Why You Shouldn’t Micromanage Your Nanny
Many of us are familiar with the frustration that comes along when your boss or manager constantly breathes down your neck telling you how to do your job. It’s undermining, infuriating and annoying, and if done often enough, it can make you hate your job.
Now imagine how your nanny feels when you tell her exactly what time she needs to put your child down for a nap, how many grapes he can eat, which games she should play with him, even what shape to cut his sandwiches. Sound familiar?
Your nanny is good at her job. You checked her references, read her resumé and can see she knows what she’s talking about. Bear in mind that a great many nannies have more experience with childcare than most parents have at simply being parents. She’s been doing the job a long time, it’s her life, her passion, and you need to learn to let go of the reigns a little and trust her judgement.
It probably won’t be easy, especially if you’re a new parent, it can be difficult to relinquish control to someone new and to put faith in them being able to care for your little one the way you would. However, if you don’t do this, there’s really no point in hiring a nanny in the first place and all your micromanaging will result in a frustrated nanny, a tense relationship between you and your nanny (that your child will probably pick up on) and you’ll find yourself feeling tired and on-edge, when you should be more relaxed and confident that your child is in capable hands.
That’s why we’ve put together our top tips to help keep your micromanaging to a minimum:
- Explain the basics. When you first meet your nanny, explain the basic “house-rules” and work-requirements and include them in the contract so that everyone has the same general understanding of what’s expected.
- Talk to your nanny, but don’t text or call all day to see what she’s doing. Keeping the line of communication open will allow you to get updates from your nanny without pressuring her and making her feel inadequate by constantly checking up on her. It will also allow her time to do what she’s been hired to do: care for your child, without having to continuously reply to messages and calls.
- Don’t give too many ‘suggestions’. A good nanny will be very hands-on and will come prepared with different ideas and activities that she and your child can do each day. If you leave a list of required demands, your nanny can quickly lose enthusiasm for the activities she’s already spent time planning.
- If you set rules, follow them. There’s nothing worse than setting rules that your nanny has to follow, but that you don’t follow yourself when you’re with your children. If you have rules or boundaries on things like eating vegetables before desert or no-screen time, you need to make sure that you follow these rules as well. Otherwise, you’re undermining your nanny by making her out to be the disciplinarian/the bad guy, in your child’s eyes, which is never a good thing.
- Look at the bigger picture. Is your child happy? Has your child eaten a healthy lunch? Have they socialised and taken part in various activities? Do they have a strong bond with their nanny? Is the house clean and laundry folded (if it’s in the contract)? If you have a happy, healthy child and a happy, hard-working nanny, micromanaging will serve no purpose but to disrupt the relationship you and your child have with your nanny. It could even result in you losing a perfectly good nanny.
Give your nanny the chance to prove that she knows what she’s doing and is good at her job. Encourage her to stay with your family long-term by valuing her opinion and treating her like a professional.