Notes on Parenting

Insights for parenting babies, toddlers, teens, and young adults.

Monday, April 16, 2012

How to Create a Successful Relationship with the Nanny

Hiring a nanny can offer the perfect solution for families where both parents need to work, though it’s not a decision that is ever made lightly. Leaving your child or children in the care of one person can be a little on the scary side and for it to run smoothly the parents and nanny have to have a harmonious and balanced relationship built on a mutual trust and understanding. It can be difficult for all parties involved, the parents, children and the nanny, to adjust to the new situation and it takes time for everyone acclimate. As a parent you probably want to make sure that your nanny and children are both easing into their new roles well, and you also want to be confident in your decisions. 

To successfully create such a dynamic relationship there are a few things that need to be done:

11. Set down your rules from the get-go
This sounds like an obvious one, but a lot of times parents don’t think of this until a situation arises where they are angry or annoyed at the nanny for doing something wrong. By setting out a clear set of rules ahead of time you ensure that your nanny doesn’t inadvertently step on any toes. It’s better to get the rules in place beforehand then to try to change things after already getting accustomed to doing things a certain way, and will save everyone a headache.

22. Regularly schedule reviews
It’s a good idea to check in with your nanny and children (separately!) frequently to make sure that everything is going well and to make sure that everyone is happy with the situation as is, that way adjustments can be made if necessary. It’s good to step back and openly communicate about what’s working and what isn’t, and by getting both your children’s opinion and your nannies opinion you can see if what they’re saying jives or if something isn’t working quite as seamlessly as the other party may have insinuated.

33. Give praise when deserved
Sometimes it’s easy to mentally appreciate a job well done but forget to actually voice that praise. Try to acknowledge and compliment your nanny when it’s deserved. Everyone needs to hear “job well done” on occasion; it helps to nurture a good work environment.

44. Communicate
At the end of each day have a brief recap of the day with your nanny so that you are aware of any mishaps that may have happened and any good and bad behavior displayed by your children. Being able to openly communicate with one another will pave the way for a successful and long-lasting relationship.

55. Leave a Written Schedule
The easiest way to avoid any mix-ups during the day or week is to leave a written schedule of activities, play dates, medicines, nap times, etc. so that everyone is on the same page about where the kids need to be and when. Having everything organized ahead of time will help each day run smoothly and efficiently. 

Hiring a nanny can be a wonderful and rewarding experience for you, your children, and the nanny. It truly is a job that requires a great deal of passion towards the profession and it’s not an easy profession to undertake. When the family is as committed to making the nanny comfortable as the nanny is to caring for the children it fosters a dynamic and successful relationship.

Guest post by Jenny Ellis, a freelance writer and regular contributor for aupair care. She welcomes your comments at: ellisjenny728(at)

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