Hiring a nanny can be nerve wracking for a family unaccustomed to putting their child's care in the hands of a stranger. There are many different tips and tricks for selecting the right nanny and integrating him or her into your lives, but there are also a few ways that you can enhance your personal relationship with this new member of the household. This will help both of you feel more comfortable with the arrangement and promote better communication regarding the welfare of your child and the nanny's role in their growth.
One mistake that many families make when it comes to their relationship with a nanny is treating them like a babysitter, but there are actually big differences between the two roles. A nanny takes on a critical role in the growth and development of your child as a person, and is not just a temporary caretaker. If you want to foster a stronger relationship between yourselves, the nanny and your child, here are a few pieces of advice:
Be a team – Your new nanny is essentially a new member of the family, and as such you need to work with them as a team, rather than as an outsider. Many nannies, especially experienced ones, might have a lot of insight in ways you can improve your child's life, so if you're unsure of some things, such as when an appropriate bedtime is, how your child's reading skills are developing or how to get them to eat their vegetables, consult with your nanny.
Establish boundaries early on – Not with the nanny, but with your child. Many children, especially older ones, may see the nanny as an outsider at first, but it's important to help them realize that this new person in their lives has to be treated with respect and obeyed. The nanny is in charge when you're not around, and your child has to understand the difference between being with the nanny and being with you. It also helps if you don't undermine your nanny's authority, and have clear and frank discussions on what rules you expect to be followed.
Work with a routine – Children who live within a routine adjust much more comfortably to having a nanny around, so it is important to establish a daily, weekly and monthly routine and not deviate from it whether your child is with you or the nanny.