Predicting the Unpredictable: Is it Possible?
New York Nanny Kills Her Two Charges.
By America’s Nanny – Michelle LaRowe
It’s been a few days since the news broke that nanny Yoselyn Ortegamurdered her two young charges in their Manhattan Upper West Side home. No words can adequately describe intensity of this tragedy and the nation’s heartbreak for the Krim family.
As a career nanny who has dedicated more than half of my life to caring for other people’s children as a nanny andnow a mother and nanny care advocate myself, the situation is so incomprehensible, I’ve yet to fully process it.
In the media the pendulum seems to swing from blaming the parents for not screening the nanny to blaming the nanny herself and those around her for not speaking out when they sensed trouble.
Quite honestly, I don’t think any background screening, personality test or psychological examination could predict such a horrific, unfathomable incident, unless of course it was clear the caregiver was completely nuts.
The media made a point to share the statistics – parents are far more likely to murder their children then the caregivers. Statistics, of course,are based on hindsight. How can one even predict such an act?
Cases of caregivers murdering the children they are trusted to care for are so few and far between it’s unlikely we’ll ever know why they happen or how they could have been prevented, unless perhaps the caregivers were on drugs that altered their mental state or where clearly unqualified to care for children.We’ve also seen the media headlines calling for increased screening for
nannies. Not only do such headlines send the message that the parents didn’t do their screening or really know their nannies (and in this case they even visited the nanny’s family in her country) it sends the message screening offers a guarantee. Setting up parents to believe that screening guarantees nothing can go wrong sets them up to have a false sense of security and takes away the empowerment they need to cultivate an attentive relationship.
While I wish there was a solution to preventing this type of tragic occurrence in the future, I am not sure that there is. What I do know, however, is that as a community we can certainly do things like empower nannies and those around them to speak up if something seems wrong, encourage parents and those in the industry to do better jobs of screening nannies and empowering parents to listen to their gut, and teach parents the importance of having ongoing attentive relationship with their employee.
So is something like this tragedy really ever preventable? Only if you canpredict the incomprehensible.
Michelle is an active member of the nanny community. She is the founder and president of Boston Area Nannies, Inc., a local non-profit educational organization and has served on the International Nanny Association Board of Directors.
She is called on by the media as a nanny and parenting expert and has been affectionately dubbed America's Nanny. Michelle has appeared on television and has been featured in print.
Podcast of Interview with
Books by Michelle LaRowe
A Mom's Ultimate Book of Lists: 100+ Lists to Save You Time, Money and Sanity - Grocery lists. Checklists. To-do lists. Lots of people love--and live by--lists. And parents are no exception. Today's families are busier than ever, and moms don't have the time or energy to search and scramble for the parenting information they are desperately seeking. This handy, practical reference guide will save time, money, and sanity for today's busy women.
Working Mom's 411 is your one-stop resource guide for navigating through the often choppy waters of managing kids, career and home.
Nanny to the Rescue - America's nanny offers a large dose of healthy parenting advice with secrets for raising happy, secure, and well-balanced babies and toddlers.
Nanny To the Rescue Again - Faced with multiple choices regarding school, friends, and activities coupled with the ever-widening influence of the outside world, parents of 6-12-year-olds need help. America's nanny is back to offer a large dose of healthy parenting advice with secrets for raising happy, secure, and well-balanced children.
To learn more, visit www.michellelarowe.com
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