09.12.2013 Family & Parenting

10 Tips for Helping Your Nanny and Kids Bond

10 Tips for Helping Your Nanny and Kids Bond
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Parenting is no small job, and it's even more complicated when you're faced with the prospect of keeping up with a demanding career at the same time. When confronted with the choice between center-based care and private, in-home care from a nanny, many parents choose the more personal approach by opting for a nanny. Still, the benefits of one-on-one care over center-based care are really only realized when children feel a real bond with their caregiver. These 10 tips can help you lay the groundwork for a strong bond between your nanny and your children, paving the way for a long and productive relationship.

Make Welcoming Plans – When you're preparing to bring a new nanny into the fold of your household, one way to help generate anticipation and get your kids excited about the idea of spending time with their minder is to plan a few welcoming activities. Encourage kids to make their new nanny a card to commemorate the occasion, and work together to come up with a plan for getting Nanny acclimated to the new environment. Giving your kids a sense of ownership and a feeling of control over the situation will help them to be more emotionally invested, helping to build the groundwork for bonding before Nanny even shows up for her first day on the job.

Check Your Jealousy at the Door – Feeling a bit of jealousy or envy when you bring a nanny into the household is natural, but it's also important for you to make an effort to control those feelings. If you're envious and resentful, your attitude will spill over for your kids to pick up on, influencing the way that they view the nanny, too.

Show Enthusiasm – It can be difficult to watch your kids be excited to see their nanny in the morning or sad to see her go at the end of the day. Remembering that your kids don't actually love their nanny more than they love you can help you to be enthusiastic about the situation, showing kids that being connected to their nanny is a good thing.

Make an Effort to Prevent Turnover – Kids simply won't be able to bond with the latest in a long string of childcare providers if they know that the new nanny won't be around for long. While it may mean swallowing your pride or dealing with a bit of tension from time to time, working to prevent turnover and to hold on to a nanny your kids truly care about will help them to form those bonds.

Avoid Criticizing Nanny Around Your Kids – You may hate the way your nanny loads the dishwasher or her attitude towards cleaning, but your kids should never hear you make those criticisms. Kids will naturally side with their parents when they perceive a conflict. Even if you're not truly angry and are just blowing off some steam, make sure you're not doing it when the kids can hear you.

Be Respectful – Kids simply will not respect a nanny if they know that you have no respect for her. Model respectful, welcoming and warm attitudes regarding the nanny to your children, and they're more likely to respond in kind.

Maintain Open Lines of Communication – One of the more common sources of tension between nannies and their employers is a basic lack of communication. When you're struggling to work well with your nanny, even as a result of a simple misunderstanding, your kids may pick up on your feelings and attempt to show their loyalty to you by refusing to respect their nanny.

Include Nanny in Milestone Events – Some nannies will decline invitations to their charges' birthday parties and milestone events on principal, in order to set and maintain reasonable boundaries. Others, however, want to be there to help your child celebrate another year or their kindergarten graduation. Including her in these moments not only sends a message of solidarity and respect to your nanny, but also your children.

Help Kids and Their Nanny Make Memories Together – Encourage outings and trips so that your nanny and your children can have memorable experiences together. Many bonds are based upon those shared experiences and pleasant memories, so be sure that there's room in the petty cash fund for a trip to the zoo or a day at a local amusement park.

Keep Nanny's Side Duties Light – When you're paying top dollar for nanny care, the desire to get your money's worth is an understandable one. It pays to keep in mind, though, that your nanny's primary and most important function is to look after and care for your children. If she's just keeping an eye on your kids while she's in the middle of a lengthy side duties list, she won't be able to provide them with the undivided attention they deserve or form a strong bond.

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