The key to a successful relationship with your nanny is ensuring that when she’s with your children, she’s in charge. While you’re still the one who decides what approach she takes to caring for your children, it’s important for have to authority. The reason this is so important is because it’s the only way she can properly do her job. If she isn’t in a position where she’s able to take charge when needed, you’re not going to get the most out of having a nanny.
Not only is it important for your children to understand how this arrangement works, but it’s also crucial that you don’t undermine her. Keep in mind that the majority of parents don’t intentionally undermine their nanny. Instead, they simply do things that end up having this effect. If you want to avoid making the same mistakes, here’s exactly what you need to do:
Hire a Nanny You Trust: In order to allow a nanny to take an authority role with your children, you have to trust her. If you have doubts about her ability to handle this position, you’re going to end up undermining her. By choosing a nanny who’s trustworthy, confident and reliable, you’ll be able to avoid quite a few of the common issues that come up between nannies and their employers.
Set Clear Guidelines: The ideal situation is for a nanny to learn your views and approaches to parenting, and then apply those values to her daily interactions with your children. Because you want to set the course that your nanny takes, you don’t want to hold back on sharing about your parenting style. By explaining as much as possible to your nanny, you can eliminate ambiguity that could potentially lead to misunderstandings that cause issues between the two of you.
Stand Behind Your Nanny: The biggest mistake parents make is talking down to a nanny or reprimanding her in front of their children. If kids see this happening, it’s going to completely change how they view her. While there may be times when you feel your nanny handled a situation differently than you would have liked, don’t bring it up immediately. Instead, wait until the two of you are alone to discuss the issue. The same is true if your kids try to pit you against the nanny so they can get something they want. When you realize they’re trying to pull this trick, make it clear that what the nanny says goes.
Communicate: Instead of waiting until something goes wrong to talk to your nanny, work on developing a relationship with her that allows her to come to you with any questions, concerns or issues that may arise.
Don’t Put It All on the Nanny: Because they don’t get to see their kids as much as they like, some professional parents don’t want to deal with discipline when they get home after a long day. Instead, they pawn it off on the nanny when she begins working the next day. While it’s tempting to take this course of action, it’s not fair to make your nanny the only disciplinarian in the house.
John Wisenheimer blogs for www.nanny.net which is a site that helps young ladies to become a nanny.