Bye-bye, Nanny

Lebanese children did not want their Kenyan nanny to leave. PHOTO/COURTESY/@maria.cataleya. 

What you need to know:

  • Probably everyone saw the emotional video of the nanny and her employers’ children, emotional right?

I was watching a video clip on social media where a Lebanese family was sharing a video of the departure of their nanny, who was taking a flight from the airport.

So, while she was heading to the departure lounge, the children of her employer, at a tender age, were running after her, crying and screaming, holding on to her and begging her not to leave. These children were in a hysterical state.

It wasn’t clear if she was going on leave or leaving for good. Whatever the scenario, it was heartbreaking, and I kept questioning why the family took their children to the airport and made such a public statement about how much their children love their nanny!

Unfortunately, today, in most parts of the world, children’s upbringing is left to house help. Parents being busy with their jobs and social life leaves them with no other option but to employ people to take over that role, and while there is nothing wrong with helping with the logistics of the household, children’s education and upbringing should be fundamentally the responsibility of the parents.

It’s weird that the same parents who vow to do anything to protect their children accept leaving them with strangers who are also most of the time with totally different values and beliefs, and it’s only when a disaster strikes that the family wakes up, and of course no one questions the family; it’s always the house help that’s to blame.

Saying all the above, we can’t deny that there have been some great success stories when one finds a gem among those staff, some of whom stay with the same family for years and become family members. This too exists, but it’s becoming less frequent.

Today’s way of thinking and the ambitions that sometimes sacrifice morality and integrity are only leading us to a dead end when it comes to faithfulness. We are now hearing more about cases of child abuse and molestation that happened to many children by home staff while parents were away, and while such criminals are sometimes apprehended and punished, the scars that are left on children cannot be easily healed.

Unfortunately, I know firsthand about such cases from close people whose children, now adults, have to seek specialised therapy to be able to live a normal life. In one such case, I was talking to a girl who was one of those victims.

We were on video call, and as soon as the subject came up, I saw her face, which otherwise was calm and smiling, turn into a fireball, changing to red with a furious and angry look. This person has been through therapy multiple times but still suffered anxiety when the subject came up. We have to think many times before trusting our children to others.