Nanny Knows Best

Although Mary Poppins may have saved the day with "a spoon full of sugar", Nanny V employs a more pragmatic approach. No magic, just simple love, attention and consistency. And a healthy dose of humour.


Posted by Nanny Knows Best
Nanny Knows Best
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on Monday, 12 August 2013
Nannies don’t have mind-reading superpowers. Well, maybe for little people under the age of three.

It's 10am and little Mr H is grumpy. Tired, hungry, sick or just plain naughty, sometimes it’s frustrating trying to work out why, and then have a solution.

Did he have a restless night? Wake up early? Fuss over breakfast? Is he testing boundaries? Revealing a stubborn streak?

There are a myriad of reasons for his puzzling behaviour and your nanny will probably be the only person with an explanation. Her relationship with your child is often as intimate as your own.

An ideal situation is one where nanny has your complete support and confidence that her decisions will be accepted by all. Maybe Mr H might have an issue, but it is his best interest that is everyone’s priority.

An initial interview is a great opportunity to discuss perspectives and philosophies. However, like any situation, feedback and regular communication can only benefit all involved.

Early days in any new job requires clarity and time. Also make sure you give any constructive criticism face to face – it can be really demoralising when someone is nice to your face and then an hour later you discover they weren’t happy.

And just like the consistency your nanny employs with your child, it is necessary to ensure it resonates all round. A child can easily and quickly take control of a situation. Dissension can lead to more difficult and louder behaviour. Not fun for anyone.

As Nanny V to a boisterous and ever challenging two year old boy, I am sure his mum was often perplexed by my choices. The decibels of his screeching would set off the neighbourhood canine community and anyone who has struggled through a similar exhibition of vocal prowess will know of the patience needed, and resulting exhaustion. Mine and his.

Sometimes, I would let his tantrums run their course, other times I took the opportunity to try to instil boundaries, but I always felt in charge of the situation. When the dust settled mum and I had quiet time for a cuppa and to review.

Because of the time your nanny spends with your child, more often than not you will need to heed her recommendations. You hired her for a reason, so defer to her on-hand experience. At the very least, allow her to provide context. Respect and cohesion are vital in any work environment, particularly within the intimacy of your home.

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