So You Think You Can Nanny?
Hello lovelies! At the request of some readers, I’m writing a follow up to this post; after all these tips can be used for more than nannying. Almost exactly a year ago I left my cozy Utah abode to join a carnival and nanny. I would say it’s the most gutsy thing I’ve done except in 1 week I’m leaving behind music, movies, internet, friends, and family, to serve a mission in Germany for 18 months. If I can do that, you can handle being a nanny no matter your situation. Just take a deep breath, review these tips, and stay focused. I believe in you!
13. Connect with the nanny world. It’s fun to talk with others in similar situations. They can understand you, offer advice, and tell you their crazy nanny stories. Nanny Magazine is a great resource for all your nanny needs.
14. Be yourself. Just like it’s unhealthy to compare your relationship to others, it’s also unhealthy to compare yourself to other nannies. Don’t change how you are to be more like a different nanny. You will learn a lot about yourself as a nanny; don’t be afraid to accept it. I once saw a pinterest quote that said ‘be yourself because everyone else is taken.’ I’d like to add be yourself because you’ll have more fun! They hired you for YOU.
15. Have a special treat. When the kids are acting up, offer a special deal. For example, I would tell them if they behaved I would play airplane with them. It was their favorite game and I saved it as bribery for good behavior. Worked like a charm!
16. Follow through on your promises. Whenever you promise something make sure you can follow through with it. Don’t tell the kids you’re going to buy them ice cream if you have no intentions of doing it. They WILL remember all your promises and they will get more upset if you don’t follow through. You need to establish a trusting relationship and that can’t be accomplished with false hope.
17. Also follow through on your punishments. If you tell a child that if he doesn’t stop acting up he will go in time out, put him in time out. Don’t let them think they can get away with naughty behavior. Show that you are just as an authority figure as their parents.
18. Write in your journal or blog. You’re going to want to remember your time as a nanny, it will contain valuable lessons and hilarious stories. As I read back on my journal over the summer, I can see how I changed. Especially in the patience department!
19. Random dance parties. Kids bored to tears? Stop listening to their complaints, turn on some good tunes, and start dancing. Soon after, the kids will jump in and join the dance party. It will release all tensions and pent up frustrations. Get jiggy!
20. Pass on your knowledge. I l.o.v.e. baking and cooking and it turned out to be a great activity with the kids. We made everything from rainbow cupcakes to octopus hotdogs. I also love art history so I bought an art history coloring book for kids and taught them all about my favorite artists. The kids learn to really look up to you so anything you find interesting is now cool to them. Teach them about it! It’s fun to play school, and no reasonable parent will complain about their nanny being so cultured with their children.
21. Opposition in all things. Not every day is going to be a walk in the park. There are going to be days when the kids are bratty, you are tired, and every one is bored. And that is just fine. It will make you appreciate all the other fun days! Don’t be afraid to say ‘today we are going to stay in our pajamas and watch Disney channel’ because some times you just need those days. No shame, work it!
22. What about church? I was a different religion than the family I cared for and that was NEVER a problem. They knew when they hired me that I wanted to attend my church on Sunday and they were very supportive. This ties into honest communication from the last post. If there’s something very important to you, speak up! Any caring family will understand and if they don’t, maybe they aren’t the family for you.
23. You’re not a slave. You’re a nanny. Don’t allow anyone to mistake you for the other.
Being a nanny can be one of the best jobs if you are patient and really care about the kids. If you ever have any questions feel free to contact me. I’m only an email away!
In the meantime, click here to watch a short trip video I made with the kids to get a feel for why the nanny life is the life for me.