We all know that children aren’t always respectful. Respect is an important lesson in life that kids must be taught. Nowhere is this lesson more important than when it comes to your nanny. As someone with responsibility for their care, it’s vital that children respect their nanny as a figure of authority.
We selected a range of advice from a group of experts to provide tips for teaching your kids to respect nanny.
Talk About Expectations
If you don’t highlight what you expect from your children, how will they know how to behave? Having a nanny is adding another adult to your parenting team. Parents should let their kids know that nanny will be there to make sure they are having fun, being safe and learning things while mom and dad are at work, and that it’s important to listen to the nanny.
Talk to your kids about what respect means and why it’s important. They should know that the house rules stay the same when their nanny is in charge.
Introduce the Nanny
A certain level of comfort is necessary between the nanny, children and parents. And sometimes that takes time to develop. Be sure each of your children is happy with your decision to hire a nanny and speak candidly with them about any misgivings they might have. Arrange a trial phase, where your nanny and kids can build a rapport, and you can see how the nanny interacts with your kids.
When it comes to a new nanny, it can be helpful to shadow them for their first few days to provide help and to segue them into the position slowly, rather than leave them to hit the ground running. The children are then also able to get used to the nanny without feeling separation anxiety. They will see the nanny as a figure their mother respects and trusts. Slowly, start stepping back and letting the nanny handle things.
Support Your Nanny
The best way to encourage respect for your nanny is by supporting her decisions, regarding discipline, activities and manners. If the nanny asks that the kids eat two vegetables at lunch before they get a treat, allow her to follow through with that. Don’t come in and say to the child that it is okay, you can have a treat. This creates a power play situation for the children between the parents and the nanny.
Work with her to create a discipline plan that everyone agrees on and follows.
Talk To Your Nanny
The best way to help your nanny and kids to get along is constant communication. Speak with your nanny at the end of each day to find out what went well and what needs improvement.
Ask the sitter a lot of questions at the end of her work day. Did the child misbehave? How did the nanny handle it? Often sitters won’t think to tell you these things on their own, or they’re hesitant to recount negative experiences to you. The more you know about the day’s events — from the nanny’s point of view — the better able you’ll be to speak to your children and reinforce what she did with them during the day.
Understand That Respect Goes Both Ways
While it’s important for your kids to respect your nanny and her decisions, it’s equally important for you to show that same respect. If your kids hear you criticizing the nanny or her actions, it will undermine her authority.
Your nanny should also respect you and your role as the parent. If there’s tension between parents and a nanny, children will sense this and lose whatever respect they had for their caregiver.
Sometimes nannies don’t understand why parents do what they do with their children, but it is the parent’s decision. Nannies should never talk negatively about the parents and vice versa with the children.