Thursday, July 11, 2013

Complimenting a nanny.

Here's a quasi-moral dilemma for you to ponder.  A few days ago, I was taking the train back from downtown, and there was a bit of a scary-man-ruckus in the car where I was riding.  He was "out of sorts," so to speak . . . and eventually yelled "hell yeah I'm drunk!" at one of the CTA folks questioning him.  So that answered that.  This went on for several stops, and while this was all happening, two little girls, probably about 8 and 10, and their nanny were sitting on the bench seat next to me.  We chatted a little bit about where they were coming from and what they were doing: they had been visiting their mom at her office downtown.  The girls were obviously and understandably scared, but the nanny -- she looked to be a college student -- was wonderful with them.  I don't know how I would've handled the situation, but she really did it perfectly: distracting them with little games, reassuring them that there was nothing to worry about, and even physically shielding them from the pacing, shouting man with her body.  He was eventually escorted off the train, and everyone continued on their way.  I got off at my stop, and coincidentally, so did my new friends.  I was about half a block behind them, and they went into a house just across the street from my apartment.

So here's the question: I was so, so impressed with the way that this young lady handled such a tricky situation, and I am wondering whether it would be appropriate to leave a little note for the parents, explaining what I saw.  Or . . . is that just completely weird, and I'd be way better off minding my own business?  On one hand, if I was a mom, I think I'd appreciate knowing that my nanny did a great job in a tough situation like that, and if I was the nanny, I think I'd be grateful for someone pointing out that I was doing the right things.  And if I saw a caregiver mistreating a kid, I would feel compelled to say something.  On the other hand . . . wouldn't it just be altogether odd to leave a random note from a neighbor?  Like creepy, crazy-neighborhood-busybody-on-the-prowl-weird?

What do you think?  I'd love to hear your thoughts on this.  Moms, what would you think if someone left you a note like that?  Or have any of you ever been nannies or babysitters?  Would you prefer someone just keep their mouth shut?

(Image by Flickr user Janusfinder via Cup of Jo.)


Mjquestions said...

Leave a note, how reassuring for the parents!! People are always quick to point out negatives, but rarely positives!! Good to take the time to do it!

Anonymous said...

But what if she wasn't supposed to take the girls on the train, and now you just got her in trouble? Too many what ifs could potentially turn a nice deed into a negative one.

Anonymous said...

I'm a big fan of the idea that friends and neighbors are also part of raising and helping your family grow. I think a note would be great! I hope my neighbors are that attentive and thoughtful to notice how my kids are being treated :)

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