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10 Signs that Your Nanny Is into Your Kids

Nannies should have a loving bond with the kids in their care: they should really CARE for your kids.  It’s so not ok if your kids are bleeding profusely and your nanny can barely tear herself away from “The Bold and the Beautiful.”  This is not about your carpet not being Scotchgarded recently: this is about your kids feeling loved, attended to, and (for Heaven’s sake) safe. 

How can you tell if your nanny is into your kids?

  • 1. Your kids aren’t experiencing rapid weight loss while under her care. (If nanny is seldom remembering to feed your kids, well, she’s probably not that into them.)
  • 2. Your kids don’t cling to you when you get home. Kids whose need for love and affection is being met throughout the day don’t have an O-M-G-I-need-a-cuddle response when you walk through the door each day.
  • 3. Your kids smile and laugh easily. (If your kids begin to take on the demeanor of an undertaker, there may be a problem . . . )
  • 4. Your nanny smiles and laughs easily and praises your kids often . . . to you, directly to your kids, and to third parties as well. If you come home to kids who think they’re rock stars, nanny make be fluffing up their egos during the day.
  • 5. Your kids assume that they can get help when they need it. If they have an established paradigm of helpful care-giving, then nanny cares for them. If, on the other hand, they think they are on their own, and you see your three-year-old winging it through, say, tricycle repair (with screwdriver and pliers in hand), that may be a sign that nanny isn’t into your kids.
  • 6. Your kids maintain a reasonable schedule while in the care of nanny. A nice mix of play time, homework time, various lessons and/or sports, time to attend to home things (i.e., chores, etc.), and some quiet time should be in the mix. On the other hand, if nanny shuttles your kids from activity to activity (all of which require her to be less interactive with them) such that President Obama would be daunted by the timetable, that is probably not ok.
  • 7. Your kids feel comfortable self-determining on age-appropriate matters. (If nanny makes all the decisions for your kids, especially without considering their opinions on the subjects at hand, then nanny is probably not that into your kids.)
  • 8. Your nanny knows where your kids are when you come home from work. (If, on the other hand, you walk through the door, ask nanny where the kids are, and her response is, “Who are you asking about?” . . . well, that’s not a good sign.)
  • 9. Your nanny happily flexes in what she does for your kids. For example, if one of your kids needs to change the time of drop off or pick up at a specific event, does your nanny willingly agree to the new time or does she tell you that your kids need to learn to hitchhike?
  • 10. Your nanny shows up for work regularly and cheerfully. Frequent absences, especially for suspicions reasons, may be a sign that nanny is not into your kids. For example, if nanny calls in absent one day, saying that she can’t make it to work because of the ice storm, and you live in Bermuda, consider that a heads-up that things are not going well.

Not every nanny can mesh with every child.  If you have a nanny that acts like she’s not into your kids, it’s best to talk with her about what you’re seeing and how that’s different from what you’d like.  Maybe the nanny is coming across differently than she intends.  If she really is not into your kids, then it’s time to move on.  Both your family and she can find better matches out there somewhere . . . and Nannies4hire.com is the perfect resource to help you find your new nanny, the one who is a perfect fit for your family.

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3 comments to 10 Signs that Your Nanny Is into Your Kids

  • Cindie Cook

    As a nanny/babysitter full time, I have to agree, we have the energy and the experience so when you find one (like me : ) who also has the love for your child and your family, grab her quickly. Whenever I am between jobs (rarely), it takes no time at all until 5 or 6 families are wooing me, because they realize what this article says is true : ) Thanks for sharing this article.

  • A-Team

    MOSTLY great article! A few points I can disagree on –
    Clingy kids. I have cared for kids who love and adore me, but when mom or dad has worked long hours and maybe hasn’t seen the kid in over 24 hours, DUH, the kid is going to be overjoyed to see the missing parent! I’ve even had kids whose parents work normal hours, and one day they cry when NANNY has to go home, and the next morning they cry when MOM has to leave for work. Every kid is different.
    Second, the “do it yourself” kid is neglected by his nanny? HELLO?? Have you ever been around little boys?? They LOVE to take things apart and mess with stuff, and I’ve known quite a few lil girls who take great pride in, “No! I do it myself!!” That’s just healthy childhood independence. Parents, just trust your gut instinct, and if your nanny gives your baby a kiss and hug and your baby hugs her back, then you’ve got a great nanny. Don’t get too paranoid.

  • Ilovemyjob

    A-team: YES! I strongly agree. The child I take care of wakes up to me while her mother is running out the door and when she gets home late at night, the kid will get out of bed and give her a hug. I think this is fine and encourage a little shyness so that the girl can become more comfortable in getting to know me.

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