After our daughter came, my wife and I, like most other parents were worried about finding the right nanny for her, when we wanted to get back to work. Employing a nanny to help manage the kids is a very reasonable thing to do but things don’t always go as smoothly as we wish to. Aside from the fact that it is very hard to find the right nanny you can trust, it is always not guaranteed that your kids will love her.
Therefore, while there is a need to carefully select the right nanny, it is also important to make sure your children will love their new nanny, which requires some preparation as well. For a child and the parents, that step can be emotionally tough. We experienced it and we share here some tips to have a smooth transition and to help you hire the right nanny.
A few things before we hire the nanny
1. Set expectations
Kids are very smart and just because they are little doesn’t mean they will not understand what is going on. It is very important to set expectations with your kids when you have a new nanny joining the household. Explain why there is a need to do so and what should or should not happen.
The better they understand the situation, the smoother this step will be.
Kids often are not very open to new things especially when it comes to someone handling them. They will wonder why someone else is now preparing their meals in the day and may sometimes feel as if they the change means they are not as important anymore.
You have to reassure them that you love them just the same even though you spend lesser time with them so you can focus on work.
3. Give them time
There will be some difficult moments at first but if you give time to kids to adjust to the new situation, they will ease into a more accepting mindset. When they start spending time with the new nanny or domestic helper, they will start building new experiences, different ones from the ones they build with you as parents.
4. Set boundaries
Some children take the time spent with nannies to try all the naughty things kids like to do. They will even try to push their authority if they know that nannies do not have the same authority as their parents do. Let your children know what’s okay to do and what’s not.
Tips to establish a good relationship while hiring a nanny
5. Set expectations
Just as you do so with your kids, it is important to set expectations with your new nanny so that they know their place and understand what’s okay and not okay as well.
Communicate the rules you have in the household with your kids. Explain routines, screen time, homework time and all other structures you’ve established with your kids so that they can follow the same.
6. Proper planning and full disclosure
Because we depend so much on nannies, we often think they can be available to us all the time and forget that they also have their own personal activities. We need to respect their time as well so it’s best to plan properly and give full details about what is going on.
What time your work ends and when you’re expected to be home to take over, what the schedule will be like when you have to go away for a long weekend, etc. The more they understand the plans, the more they can plan ahead and focus on your kids needs more too.
7. Spend time together
Think of nannies as the extension of your family. We entrust them with the care of our kids so it is essential to get to know them well and spend time together to do other activities than just having them around to take care of the kids.
8. Communicate openly
The best way to find out about your kids’ day when they’re too young to tell you all about it is to catch up with the nanny. Ask them everything you wish to know, what your kids ate, what they wore, how their day at the park went. Also, ask your nanny how their day went and how she handled time with the kids. The more you understand what she’s thinking and feeling, the better opportunity you have to manage your relationship with her as well as the kids’.
Lastly, do activities together to make kids feel there is harmony and inclusion even though there are different people taking care of them most of the time. Spend a day out with the nanny and kids whenever you get a chance so that you get to experience yourself how they interact together.
If you can help bridge the relationship between your nanny and your kids, your kids will love your nanny in no time.
The right questions before hiring a nanny
Besides the fact that you might want to prepare this step carefully, finding the right nanny can also be tricky, especially if you never conducted that kind of interview before. Yes, as any job, we are talking about the interview here and it should be cautiously prepared.
Therefore, if you’re looking to hire a nanny or a domestic helper, you will need to ask several questions to the successful applicants that you want to meet face to face. Remember that the goal is not asking hundreds of questions but there’s also a need to go beyond the “Why are you interested in this job?”. Of course, it’s also crucial to listen to the answer to better understand the mindset of the person who will look after your kids.
9. Questions around her motivation
To better understand her motivations and background, you might want to ask the followings:
- Why did you want to become a nanny and what does it mean to you?
- According to you, what’s the difference between a nanny and a babysitter?
- What do you prefer in being a nanny?
- Tell us more about your own family
10. Questions about her background
You might also want to know more about her previous experiences and have examples about the way she handled a situation before.
- How large were the families you worked for in your previous positions?
- What was your worst experience you had with a kid and how did you resolve it?
- Did the kids ever complain about you and what was your reaction?
- Could you share contacts for reference checks?
- Have you ever worked with a family that uses a parenting style you don’t like?
11. Questions about discipline and leisure
Besides her personality and her background, you might also want to know more about the way your new nanny will care about your kids. While there are dozens of questions that you can ask, here are some examples:
- Do you have CPR certification or first aid training?
- What would you do if my child is sick? How would you react and handle the situation?
- How do you organise a day (meal time, activities, homework…)?
- What do you think about child nutrition?
- What would be the most important lesson or skill you would teach to a kid?
Hiring a nanny is an important step in a parent life. She will be part of your family. It will be an amazing experience, both as parents and children, but it should be well prepared.