Proper Foresight for a Healthy Nanny Relationship
by Nathanial Hammons, Esq.
310 E. Buffalo St., Suite 112, Milwaukee, WI 53202
Published 3/6/14 Clinical Psychology Associates of North Central Florida
www. CPANCF. COM 2121 NW 40th Terrace Suite B Gainesville, FL, 32605 (352) 336-2888
There is no greater responsibility than the task of hiring a caretaker for your child. This is a decision that can have enormous ramifications of proper care and attention is not taken. There is no need for melodramatic paranoia, but a certain level of care is warranted. The interview process should be a lengthy and thoughtful period, often stressful, but very rewarding when the perfect fit is found.
In many industries, judging a person by the way they dress and carry themselves can be a mistake. In many instances, a person’s attire has no weight on their skill as a professional. In the case of a nanny, however, this is not the case. The appearance of a nanny can dictate their personality and offer a glimpse into how they manage their own lives. A person who comes to an interview without care for their appearance is not a serious candidate because he or she has disregarded the feelings of the interviewer. A prospective nanny should be aware that you will be judging them with acutely and would require top notch appearance in order to make a good impression.
Gut Checks and Intuition
It is important not to dismiss any warnings that something is not quite right. While it is impossible to completely avoid being taken in by a socially adept sociopath, a Nanny should be able to interact comfortably, demonstrate good control of their anxiety, show good energy and alertness and be able to recognize and respond to verbal and nonverbal cues. Warmth, genuineness, empathy, and an ability to be firm but calm when needed are traits you are trying to judge, since they will be critical in the establishment and maintenance of the relationship with your child or children.
The Child’s Approval
Unfortunately, chemistry is a strong part of the nanny business. Not all nannies are liked by every child for whatever reason. Some children have trouble relating to people they are not visually attracted to and will fuss or shy away from such a person. Even if the nanny is highly recommended and presents an impeccable resume, it may be wise to seek a different candidate. Your child must trust the person who will care for them or they may not react well to the caretaker.
Values and Interests
In most interviews the candidate is asked about their hobbies and their values are usually ascertained through a series of questions with hat goal in mind. This kind of interview questioning is vitally important during the nanny hiring process. The job of a nanny is not only to take care of the physiological needs of a child, but to tend to every aspect of their development in the absence of the parent. In almost all cases, the ideals, interests, and values are absorbed by the child, either through action or speech. During the interview you may ask the candidate if she volunteers, plays music, has a family, watches television, reads books, or what have you. These questions might seem invasive, but they will provide you with a picture into the personality that will influence your child.
There are many other important topics when it comes to choosing the right nanny, but they are more straightforward. Performing a background check and following up on references are obvious tasks you must undertake once you’ve found a nanny candidate you think is a good fit for your family. The ideas mentioned in this article go beyond the superficial interview questions. By formulating more thoughtful interview strategies, you can avoid future problems.
About the author:
Nathanial Hammons is a licensed attorney specializing in writing nanny contracts at My Nanny Contracts. As a parent himself, his goal is to protect parents and their nanny’s from a business relationship that could go sour if proper precautions are not taken. With proper foresight, any problems that arise can be dealt with easily without the need for messy lawsuits that could also cause anguish to the children involved.