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Texting ~ What is Appropriate?

Texting has become a hot-button issue lately.  Should you allow your nanny to text while working?  If so, do you limit the time or the occasions in which she can text?  Do you allow her to text while driving?   What should a family do?

Most families will allow nannies to text if texting does not interfere with childcare and other job responsibilities.  For example, if the children are taking their naps and all the peripheral job tasks (laundry and light housekeeping) are done, then the nanny may text her friends and family. 

Other families text their nannies often throughout the day.  Texting can be the best way for working parents to keep up with what is going on in the daily lives of their children.

Most families do not allow nannies to text while driving.  Some states have laws that forbid texting while driving.  Texting while driving impairs the driver’s ability to drive well.  Attentiveness to driving drops considerably.  Studies have shown that people who text while driving have lower response times than people who drive drunk.

Allowing your nanny to get involved in texting can pose special problems because your children may then view inappropriate explicit texts.  Although your children are not the sender or receiver of the text message, your children may come into contact with the text due to the fact that the cellular telephone on which the text message was sent or received is near your children and children are filled with curiosity about their environments. 

Because what is appropriate is, to some degree, dependent on each family’s preference, each family should discuss the rules on texting with their nanny during their interviews and again at the time of hire.  Then, if the nanny is found to have violated the rule, the parents can refer back to their original agreement with the nanny, remind / re-train the nanny on the boundaries and expectations, or take any progressive discipline necessary given the severity of the circumstance.

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