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Morningside Nannies was outstanding. The process was stress free and the caliber of applicants was far superior to that of other agencies. Morningside Nannies was thorough in their review and timely presentation of candidates.
Susan Sherman, CPA

How to Prevent Little Things from Making<br/> Your Nanny Relationship Go Bad

How-to-Prevent-Little-Things-from-Making-Your-Nanny-Relationship-Go-BadThe phrase “Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff” can apply to many aspects of life. It especially rings true when parenting with the help of a nanny.

In an ideal world, parents and nannies would agree on every belief, strategy and goal of parenting and caring for children, but the reality is that diverse beliefs and strategies can actually enhance the lives of your children, as long as everyone is respectful of each other’s viewpoints.

Learning how to communicate and work together with your nanny – by resisting the temptation to sweat the small stuff – can prevent the little things from turning your nanny relationship from cooperative and caring to miserable mayhem.

Unveiling the Culprit

Many times, we react strongly to minor events without even knowing why. According to San-Francisco based Family Therapist Holly Brown, it happens to everyone, but there may be something more behind the reaction.

A potential culprit could be that you are angry or frustrated with people in your life but you don’t want to admit to it, says Brown. For example, you may be upset with your spouse for missing an important event and when you return home and realize the nanny is engaging in a messy art project with the children, you fly off the handle about the mess.

“Once you admit to yourself that you are upset with the people closest to you, there’s that whole business of having to actually do something about it,” says Brown. So, instead, the nanny’s decision to play first and clean up later gives you the opportunity to deny the culprit of your frustration and focus on a minor setback that has blown into a major issue for you.

“Denial sucks up a lot of emotional energy,” says Brown. “If you do get honest with yourself and handle the actual underlying problem, you can start doing something about it.”

At other times, the reason the little things bother you is because they are not so “little” to you. If your nanny cuddles with your son before bedtime and you would prefer to have that time with him but haven’t expressed these desires, you may develop resentment or jealousy toward the nanny instead of communicating your needs.

“Accepting what actually matters to us – regardless of how we imagine others would feel about the same things – is an important way to begin feeling better and more compassionate toward ourselves,” says Brown. “This will definitely lower stress.”

Forming a Bond With Your Nanny

Instead of letting the little things build and explode into “big” issues between you and your nanny, it’s important to set practices in place to foster a trusting, positive and caring relationship between the two of you.

Because your nanny is the primary caregiver of your precious children when you are away, let her know you have complete faith in her abilities by treating her fair and with respect, by:

  • Setting Clear Expectations – A positive relationship with your nanny begins with complete honesty. From day one, establish the job duties, responsibilities and expectations for discipline and overall care of your children. If you begin to add duties sporadically and make unnecessary and time-consuming demands that were not established at the onset of her position, she will begin to feel as if the family is taking advantage of her. This will not only damage the relationship you have with her but it could also leave you without a nanny.
  • Give Her Space – It’s challenging to complete a project at work or write a report with someone constantly hovering over your shoulder. Your nanny will feel the same way if you don’t give her enough space to care for your children. If your expectations are clear and set from the beginning, trust her to follow through and get out of her way when she is in charge. Nit picking at the little things you think you would do differently will undermine her authority with the children and cause friction within your relationship with the nanny. If you oppose to one of her methods or strategies, have a private conversation with the nanny to rectify the problem.
  • Help Her Organize – It is a challenging task to manage the schedules of children who are active in school activities, sporting events and extra-curricular lessons. Make your nannies life easier and minimize the risk of any confusion by helping her stay organized. Purchase a wall calendar or a pocket calendar for your nanny and keep her updated on any changes in the schedule. When you actively communicate with your nanny, it opens the door for a bond to form and for scheduling mishaps to disappear.

Even though the little things may continue to bug you – regardless of how much space, organization and communication you provide for your nanny – it is important to understand that the little things often seem overwhelming when you are shouldering the burden alone, says Brown. “Whether you have a partner or not, consider your support network and whether you can draw them closer,” she says. “Our feelings and reactions offer clues all the time. We’ve just got to figure out how to solve the mystery.”


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Morningside Nannies 22136 Westheimer Pkwy #704
Katy, TX 77450
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(713) 526-3989
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Morningside Nannies was outstanding. The process was stress free and the caliber of applicants was far superior to that of other agencies. Morningside Nannies was thorough in their review and timely presentation of candidates.
Susan Sherman, CPA