Nanny Contract Checklist

Hi everyone! Lauren here. 

I have been recently interviewing for new positions here in Houston and thought I would share 3 major keys I like to include in my nanny contract that have been a major savior when working for families long term.  

1. Guaranteed Hours
I was in a situation with a previous nanny family where in the interview we discussed guaranteed hours, however when the time came for them to take a week of vacation I was not payed and could not stand my ground because it was not in my contract.  I now present guaranteed hours as something non negotiable and explain the importance of it. A mother I interviewed with recently explained it perfectly. Just like I pay the month of daycare for whether the kids are there or not we are paying you for your time and the promise of care. Your time is important and you deserve to have guaranteed pay. 

2. Overtime
Overtime is crucial and I refuse to compromise going forward not having it in my contract. As nannies we are working tediously on our feet for hours on end and deserve to be paid fairly for weeks where we put in more than 40 hours. In the past i've allowed families to compromise on when overtime begins. In a previous family I worked a 48 hour work week and allowed for overtime to start past that however looking back on that I regret not pushing for proper overtime. 

3. Solidifying Pay Method
There are several ways to go about pay when working for families. Depending on what you want and what you will be comfortable with in the long run needs to be settled and ready to go before or the week of your starting. It's very difficult in the thick of a position to get the parents to take time out of their schedule to set up a payroll system and all of the extra steps financially that go along with setting that up. When giving two weeks notice to whatever position you are leaving, that time should be when the parent is setting everything up for your first week so that when you walk in that Monday your duties, your pay, what the parent expects and what you are bringing to the table is complete.

 

I truly hope this helps any caregivers new to the field or those editing their contracts! I love reading about rules other nannies have in place for protection because it is so important when representing ourselves that we protect ourselves. 

 

Talk with you all next time! 
Lauren

Why I do it! #nannyinspiration #amazingmoms

Hey there guys! It's great to be back on the blog and man do I have an amazing story to tell! In my nanny journey I have grown so much and learned so much about not only myself but my passions and reasons for doing what I do.

My main goal in my work is to help families and mothers have the best experience when it comes to their children. I get so much joy from helping mothers have some relief and feel more knowledgable and in control when new in parenting. That has always been my top priority. My most recent job really put that in perspective for me. 

Around the end of January/ early February, I started looking for another Newborn Care opportunity. I had completed my time helping a family I had previously nannied for with their new son. I love getting the chance to work with the infants here and there since my primary nanny kids are school-aged. That is when I met Lauren Wood. I saw her advertise on Care.com that she needed overnight assistance with her new preemie born twins since she had a stroke during pregnancy. I was automatically interested because 1) I LOVE TWINSIES! and 2) I have experience with assisting a mother who was ill during and after pregnancy. (Read all about my story with my mom in my first welcome blog here.) So, I reached out to her and we set up a time to meet. I met with her, her mom & step-mom. We talked about their needs and what as important to them at that time. 

So, they basically wanted close to round the clock assistance. Since she had her stroke, she was very limited and had to have someone with her at all times. They wanted overnight care and for someone to stay some in the day as well. All of her family had been there round the clock helping her since the babies came home (they came home at 1 month, they were 3 months when I met her). They were tired and all needed a reprieve (her mom is still there everyday! So awesome) So, from that point we started to discuss rates. My rate of course matched my experience and background but, they were limited since she could not work and her husband was away.  

This was the tricky part. I knew I could not help them with all that she needed but, I knew what I could do for her. The main thing she kept referring to about the night need was that she needed sleep. So, I knew I could get those babies sleep trained quickly! I told her of my method and how best I could help them. We then decided to follow up after we both did a few more interviews. From that point, I did not find anymore opportunities that fit me. and I also could not get Lauren and her twins out of my head! Having been through my mother being sick prenatal and postpartum, I was super sympathetic to their situation. I called her back and told her how moved I was by her story and how compelled I was to help. She agreed that she as well really wanted my help. We came to an agreement that worked for the both of us and I got started.

I started off with just doing 4 nights a week. During that time, I got to know Lauren, her family and of course the twins! The more I learned, the more astonished and inspired I was! I learned how when she was a child she had a brain tumor and this contributed to her having a stroke. I learned that she had her stroke at 24 weeks and carried after (even with a limited left side) until 32 weeks! Hearing all this blew my mind! Especially when she would talk about her determination and insistence to carry as long as she could.

-Now let's touch on that really quick. This woman had a stroke WHILE PREGNANT, carried her TWINS FOR 2 MORE MONTHS even though she could not even walk, AND THEN when they were born (after she had regained partial movement) she still got up to assist feeding and comforting them and took care of them to her best ability. AMAZING is an understatement! Women blow my mind!-

Then I would see her with the babies, see her determined to do as much as she could and I would become even more amazed. Seeing her power through and never complain pushed me to work even harder at getting the twins on track sleep and development wise. 

After 1 month and 1 week of doing overnights, the babies were sleeping 10 hours a night and we were building a great daytime schedule. The babies were on the right track, doing no night feeds and starting to have longer naps. We then started discussing a daytime schedule with no nights. I knew Lauren was determined to be able to be in the house alone from time-to-time. We had already accomplished that for the night since the babies slept. Coming in the day allowed me to focus more on their daytime schedule and get them on structured set naps. 

Now, the babies are 6 (almost 7) months. They are off of premie formula, eating solids, on track developmentally and physically, and most importantly they are happy healthy babies!!! Working with this family really reminded me why I do what I do and LOVE IT!! I nanny and do newborn care not just as a means for income but because I genuinely want to help! I want to help new mother feel confident and knowledgable when it comes to their children. I want to assist in the health and development of any child I work with not only for the child but for the relief and contentment of the mother. Seeing mothers like Lauren (and my own) who push through and never complain all out of the love of their children is absolutely moving. Also, seeing the result of my work which in this case, is a clear from the pediatrician warms my heart. I am so blessed and honored to be able to assist this family and care for these littles. I love these little babes and love seeing them grow everyday! I'm so happy to see their smiles and get my cuddles! I intend to keep going and help as many as I can! 

The Search for the Right Family: 3 Red Flags to Look for in Interviews

Hi everyone! 

The New Year has been a busy one for me! I left my nanny position of 14 months on January 5th and since then I have been interviewing with different families in hopes to find the right fit. It's honestly been a bumpy road getting back into the swing of things however I know I have avoided a lot of possible bad situations by looking for red flags and sticking with my gut. 

There have been many past situations in my nanny career that could have been avoided had I gone with my instincts in the beginning and allowed myself to make the decision that would be best for me; versus going forward with something out of feeling that sense of obligation to help. 

Here are three helpful tips that I've found best help along the way during your search.

 

1. Willingness to Compromise and Negotiate

A family willing to hear your side of things and be open to accommodating contract requests or being able to negotiate in a healthy and positive way is very important.  It is also a reflection of how they will act towards such things in the future. Parents willingness to listen to you and try to provide you with the happiest possible working environment is a big reflection on how they view their nannies and what they think their role in the house hold should be. If you know you are someone who likes to become a part of your nanny families home this can be a huge make or break as communication is, in my opinion, the biggest foundations in the nanny parent relationship

 

2. Disciplinary Styles

This is something that can be make or break. Seeing how parents would prefer or not prefer you handle discipline can make a major impact on your day to day work with the little ones. As we all know starting at a certain age some sort of disciplinary system will be needed on a regular basis for the little ones. I am not a strict disciplinarian, it's not in my personality, and so a parent who is won't like my styles in the long run and that can cause conflict. Discipline is a huge part in working with children and so to have things running as effectively and smoothly as possible make sure that this is on the table and that they do not waiver on what they have said. 

 

3. Are they Respectful of Your Time?

It is common for interviews to lead to a trial day. I always think doing a few trial days before officially signing on to a family is a great idea. You get to truly see how the family interacts on a day to day basis with themselves as well as their children We are in a very tight nit working situation and if you are someone who is very sensitive to their work environment I highly suggest asking for this. If the parent is a stay at home I like to look and see how they do hand offs at the end of your time. Do they try to extend the time by asking you to stay longer? Are they immediately coming to you at your clock off time to relieve you? If they hold you later do they accommodate the pay for your extra time? These are all things to look for as forewarning to future behavior. 

 

Nannying can be tough in the beginning, especially trying to figure out how to properly stand up for what you deserve. It can be hard to have those hard sit down talks with parents, especially since you are on your own. Another nanny put it perfectly in saying you are your own HR Department, we have to be able to have these talks with parents because no one else will.

Don't be afraid to ask for a trial day or week. If you are unsure about a family or have a feeling you can't quite place let them know you would like to sit for them one night and really see how they operate. Interviews are great for a first impression but before contracts are signed it is important to get a true feel for the home and whether or not you all would gel well in the long run. 

I hope these are able to help someone new to nannying or give input to some nannies who have been working for a while! Let us know some of your helpful tips in the comments!

 

Talk to you all soon!

Lauren 

The Truth about Motherhood #1: Naming YOUR baby.

Hello everyone! I'm Ronda P, a partner at Best Buds and a new mom. Up until now I've mostly been in the background, but now that I have started my own adventure of motherhood you all will be hearing a lot more from me. I will be doing a blog series on my big adventure called "The Truth About Motherhood". I am hoping to share my experiences with other women and maybe offer encouragement for all mothers out there. Stay tuned!

Unlike many of my childhood friends, I never had a list of baby names prepared. All I knew is that I wanted kids and that was far away, until it wasn’t. When Dad and I found out we were expecting, a name was the last thing on our minds, I mean we didn’t even have a gender yet, so there was no rush for us. When the 20 week mark finally rolled around and we found out our beautiful baby was a she, there still was no rush. However, it did give us a push to begin searching for the perfect name. I think we always knew we wanted her middle name to be Ray, after her dad but the first name gave us much trouble. I wanted a name that made people stop in their tracks, but I also wanted something that had some history behind it.

The first name I thought of was Asuna Ray, which I’m a little embarrassed to say is from a Japanese anime that I really enjoyed. I thought it was perfect, Dad not so much. It just didn’t really make sense to him for us to name her something Japanese, he had a point. The second, Thali Ray. This name was suggested by my mother who is from Cambodia. According to her, it was a traditional Khmer name, but according to Google, it wasn’t a thing. I still REALLY liked that name though. I have to say otherwise for Dad.

8 months into pregnancy and we still had no name. This is the point in pregnancy when people are constantly asking if you have a name, making suggestions, and voicing their opinions. Being that I worked in a busy restaurant, at the bar, with regulars, the name of my princess was a recurring topic. I understand that not everyone is going to agree or have the same opinions as me about names, but what some people don’t understand is that IT’S NOT THEIR DECISION. Unfortunately I had to deal with a customer who felt that I HAD to take his advice. “Thali, people aren’t going to know how to say that”. “Why not name her something like Jan, or Mary, or Sarah, a bible name! This is America; no one is going to know where the accent in the name goes. Is it Thali, or Tha-LEE?” Be basic is what he was saying, but there isn’t anything basic about me. *Finger Snaps* I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. My coworkers could see the anger building up in my face. Just when I thought it couldn’t get worse he wrote it on a piece of paper and began stopping the people around him. He asked each person, “Can you tell me what this says?” I am not exaggerating when I say that EVERYONE but one person got it wrong. The name is not hard to pronounce, but obviously it was for the other 6 people he asked. Nonetheless he made the point he wanted to make. I already knew her name wouldn’t be Thali (seeing as Dad did not approve), but my point was that I didn’t care if other people couldn’t pronounce it the first time they read it, my point was that I’m not naming my child something for everyone else’s sale. Believe me, I know all too well the mispronunciation of your name struggle, but it’s a small struggle.

As upsetting as it was, this customer did not change my mind. He only made himself look really bad, so I let it roll off my shoulder. Still we had no name, until one night when I jokingly said, “Sunflower, and her nickname can be Sunny Ray”. Mommy’s favorite flower. This was a name that was everything we wanted it to be, but even then we weren’t completely sold on it. It was a weird name. Lol. What if we stopped liking it a few days after she’s born? What if she doesn’t like it? Is it too hippy? Her name was not set in stone until about two weeks before arrival. A huge part of it was that we couldn’t find anything better, or anything else that gave us that same tingle, but we were happy with it. Sunflower. Sunny Ray. Baby girl is now 3 months old, and I can say we are still in love with her name. Whenever we go out and people ask her name, I’m always tickled with their response. It’s either, “That’s so cuteeeee, I love it”, or, “Oh wow, that’s so…unique”. Lol. Now that is an appropriate response! Yes choosing the right name is important, but there are a few things to remember;

1. Don’t let anyone convince you that the name you choose is wrong, or un-American, *eye roll*.

2. Yes it’s nice to have other people’s opinions, but the only opinion that truly matters is YOURS…and Dad’s.

3. Take your time! It’s great if you already have a list prepared, but there are no penalties for not choosing a name before baby arrives. Even AFTER baby arrives. Don’t choose something you’re not completely happy with just because you feel you’ve run out of time.

4. When people do get you down with their negativity, remind yourself and them that it’s YOUR baby, YOUR choice, and keep it moving.

5. If Mom and Dad are happy with it, that’s all that matters.

… and if baby really doesn’t like their name, they can always change when they get older. Lol.

 

 

Solids! Oh fun! #1 Breakfast!

Hi there!

Brooklyn here! I know it has been a long time! I have been diligently working with my new B9months on his eating! I believe what you do starting as an infant impacts adulthood. So, of course I only want him having the best food and learning good eating habits early. So since he started solids, at 5 1/2 months, I have been homemaking all organic puree's for him weekly.

I am starting a series on healthy eating for infants and toddlers! I will be going into all the puree's I made and how I made them (super easy) and what are the best ones to start with. Also, now that we are transitioning out of puree's at 10 months I will be going into healthy foods for toddlers and what our meal plan looks like. We have decided to keep meat and poultry out of his diet until 1 (which is why Lauren was assisting me in inserting protein in other ways). My guy is a little chunkster and LOVES his food, so we have to keep him satisfied!

First, I will start with breakfast! I am going to show you how I make some of his favorites, then show what some of his typical breakfast meals look like. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day for your little ones too! I like to start him off strong and give him things that are wholesome, healthy, and yummy! One of my go-to's for little D is rolled oats! Oats are filled with fiber (can help with digestive system) and iron. So its very good for the baby. 

First, I blend the oats in the blender (you can also use a food processor). I use the Bèaba Babycook pro for all of his food making.

 This is a godsend! I have food steamed and blended in 20 minutes! Get it  HERE !

This is a godsend! I have food steamed and blended in 20 minutes! Get it HERE!

Rolled Oats

What you need:

  • 1 1/2 cup of water
  • 1 cup of blended organic rolled oats
  • 2-4 Organic Dates

After my oats are blended, I put 1 cup of water in a pot to boil. Then I add the blended oats into the pot and stir. Once it has returned to boil, I turn off heat and cover for 10-12 minutes until thick.

While that is cooking, add 3 tablespoons of water to a pan. Then put in your dates and cook them until they are soft. Peel and de-seed then set aside.

Continue to add water to oats as needed to loosen. While you are doing so, add the dates to the oats. Stir and mash until they are almost completely dissolved (for a younger baby you can stir and mash until completely dissolved) I like the consistency of the oats to be very loose since I freeze all the oats I make. 

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When I am ready to feed him I take out and thaw some oats and add either banana, apple-pear sauce, or blueberry chia seed jam (will give recipe in an upcoming post) to it. I also like to pair either eggs or yogurt with it!

 A typical breakfast for D (9 months and halfway through since I almost forgot (: )

A typical breakfast for D (9 months and halfway through since I almost forgot (: )

Here are some other great breakfast foods you can feed your little!

  • banana pancakes
  • yogurt
  • toast
  • avocado (he LOVES egg and avocado together)
  • fruit

I hope you enjoyed this post! Next I will be doing lunch time favorites!! See you soon!

-Brooklyn

Meat Alternatives for Your Littles

Hi everyone! 

Brooklyn is in the process of finding ways to incorporate more filling foods into her nanny babies diet while trying to hold off on meats until after 1. 

The main nutrients that meat supplies you with are are protein, B vitamins, vitamin E, iron, zinc, and magnesium and so it is imperative to incorporate foods dense in these vitamins to compensate for the lack of meat. If your baby is still breast feeding, breast milk contains iron and vitamin D and so you don't need to worry about them being deficient in these things, especially since milk is still their main source food. For babies that are being formula fed you can try and find an iron high formula base or just incorporate more iron based foods like leafy greens. 

I think the main thing people think when thinking of a vegetarian diet is you're not getting enough protein. My general rule of thumb is if your bones aren't breaking when you stand and your nails are still growing you're getting enough protein and same goes for your baby. You don't have to worry about making every meal an extreme protein based meal because their getting that from the milk and fruits and vegetables throughout the day. Keeping them happy and full comes from giving them a plate full of everything they need not just protein.

HOWEVER I am not a doctor, soo take what i'm saying (typing) with a grain of salt. If you feel you're missing something please go talk with your doctor! 

Down below i'm going to list a few foods, their vitamins, and some ways that you can cook them! 

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Eggs

Benefits: Protein, Biotin, Vitamin B12, Vitamin D and Vitamin A

Ways to make

  1. Scrambled eggs with added cheese for an extra boost!
  2. Boiled eggs (especially great for an on the go snack, kept cool with an ice pack)
  3. Add cooked and crumbled egg yolks to baby purees, soups, or any thing else around that texture that your baby enjoys!
  4. Mash cooked egg yolk with avocado

Dairy

Benefits: Vitamin B12, Vitamin C, Thiamin, and Riboflavin

  1. Incorporate whole milk yogurts into purees and smoothies
  2. Add shredded cheese to cooked meals or add cheese sticks into meals

Grains

Benefits: Protein, Fiber, B Vitamins and Antioxidants  

Whole grains are full of great nutrients like protein, fiber, B vitamins, and antioxidants. Adding whole grains into your little ones meals is also a great way to help them feel full for longer! It's a little harder to sneak these into meals but luckily they great make sides that are fun for the kiddos to eat.

  1. Quinoa mixed with oatmeal
  2. Whole grain toasts with toppings like avacado, nut butters or yogurt with fruit on top.
  3. Whole wheat muffins
  4. Incorporate barley or whole wheat rices into meals
  5. Baked oatmeal with fruit

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Beans and Legumes

Benefits: Protein, Fiber, Complex Carbohydrates, Iron and Folate 

It's a bit tricky to disguise beans in other foods because of their taste, you also don't want to completely cook them down so that they still retain their nutritional value. Luckily beans and lentils make a fun food for your little one to eat. Each bean is the perfect pinching size and made well they won't be able to stop eating them!

  1. Beans and rice
  2. Quick lentil soups
  3. Mix beans with scrambled eggs
  4. Bean hashes
  5. Baby friendly chili

Nut butters

Benefits: Healthy fats, Protein, Fiber, 

If you choose to safely introduce nut butters with your little they can be used as a great snack on the go! Nut butters like almond and peanut butter are full of fat so it's always great to use in moderation so not to upset the littles tummies.

  1. Add peanut butter onto toast 
  2. Give small helpings of nut butters for them to eat alone
  3. Puree nut butters and yogurts to create a creamy dish 
  4. Freeze a banana and mix in butters to make a creamy 'nice' cream
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Complex Carbohydrates

Carbs get a bad rep but unless your baby is in training for some sort of body building competition carb them up. Your body needs carbohydrates as much as it needs proteins and fats. The key to carbohydrates is incorporating healthy, complex carbs and realizing the differences between the carbs at Cinnabon and the carbs you get from sweet potatoes. 

We get a lot of complex carbohydrates from fruits and vegetables already but i'm adding this section into the list because i've heard a lot of families limiting the amount of "carby" things in their children's diets when it's not necessary. Getting enough carbs, healthy complex carbs that is, is imperative for making sure they feel full and happy as well as having lots of energy to burn.

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Leafy greans

Benefits: Iron, Folic Acid, Fiber, Vitamin C, Potassium and Magnesium

Before giving your baby greens it is CRUCIAL that you make sure they are thoroughly cleaned and preferably organic. With chemicals used in the growing processes for fruits and vegetables you never know what could cause harm to your baby. Food that has been cooked becomes safe however if you are using uncooked fruits and vegetables for things like smoothies and purees make sure everything is thoroughly washed so not to harm your little one. 

If you are trying to mask the texture of greens try your best not to completely lose the crunch in your veggies. The less crunch you have the more you have cooked the nutrients out of your food!

  1. Add nutrient dense greens like kale to smoothies and purees 
  2. Create 'meatballs' with beans or lentils and add chopped greens into them
  3. Add spinach in scrambled eggs or even try out a fritatta

And that's all I have to say on the matter. Sorry for the length of the blog but it's all with good cause! Good luck on you and your little one's eating journey and please leave comments for any great ideas you might have about what you give your little ones or even things that you do for yourself, i'd love to read about it!

Until next time.

Lauren 

10 Things Your Introvert Nanny Might be Thinking Their First Day

Being an introvert in a busy world is one struggle but to be an introvert working in a close knit setting that a nanny works in every day is a whole other battle in itself. 

I have a serious love hate relationship with working in childcare at times. I love working with kids. I could talk to kids all day long without batting an eye. Grown ups on the other hand. No thanks. The first few weeks of that first getting to know a new family stage can be so hard sometimes and I know i’m not the only one that struggles with it, so I just thought i’d do a silly blog about some of my emotions I feel on that first day of the job. 

 

1.  I’m going to walk in and say something, get the conversation going…“Good morning how are you?”

10 points for me, go me, that was perfect.

“I’m good how are you, how was your weekend?” 

Weekend….I don’t know…I remember nothing…quick say something

“Good, how was yours?” 

Nailed it. 

 

2. She’s going to want to stay to show me around right? Right. Crap.

 

3.  She’s staying home this first day to show me around? What are we going to talk about all day long? This baby? He can only save us for so long.

 

4. I can’t keep running away to the restroom she’s going to think something is wrong with me. 

 

5. Don’t play with the kid awkwardly. Why are you using that baby voice? Why does it sound like Donald Duck?

 

6. What kinds of things do I like to do in my free time you ask? I’ll tell you…when I remember.

 

7. Don’t pull out your phone. Don’t pull out your phone. 

 

8. Ok you pulled it out, but only because she got on the phone and the kid is napping, look like you’re doing something productive. Double tap nothing.

 

9. Has this been awkward enough? I’m not sure. I’m going to add a little more awkward to this first day party. 

 

10. I head out to the car, only to realize I left my keys, wallet and phone. Do I need those things I think to myself? Are they that important? I can totally uber home and boo wait.

 

More not silly posts are coming soon, I have lots of ideas that I need to get pushed out there and am looking forward to sharing with you guys!

 

-Lauren

The Big Switch

Hi everyone! 

So as you guys may have noticed I haven't been posting any photos in instagram or blogging about E and G for a few months now or been blogging as frequently. The last few months of 2016 were a trying one. I was going to E & G part time and also balancing out about 4 other families. Without going into too much s detail the short story is that became a bit too much and I had to leave and find a full time family.

It took me a long time to decide whether or not I wanted to make a post about this but I figured with letting you all into our personal nanny I should share this as well since I know plenty of other nannies have been in my situation!

I stopped working for E & G around Thanksgiving and my holidays were just not the same without them. I missed our long days together while they were out of school and I missed sharing Christmas gifts with them. I think the hardest thing was just knowing that another nanny was spending that time with them while I was somewhere else. 

When I first started my new position my guilt was out of this world. I didn't know if I made the right decision, I wondered if I should've stuck it out a bit more and tried to work something out. No matter how I thought about it though I new i'd made the best decision for me and I felt horrible about that because it was such a selfish way to think, but I knew I left when the girls would be ok for me to leave. I feel developmentally and emotionally they were both at a place where this sort of transition wasn't so difficult for them. Of course change is hard for littles, it was definitely hard for me, however I feel leaving when I did was the right time.

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I'm now working for a now 10 month old who we will call French Fry. His cuteness has made this transition a little easier for me, as has keeping in touch with E & G! I was with E & G for almost 3 years and I have honestly grown so much and learned so much from working with the two of them. I feel working with them greatened my love for childcare and learning and I wouldn't trade that experience for the world! Now i'm getting to start over, make new experiences and watch this little one reach all his milestones! As much as I miss them I know it wouldn't be beneficial for them if I stayed and was unhappy and I now i'm welcome over any time. 

Thanks for reading! Until next time.

Lauren

Nanny Probs 04: Attacking the problem, not the person

 

Hi everyone! 

It's been a while since i've been on the blog and I am going to be making big strides in ending my random hiatuses in the new year! Today I wanted to talk about something that i've seen a lot of in the nanny community which is addressing problems that arise with your nanny family and how some things can get a bit blown out of proportion. Sometimes it can be as minor as deciding what the child should eat for lunch and other times there are bigger issues that can get blown out of proportion because of how the nanny and parents are communicating with each other. 

One of the most difficult things about being a nanny is coming in, getting to know your nanny kids and figure out a routine of what works and what doesn't only to have the parent say let's try it this way when you know it won't work. Small battles that feel major especially when it feels to be someone disrupting your work space and can be even more frustrating when parents do not want to listen to your side or compromise. When I was talking to someone wasn't a nanny and was explaining why I didn't want to do something the way a parent was asking me they, coming from a corporate office environment, asked me "But, that's their right to do as the parent right?"

The logical answer is yes.

I really don't have any right to demand or control a situation in someone else's household while placing rules over someone else's children and say 'things should be done xyz'. Even if someone asked me to help with a new sleep schedule or trying new foods and if i presented whatever I came up with if the parent were to shoot me down, that's their right. In our field of work we're in such an intimate space that it's difficult to separate your emotions from that since we're with the children all day and have tried things a variety of different ways and decided this is how you want to do things but now someone is saying 'you're wrong'. 

What I had to learn to make discussions about how to handle little situations like these was to step back and see things from the parents perspective. Why do they feel things should go this way and why do I feel the way I do and lets see if we can come up with a solution that works for everyone. I feel like a lot of conflict can come when two people refuse to see things any other way than what they think is right and can cause a lot of tension and doesn't make any progress. The same can be said for issues that arise outside of the child and only have to do in the home. Stepping back and listening to what the parent is saying, why they feel that way and what can you do to make this situation go more smoothly are great ways that I feel i've been able to move through certain situations smoothly. 

I feel that if I keep going this will turn into too much of a rambling blog post so in summary, what i'm trying to say is, taking time to assess the situation and what problem the parent is actually trying to tackle has really helped in coming up with better solutions where no one feels like they are being taken advantage of or opinions pushed aside. I feel like being in such an intimate situation does have a few perks in that you really get to understand your nanny family and their personalities and personality has a lot to do with how some people handle situations and in understanding that you can also better understand why they might be reacting the way they are or why they decided to handle a situation completely different than you would, and that's perfectly fine. 

Ok i'm done now. I will talk to you all very soon! 

 

Lauren 

 

 

5 Tips to Encourage Communication

Hello again everyone! Today I wanted to talk about some helpful tips i've learned to help start pushing non verbal children to speak out a bit more!

1. Give them time to react

It's natural to want to speed little things up during the day and get answers fast, however non verbal children need time to process and react. If they have a particularly chatty sibling drill this into their minds. What's difficult for us is going to be 10 times more difficult for a child so make sure that they understand when interacting with their sibling to always give them fair time to answer or play and to make their own decisions. 

2. Simplify Your Language

I do not mean baby talk. Using shorter and easily repeatable words along with short and to the point sentences. If you are teaching sign language go ahead and sign while you're communicating with your child, the more practice the better!

3. But also expose them to everything

I am not a particularly chatty person so say for instance a nonverbal child and I are alone by ourselves and we're just kind of in a lull. I read out loud and I will read anything and everything. From a magazine to a Stephen King book (joking), just so every opportunity for them to learn something new is used to its best advantage!

4. Educational technology and videos

My nanny kids have learned many a things from Elmo and car ride podcasts! There are lots of great educational videos about numbers, colors and new words all over the place! Shows that really interact with children on a level where they can repeat and practice while having fun are actually way more helpful than I ever thought they could be! I also love podcasts for in the car because the kids can have so much fun with them. Last week my nanny kids and I learned all about volcanoes and learning about these new things open the doors for new conversations and experiments!

5. Imitate the child

Mimicking the child's noises and play behavior can help them feel heard can do wonders for their confidence as well as encouraging them to speak more. It also encourages them to take turns and work together.

 

That's all from me and thank you so much for reading! If you have any fun games that you like to do or suggestions you'd like to make leave them in the comments below! I'd love to hear your thoughts! 

Until next time! 

Lauren