How Parents can Help the Nanny

Jack Meyer contributed the following guest post. While his post focuses on a nanny as a caregiver, much of what he says rings true for any child care provider that comes into your home to care for your child or children, be it a day worker or live-in nanny.

Mr. Meyer is a regular contributor to As a detective, he wants to share information about what can happen when people don’t fully verify the credentials of a caregiver or any employee. He also writes for various law enforcement blogs and sites.

nannyOften parents get so focused on how the nanny is going to help them out with the kids that they forget that when a new nanny is hired, she needs help adjusting too.

It takes time for everyone acclimate to a new situation, especially when you’re bringing someone new into your home and expecting them to watch, get along with, and sometimes even teach your children. There are a few ways you can help your new nanny ease into her position:

1.      Set down your rules

This sounds like an obvious one, but a lot of times parents don’t think of this until they find themselves getting frustrated with their nanny for doing something wrong or differently than they would do it themselves. If there are certain rules that your family adheres to then it would be helpful for you to clearly lay those out for your new nanny so that she doesn’t inadvertently step on any toes. It’s harder to change habits after getting accustomed to them being a certain way than it is for your nanny to start nannying the way you want her too from the get-go.

2.      Regularly schedule reviews and meetings

It’s a good idea to check in with your nanny frequently to make sure that everything is going well and to make sure that everyone is happy with the situation as is, that way adjustments can be made if necessary. It’s good to step back and openly communicate about what’s working and what isn’t, so try having a review every couple months to assess how things are going and take time to talk to one another at the end of each day to address any problems your child may be having or progress he may have made.

3.      Give credit where credit is due

Sometimes you don’t know a good thing until it’s gone – try to acknowledge and compliment your nanny when it’s deserved. Everyone needs to hear “job well done” on occasion; it helps to foster a good work environment.

4.      Include the nanny in family events

From time to time it’s a good idea to include your nanny in picnics at the park or trips to the beach. You’re bringing someone into your home and having her care for some of the most important people in your life – your children. The more included they feel, the more comfortable they’ll become. Having a good, open relationship with your nanny is crucial to the success of the hire.

Hiring a nanny can be a wonderful and rewarding experience for you, your children and the nanny. It truly is a job that requires a great deal of passion towards the profession and it’s not an easy profession to undertake.

When the family is as committed to making the nanny comfortable as the nanny is to caring for the children it fosters a dynamic and successful relationship.


Guest Share

From time to time, “Can Do” Street features a guest post by someone who provides a service or product that might be of interest to parents and teachers of children 3-7 years of age.

We do not endorse or recommend, we just share information.

We welcome guest posts from parents, teachers and professionals who work with young children and their families. We also will feature guest posts from book companies and others wanting to provide sample products at no cost to our readers.


The following guest share is by Sara Dawkins, an active nanny as well as an active freelance writer. She is a frequent contributor of nanny service. She can be reached at


How to Teach the Importance of Sharing

It’s always a big debate when you’re trying to decide if you’re going to hire a nanny to watch over your child or if you’re going to place them in a daycare setting. Each option has distinct advantages and disadvantages, especially the different character traits your child will learn.

Having a nanny watch your children gives parents more flexibility with work schedules and a certain piece of mind knowing that your child isn’t being exposed to different illnesses and bad behavior.

However being a nanny you realize quickly that because the child you’re watching isn’t surrounded by other kids their age that it’s important to teach them as soon as possible how important the act of sharing is.

The trick to teaching kids how to share is to make it fun!

1. Share constantly

Get out two different toys and give one to the child and keep the other one for yourself. After playing with them for a little while ask if they want to play with the one you have.

If you go out for ice cream get a different flavor than they do and then ask if they want to try a bite of yours. Go out of your way to share with them whenever you can so that they learn that this is good behavior to mimic.

2. Express appreciation

Whenever the child swaps a toy with you express gratitude for their selfless sharing, even if you prompted them to share something. Getting them to understand how rewarding it is to share things with other people will help them want to continue to share.

3. Compliment frequently

Anytime they share something with you, even if it’s only a story or they just want to show you what they have, compliment them on their wonderful ability to share. Try to use the word “share” somewhere in the compliment so that they associate the behavior with the act of sharing.

As soon as their parents get home each night compliment the child’s sharing to them also. Reinforce good behavior as often as possible.

4. Donate old toys

Coordinate with the parents a day that you can take them to donate old toys. As they begin to outgrow certain toys or books start collecting them and then take the kids to a place that accepts donations. Having them go with you will give you a chance to show them that their old toys will become someone’s new toys. You can talk to them about how other kids may not be as fortunate as they are, and explain to them how they’re helping these children by sharing their stuff.

5. Pick certain toys to share

When friends are coming over to play let the child pick out a few toys that they can put away and then let them know that all of their other toys have to be shared with friends. This will help them feel like they’re not giving up everything to others.

Being in a role model position gives the perfect opportunity to teach young children the act of sharing. The younger you start teaching kids about sharing, the better, and it’s important for parents and nannies to work together as a team to teach the children about sharing.


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