Nanny Tips: Dealing with Disagreements
Every nanny’s dream is finding a family to work for, long term, that they click with. The reality is that sometimes, even when a nanny has found that family, disagreements will still occur. This is to be expected, and is usually nothing to worry about.
In much the same way as your personal relationships, disagreements and issues within working relationships needn’t spell the end of the relationship. Most of the time they can be dealt with easily and with the minimum of drama.
Dealing with these disagreements in the right way is vital to maintaining a healthy working relationship with the family. Following are some tips to help you deal with them, or avoid them altogether.
Make sure you have a contract
An in-depth nanny contract is the most effective way to prevent disagreements and issues occurring. Although verbal contracts are legally binding, they are open to interpretation so it is important that your agreement is put down in writing and signed by all parties. Insist that a contract is drawn up and signed as soon as possible after starting work, preferably before you start – and definitely by a month or two after your start date. Be sure to keep your copy safe.
Check your contract
If you find yourself disagreeing with the parents over something like holiday or house rules, check the contract over. It is easy to forget small points, especially things that may not have stuck out in your mind when the contract was drawn up. The disagreement could be down to a simple misunderstanding on their (or your) behalf.
Be upfront from the beginning
Before you agree to work for a family, be sure to inform them of anything that could affect your ability to work the hours they require, if you have any holidays booked, or anything else that affects your work. If these things are dealt with early on, they shouldn’t cause a problem later on.
Don’t wait for resentment to build
If something has bothered you then you need to be politely honest about it before it becomes a huge issue in your mind. The problem might be something small and easily fixed – for example, the parents unthinkingly allowing the children to wake you up on a Saturday morning when you’re off-duty – or it may just be the product of a misunderstanding. Either way, dealing with issues in a friendly manner, if and when they arise, is far preferable than hoping the problem will go away by itself. That very rarely happens, and you will end up feeling resentful and angry towards the family.
Give plenty of notice
If you need some time off that hasn’t been pre-arranged with the family, make sure you broach the subject with plenty of time to spare. They may not be able to fulfil your request but they have much more chance of doing so if they have enough time to organise alternative childcare, and they will appreciate the effort of giving plenty of notice.