5 Ways to Build a Great Relationship with Your Nanny
May 26, 2012 | in Articles, Nanny Tips
Many moms who employ a nanny jokingly share that they have two spouses. Their husband, and their nanny. For those moms who have never employed a nanny, the joke may seem quite crude. But for those who share the joys and struggles of parenting with their nanny, they know too well that within every joke, hides a touch of truth.
The nanny and employer relationship is an intimate one. Nannies work in their employers private homes and care for their most prized possessions. For the children to receive optimal care, the nanny and parents must work together as a parenting team.
Nanny employers depend on their nannies to keep their lives running smoothly. If the children are well cared for, mom and dad can continue their lives as usual. So nannies, by default, do more than care for the kids. They contribute to the health of the family and play in integral role in the daily family operations.
Nannies in turn, often depend on their employers to be their sole source of financial support. While most seasoned nannies will tell you that they still can’t believe they get paid to do what they love, their paycheck is needed for them to survive.
So as with a husband and wife, there’s a seemingly constant tension that exists between a nanny and her employer. Like in a marriage, each party depends on the other to meet their critical needs and for the relationship to be successful, everyone’s needs must be constantly considered.
As you build your relationship with your nanny, keep these five tips in mind to build a great one:
1. Set clear expectations. Don’t set yourself up for disappointment. Your nanny can only live up to your expectations if she knows what they are. A written work agreement, daily journal and regular meetings can provide opportunities to articulate, clarify and reaffirm the expectations you have for your nanny.
2. Show your nanny your support. Praise in public and criticize in private. If your nanny says “no” to your child, back her up in front of the kids. If you question her actions, talk to her about it when the children aren’t an earshot away. If you agree to start potty training, be sure you keep your commitment and follow the plan when your nanny isn’t there.
3. Invest in your nanny. Go above and beyond when it comes to treating your nanny right. Contribute towards her professional development and invest in her health and wellness. If you are impressed with her work, reward her for it. A gift card to Starbucks or a gift certificate for a pedicure to show your appreciation goes a long way. In addition to making your nanny feel valued, you’ll build feelings of loyalty.
4. Pay your nanny legally. Your nanny has earned a proper paycheck, so give it to her. When nannies are paid legally, they feel like their work is respected and valued. It formalizes the employer and nanny relationship and sends the message that you are a family who values doing things right. If a nanny sees you doing things right, she’ll follow your lead.
5. Keep the lines of communication open. For any relationship to succeed, good communication is essential. Encourage open communication with your nanny. Accept her calls when she phones you at work, when possible, and make it a policy to have a “check-in moment” via phone, email or text message each day. Allow a few minutes at the start and end of each day to brief and debrief your nanny. If you want your nanny to feel comfortable communicating with you, provide opportunities for regular communication.
Cultivating a great relationship with your nanny takes focused time and energy but it is time and energy well spent. Commit the time and energy to building a solid relationship. You’ll be glad you did.← 6 Excuses Families Give For Paying Their Nanny Illegally | 10 Tips for Parents that Need to Learn Sign Language →
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