I am a live in nanny. Have been with the family for 6 months.

Their 2 year old child starts to cry and scream when I walk in the room. And it's really concerning that she hasn't gotten more comfortable, especially seeing that I live with her and see her 7 days a week. Other than me first appearing, she seems to really like me.

When she is left alone with me, she may cry when parents leave but overall she enjoys herself for the day. But this is the interesting part: When I come in from being out for the day or am just generally in the house during non working hours I get one of two extreme reactions:

A: She is obsessed with me. Wants to know where I'm going what I'm doing, watch her new trick etc. If i go to the bathroom "wheres nanny going wheres nanny?" "nanny come back!!"


B: She cries and screams for mommy and runs away. Gets very anxious. Does not want to be around me.

I've never seen some extreme polar opposites in children before. I either have children be obsessed with me, children shy away or neutral/indifferent children. Never seen a child who asks about me 24/7 and then when I appear start screaming and crying. It's also strange because I'm not a stranger, she is used to daycare and 6 months of having a nanny.

Do any parents experience anxiety in their toddler from someone they seem comfortable with?

  • 3
    Is you entering the room (on specific days perhaps) paired with something the child doesn't like, like the mother leaving for work for example? Perhaps it's not you she's crying about, but the association with that negative event that she's expecting to happen when you enter the room.
    – Imus
    Commented May 3, 2021 at 8:22
  • 1
    I agree, both of these behaviours sound anxiety related. You entering = "Oh no, this means my parents are about to leave me", and being extremely clingy = "My parents left me; I don't want the nanny to leave me too."
    – BadHorsie
    Commented May 4, 2021 at 11:51

1 Answer 1


I don't have an answer for you. I have more questions. But I think you're asking good questions. By your question, you're an experienced nanny.

What are the parents like? Are they very anxious? First comment above is a good one. Exactly what circumstances cause what reaction?

What do the parents do to prepare the child for you coming on duty? Do they use you to threaten her? (Just wait till Lisa gets here!)

When you say 'When I walk in the room' is that just the first time? Or is that every time throughout the day?

What do the parents do when this happens? Do they delay leaving? Fuss over the child? Is there unusual history about abandonment? Do you have any questions or thoughts the child may be abused by one of the parents?

Trust your instincts. SOMETHING is going on. Let us know what you find out?

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .