Once you find the perfect nanny for your family, it is important to put to use some strategies that can help establish boundaries and keep your family happy and protected. Even the most well-meaning nannies can unintentionally overstep boundaries, so make sure you set the ground rules early on. Here’s how:
#1: Communicate continuously.
From day one, communication is key. Right after you hire your nanny, be sure she is clear about the rules of your home and how she fits into those. Be clear about your discipline tactics and make sure you are both in unison in this area. While you go over those rules, pay attention to how she reacts. In addition, if she has specific duties that you expect her to fulfill, be clear about what those are from the get go. If you want to give her more responsibilities later down the road, ask her if she is ok with that, rather than assuming, as this could lead to resentment or frustration.
#2: Talk and listen to your children.
Your children have important things to say, so have your ears open at all times. Keeping the line of communication open is important, because if it is, they will be able to share about what’s happening while you’re gone. Their opinions are very important when it comes to being under the nanny’s leadership. In addition, observe their behavior and make sure they are comfortable talking about the nanny when you ask them how it’s going. If they feel distant or scared, this could be a bad sign.
#3: Have a written nanny agreement.
When you first hire your nanny, write and have her sign a written nanny agreement that covers the basics about rules, salary, emergency procedures, job duties and responsibilities, and anything else you deem important. If she continually oversteps the boundaries that have been laid out in this agreement, you may have cause to terminate her.
#4: Install a security system.
A nanny camera can be a great tool to serve as your “eyes” while you’re away. These monitors turn on when you’re not there in person and will give you a window to see what’s going on between your nanny and child while you’re gone. This can help detect any negative or dangerous behavior that may occur.