- The children are not being provided with proper boundaries.
- The parents are undermining your position as an authority figure.
Children who are given what they want (not what they need) are often unhappy. Children naturally push the boundaries, testing the authority of the adults in their lives. This is totally normal. Until kids mature into young adults and have internalized a sense of impulse control they need an external figure or figures to work with. When younger children push a boundary and find it non-existent this reinforces an intrinsic insecurity.
It also conveys to them that the grown-ups are not showing up to do their job. If both parents work full-time this role during the day and in the week often falls onto a nanny or another caregiver. It is imperative that this adult be seen as a figure of definitive authority. Without such a figure-head the children of the household will run riot and any system of functionality (mealtimes, bedtimes, hygiene, homework) will fail.
The second problem is that your position of authority is being undermined. This is an agonizing and occasionally an humiliating transition. The consequences are that once compliant and contented children transform into angry, unhappy and rude preteens.
You have to make a choice. Are you done with this position? Think honestly about this question. If you are still invested in the family then you need to speak directly to the parents and make your case. Explain to them what the implications of their choices in ‘changing the rules’ as and when they feel like, are doing to their children. Without the parents understanding what their role is in this new unsettling dynamic there is nothing you can do.
If you are just done and if you see this type of non-cooperation between you and the parents continuing, then yes, begin to explore new options. Never stay in a job where you feel disrespected and unsupported. That would be a toxic environment for you and the family.