A parent's guide to working with a nanny
You’ve hired a nanny, now what? There are many things to consider once you have chosen the perfect nanny for your family. The relationship you have with your nanny is very important! After all, they are the one who takes care of the most precious things in the world, your children. So, we have created a quick guide to help you navigate your way through communication, expectations, boundaries, working from home with a nanny, and making sure your nanny feels appreciated.
Creating a healthy relationship with your nanny
You want to have a healthy relationship with your nanny. This means you will have to balance being the boss and supporting your nanny. The best advice is to remember that you are their employer first. However it is good to remind yourself that the relationship you have with your nanny is precious, and should be treated with care and patience. In other words, things should be professional but also feel personal.
To keep this balance, there are several communication techniques to remember in order to have the best working relationship possible with your nanny. These tips will keep you and your nanny happy!
Tips to Communicate with your Nanny
Set your expectations ahead of time
Expectations should be clearly discussed ahead of time during the hiring process. Check out our article about how to hire the best nanny for your family. It is important to discuss what you expect from them. These expectations should be as specific as possible, so there is no confusion between you, your family and your nanny. You should make it clear what type of nanny you need for your family and what you need from them. These can be laid out in the contract you sign during the hiring process.
In addition, it’s best to write a daily or weekly list for your nanny so it’s clear what your expectations are from day to day. Once you get into a good rhythm with your nanny and your expectations are clear and consistent, you may find that you don’t always have to write everything down. However, try not to take that for granted, and always remember to check in with your nanny so you both remain equally aware of what the expectations are.
Your nanny also may have some expectations for you. Make sure you are open to listen. The most important thing is that your nanny is comfortable with the house, the children and you as the parent. Nanny’s also have needs, so make sure they are met so they are able to do the best job possible for your children.
Check-in with your nanny
As we just mentioned, try not to take your nanny for granted. This means that you need to not only need to listen to your nanny, but you need to take the time to check-in with them to make sure everything is going alright. Checking-in is a great way to remind them of your expectations, but also if your nanny is facing any challenges. This way, your nanny will feel comfortable coming to you the next time there is a problem and it can be solved properly and within a good time frame. Checking-in with your nanny will help keep them feeling supported, happy and comfortable approaching you with anything.
The relationship between your nanny and your family doesn’t have to be as complicated as you may think. Whether you have a live-in nanny, a day-time nanny or an overnight nanny, you need to set clear boundaries with them. Personal space and personal life should be upheld by everyone. Although your nanny will spend a great deal of time in your home and with your family, they are still your employee. So make sure your relationship remains professional.
If your nanny does not feel comfortable sharing too much about their personal life, that needs to be their decision. Moreover, it needs to be clear that your nanny should not involve your family with their personal life. This will allow your relationship to remain professional and not to not overwhelm or confuse the children with personal matters. This also means that you should also create boundaries between your family’s personal life and the duties of your nanny. This can seem like a challenge at times, but it’s very important to create that professional/personal balance.
For some, you may want your nanny to be a part of the family. For others, you may want to keep the relationship strictly employee and employer. Also, be clear and stick to the expectations that are agreed to, whether it is that your nanny has full responsibility, or is working with you. As long as you can gage each other's personalities and set expectations about boundaries ahead of time, you will be able to create the perfect balance for your family.
Give your nanny space when working from home
Speaking of boundaries, working from home can make that seem like a big challenge! The most important thing to remember is that both you and the nanny have a job to do. This means that you need to let your nanny do her job without getting involved. Nobody wants their boss watching them all day long.
The same rules apply when you are at home. This means that the expectations and boundaries should be clear and consistant. When you as a parent are at home, your nanny may find it much harder to do their job if you try to get involved. Your children may become confused about who is in charge, and what is expected of them. For the nanny, they may feel like you as the parent are not fully trusting them to do their job. Do not interfere in any problem or activity, and try to micromanage your nanny or children. So, when you are working from home, try to only focus on your work. If your nanny needs you, they will let you know!
It’s also important to create physical boundaries when working from home. If you can, set up your work in a room where the children and nanny do not need to enter. What we’re getting at here is try not to work at the kitchen table! This will be a disadvantage to you and to the nanny. It may be difficult to take off your parenting hat when at home. However, your nanny is your employee and has been hired by you to fill that space when you are at work. Trust in your nanny and remember that they are also a professional at work.
Make sure your nanny feels appreciated
When your nanny knows that you trust them, they will feel like they are appreciated for the work they do. Appreciation is a very important part of the relationship you build with your nanny. If you need your nanny to do more work than usual or previously agreed upon, make sure they know they are appreciated for their efforts. If you are done work and your nanny has done a lot of work one day, maybe give her some extra time to relax and feel appreciated for their hard work. As we have already discussed checking-in with your nanny to see how they are feeling it is important to make sure they feel appreciated and supported.
In addition, make sure your nanny does not work overtime without previously discussing this. So, if you are often late getting home from work, make adjustments so your nanny has a steady schedule. This also goes for sick days, if your nanny is not feeling well or feeling overworked, make sure they are given proper recovery time and are appropriately compensated. A happy nanny is one that is trusted and feels appreciated!
Overall, as a parents, the most important thing to remember is to create a clear channel of communication with your nanny. This will ensure that you create time to check-in and keep expectations met. This will also help to create boundaries between proffesioanl and personal life. Boundaries are extra important when working from home, so make sure to remember not to undermine your nanny, and make sure they are trusted, supported and feel apreciated. These tips will help you to build a relationship that can last many years and will keep you, your children and your nanny happy!
Still looking for a nanny? Check out our previous article about hiring the right nanny for your family. You can check out our nannies in Singapore here. If you’re wanting to find a nanny job for yourself, then you can check out some available nanny jobs in Singapore here.