The Golden Rules of Communication: Growing your Nanny-Family Relationship
Effective communication is one of the most important aspects of a relationship. Though parents become employers and nannies become employees, the dynamic of a nanny-family relationship can become complex.
Parents and nannies bring unique personalities, expectations, and desires to their professional relationships. They are learning each others' quirks, building trust, and developing a solid foundation.
Are you looking to set a strong foundation or improve your Nanny-Family relationship? We're here to let you know that effective communication is achievable and guide you through the golden rules of nanny-family communication.
1. Get on the Same Page
Success starts during the hiring process! Parents and nannies should openly communicate their expectations to ensure each party can deliver as promised and expected. Ensure you align on technical factors such as employment term, compensation, and COVID-19 precautions, and more personal philosophies such as on approach to discipline, and education.
Do you expect your nanny to facilitate laundry 2 times/week and meal prep 3 times/week? Would you like her to acquire permission before giving your little one Tylenol? Include transparent job duties and house rules in your nanny agreement and come up with a plan for when the nanny agreement does not address specific circumstances. Our agency walks nannies and families from A - Z ensuring each match aligns in their approach to childcare, ideals, and requests.
2. Communicate in a Way that is Clear, Honest, Kind, and Courteous
Practice active listening and ask questions to gain a clear understanding of what the other person’s expectations, suggestions, or requests are. Develop a habit of summarizing at the end to ensure you understand what was discussed. This small habit offers the other party comfort and confirms that their request was heard, understood and sets a solid ground for future discussions.
“It is not what you say, but how you say it.” To avoid misunderstandings pay close attention to your tone and keep the conversation focused on identifying solutions. A great tip to encourage a smooth flow of conversation is: share positive feedback before negative feedback to set an encouraging tone.
Giving and receiving constructive criticism is not easy. Humans are prone to avoid discomfort, however, informing each other of your thoughts and feelings helps create a mutually acceptable solution and develop a successful relationship!
3. Make a Date!
Keep information flowing by discussing who, how, and when to communicate. Emails, texts, and phone calls are excellent ways to remain informed, but the best approach to avoid misinterpretations is to meet face-to-face. Our suggestions to remain aligned are:
Agree on a time to meet weekly, bi-monthly, or monthly to discuss children's progress, obstacles they are facing, and successes they've had.
Create daily, weekly, bimonthly, or monthly to-do lists yourself to ensure all requests are met.
Start a journal where all parties inform each other of the highlights, behavior, improvements, completion of tasks, reminders, or items needed.
Establish if parents want to receive daily reports, texts with updates, or pictures of the children. Photo updates are especially favorable for working parents!
Pick one day of the month to check-in, get feedback, or discuss other items related to employment.
4. Consider their Communication Style
Humans communicate differently so take the time to consider their personality and communication style. Is the other party laid-back or authoritative? Are they adaptable or rigid? Practice empathy. Put yourself in their shoes to increase your chances of success.
How do you do this? Ask, observe, test, and confirm! Ask how they want to communicate; some people are very aware of their chosen approach! If asking delivers no results, observe how they speak to you, what time of day it is, and how. When observation isn't enough to figure it out, try multiple approaches and test to find the one that works best for the individual you're attempting to connect with. Finally, confirm! After determining an efficient communication strategy, confirm with the other person that you are on the right track.
5. Maintain Two-Way Communication
In other words, listen as much as you speak! Parents know their children and nannies are experienced caretakers but each must commit to listening and learning from each other. Both parties should equally share and comment to feel heard and understood. A relationship in which one party gives inputs without considering the other can breed frustration and resentment.
Request their ideas or input to provide a sense of concern for their thoughts and ideas. Remember, excellent communication enables the development of mutually acceptable solutions.
Happy Nanny + Happy Family = Strong and Growing Relationship.
In a nanny-family relationship, the nanny must communicate with two parents and sometimes other adults in the children's life. Assigning one point of contact avoids contradictory requests, adjustments, or information.
6. Don't Be Afraid to Share
Humans dislike discomfort and as a result, can avoid or delay an uncomfortable conversation. It can be tough, but solutions come from collaborative problem-solving. Let go of your fear and share openly, gently, and kindly. Keep the conversation focused on solutions and look forward to a continued successful relationship!
7. Set Healthy Boundaries
Clear boundaries help maintain healthy relationships! When creating do's and don'ts, be specific and agree to only what you can commit to.
Keep your personal life separate! Families and nannies who develop close relationships can overshare personal situations. While this can be a sign of a strong bond, keep in mind the professional connection that brought you together.
A nanny-family relationship is like no other professional relationship. Nannies are welcomed into a household with their own culture, traditions, and norms. Families accept new teammates who have diverse perspectives, beliefs, and methods of doing things. An open mind, adaptability, and a friendly demeanor are essential for a good connection and a stronger relationship. In the end, the ultimate purpose of both nanny and parents is to contribute to the children's joyful, healthy, and successful growth and if you're accomplishing that, you are winning!
Are you seeking a white-glove experience that walks your family step-by-step through securing an engaging, proactive, and communicative nanny? Click here to learn more about our program. Are you a nanny seeking the support and guidance of a passionate team with a 5-star reputation? Let us help you find your next nanny family!