One of the greatest joys of my job is seeing the deep, meaningful and loving relationships that grow between families and their nannies. Anyone who has been lucky enough to have a nanny for a multi-year period knows that the benefits are so much more than just peace of mind. Parents know that their children are cared for and loved by someone who truly ‘gets’ them.
The reality, though, is that the nanny profession is just that— a profession. Professionals in any field define and master a skill set throughout their careers and it’s the same with nannies (especially the really good ones!). A nanny who was celebrated for her impeccable care of a newborn or toddler might struggle when the child reaches school age.
Selecting the best nanny for your family RIGHT NOW is important to making the parent/nanny/child relationship a strong and happy one. It’s up to the parents to #1: help the nanny grow her skill set to match where the children are at developmentally; and #2: continually define expectations as the children grow and their needs evolve.
How to Determine if It’s Time to Start Looking for a New Nanny
#1: Keep it Professional – Is your nanny too comfortable in her position? Sometimes the line between employer and employee gets blurred, especially when the nanny works closely with your family and is in your private space. Be sure to schedule regular meetings and reviews to keep the relationship professional.
#2: Remember Your Rules – If you feel your child is suddenly not responding well with your nanny, calmly talk to her and to your child to determine if there is a disconnect. Perhaps your nanny is getting comfortable with her position. Is she on her cell phone or doing other things during the day? Make sure you enforce “no cell phone” use while she’s with your child and other rules designed to enhance the nanny’s engagement with the kids.
#3: Communicate – Is your nanny doing something that is driving you nuts? If so, tell her! Nannies are not mind readers. If you want something done a different way, you must communicate it. You might be surprised at the easy fix. (And don’t forget to let the nanny feel at ease communicating a new idea to you too.)
#4: Change Can Be Good – You can love your nanny and be grateful for the amazing care she gave your babies and still feel that it’s time for a change. Perhaps your kids need help with homework or transportation to and from activities. If your current nanny is not the right fit, talk to her, give her plenty of notice that there will be a change and try to help her find a new job by being a great reference. If the nanny is exceptionally close to your kids, have her do evening babysitting and stay in touch!
#5: Always Trust Your Gut – If you are no longer comfortable with your nanny, then it’s probably time to make a change. Never leave the house with doubt or worry. Making a change is a hard thing to do, but ultimately everyone will be better (and happier!) for it.
Looking for a nanny? Erin has placed more than 3,000 nannies all across the Chicago area! Visit her at www.FirstClassCare.com for more information!