#1 Make Expectations Clear From Day One
When your nanny arrives, this is the time to outline your expectations. Don’t get into the habit of treating her as a guest. Explain to her what your house rules are for both her and the children, how you’d like chores handled while you are gone, and whether you have any pet peeves. Put the main points in writing so she can refer to it later.
#2 Care, Really Care, About Your Nanny
Your nanny is now a member of the family, particularly if she is living in your home. Treat her as such. Include her in any meals that she’s present for, and make some time to talk to her about how she’s adjusting and whether she could recommend any changes that would make her days with your children run more smoothly.
#3 Pamper Her
Your nanny has a tough job, and you’re undoubtedly grateful for the excellent care she provides your children. Once in a while, surprise her with a token of your appreciation. Send her for a pedicure, stock a few of her favorite foods, or offer to take her out for dinner without the children.
#4 Don’t Get in Her Way
It’s likely that your nanny may do things differently than you do, but as long as the kids are well cared for and being treated well, try to step back and just let her do her job. When you are getting ready for work and your nanny is getting the children occupied in an activity or getting them their breakfast, don’t step in and try to take over or overrule her when she insists that your child sit down on his chair. Show her respect by letting her do her job as the professional that she is.
#5 Be Generous
When holidays and birthdays come around, don’t forget about your nanny. Pay attention to what she likes and get her a nice gift or reward her with a bonus. If she goes on vacation with you, include her in any nice dinners out and be sure to give her some time to relax at the pool. If you treat her as a member of the family, she will be more likely to treat your children like they are members of her family.
#6 Pick Your Battles
Your nanny might have some habits that mildly annoy you. Think about whether you want to bring them up or whether you should just let them go. If they’re not safety issues, it’s often better to not say anything. For example, if your nanny lets the breakfast dishes sit in the sink until after the children are dressed instead of putting them in the dishwasher immediately like you might, no harm is being done. Try your best not to micromanage when it comes to the small issues.
#7 Speak Up About Big Issues
On the other hand, if there is a safety or hygiene issue, always speak up promptly. No nanny should ever leave young children unattended in the bathtub, for example, so if you see this happen, a prompt discussion is necessary. If your biggest pet peeve is seeing your toddler with food smeared on his face, then it’s appropriate to tell the nanny to wash his face after he eats. If a particular issue is making you feel angry, then it’s worth saying something about, even if no one’s safety is at stake.
#8 Help Her Stay Organized
Keeping your home reasonably neat and tidy is a household effort. While your nanny should keep up with basic tasks while you are at work, she should not have to clean up mess made by the family on her days off. Do your best to maintain an acceptable level of organization, as this will help your nanny keep the home tidy when she’s the one in charge. Have a place for everything, and let your nanny know where items belong. During the early weeks, in particular, be mindful that she might not know your pantry organization system or where the extra linens are stored, so be patient and be understanding if something is left in the wrong place.
Fostering a good relationship with your nanny can take some effort. It might be necessary to let go of certain expectations, and it can take some work to get to know her well enough to consider her a member of the family. You will find that it’s worth it, however, once you see the loving relationship between your nanny and your children. You’ll know that you have achieved a wonderful rapport with her when you realize that you can’t imagine life without her.