communication tips for conversing with your nanny and child care provider

Clients develop very personal relationships with their nannys and child care providers and view them as family members. Other clients view the relationship as more delineated and solely develop working relationships with their nannies. Each family is unique and each nanny or child care provider is special. When my wife was around many years ago, she treated household help as family. Any household help that came to our house in Chappaqua, NY received a glass of juice, food from our refrigerator and warm conversations with my Wife. Some of the nannys and child care providers talked about their family in great depth to her.

Nilsa, a 16 year old high school student from Ossining, New York, would frequently come over and tell her intimate stories regarding her family situation. My wife enjoyed guiding this girl and giving her sound advice. Today I am a single parent, and I have had the opportunity to see the working relationship with staff from all angles. When Darya, a nanny from Pleasantville, NY, wanted to talk with me and be social, I was too consumed with my son, and the general challenges of running a household and a career. It was much more difficult for me to find time to converse with my nanny at that time.

As the premier child care, elder care and nanny service provider in Westchester, NY and Fairfield CT for over 5 years, I now have more time and emotional strength to devote to my relationship with my nanny. Today, I make sure I spend time to sit and talk with Adalita, a LifeWorx housekeeper from New Rochelle, NY. Even though there is a language barrier between us, we still sit down and have a glass of wine and discuss what is going on in her life. Adalita is like family to me, and I have enjoyed getting to learn about her life experiences.

It is important to remember that we all choose the level of interaction we are comfortable with pertaining to our nannies and child care providers. My wife and I each chose different levels of interactions with our household help at different points in our lives. Your household help is always looking to the homeowner to provide a sense of belonging, and make them feel comfortable. After all, your nanny and child care providers spend all day in your home and get to know your family very well. Regardless of what you choose to be the most appropriate level of connection and communication with your child care provider and nanny, be sure to be consistent. Older child care helpers frequently like to give advice, and younger child care helpers like the nurturing you can provide to them about past life experiences as well as raising a family.

At LifeWorx, our child care and nannies undergo an extensive background check. We carefully evaluate potential child care experts to weed out candidates that are excessively chatty, or candidates that are extremely shy, as these types may not fit in well in a typical household that we service.

Here are 5 tips for more effective communication with your child care provider and nanny:

  • Share how much you would like to interact with your nanny
  • Share communication expectations with your nanny and set reasonable limits
  • Agree on a level of social interaction that works best for you or agree on a level of non-work interaction that works for you
  • Be prepared for a few rough days; just as you can have a tough day your child care provider may also be struggling and may vent to you
  • Be consistent regardless of which communication technique you choose

Remember, not everyone always has a perfect week or month. Even if you have a clear cut communication plan set with your nanny or child care provider, they too can have occasional bad days. Sometimes your nanny may feel that you are the closest person to turn to as they spend so much time around your family. However, if it becomes a pattern that you become uncomfortable with, it may be important to address this with your nanny and re-structure your communication expectations.

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