Daytime TV for Nannies and Au Pairs

The News, The Noise, The Courts, The Soaps
Children have trouble separating fantasy and reality. For example, in a television show the actors are not really hitting one another. They are acting and they aren’t even bruised or bleeding. In real life getting hit is an awful experience.

Courts are convened to rend a legal opinion. TV court shows are produced to be entertaining. Journalists are taught to investigate in a clear and factual manner. Cable news outlets often have anchors who are nasty, condescending, and mugging designed to appeal to a certain niche viewership. The most popular of each genre provides more noise than light.
If you learn anything about the law from “Judge Judy” or “Judge Joe Brown” is that these TV judges have self-righteous indignation. Ghetto humor with tough love and homespun country wisdom. Your charges certainly do not need exposure to the absurdity of girlfriend and boyfriend cell phone disputes and bills left unpaid by nasty roommates. The nanny would probably be better without those stories too.
Cable news is bipartisan buffoonery. That is regardless of their political stant, the news is presented in a smug, emotive, and condescending way. The guests are often nasty and uninformed. Kids should be insulated from this type of discourse. Your charges should learn to think, not react. And so should their nanny or au pair.
How many years have your mother, your grandmother, and you watched a favorite soap opera? The adventures and misadventures of the soap operas has enchanted generations to daytime alliances, death, and resurrections. Once in a long while the perfectly attired prima donnas and prima dons are forced to struggle with realistic problems in a realistic way. The producers proclaim their groundbreaking and daring portrayal of moder moral dilemmas.
For kids: Do not expose them to these programs.
For nannies: If you must watch soap operas video tape them and watch them in the evenings. Do not worry about missing much in your soap opera, to keep updated you only need to watch the last ten minutes of the Friday show anyway.

Do you let your charges watch adult daytime television programs? Why or why not?


  1. I actually never thought of the fact that daytime tv even influences the kids because I only turn it on when they are napping. I agree that it is healthier and better for the caregiver and kids to have other ways to relax such as having a snack, reading a book, or taking a nap.

  2. I do when they are sick, and at the very end of the day if their parents are late. I did not have the 2 1/2 yr old watch anything until he was over 2. I use the TV very rarely and very limited. Susan

  3. Since the mom doesn’t even want me in the playroom (can you believe it? the mother wants me to let the kids play in the playroom without my supervision) I watch tv. I have on a baby monitor and can hear what they are doing. Outside of the house is a different story. Outside of the house I am very attentive. Mother hired me but wants kids to play without adults in the room, weird. So be it.NorthWest NJ

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