If you haven’t been tracking “Supernanny” or “Nanny 911” – the latest self-help shows in child rearing – then you are definitely missing great parenting tips and techniques from the broadcasting networks.
These superwomen of the 21st Century are providing parents with proven old time child rearing techniques – without the use of heavy handed punishment. The strategy consists of setting and enforcing clear boundaries for the children, along with an appropriate system of rewards and punishment. The nannies have a firm, yet loving nature which seems to work wonders on the children.
While nannies or nannys are proving to be a big hit in resolving reality TV family disputes, you may be tempted to think that hiring a nanny will dissolve all family issues…
Selecting a nanny has its own set of difficulties that confront you – and you will need to resolve these issues if you are planning to employ a nanny.
Here are three items to assist you once you have selected a nanny.
LET HER SETTLE IN
Let’s assume that you’ve successfully found a compatible nanny. Congratulations! Things are about to change.
In most cases you’ve set yourself up for a 12 month commitment based on screened research from the employment agency, a phone interview and meeting in-person for the first time.
The day arrives and you escort your newest “member of the family” up to where she will stay for your time together. Both the host and the nanny can be slightly nervous during these first time meetings, but there is no need to be shy.
The first thing your nanny is likely to do is to check out her new “family”. Is she seriously going to spend the next 12 months with you? You are just as foreign to her, as she is to you!
Your nanny may consider this to be one ambition that she has hoped to fulfill. As a host, you may be feeling that this is a long awaited relief from the tortuous responsibility of raising kids.
After the initial introductions she will look around the room and take a deep breath. Is the room to small? Will she get her own privacy? Is the paint falling off? Does the roof leak? Has she got her own mirror?
As a provider of accommodation, you will need to ensure that her room is of a high standard. It doesn’t have to be a 5 star hotel, but it does need to be a private space where she can get some time out.
Ensure that you provide clean linen, blankets and pillows. This will give her the message: “You are welcome here.”
Gradually – perhaps with a glint of excitement – she will unpack her bags and start to settle in.
CLEARLY DEFINE HERE ROLES OF RESPONSIBILITY
You will need to establish a clear line of responsibility with your nanny to distinguish between what is her “job” compared to her private life.
If the distinction is not made early-on then she may become confused about the limitations and expectations of her role. Instead of “Nanny 911” you may end up calling “Family Counseling 911” instead!
Consider the following questions as guidelines:
– Is she allowed to take one day off per week from her normal duties?
– How is she to be paid, and how often?
– Is her main area of responsibility towards the children or towards running the house?
– Does she have any initial concerns?
GET TIME AWAY AS A FAMILY
Let’s assume that your nanny settles in and is having a great time. She performs well and handles the children like a dream. (Super Nanny eat your heart out!)
She may be from another culture and so she is absorbing everything she can about your way of life. You find yourself caught up talking with her about everything and “life is rosy”.
Now that you have got your household back in good working order again, with the help of your nanny, it’s time to make the break. Go on a holiday. Spend some time by yourselves.
Leave the nanny at home.
You need to take a break from “the nanny” and get away on your own – and take your children! Go camping or find a hotel. Try to leave the house for at least three days…
Make sure you pack plenty of children friendly activities so that you can spend quality time with your children. After all, they might just be missing their mom or dad a little more since the nanny first came along.
While you are away you do not need to even mention the nanny. I’m sure she won’t be thinking about you!
If you are careful in the way you set up your living and working relationship with your nanny, you will find that both of you will benefit greatly from the experience.