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Ask Marva!

Thumbnail image for Marva Soogrim.jpgHere at Role Mommy, we are pleased to announce a brand new contributor to our site, Marva Soogrim - better known as the "Nanny to the Stars." Marva has more than three decades of experience taking care newborns and young children and she's also worked for some of the most famous celebrity moms on the planet - including Courtney Cox, Sheryl Crowe and Laura Dern to name a few (trust us, there are plenty more!) Check out this recent video with Marva Soogrim and then get ready for her tried and true tips! And if you have a question you'd like answered, then send Marva an email today!

She's the nanny to the stars
She's the nanny to the stars

Here's Marva's latest question from Caryn:

A friend of mine has a 3-year old and 2-year old (both girls). She doesn't work now, but has (live out) full-time help. She has gone through several nannies and keeps complaining about the same thing. They come late, leave early, spend much of their time during the day on their cell phones, and do a mediocre job with the housework that they are hired to do. The kids like (and trust) these nannies, and most importantly, they are not in any danger. However, these nannies are paid very well, yet give sub-standard care to their jobs. My friend, and others like her, are always saying how little their nannies care about their jobs even though they are paid very competitively - and sometimes much more.

Is this the new norm of what to expect from a nanny? How does one weed out those people who could care less about their job, and find those gems who become part of the family?! I am expecting my first baby soon and am very discouraged by what to expect from a nanny nowadays. Please tell me what I should be looking for and what behavior I need to tolerate.

Thanks so much for your help!!

Caryn Portnoy, Principal

Dear Caryn,

Good luck on your first baby! Hope you are enjoying your pregnancy and the summer.

Your friend needs to hire a professional with excellent references and many years of experience. Going through several nannies is not great for children. When you interview potential nannies you would want to address your concerns about constant use of cell phones, tardiness and all other expectations that you might have. Command and give respect because keeping a good relationship with your children's care giver is a plus to all. With laying every card on the table it gives you and a potential nanny the opportunity to decide if this is a perfect match from the onset.

Best Marva

Here's Marva's latest advice to mom of two Stephanie:

Stephanie:
Marva,
Congratulations on the book deal and I can't wait to read it. I have a question that has recently come up with our 4 year old daughter.

History: We have a 4 year old daughter and a 19th month old son. Both of our children go to daycare as my husband and I work outside of the home full-time.

My daughter has always been independent and has had no problem doing things on her own, even when her brother was born she didn't experience any major jealous issues and she stayed independent, that is until recently. This behavior has not carried over into school according to her teachers.

For the past month she has decided she can no longer do anything alone. She can't stand being in a room alone and can't even go to the bathroom without anyone standing in the doorway. It's not only frustrating but I can't figure out why she has made such a behavioral switch. She even wakes up in the middle of the night crying for me. I try to give here as much independent attention as I can but its hard because her brother still demands a lot of time.

I have tried talking to her to see if there's a problem, I tried to tell her how proud I am when she is a big girl but nothing seems to make a difference.

If you have any suggestions I would so appreciate the help.

Thanks,
Stephanie

Marva:
Stephanie congrats on your hard work. Having a family is a pretty big deal and I can tell that you and your husband are doing the best you can. Sometimes you have to find the extra to add to your best and it will payoff down the road. In your case is it's easy. Your daughter's independent world is crashing in on her, she does not know how to handle that, she feels the more independent she gets less attention will be given to her. In her four year old world there is no problems, in school she is fine that's cool! She also sees how much attention a baby gets and she rightfully is demanding her full share. It starts with knowing you have two shifts of work going on in your life.

When you get home before you open your door take a few deep breathes because, your next shift begins. Get your family in the same room if for only a moment, and feel your gratitude for all of it especially for the parts you are not crazy about. Begin with a renewed sense of wellness, wholeness and just know that you are well equipped with a heart full of love for you and your family.

Somehow, mothers become their family's MOMMY HERO. You and dad will want to alternate dinner time duties, bath time, reading time, and prepare all the necessities for next day's daycare. I'm suggesting that you and the hubby adjust your home schedule so by the time the kids get to bed you guys will have time for each other, smiling at your full and sometimes hectic days and knowing as a team we are prepared for tomorrow. When your daughter wakes up at night go into her room, give her a hug (No Talking) make her feel safe, secured and loved in that moment. After a few minutes tuck her back into bed (Whisper to her "when you wake up I will be here for you").

If you need further help feel free to email me at anytime, I am here for you

Best,
Marva


Our first "Ask Marva" question comes from pregnant mom of two, Heather Thompson from California:
Hi Marva! I have a 6 year old daughter, 3 year old boy, & 1 on the way. My 3 year old has a nasty habit of completely ignoring me & disobeying me...mostly when we are in front of other people. Just when it is most embarrassing! He will not obey me unless I get up & move towards him or threaten him. Wondering why he does that & any tips to handle it? I don't know if it's because in front of other people he thinks I won't punish him or what?? Thanks!

Marva: Is your three year old behaving this way at home? whether he is or not, he is only crying out for your help. He feels as though he is being replaced since he has been the baby for a while. It must be tough, with another baby on the way, more so for you than him. He needs lots of loving reinforcements and with time he will fall into his place of big brother and he will love it, take him shopping to pick out a book for his baby sister or brother. Once a week let him know that his baby sibling wants him to take a walk.
Allow him to be a part of his sibling pre-arrian>val process, It will be less stressful on you and him.

Let me know how it works out for you and if there is anything more, I would love to help.

If you have a question for Marva, the email your questions to her today with a link to your blog if you have one and you could be featured in her next column1

Posted in: Ask Marva, Blog on 09/05/2009

Comments

  • Caryn Portnoy

    My friend is always complaining about her nanny, who takes care of her 3 & 2-year old girls. Despite getting paid well, she is constantly on her cell phone, comes late, leaves early, and basically slacks off during the day. She's good with the kids though, who like her a lot, and she's very trustworthy. I also hear that this is typical behavior nowadays for nannies. Do we need to lower our expectations and accept this kind of sub-standard work ethic? What is reasonable to expect of nannies nowadays? Thanks!

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