It may be hard to admit, but the nanny you just hired may have more years of “parenting” in her ripe young age than you and your SO combined. That’s why you hired her though, right? Her resume impressed you and references raved about her super nanny abilities. If this is the case, why is a common complaint among nannies that they’re treated like they don’t know how to do their job?
Think of it this way, you send your kids to school every day trusting that the teacher is making a positive impact on their learning, engaging them, consoling them in times of trouble, keeping them safe, and always has a tab on where they are. We trust teachers because they’re professionals, they have years of experience and training, and their goal and purpose is clearly defined, so why are nannies any different? It’s time to redefine the nanny as a professional you are hiring in your home verses an entry-level employee you’re micromanaging. We guarantee you’ll feel better about letting go of yet another daily worry and your nanny will feel like you trust her to do what she’s been building a career out of for years. An added bonus? Your nanny is more likely to stay with you and not secretly be searching for another job.
Redefining your view isn’t hard, we’ve summed it up into 4 simple routine practices:
1. Set goals with your nanny. Set aside time each week to discuss learning goals or activities you’d like your nanny to work on with your children. This will give her a chance to know what you’d like her to do, but also gives her the freedom of executing it her way and when it fits into her routine with the kids. Many times nannies feel defeated that they’re planned something in their free time to do with your kids, and a last minute request from MB or DB changes that plan, making them feel like they did a lot of work for nothing.
2. Stop hovering. Have you heard the term helicopter parent? Well, nannies are feeling the effects of that too, with parents constantly watching, commenting, and interrupting their time with the kids. You hired your nanny to take over when your duties call- so let her do just that, your kiddos are in good hands. A quick fix for knowing what’s going on is a daily check-out before your nanny hands the reigns back to you at the end of the day. Ask your nanny to make notes of what she did and leave 10 minutes before clock-out to discuss the day.
3. Respect her as a professional. Does your job not pay you for a week of vacation you rightfully deserve? Do they ask you to stay late constantly at the last minute? Do they pay you your hourly wage for overtime? Probably not. If you employ someone in your home, you have to act as the HR department by applying what you’re asking of them to your job. If the answer is “there’s no way my boss is allowed to do that” then don’t ask your nanny to be on board.
4. Reward her. You and I both know monetary rewards are always a perk. In a world where most nannies live paycheck-to-paycheck and work really hard as essentially a single parent for 8-10 hours per day, giving her a gift card to a salon or adding a little extra to her gas money is as good as gold. It shows you’re paying attention to her dedication to your family. Other times to spoil her: mark her hire date anniversary on the calendar, add her birthday too. It takes five minutes to Google when nanny appreciation week is (hint hint September 18 – 24 this year). Money aside, THANK HER. Be a broken record, it’s okay. Let her know you appreciate her and what she does for your family.
No one can ever take the place of a parent, but treating your nanny like a professional parent is imperative to having a long-lasting relationship and making them feel like family. Bonding with your nanny is essential to creating a healthy, happy, work environment for them, and living environment for you. Happy bonding!