Who’s the Boss: You or the Nanny?
Unfortunately, the only people who get the endorsement of “like” and “trust” are already very close to you. The anxiety we feel when we hire an unknown person is because you’re leaving your child with someone you won’t get to know until after they’ve started working.
So what do you do if you determine a nanny is your best solution for child care? You must 1) choose the right person above all else, and 2) recognize that you have become an employer—therefore, YOU ARE THE BOSS.
Okay, so what’s the process?
1. Empower Yourself: You are the parent. You define the terms and context of the work. You may not know everything there is about child development, and you can admit that to your nanny, but YOU ARE STILL THE BOSS of a person who may teach you a lot.
2. Know your and your baby’s needs. People who come to work for you want clarity and direction on YOUR preferences. It’s best to write down as much as you can. Here’s a suggested list.
- Create a description of “what kind of person you are and what your family life style is.”
- On another sheet of paper write down what “qualities you want” from a nanny.
- Next, write out your baby’s daily routine and a daily or weekly schedule with required household or baby related chores. List your important preferences for what baby can eat, and toys your baby likes to play with.
- Include a list of what you do not allow: smoking, alcohol consumption, personal entertaining, excessive phone use, etc.
These lists will help you develop interview questions and also become your training guide for employee orientation. These sheets do not need to be complicated. One page per topic or one 5”x 8” index card per category should suffice. If you keep the materials in a binder, they can be referred to so the work stays in flow.
3. Be robust in your interview and your reference checks. Your interview should relate to the content on the pages described above. Mainly you want to figure out if the nanny is compatible with your lifestyle and your personal style of communication. This link at Disney’s Baby Zone has some sample questions. In most states you can, with the job candidate’s permission, obtain a background and credit check.
4. Create a Win-Win relationship. Overall, the lower the quality of your communication, the more your nanny will have to resort to her own strategies. And this is where the tables turn. Guess who starts to act like the boss? Quick! If the nanny is the right person in the first place you can restore the give and take of communication and lead again!