Hiring a nanny is not like an employer bringing on an employee. Though a nanny will see your child or children at their best and worst, they must still love that child. A nanny will see your household in an uproar and also at the celebrations. A nanny should actually become like a trusted and loved member of the family. A nanny should be there long term for the greatest benefit of your child. You go through the interview process and you get almost all green lights. Just keep your eyes open for several months and be extra-aware of the nanny and of your child’s behavior. Remember, in this current job drought, someone may not necessarily be applying as a nanny because she loves children but because she is desperate for work.
1) If your toddler begins sobbing when you are about to leave, that doesn’t necessarily reflect on the nanny. Most young children are attached to their mothers. When babies are several months old they begin discerning between family members and strangers and some sense apprehension toward people they do not recognize. They may shed some tears when the parent is about to leave but this settles down as they grow older or they get used to the individual. Since you can decode the cry of your child, you can often tell if they are crying out of fear or if it is just a normal cry. However, make a point of returning home unexpectedly and see what goes on after you have gone.
2) No bonding yet. What if baby and nanny have been together for six months and have not bonded yet? What if the toddler dislikes the nanny or the nanny is easily irritated by the behavior of the child? It could be a sign of trouble. It is important for baby and nanny to have the right chemistry to make it work. There should also be a bonding with your family. After all, if she remains long-term, she is around your family for countless hours.
3) Is it difficult for you and your help to work together smoothly? Your personal relationship with your nanny is very important because you must trust her with your child as well as everything in your home. Beware of a nanny who is sullen or does not talk; she might be holding ill feelings toward you which will in turn affect the way she treats your child. For instance, if she chooses not to follow your instructions, especially on issues important to you, or if she is critical of how you are rearing your child, that could be a danger signal. Although you should welcome constructive suggestions, a disapproving, bossy nanny is never pleasant to work with.
4) Does your help invite people to your place when you’re at work or out of town? Your place is her place of employment and should be handled respectfully just like an official workplace. The problem with bringing people into your home when you are away, especially relatives, boyfriends or her own children, is that it becomes too easy to neglect the work and supervision that is supposed to be done. In addition, she should respect the privacy of your home-it is your castle.
5) Does nanny stick to schedules? If she does not live in your house, then she should arrive a few minutes before her call time. She should not posit regular excuses for why she must be late or why she must have an extra day or two off. Of course, there are always important events or emergencies regarding which you should be generous; just don’t be taken advantage of. A good caregiver should also keep to routines, with feeding, sleeping and bathing times. If this is not the case then she may be unreliable in the long run.
Here’s to a terrific long-term relationship with a nanny who will become a cherished part of your family.
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