Anyone can exhibit their best qualities in an ideal setting. The real test happens when you’re short on time and high on frustration, which is about 85 percent of a nanny’s work. Kids like to push the limits, and the right nanny must have the patience to stay calm in the face of exasperation.
A Proactive Attitude
The best nannies don’t wait until things become problematic to take charge. If that were the case, they would always be cleaning up messes. A proactive nanny takes care of issues before they derail the day. By doing this, the caregiver is able to engage the children in constructive experiences every day instead of spending time fixing things that went wrong.
Children keep you on your toes. Just when they seem comfortable with a particular schedule, they turn it on its head. If a nanny plans to work for a particular family for several years, he or she will have to grow with the child. This may mean altering bedtimes and working through the shift from naps to no naps.
Flexibility also involves being able to transition easily when the routine changes. If a parent runs out of diapers, is the nanny happy to run to the store to buy more? Can the caregiver pick up the child from a playdate on her way to work? Although employers need to offer some stability when it comes to rules and boundaries, they need a nanny who is flexible enough to roll with the punches.
Genuine Love Of Children
Some nannies are in it for the money, while others are truly passionate about caring for kids. Parents want the kind of caregiver who is invested in more than a paycheck. They need to understand that their nanny needs to make a living and compensate him or her accordingly, but they prefer someone who is interested in enhancing the child’s development through compassionate care, age-appropriate education and positive reinforcement.
We teach children that every action has a consequence. However, many adults haven’t internalized that same kind of common sense. Nannies have to make constant decisions throughout the day, and common sense allows them to handle surprises and follow the right path out of a crisis.
Quick On Your Feet
A nanny doesn’t have to be exceptionally physically active, although families and children appreciate that quality. Caregivers need to be able to think and react quickly because things can go from peaceful to chaotic in a matter of seconds when they’re working with children.
Parents rely on their nannies to show up when they say that they will. This means getting to work on time and avoiding calling out sick unless it’s absolutely necessary. Life happens, but if you’re not dependable, your employer will likely start looking for someone who is.
A dependable nanny takes direction and does what is needed. However, parents are still saddled with the emotional and logistical responsibilities that come with raising a household. The process of coming up with to-do lists and determining what needs to happen on a daily basis can be exhausting even if parents are simply setting the priorities for the nanny. Someone who can take the reins without constant direction is a keeper.