involved about their favorite food

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I would suggest to just bring it up to the parents in a suggestive way one idea at a time. Perhaps even say you've managed to put an end to something similar before and ask if its ok for you to try it with their children. Just remember you are there to assist them so if they decline that will be on them, you're just trying to do your job and make their lives easier.

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Don't diminish your personality for anyone. Just explain to them that you don't want to seem overbearing, but there are some techniques that you would like to implement.

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Remember you are JUST the caregiver. Mom and Dad set the standards for the household. If that is how they want their child raised, then you are there to conform. It's difficult I know. My daughter in law once told me that my standards were higher than hers. Oh well now that we are five ore years down the road she is having to reevaluate her standards!

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Have they asked your opinion on the subject? Have they commented about any difficulties? Many years as a nanny is great! It does not, however, give you permission or the right to butt into something that you don't like about the family. Not even a PhD in Child Development gives you the right to do that. Not unless you are asked.

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Donna in Cypress, TX
Jan. 8, 2019

Do the parents eat at the table too? If they do, what are they doing at the table? Can you ask them if they mind if you try to get the 2-year-old to become more interested in eating then playing? Nothing wrong with asking...remember timing is everything, so ask them when you know they are relaxed and may be receptive to trying something new.

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I always approach things with the preface of allowing the family to be first in their own lives. Say something like, "Are you satisfied with how mealtimes are going right now? If you are not, I have several methods that do work, would you like me to share them with you when you have time?" Or try, "The two year old is getting so big! She can do so many things by herself now, which is fundamental for her proper development and growth. She is eating for me on her own now, is she doing it for you yet?" (This one allows them to not feel embarrassed if they just haven't realized it's time to do it differently). The family does need a good hard nudge right now, because if it continues much longer they will lose the meal time battle for now, and in the future it will be a much harder, much longer battle to rescue the girls eating development. They are holding her back! They need to know that they are holding her back and they are harming her in the process. Only you know what their intentions are, if they are just busy and sloppy or clueless. Good luck!!

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Routine schedule. Children need a schedule, and a routine daily.

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Brooke in Petal, MS
Jan. 2, 2019

Just ease it into conversation. They will listen if you have done good with their kids.

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If it seems to be an issue or bother to the parents then suggest other options to approach the situation. If the parents do not seem bothered then continue to follow the parents' rules when you are in their home. Sometimes it's a cut and dry approach to these kinds of things. Do not be afraid to speak up when given the opportunity and at the same time humble.

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Try to approach the situation as if you were communicating to them "about something you read". Approach the topic at the dinner table on the importance of communicating with your child during dinner time and the benefits (there are actual articles about it). Let them now that you also found that starting proper table etiquette at home will reflect when they have dinner in restaurants and will limit the amount of tantrums the child will have. Maybe take the approach as your not telling them what to do but you're suggesting something that could benefit them in the long run.

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This is a very interesting topic! you should definitely be honest. Perhaps approach the situation by first saying casually, "hey, would you mind hearing me out for a second?", then state your suggestions about how to improve feeding. also, mention your struggles with the situation and the frustration that you have been having for a while and say how the situation can be improved for everyone! Use your personal experience and research to back your suggestions and maybe they will take to your advise. then show them examples of what you would like to do. All the while respecting the parents wishes. People are generally open to help though, don't be scared to be honest with them!

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If you could find a positive non passive aggressive way to bring up a suggestion, that seems okay? Do you feel close enough to the family to do so? However, the way I read your question, it seems possibly a bit judgey? And if I feel that, just reading your question... eeeh..

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You can try and speak to parent during conversation or meal time and not avoiding parents meal plan by saying, i suggest we should one day do this and it in a nice way at at under low tone.

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Wendy in Devine, TX
Dec. 5, 2018

OH no not an Ipad!okay tough love!!and be aware some parents don't like to change there habits!Suggest the child plays with the ipad,after she spoon feeds herself! that's her reward,if you like.Never be afraid of approaching parents,you should be able to communicate with all parents!suggest the parents remove themselves during mealtime,so you can teach the child good habits!be tactful,but firm,if they refuse,then you need to find other employment.

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If there's push back from the parents, there will be push back from the baby. It sounds like you know your stuff; if this family is uneducated in what screen time does to kiddos (and while they eat... future snacking-and-watching-tv habits start somewhere), it may not be your job to educate them. What are your thoughts on distracting the living noodles out of this kiddo at dinner time, where she wants to engage with you more than with what she's watching? Maybe a meal with excessive finger-foods that have fun textures or particularly interesting qualities (graaaapes)? When she's staring at the screen, put food in her hand, and guide her hand to her mouth while talking over her show- (Hey little friend! Guess what this is! It's a yummy piece of --randomfood--! Mmm!!) Just some suggestions. Hang in there. -Angie

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Aeden in El Cajon, CA
Nov. 27, 2018

Try to interact with the family in a chill, non-passive aggressive tone. Make it seem as your trying to suggest instead of forcefully telling them.

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How much should you pay for a babysitter?