Monday Problem: Should I let my 5 year old sleep over at her nanny’s apt?
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Dear Nanny X,
my daughter has had the same nanny since she was a few weeks old. They are very close. Our nanny works full-time, Monday to Friday. My daughter since the age of three or so has been begging me to let her do a sleep-over at my nanny’s apartment in Queens. Our nanny is also keen. Up until now my husband and I have said no, but I don’t want to insult my nanny – after all we have trusted her for five years! I also don’t want to ignore my daughter’s feelings. The only issue I have as a woman is that our nanny has a live-in BF. I’ve met him a couple of times when he came to pick our nanny up from work. He seems nice enough but we don’t know what he’s really like.
What do you suggest we do?
above is a picture of pure innocence.
The innocence of our children is a precious trust. But it’s as fragile as bone china. Once broken it can never be repaired. Although unlikely, your nanny’s partner may have issues. He may use inappropriate language or he may drink in front of your daughter. The point is, this man is a stranger and yet your daughter would or could be sleeping within close proximity of him.
Other things to consider are: have you visited your nanny’s apartment? Do you know what kind of building or neighborhood she lives in?
It is natural for your daughter to want a sleep-over with a beloved caregiver but your nanny, as a mature woman, will understand why you may not allow it.
Perhaps, as an alternative, could you arrange to visit your nanny in her home over a weekend? It would be an opportunity to see where she lives and to socialize with her partner. It could buy you some time to consider your daughter’s request a little later on. You will be in a better position to make a judgment call then. Also by that time your daughter may have out-grown the desire for a sleep-over with her nanny and instead she may switch her attention to family members or classmates.
If your daughter persists, why not arrange for your nanny to sleep-over and have a PJ party in your home? That way your daughter gets a sense of freedom while you have peace of mind. You and your husband could use that time to have a night away, but close by, should your daughter need you.
It’s lovely that your daughter is so connected to her nanny. We hate to say ‘no’ to our children. But right now your baby girl is a sweet little light in this world. Treasure and protect that light of innocence for as long as you can.