So, it's a well known fact that I have spent the majority of my life being a nanny. I really love being a caregiver, it's fun and interactive and my coworkers are kids; what's not to love about that? Things can get a little hairy, however- when the parents get involved. Most of my jobs have been with amazing families, with parents who really care about their kids and their nanny. However, I have not had that pleasure with all the families I have worked with. I wanted to list some things that you shouldn't ever do to your nanny, to help those who employ nannies and the nannies that work for them.
1: Yell at your nanny in front of your kids- Yes, this has happened and yes it was totally embarrassing. Yelling at your nanny in front of your kids really works the opposite you think it will. Your kids see that you don't respect your nanny very much, so why should they? Expect your kids to have a harder time listening to your caregiver while you are away after you do this.
What parents should do instead: Ask to speak to your nanny in a private place, away from your children, it's that simple.
2: Expect your nanny to perform tasks outside of her contract- Nannies listen up: if you don't have a contract, get one. I really learned this the hard way. I didn't have a contract and ended up doing WAY more than I was told I would be doing at the beginning of the job. Yes, you may need your dry-cleaning picked up, your floors scrubbed, your bathrooms cleaned. But asking your nanny to do that really just steals time from your kids. Nannies are for children, maids are for chores, and personal assistants are for your errands.
What parents should do instead: Only ask your nanny to do chores that are related to your children, like laundry or cleaning up after their dinner.
3: Not pay your nanny when you choose to take days/weeks off- This is a big one. Most nannies rely are their income from their position to make a living- Paying their bills, car loans, rent ect with the paycheck you give them. Deciding not to pay your nanny when you go on vacation or take the day off really impacts her financially. Think of it this way- If they had the choice they would probably be working, but they don't have that option.
What parents should do instead: Offer your nanny a weeks worth of vacation time, along with paid vacation when you decide to take time off. Benefits wouldn't hurt either (but are in no way expected in my profession).
4: Expect your nanny to stay late or work extra hours with no pay- Most nannies work salary in order to insure a steady income. However, this doesn't mean you should take advantage of this! Any hours outside of the agreed weekly hours should be paid. Now this doesn't mean being 5 minutes late will cost you! 5 hours is another story...
What parents should do instead: If you are going to be late, phone ahead and let her know. Don't expect her to stay for hours on end while you wrap up at work. Be careful with this one, if you do this too many times you may end up losing her!
5: Interfere with your nanny's discipline when you're home- Nothing would irk me more than disciplining a child (i.e. taking their phone away), and then having the parent come home and reverse that discipline. By doing this, you are showing your child that your nanny isn't worth listening to.
What parents should do instead: The best way to deal with this as a parent is to make sure you and your nanny see eye-to-eye in regards to disciplining and rules. If you feel she is making a bad judgment call, let her know privately. If this continues to happen, you probably should be looking for a new nanny.