So you were offered a new job as a nanny…
The ability to make a seamless transition into the lives of a new family can be a challenge for a Nanny. If one does not have an approach that coveys a sense of genuine interest and care then one may become defeated before the second day of the job. Children are generally bright, perceptive and curious beings by nature. Accordingly, they may be cautiously interested in the newcomer Nanny. When integrating oneself into a new family, remember that you are initially a guest and too much assertiveness can be misunderstood for aggressiveness. Passiveness may be perceived as a lack of interest.
When working with toddlers, one should play with the child on their level. Playing on the floor is best. Allow the toddler to be the initial tour guide to exploration within the home. This interaction will foster a bond with the toddler that will last a lifetime. Can you image having a new person tower over you while playing? It doesn’t sound fun to me. It sounds intimidating. Be prepared to put on comfortable clothes, roll up those sleeves and start having fun!
Preschoolers enjoy being creative and using their imaginations. Help the preschooler draw a picture by passing crayons. When playing with legos or blocks, allow the preschooler to take the lead. This will instill a sense of pride in the child and foster a sense of security. Preschoolers are the experts of play. Let them lead you to the activities they find fun.
Preteens are more likely to be resistant to a new Nanny. Strike up a conversation where they get to talk about their likes and strengths. Stray away from diving in too deep too quickly. It is equally as important to quietly draw lines that will develop a relationship of mutual respect. The child must view the Nanny as a caring adult and not a friend. Working together on creative projects such as storytelling or writing a creative piece may be a great way to break the ice while crowning the preteen as a expert of sorts. Preteens love to be right and the love talking about themselves!
Regardless of the age of the child, it is important that the child feel a sense of security from the newcomer Nanny. Great listening skills and the ability to build rapport are paramount when it comes to forming a bond with a new family.