Whether a nanny works with a stay-at-home parent, a parent who works from a home office, or other family members who live in the home, things can get tricky when they’re trying to do their job. It’s also difficult as the parent or family members to know how to properly navigate this working relationship.
Who’s in charge? Who are the kids supposed to go to when they’re upset, hungry, bored, or sick? How should the nanny communicate with at-home adults? How can everyone stay out of each others’ physical space?
While not intentional, simply having parents or relatives in the home may undermine a nanny’s authority, disrupt routines, and generally make it more difficult to bond with the kids. It can also be a real distraction for everyone involved. However, there are a few ways that nannies and parents can work it out.
The foundation of any good nanny-employer relationship is communication. Nannies and parents: you should already have honest, frequent conversations about your expectations for each other, child care techniques, what’s going well, what can be improved, and so on. It’s part of being a good nanny and part of being a good employer.
This communication is even more important when nanny and parent are both present at home, so boundaries and authority are properly established. It is possible to set this nanny-family environment up for success by asking a few key questions, like:
Once you discuss these ground rules, handling any situations that arise will be much easier for both the nanny and parents/family.
Parents, we know that it can be tempting to step in and “rescue” your child if they’re having a tantrum or fighting with a sibling. However, remember that you’ve hired your nanny to help you. Stepping in undermines your nanny’s authority, disrupts your productivity or alone time, and only confuses your child.
To make it easier for you and your nanny, we also suggest these other tips:
Remember to trust your nanny’s expertise and authority. Let them do their job and everyone benefits.
At Stanford Park Nannies, we’ve seen many successful nanny-employer relationships in which one or both parents stayed at home, or there were other family members present inside the home. At the end of the day, a family and a nanny want the same thing: to provide the best care for the child(ren). By understanding how to communicate about authority, boundaries, and expectations, you’ll have an easier time providing that level of care for a child — together.
We believe in placing the best nannies with the right families, and in helping everyone feel comfortable when working together. Stanford Park Nannies not only matches nannies with families in the Bay Area, we work with every nanny personally to ensure you’re placed with the best family for your skills and needs.
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