It Doesn't Last Forever

Posted by: editor in toddlersThe Nanny Diarieskidstuffinfantschildren on

After multiple attempts and piecing together 15-20 minutes at a time, I finally finished watching The Nanny Dairies in its entirety. If you’re not familiar with the book or movie, it’s a young woman’s account of her experience working as the nanny to an accessory (6 year old child, actually) of a Manhattan socialite.  Having read the book several years ago and hating the premise of finding humor in cast-off children, I am at a loss to explain my perseverance in completing the movie viewing.  That said, I did enjoy the movie, especially the ending which I won’t ruin for anyone who hasn’t seen it yet.  In fact, it was a scene at the end that inspired my particular train of thought for this post.


During a “conversation” with the parents, the nanny tells them that their son doesn’t care what they buy him, what he wears, what school he gets into, that he just wants them there. He’s not going to love them unconditionally much longer.  It made me think about my own child as well as other young children.  As infants, they depend on us for everything. As they grow bigger and into their toddler years, they become more independent but we’re still the majority of their world. Our actions and reactions shape their actions and reactions. We can make or break a moment simply by the nature of our response. A failure to acknowledge something that seems trivial to us but monumental to them can break a spirit, even if it’s only temporarily broken.  Likewise, praise or recognition brings such joy to a child. The visible pride on their little faces shines as if they’ve just conquered Mount Everest.


The years of unconditional acceptance by our children are so few. Our children grow and their opinions and preferences are subject to outside influence.  Although hopefully we want independence for our children, it is so important to develop a relationship that allows us to maintain the connection with them.  A bond that continues after the unconditional acceptance has waned is a gift.  So are all the little moments we are privileged to experience along the way.

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written by MomMom, June 16, 2009
This is SO true! As I have grown older and observed many families' dynamics, I notice that the bonds of grown children and parents are in varying degrees: very strong if parents were involved and encouraging during their younger years and rather disconnected if early lives experienced non-involvement. We as parents make choices when our children are small, which will affect our relationships with our children's and grandchildren's futures as well as our own happiness in older years. How many parents complain that their grown children don't call, keep in touch, do not include them, etc. etc. I don't want to be one of those lonely old people!!
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