Being a nanny is no easy job. It demands a lot of effort and attention, along with a huge degree of emotional investment. Not to mention, the skills and knowledge that the job demands. Yet, experienced and newbie nannies inadvertently make some common mistakes either due to complacency that comes with time or inexperience. Here, we point out a few of those.
1. Not making an attempt to bond with the child
“I’m just going to be done with my job” is not the attitude that suits a career nanny. It’s essential that nannies keep in mind that they spend a lot of time with the children, often more than what parents are able to spend with their children. It’s, therefore, vital that they make an attempt to establish a bond with the children under their care by catering to their emotional needs.
2. Not showing warmth to the parents
No parent is ever comfortable with a nanny who is impersonal and overly professional. On an odd day when a parent is not able to reach home on time or asks for a favor, a good nanny must oblige, albeit for a pay that’s commensurate with the time spent.
3. Being okay with tardiness
Reciprocating to parents needs is good but a nanny doesn’t have to put up with perpetual tardiness on part of the parents who are habitually dependent on extra chores that interfere with nanny’s personal life. It’s time to be professional and draw a line somewhere.
4. Succumbing to excessive demands
It’s commonly seen that employers often expect nannies to do more than merely looking after the child. It’s in the nanny’s right to put the foot down and lay down clear boundaries if the nanny is not comfortable with such demands. There’s no reason why a nanny should oblige to do a chore that falls outside the purview of the job if it breaches personal comfort level.
5. Working without a written contract
This is perhaps the biggest blunder that a nanny can commit. Having no written contract can leave the nanny in limbo when conflicts arise. There needs to be a reference to job responsibility that’s mutually agreed upon, beyond which a nanny can demand extra wages or simply refuse to oblige. The same goes with the parents too; they must not get a raw deal where nanny falls well short beyond their expectations. A written job contract does a great job at maintaining this balance.
6. Napping while on job
Often, people moonlight as nannies while either holding another job or studying. While this is okay, the fatigue must not reflect on the job as the caretaker of a child. Napping due to excessive demands on time can prove dangerous as this means that the child would remain unsupervised throughout this time.
7. Not organizing the day
Unorganized day can mean frustration for all parties involved. The child does not deserve to be fed late and not being fed on time. The only way to beat such inappropriate management is through proper organization of the day’s chores. This includes a nanny’s life beyond the work hours.
8. Not offering value to kids
The job of a nanny goes beyond aiding the parents with their out-of-home responsibilities. It is the kid that must be the main beneficiary of the nanny’s efforts. This includes appropriate child management that’s in line with the kid’s age. From aiding the kid in reading stories to ensuring the kid gets enough activity, the nanny needs to ensure everything. Instilling values in children is also a part of the job.
9. Being too strict with the child
Children are curious and fickle minded, that’s the way nature has wired their brains. A nanny must have patience to tackle the children without scaring them into behaving well. Being too strict will drive the child into a shell where he or she becomes less expressive and withdrawn.
10. Being too lenient with the child
Nannies often fear disciplining the kids in a stern voice when it’s warranted. Remember that you’re the adult in the whole scene. If the child is overly fussy over something that is clearly not good for its own betterment put your foot down and also report such behavior to the parents.
11. Ignoring the child’s need to be active
Children are most manageable when they are watching TV, playing videogames or simply napping. But this doesn’t mean you tune them to such things to make your life as a nanny easy. You have the moral responsibility to hone them into ideal kids, so let them explore open spaces, read books and simply have long conversations with you.
12. Accepting late pay too often
Financial problems bog everyone. While accepting late pay once in a while is understandable, you need to put your foot down when it becomes a habit. The parents need to plan all expenses, including that which comes along with hiring a nanny.
13. Taking responsibility that’s hard to handle
Responsibilities like tutoring are not every nanny’s cup of tea. If you’re not cut out for it, simply state it clearly to the parents. Don’t struggle with something that you can’t handle. Accepting such responsibilities wouldn’t be fair on the child either.
14. Being okay with the micromanaging traits of the employer
There are always overly concerned parents and pleasing such parents is next to impossible. As a nanny, you too would know what’s best for the child. While obliging parent suggestions is part of the job, you cannot follow every suggestion to the “T”. Be upfront in letting your employers know about it, while maintaining a pleasant tone.
15. Not discussing the child’s issues with the parents
It’s absolutely vital that nannies discuss personality traits of the children with their parents. Failing to do so can be detrimental to the personality growth of the child. While you discipline any negative trait of the child, make the parent aware of them so that they are aware of it and take corrective actions in your absence.
In the end, nannies are humans too. Just like any other person out there, nannies can make a few mistakes. The tips above are geared towards making the relationship between the nanny, the parents and the child a smooth one.
About the Author:Lissette Palencia has worked with children and their parents for over fifteen years caring for youth ages new born to teen. She has studied child psychology and development to get a more in-depth understanding of the stages of life cycles a child experiences with growth. In her journey she created a nanny agency, Sleeping Angels Co, which can be reach via email@example.com.