This is a letter to the parents who want to overcome common problems with nanny hiring and expectations.
First and foremost, let me start this off by letting you all know that everything I am writing is solely from my perspective and derives from my previous experiences.
I have been nannying and babysitting for a long time now and I have seen and experienced a lot!
This is an open letter to all parents out there who allow a nanny or sitter to care for their kids.
Children are precious, and it can be nerve wrecking to have a stranger in your home taking care of your new baby or child. I find that parents have a lot of trouble trusting people with this and I don’t blame them at all.
That’s why I urge parents to always do their research.
Common Problems with Nanny First Meetings
Meet people before you ask them into your home, before you hand your children to them, call their references, do a background check, do a quick Facebook search on their name!
Nannies and sitters should do the same, it is perfectly acceptable to ask for a reference from the family as well. As a caregiver, we are just as vulnerable walking into a stranger’s home.
I can’t begin to explain how many awkward and uncomfortable “first” encounters I have had while babysitting. I have had numerous occasions where I have walked into a home for the first time while parents are getting ready, kids open the door, and I am left to my own devices.
Sometimes I wonder if that is some sort of test, what am I supposed to say to your 3-year-old who just opened the door to a complete stranger- I mean should I even walk into your house?
Another issue I have encountered more often than I’d like is when people decide to throw interview questions at you before they leave the house while their kids are trying to get my and the parents attention. This leads me to another topic.
Common Problems with Nanny and Parents at Home
Alright. Tricky topic because we are in a day and age where SO many people work from home. I don’t mind the parents being around, it doesn’t change the way I do anything.
Especially if I am caring for an infant, it really doesn’t make a difference. But boy, those toddlers knowing their parents are home causes a whole new issue.
It’s hard as the caregiver to make the child want to be around you instead of their parents who they know are upstairs working.
What’s even worse is when parents pop in and out of the room/kitchen/ main areas and the child is supposed to be Okay with that.
The reality is, most kids will not be okay with that. They will want Mom or Dad over a caregiver any day, and I think parents expect that it’s the caregiver’s responsibility to ensure the child is totally okay with them popping in and out. But it’s not.
If you are going to pop in and out, you must deal with the consequences, your child must deal with the hardship of watching you come and go, and ultimately, the caregiver will have a harder time in the situation and makes their job harder.
Additionally, I don’t think it’s right for parents to get frustrated when their kids run up into their workspace and interrupt them.
That is the nature of working from home. I can only distract a child so much, but I can’t totally stop them from entering a room in their own home.
Especially one that is only off limits while they are under my care. In an ideal world, this wouldn’t ever be an issue, but unfortunately it is a growing one.
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Common Problems with Nanny Monitored Technology
Another large topic that is growing in today’s tech driven world is the use of cameras in homes. Personally, it will not affect how I care for kids. Whether you’re around or not, I will probably still answer that one text when I have a free second.
So, if the camera is on top of my head, you’ll catch me doing that. I will not ignore your child or neglect them. Nothing about how I care for a child will be done different with a parent around or a camera in my face. But, it’s a little annoying.
For starters, I personally think if you are going to trust me with your child, there is no need for a camera to watch what I do or don’t do. And two, it’s a little awkward and uncomfortable to know that I am being watched the entire time or even worse, recorded.
It has nothing to do with how I’d work, but everything to do with levels of trust, comfort, and awkwardness.
Common Problems with Nanny Rules
Fast forward to household rules and behavioral techniques. My number one rule is always to follow the rules that are set in place by parents, within reason of course. If they say no to playing outside past 5 pm, we will not play outside past 5 pm. If they use timeout, I will use timeout.
But I have noticed often that certain things don’t work. Not for that child or in that situation. Most times I will suggest alternatives to parents when the time is right because I have seen what works, what doesn’t, and have implemented it elsewhere.
That’s the beauty of caring for different children.
And I totally understand that whole phrase “what works for one child/parent may not work for another,” but it’s nice to be able to give a suggestion!
Some parents accept my suggestions and others don’t care for what I have to say, and I am totally okay with that. But I think when it comes to parenting, having an open mind is crucial.
Lastly, I’d like to say thank you. Thank you to the parents who trust me with their little ones, who give me a part in their development, and who allow me into their homes.
I truly love engaging with kids, snuggling with infants, and being a part of their lives.
It brings me joy, it teaches me a lot too. I have gained so much more patience while caring for little ones. Mostly, I’ve learned what to do with my own future children.
Hi, I’m Ayene! I am a Washington DC native working in the corporate world while enjoying mini travel adventures when I can. I recently started blogging my adventures on Saved by the Hotel – I love sightseeing, nature, and contemporary art. I nannied throughout college and made sure to graduate debt-free which has enabled my spontaneous lifestyle lately!