How Nannies & At-Home Family Members Can Work Together

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.

Establish boundaries and authority

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:

  • Is it okay if the kids seek the parents out when everyone is at home?
  • Which spaces of the home, such as the office, are off-limits for the kids?
  • Who will make decisions about meals, activities, or other situations when both the nanny and family are present? 
  • How should the nanny communicate with parents/family when everyone is at home?

Once you discuss these ground rules, handling any situations that arise will be much easier for both the nanny and parents/family.

Tips for at-home parents and 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:

  • Designate separate spaces. If you work from home, stick to an office or a guest bedroom, and keep the door closed. Treat it as an office space away from home so that your children know you shouldn’t be disturbed.
  • Sync up schedules. Talk to your nanny and decide which activities you can join in on without causing too much friction, like lunchtime on certain days or trips to the nearby park when you’re on a break from work/have some free time.
  • Support your nanny. When your nanny makes a decision that your child doesn’t like, they may come to you to get the answer that they want. Support your nanny and don’t give in. Otherwise, your nanny will lose the respect of your kids, making their job that much harder to do.

Remember to trust your nanny’s expertise and authority. Let them do their job and everyone benefits.

Finding the right family with Stanford Park Nannies

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.

Stanford Park Nannies
March 13, 2020
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Stanford Park Nannies
March 13, 2020
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