How to be a great nanny: Four steps
Nannies are a great asset to families and can make all the difference in children's lives. The best nanny is someone who has the experience, patience, and a love for children. Here are four ways you can become an amazing nanny.
Nannies Must Build Trust with the Parents
These parents are trusting you with the most precious thing in their lives. Without trust with the parents they won’t be relaxed, so you won’t be relaxed, which makes the children not relaxed, which makes your job 10 times harder. You need to earn their trust in order for the relationship to be a good one. Don't gossip about their kids or other parents you've met in the neighborhood. They need your support and it's important that they know that you will not judge them on any of their parenting decisions, even if those choices may differ from your own opinion.
Having a good relationship with your "Nanny Family" is extremely important. If they trust you you will feel like part of the family and love going to work. If they don't fully trust you you will feel uncomfortable as if you were at a distant family member's house. The best way to earn and maintain trust is to have open communication. Tell the parents when something happens whether it’s your fault or not. If you explain what happened and they hear it from you first it will go much smoother if they ask you about it later. Especially if they hear it from their child.
A Nanny Needs Patience and Understanding
It's important that you remain patient and understanding with the children who you nanny for. You may have to deal with a lot of frustration from them, especially if they don't listen or obey your directions well. When this happens patience is key. Try not to get angry too quickly, but instead offer suggestions as to how they can help resolve. The children will also be adjusting to you and they may not always comply with what you say or do, this is why it's important to remain understanding and patient. Baby’s cry so much when their firstborn to test either parent to see if they’ll take care of them.
Usually, a new nanny child will do the same but in a different way if they’re older. They might ask for snacks constantly or ask when their parents will be home. They might just cry or even just want to be held all day long. Every child reacts to changes differently so you must have patience in order to take whatever they throw at you. One way that nannies can maintain a good relationship with their family is by communicating well. You should be able to talk openly about any issues without feeling intimidated or embarrassed in front of your parents.
Setting your boundaries as a Nanny
One of the most important parts of nannying is being able to set boundaries with the parents you are nannying for. Parents often expect their children’s nanny to do everything, and this can be incredibly frustrating. You should always make sure all duties are discussed before you take the job, and any time a parent requests something that is outside of your boundaries or duties, be sure to respectfully decline. Parents are often frustrated by their nanny's poor performance because they don't know what guidelines to set with them in advance. This can create tension between parents and nannies - which nobody wants! You will need to have a conversation with the parents as well as with yourself on what they and you are comfortable with as your boundaries with the children as well as yourself.
If they have dogs are you okay with caring for the dogs as well? What does that entail? Baths? Feeding? Poop? Will they be able to call you in at a moment's notice? Will you be able to stay late all the time if they request it? These are important questions to ask yourself and have ready when you first start. If the parents know your boundaries from the beginning both your lives will be less difficult. It is also important to set boundaries with the children in terms of physical touch and discipline. You should never hit a child or be overly physical with them, and you need to set the boundaries upfront by saying something like "I will only hug/pat you on your back". Once these basic needs are met - nannies can start really getting into their groove! This is when being creative becomes fun for children.
Nannies Need To Love All Children
There's a saying where if you love what you do you'll never work a day in your life. I fully believe that saying and I know that nannying is what I'm meant to be doing. I love being around kids for extended periods of time because they're so full of life, their laughter is contagious, and it's really rewarding when you see them learn something new or get excited about something. You must be caring, gentle, and understanding with the kids while also being firm on the rules and keeping them safe (sometimes from themselves). Children can pick up on emotions much better than we can. That's one of the reasons why mom can be up for hours with the baby and he won’t sleep but once dad comes in who’s more relaxed and calm the baby will fall right to sleep. If you don’t like your job and don’t genuinely love the children they will know. They will not trust you which will make your job 100 times harder. If you have the children’s trust it will make it easier for them to listen and understand you.
Nannying is not easy. It can be tough to balance your time with other things in your life when taking care of children, but it has its upsides too! You get to be a major part of a child's life and help them grow into the person they're meant to be.
Trust with the parents, Patience with the kids, setting your boundaries, and above all having a love for children. If you implement those 4 things when you’re a nanny you will be very successful. You will love your job and gain some new family members.
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