There is a new trend where some children are becoming extremely attached to their nannies such that when they are not around the children are inconsolable.
A recent incident at a local hospital shocked everyone when a three-year-old boy cried uncontrollably for his “auntie” yet his mother and father were present.
“This is a worrying trend if parents are comfortable with their children growing closer to the househelps rather than themselves,” one person was overheard saying.
“It shows a lack of seriousness on the part of some parents in taking time to bond with their children.”
Jane (not her real name), attests that her two-year-old son has a very strong bond with their househelp, so much so that he cries for her at night.
“This has been really upsetting for me and my husband, although we don’t know what to do at the moment,” she said, adding, “Indeed, it is heartbreaking for a mother or father when a child cries out or reaches out for a nanny in their presence.”
When asked whether she spends time with her little one, she answered, “Yes, I spend time with my boy when I am free. I bathe him, give him food, and play with him for at least half an hour after work.
"Despite all this, he is still more attached to his nanny than he is to us, and this has worried us a lot.”
Agnes, a househelp working for a family in Nairobi, says that she has also seen many cases where children grow very close to their nannies.
However, she notes that it all depends on what the said parents are doing to nurture the bond between themselves and their children.
She agrees that for her case, the children of her employer prefer being with her even when the parents have come back from work.
“The parents will be perusing the day’s newspapers, watching TV (news and the likes), or on their phones. It is like they don’t even care whether the children exist or if they need their attention.
"I have even seen cases where these parents rebuke their children when they need assistance with their homework,” she added.
Nonetheless, Agnes does not see the need for parents to worry too much when their children are attached to their nannies, especially when they trust them.
“For me, if the house-girl is trustworthy, you should be happy that your child is happy and in good hands. This shows that the child is not being treated badly but he/she is being cared for,” she remarked.