Anybody who has looked after children for at least 15 minutes knows that children are a huge responsibility. If you had this role as an aunt, grandma, older brother or a neighbour, child’s safety, and, of course, their smile, comes first to everyone. On the other hand, each family has its own habits, expectations and even rules which may be adopted informally.
Every mom has her own wishes about her child’s behaviour and development. Every dad, by his communication style, creates an atmosphere for child’s development. And this is something we cannot, nor should, influence. Simply put, each family is story of its own, and has different dynamics which should not be disrupted when someone else joins it. When a nanny or a babysitter joins the family environment, there is still a challenge, minor or major, to harmonize the family communication style and behaviour with the person who will look after the children. A babysitter who has little experience in looking after children, for example, over holidays or she used to help her sister and babysat during night, has certainly been faced with parent expectations to some extent. It is possible that she has been asked by her sister never to wipe the baby’s bottom with wet wipes when changing diapers, or maybe vice versa: she may have been told not to complicate things by washing under a shower of water, but to do everything swiftly and efficiently. Simply put, there are many theories on baby skin hygiene that every mum chooses her own style and approach to it. A good nanny is the one who knows how to adhere to the rules and guidelines of parents.
Nannies with experience have had a chance to experience diversity in parent expectations, so they are often able to compare them and draw a difference between the requests derived from fear regarding the safety of children, and those that represent clear expectations on creative development of children. Some parents are well informed about the development stages of children and insist from the nanny to be familiar with them; and it is not rare that they have requests to creatively engage the child with the purpose of their better intellectual and motoric development.
Although it seems that not everyone can be pleased in the same way, there are still universal characteristics which make a good nanny, whether she has vast experience in working with children or if she is merely a student who enjoys the time spent with them. We list some of them.
1. Work responsibility
- Adheres to parents’ guidelines
- Always punctual and not late to work
- Shares information with parents honestly
- Respects privacy of the family she works in
- Respects her job
2. Taking care of child’s well-being
- Takes care of child’s security and safety
- Knows how to discipline children adequately
- She is warm in relation with children
- She knows how to work with children creatively