None of the nanny websites that I looked at used the word “entertainment” when describing nanny responsibilities. The website nannies4hire.com, for example, listed preparing children’s meals, providing mental stimulation, doing children’s laundry and reinforcing appropriate discipline as primary nanny responsibilities. Facilitating playgroups was mentioned as an “additional” responsibility, but facilitating and entertaining are horses of different colors.
As most of my readers know, I advocate a low-involvement parenting style where children enjoy freedoms commensurate with the responsibility they are willing to assume for themselves and their behavior. To use a political analogy, it’s a libertarian parenting philosophy that allows children to learn, largely by trial and error, how to run their lives with minimal need for Big Parental Government. Speaking personally, it was not so much my mother’s job to be involved with me as it was my job to keep her from getting involved. This creates a mutual state of liberation for both parents and child.
This is the way children were raised two generations and more ago, when they emancipated much earlier and more successfully than has been the case since. That’s why my answer to the question posed in paragraph one above is “As little as possible,” and why it applies to both parents and nannies.
Family psychologist John Rosemond answers parent questions at rosemond.com.