8 Things to Do When Kids Don’t Respect You or Your Job

How to React to Disrespectful Nanny Kids

I have often heard little kids yelling at their nannies saying they can get them fired when they are angry with them. I have also heard children yell, “I don’t have to listen to you! You are only a nanny!” When I have asked some kids to clean up after themselves they have said, “That’s your job!”

But the first time a comment from a nanny kid really hurt my feelings was when a tween asked me, “If you have a college degree, why are you just working as a nanny?” He showed that he doesn’t see the work I do for him or his family as worthwhile.

But, since then, I have heard the same child and his friends speak disrespectfully about many people, (not just about me), including their babysitters, housekeepers, teachers, and parents. The bad-mannered attitudes aren’t just directed towards me, or come from just one child — rude remarks are made commonly, especially by pre-teens and adolescents.

Disrespectful behavior also often just comes down to kids having poor problem-solving skills and a lack of knowledge about how to be more respectful.

What to Do When a Child Criticizes You from empoweringparents.com and How to Say It to Your Kids:

1. Don’t take it personally.
You know your self worth and importance of the job you do. Kids just don’t have the maturity or life experience to understand the worth of many important people in their lives yet.

2. Expect it.
It’s not uncommon for kids to say they hate anyone who has to assert authority over them. It’s normal for them to direct their anger and blame at adults for their problems.

3. Model appropriate behavior.
Be kind towards everyone you come in contact with no matter their job position. Be gracious towards housekeepers, garbage collectors, cashiers, letter carriers, teachers, and other nannies and au pairs.

5. Respect goes both ways.
In the book, How to Say It to Your Kids author Paul Coleman recommends, “Don’t administer impulsive and arbitrary punishments.” It is better to tell the child you will think about an appropriate punishment. Wait until you and the child have both calmed down to discuss the issue. You cannot demand respect from kids.

6. Don’t Yell.
Coleman explains that research shows that when you are angry and speak in a tone louder than normal, you just get angrier. Having the presence of mind to speak in a tone lower than normal conversation can actually reduce your anger in a matter of seconds.

7. Encourage the child when they do not act defiantly.

For example, Coleman suggests saying,
“I know you didn’t like it when I told you no, but it meant a lot to me that you didn’t speak to me disrespectfully.”

“Do you realize what you just did? You were angry, but told me you were angry. You didn’t show it by yelling at me. I’m impressed.”

“I’ve watched you all day, and not once did you act defiantly even though you might have felt like it. That makes me feel wonderful.”

8. Know what to say when they are disrespectful.

“It really hurt my feelings when you said that I am nobody and you can get me fired. I would like an apology and hope you would never say something that hurtful to anyone of any profession.”

“You can be upset with me, you can disagree with me, but I won’t put up with being spoken to like that. Can you please rephrase what you just said?”

Hopefully keeping these tips in mind while working with kids will help you from taking disrespectful comments from nanny kids personally.



How to Say It to Your Kids


  1. Very good advice.!

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