Improving the Parent-Nanny Relationship

If you follow any of the ever-popular parenting boards or groups on social media sites, you’ve likely encountered more than one mother venting about her nanny. There seems to be a rise in the ideology that nannies must inherently be all-knowing, psychic, and micromanaged all at the same time. 

While in most cases this is simply a (major) miscommunication, rest assured there are easy steps you can take to ensure the nanny-parent relationship is harmonious for all.

Nannies: Moms aren’t all over-privileged tyrants. In most cases, moms are just tired, frazzled, and stressed out—with probably a hint of guilt thrown in for hiring a nanny in the first place.

Moms: Nannies can’t read your mind. They aren’t out to steal your husbands either. Nor do they like being micromanaged to the point of a mental breakdown (would you like that kind of work environment?).

The biggest “trick” to ensuring a healthy working relationship for everyone involved? Communication. Talk to each other in great detail both before the commitment begins and during the employment contract as well. It’s the only way you’ll both be on the same page, and it will iron out any misconceptions before they can even occur.

This goes without saying, but there needs to be a clear-cut set of instructions, rules, and/or guidelines that give details on what’s expected of everyone in the family (not just the nanny). 

Behaviors and discipline efforts need to be addressed up front. Schedules, routines, and any things or areas in the home that are off limits should be outlined as well. You can’t expect your nanny to know you planned to dress your kids in that outfit on Sunday if you didn’t tell her not to use it. Nannies aren’t psychic.