Children-Nannies, Parents-Children, Nannies-Parents


Today I witnessed something incredible.  There was a Kuwaiti man, his child (a girl of about three) and a South Asian nanny who were in queue to get visas.  For the nanny, a interview was required.  At first the nanny brought the child in with her, but then the father was ordered to take care of his own child in the lobby while the nanny was being interviewed.  As the father reached out his hands to take his daughter in his arms, the girl recoiled and started frantically grasping onto the nanny's neck; she obviously did not want to be away from her side and preferred to be with her than with her father.

The nannyfication in this society is alarming.  The instances of seeing a mother, strolling down the mall with her child, but in the care of the nanny instead is so common.  How difficult would it be for them (mother and father) to spend time with their children?  They already are exempt from housework?  On the Marina Crescent, you often see the parents sitting while the children play in the pedestrian sidewalk.  The kids individually play with their respective nanny rather than interacting with each other.  After school, it is the saddest thing in the world to see children being chauffeured home alone in a car with their driver.  Many Kuwaitis tell me things were not always this way.  Parents who are perfectly capable of treating with their children directly prefer to have maids and nannies accompany them to do this for them.  How is this in any way natural?

The main problem with being raised by a nanny is that a nanny can never discipline you to the extent a parent can-especially not in a society that has such low protection for domestic workers, so that nannies feel too afraid to punish and upset the children.  The other day, I watched a child throw a fit in the street, tossing anything he could get his hands on down to the floor, while the nanny silently went picking up each item as it fell.  Nannies and children reinforce a strange relationship.  They become surrogate parents, doing all the intimate tasks to take care of the kids that normally bond mothers and father to their children, yet their is a huge power dynamic that I believe most children are well aware of.

This creates an "ana" culture (me myself and i).  Children grow up learning that anything they demand can be given and that there are no boundaries.  Self-entitlement, cheating the rules and, yes, treating foreign workers like they were born to serve them are consequences of parents not taking a more proactive initiative in the day-to-day routines that are formative in establishing a child's perception of their parents.

Please, I would like to know more information about nannies, children and parents.  If anyone has any anecdotes to share I would appreciate it.

0 Responses on "Children-Nannies, Parents-Children, Nannies-Parents"