The first requirement of a great nanny may seem almost too obvious. A nanny must love children. She must not simply tolerate them; she must love spending time with them, enjoy nurturing them, and be able to patiently deal with their limitations and behaviors. If an individual decides to try being a nanny because she’s raised a couple kids and it seems like an easy way to make a living, she may want to think again. It’s one thing to rear one’s own kids; it’s another thing entirely spending countless hours rearing someone else’s kids in an environment and with rules she may not totally approve of herself.
Second, a nanny must be flexible. She must be flexible enough to become part of a new family and get along well with them. Parents may mix her schedule crazily, they may give her whole afternoons or evenings free for a few weeks; then they may leave her alone with the kids for three weeks while they skip merrily through Europe. She must be able to flex willingly with a haphazard or a very demanding schedule.
Third, a nanny must be consistently the same nice person. Unlike a mother, a nanny cannot have a terrible day in which she yells at the kids or gives them the silent treatment, tears her hair out, sits in her pajamas all day, or shows moodiness. She must remain even tempered even when she is at her wit’s end after disciplining the children all afternoon for acting like a bunch young hoodlums.
Fourth, a nanny is not a mom. She must somehow balance a friendship with the kids, yet still maintain her position of authority. This can be tricky at times. The kids should love her but also respect her. It’s a little like the position of a grandparent. A grandparent hopes that the kids will love her so much that they will try to please her most of the time. But the good grandparent is still willing to discipline wisely when necessary.
Fifth, a nanny is sometimes expected to do extras. Sure a trip to Hawaii with the family might be fun, but what about the trip to see other family members in some remote place? You may have to adapt to that less-than-inviting possibility too. If there’s some sort of family problem or tragedy, you may have to step up and be the rock when everyone else seems to be falling apart.
Sixth, to really be an extra-bonus super nanny, you not only watch the children, you help teach them things they need to learn in order to grow up with character traits that every human needs to succeed in life. You may need to help children with homework. You may need to comfort them when they’re frustrated, scared, worried, or upset. You may need to help them learn to tie their shoes, or ride a bike, or swim.
Don’t get me wrong. Being a nanny can be an extremely rewarding and enjoyable vocation. It can be very fulfilling to love and be loved, not only by the kids but by an entire family. You can build relationships with the children that will stand strong long after they’re out of her life. You must only be convinced that this is what you love to do and have been gifted to do in the long term.
I enjoy family matching. If you want to be a nanny and enjoy the rewards it can bring then contact me. I love finding the perfect family for you!