A huge part of employing a nanny for your family is being a boss. You may not naturally fit into this role professionally, but when you hire a nanny/caregiver for your family, you are their boss and must behave accordingly. So, what makes a great boss to a nanny?
When issues arise, they address them in a calm manner without avoiding the issue
Make sure that you and your nanny address any issues as they arise. Avoid attacking your caregiver personally and stick to the issues at hand. If you are upset with something that your nanny has done, discuss the issue with her immediately in a constructive, professional manner. Ensure that the children are not present and give the nanny time to explain.
They get to know the nanny/caregiver on a professional level, but not too personally
The nanny/employer boundary should never be flexed. Even if you like your nanny, she is your employee and if you become friends with her, you may run into trouble in the future. The nanny may lose respect for you as an employer, and not follow your directions because she thinks you’re not serious, or feels you’re flexible on responsibilities. This is especially difficulty if you have to terminate the relationship, as it could lead to hurt feelings or resentment.
They don't ask the nanny to do something they wouldn't do themselves
If there is a task that needs to be done and you're not willing to do it, don't ask the nanny to do it. For example, would you be comfortable having 10 of your child's friends over and caring for them yourself? What about scrubbing the bathroom tile grout on hands and knees while the children are napping? Just because she works for you, it doesn't mean you can assign her unreasonable tasks and expect her to do them with a smile.
Provide the nanny with back-up and creating a united front towards the children
Work together as partners in setting rules for the children. Try not to undermine the nanny’s efforts to discipline the children by reversing her decisions. This kind of behaviour is confusing to a child and makes the nanny’s job much harder. Ensure the nanny supports your efforts as well, and keep the lines of communication open with your nanny so she can come to you if needed.
Understands that the nanny/caregiver may get ill and require time off
At some point, everyone needs to take some time off during the workday for doctor’s appointments or other personal errands – so will your nanny. As long as she gives you plenty of notice, you can find a substitute (or adjust your schedule so you can be home).
The bottom line is that you should treat your nanny as you would expect to be treated yourself in her shoes. A happy nanny will provide the best care she can to your children!
For more tips and guidelines for hiring and employing a nanny, check out the Resources page. There, you will find lots of helpful tips and guides to help you in your search and navigate through the process, including the free e-guide, "How to Hire and Keep a Good Nanny" provided free to members!
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