The Role of a Nanny Regarding Children

26 October, 2019
The nanny is the person who accompanies, comforts, and nurtures our children when we're not there. It's important to choose a person who shares our values. 

More and more families consist of both parents working outside the home. The reconciliation of work and family life is a real challenge and parents must leave their children in the care of another person. This is when the role of a nanny becomes very important, almost becoming another member of the family.

The role of a nanny

When the time comes to return to the workplace, there are several options regarding childcare. Many families choose to hire a caretaker or babysitter to look after their children. The main differential advantage over a nursery school is personalized attention. 

Due to this, nannies become very important figures for children. They’re people with whom our kids share their daily lives. They listen to them, calm them, and provide emotional support. Additionally, they feed them, heal their wounds, and even shower the kids and put them to sleep sometimes if their parents aren’t home yet.

The bond that children generate with their nanny can be very strong and beneficial for them. If there are healthy emotional ties, our children’s self-esteem will grow, it will help them become more sociable people, and it will make periods of parental absence more tolerable.

How to choose a good nanny

Taking into account the importance of a nanny’s role, it’s appropriate to reflect on the qualities that this person should have. The caregiver will occupy an essential place in your children’s lives.

The Role of a Nanny Regarding Children

Many families hire the same person to take care of children and household chores. This generally implies that the person doesn’t have a specific qualification regarding childcare. If you have the means, it’s always much more convenient to separate both tasks and to choose a caregiver with training in psychology, pedagogy, or early childhood education.

The person in charge should have adequate knowledge, especially when the children are young or when they have special needs. Ideally, the nanny should be able to understand the evolutionary stages of children and accompany them in the best possible way as they go through each stage.

Shared values between parents and the nanny

Another fundamental factor to consider when selecting a caregiver is to be sure that this person shares your values and vision regarding how to raise children. At the very least, this person should respect your way of educating and your norms. This agreement is essential for the little ones to feel safer and happier.

The following are some of the most important values that the ideal nanny should share:

Democracy in the role of a nanny

It’s crucial for this person to offer your children the opportunity to make decisions and reach agreements, instead of imposing. For example, giving siblings the freedom to choose and negotiate among themselves which board game they’ll play together will forge a safer and more assertive character in them.

Empathy

When it comes to fulfilling the role of a nanny, the right person must be capable of emotionally accommodating your little ones when they suffer. A nanny must be someone who is involved and who manages to make children feel heard, valued, and loved.

The Role of a Nanny Regarding Children

Positivity is one of the essential values within the role of a nanny

It’s preferable to address children positively, telling them what they should do instead of what you don’t want them to do. “Please store your toys in the box” instead of “don’t leave toys lying around.”

Additionally, if the orders are accompanied by explanations, it will help the kids to act by conviction and not by blind obedience. “If the toys are on the floor, someone can step on them and break them unintentionally.”

Self-control

An indispensable quality when dealing with children is being calm and patient. You need a caregiver who doesn’t lose it when a child throws a tantrum; someone who gives children space to express themselves and brings them back to normal with respect and without shouting.

The interview is the perfect time to discover if the person who wishes to be your nanny shares these important values with you. Ask about everyday situations to know how this person would respond and, above all, pay attention to the details about previous jobs. A person with a vocation will speak with emotion and affection about previous families.

  • de Piaget, T. D. D. C. (2007). Desarrollo Cognitivo: Las Teorías de Piaget y de Vygotsky.
  • Mayer-Spiess, O. C. (1996). La asertividad: expresión de una sana autoestima. Desclée de Brouwer.