Many years ago, one of our nannies – Siobhan – provided some great insight into how families and nannies can keep their relationship healthy and productive. We thought it would be a good time to revisit this, as her observations and advice still ring true.
I have been a full time nanny for over 6 years now, and during that time I have learned a lot about forming a great relationship with the families I have worked for. As with any type of relationship, the realtionship between family and nanny should include both trust and open communication so that it can be successful in the long term.
Having a nanny is unlike any other boss-employee relationship. The nanny is not there to help you run a business; instead you have a nanny to help teach your children and treat them in the same way that you would.
Having an open stream of communication is very important right from the start. Letting your nanny know what your expectations are early on is a great way to ensure that you are on the same page moving forward.
Trust is another important part of having a nanny. You need to trust that if something goes wrong or something new and exciting happens then your nanny will tell you about it. For example, if there is a problem with your children’s behavior, your nanny should feel comfortable telling you about it. Being on the same page with how you want your children to behave is very important. If your nanny does not allow your children to jump on the bed for safety reasons, but you let them do it, then your children will be confused and will say “But mommy lets me do it!”
Remember that your nanny is always using her best judgment in all of the different situations that arise when taking care of children. If your nanny puts your child in time-out, there was probably a good reason for doing so. If you then come home and tell your child that they can get out of time-out, you will just be undermining the nanny’s judgment and send a message to your child that they do not have to listen to the nanny when you are around.
The ultimate goal is for you to feel like your nanny is part of your family’s team. You should feel completely at ease leaving your children with their nanny, knowing that when you get home your children will be healthy and happy, and your house will be in order.