6 Steps to Being the Ideal Nannyby Heather Berkowitz
What is most valuable to you? What is most valuable in your life? It could be anything: your car, favorite jewelry, engagement ring, family memento? How is it kept safe? Maybe it’s hidden away or locked up in a safe or safety deposit box?
No real surprise: That’s how we safeguard the most valuable things in our life. And what if it won’t fit in a safe, or stay hidden, or… crawl away? Whether one chooses to hire a Nanny or chooses to be a Nanny, it is a choice of the most profound trust and greatest responsibility.
No pressure, right?!
That's why our (Classic Nannies) screening process is so thorough - and especially why my years of experience and education are matched only by my genuine love for what I do: Finding you the ideal Nanny.
So, until we meet - because I meet with all my client-families - here’s a little “summer reading assignment” to help you have a strong relationship with your childcare provider:
Whether you’re setting the rules as the parent or following them as the Nanny, it is vital that each be done with respect for the other. If you have an issue about something, take the time to sit and communicate. Even if the answer isn’t what is wanted or expected!
After all, as a Nanny it can be challenging to do something for someone else's child that you may not do for your own - but you must both remember that it is your task to do what is asked of you and respect the trust that is given to you.
When the Nanny interacts and encourages the child, that child is learning too! Remember that a Nanny is not a “babysitter” who just watches and feeds the kids. A Nanny can help foster development in so many ways; teaching the importance of sharing with others is a central life-skill. A Nanny is there to care and encourage; a “babysitter” is there for the check, the TiVo, and whatever’s in the fridge.
The Nanny’s responsibility is to be aware, attentive, and pay attention. Remove those outside distractions: leave the TV and cell phone off. Really, how else is a Nanny going to keep the troops entertained, fed, safe, engaged, and comfortable. Of course, if there should ever be any signs of illness, whether the children or the Nanny, respond immediately.
Believe it or not, it’s not just the little ones who rely on the Nanny’s professionalism: it’s the whole family! Parents, siblings, housekeeper, pets, friends, grandparents all count on the Nanny to do what they say and follow-through. Be respectful and mindful of other’s people time.
When I check a Nanny’s references and I hear that they’ve “always gone beyond the call of duty;” This is music to my ears! For instance, if the children are napping or watching a movie, the Nanny can take a minute to load or unload the dishwasher, break out the vacuum cleaner, or fold laundry.
The Nanny and the parent(s) must communicate. If there aren’t any crystal balls or Tarot cards lying around then you know that mind-readers don’t live there! The Nanny should let them know what their children did during the day, and feels secure enough to communicate concerns, fears, or worries. Let’s not overlook the Nanny’s needs either. A day off is not an unreasonable request, as long as it’s planned well-ahead and agreed upon. I was once taught by a Rabbi that the better you care for yourself, the better you can care for others.
I called this a “summer reading assignment.” There’s no Essay to write or Final Exam to take - but you can expect to feel tested at anytime. Think of them as “Pop Quizzes.” And when you’re ready to succeed, call me. Think of me as your Tutor and an “A+” is almost yours.