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Birthday etiquette

2014 May 22
by nannyjob

Should you buy your charges birthday presents or not? What about your ex charges? Your bosses? Your ex bosses? Nannying can gain you a whole new family but it’s a bit of a minefield when it comes to things we wouldn’t think twice about for our own kin.

We don’t have the answers, the best thing is obviously to do what feels right, but we have spent a while thinking it through so you don’t have to.

Your charges

Most nannies buy birthday presents for their charges. It doesn’t have to be big, and it doesn’t have to be a material gift – in fact sometimes taking them out to the cinema or similar, especially if you can do it on their own without their siblings tagging along, can mean more than yet another toy. Other gifts that keep giving are books (you can write a personalised dedication) or board games. Ignoring their birthday on the other hand would be a bit strange.

Your ex charges

In general it’s nice to mark the occasion by sending a card. If you actually see them around their birthday then a token gift, or a small outing, might be appropriate. Having been a significant part of their life they will appreciate the continued contact.

Your bosses

It’s hard to escape your boss’s birthday as you may well be doing something with your charges, like a card or a cake. If you get on well and know their taste then you might feel like giving a small gift but otherwise a card, and maybe a freebie babysit, in more than enough.

Your ex bosses

If you remember you ex boss’s birthday then you’re probably either very close or exceptionally organised. If you’re very close then you will already have established whether you give them a card or a gift (and you can keep giving them the same freebie babysit after you leave). If you’re very organised and you usually got them a card then it costs very little to pop one in the post. If you don’t remember, then you have your answer right there!

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