When you join a family you are not only there to care for the child, but also to understand and support the parents. Therefore, being able to communicate effectively is essential. There are so many issues that can arise and it is easy to get in a tricky situation due to a simple miscommunication.
Many nannies will say that the hardest part of their job is actually dealing with the parents! And on the other hand, as a parent, giving your child to someone and leaving them in sole charge of a nanny can be daunting, especially the first time around.
Here are some tips on how to communicate effectively to make sure both nanny and parent are happy.
- Be clear. Clear instructions from the parents and clear wishes from the nanny should be set in a trial period or even before it. That is the best way to make sure that parents and the nanny have a similar approach and can work together to raise a happy child. Both should make sure that they use the same approach and that children understand their routine and what is expected from them.
- Ask questions. When starting a new role, the best way to avoid any uncertainty is to ask a lot of questions. Every family has a different approach and when joining them you need to adapt to their ways, that’s why flexibility and adaptability are brilliant skills that every nanny should have. When interviewing and trialling you should ask parents as many questions as possible, about your duties,daily tasks, their expectations, children’s routine and their own routine.
- Sign a contract. Using a standard contract is great, but tweaking it to suit each family and nanny is even better. Make sure that it includes all key details, especially when originally agreed on some things that are not included in standard nanny duties.
- An app. Utilising technology can come in very handy! Creating a group chat where nanny and parents can communicate with each other during the day and where the nanny can update parents with children’s activities is an amazing way for everyone to stay connected and add their own input.
- Routine check-ups. Find a time to catch up and discuss any updates regularly, especially if there is some kind of change coming to a child's life.
- Be open to feedback. Being able to communicate effectively is impossible without learning how to listen first. When you get feedback from parents don’t take it personally and let it simmer in your head before getting in defence mode.
- Learn to listen. Very important to any kind of communication, is to learn how to listen to others. Be attentive and don’t throw your solutions at people, sometimes taking a minute and focusing on what others have to say rather than what you will say next, will give you a completely new approach and a lot of new ideas.
- Accept differences. Last but not in any way less important is learning to accept differences. There will never be an approach personalised enough to have everyone agree on everything,
We all know that it takes a village to raise a child and the village can only work when you learn that there are many different ways to do things right.
Communication is key to any relationship, but it is particularly important for nannies and parents. With these simple tips we hope you can ensure your relationship thrives!