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Tips for Working as a Nanny

Feb 27, 2008
If you are thinking about working as a nanny, here are a few tips for you to think about before beginning your career. It isn't that simple to just get matched with a family and start a job. There are many nuances that you must learn so that you can avoid termination within the first 30 days of working as a nanny.

Here are five tips for you to consider:

1. Do not try to be your employer's best friend; hence crossing boundaries and turning your position as an employee into a nightmare for your employer. Always remain professional.

For example:

a) Do not delve into your employer's personal life and offer suggestions of how her marriage might repair itself if she followed your ideas,

b) Do not go into your employer's closet and decide that you need to borrow one of her dresses for a Friday night date - don't ask to borrow anything personal for that matter unless it is a tire iron to fix your car or something of that nature,

c) Do not break down and cry because of a problem with your boyfriend and expect complete consoling from your employer (keep your private life to yourself),

e) When the family needs privacy, give it to them and do not expect to be included in every moment of their lives, and finally

f) Do not ask for a loan under any circumstances.

2. Arrive on time every day without any excuses, especially the ones that entail how you fell out of bed and were sitting up to turn the alarm off and hit your head so hard that you passed out for a few hours.

Another excuse that is not looked upon favorably would be the one where you state the traffic flow was so bad that you decided to stop and have breakfast first. How about the one where you locked yourself out of the house with your car keys inside. Soon, you will simply run out of excuses. No employer of any type likes their employee to be late. When you are late, the working parents will be late. If this in effect causes problems for their job or career, you may find yourself out of a job rather quickly.

3. Be honest even when you know you did something grossly wrong and could get fired for it. Better to ask for forgiveness and explain that you understand what you did wrong and that it won't happen again, than to deny while your employer knows you are blatantly lying, For example, a nanny thought that she could win favor with a child by giving candy everyday in spite of the parent's strict rules of "NO SUGAR". The child has now grown accustomed to the treats and remnants of those sweets are found in clothing for the parent to discover. When the child is asked about it, the response is that the nanny gives it everyday and goes into great detail about it. You have just been nailed. Come clean and accept the consequences.

4. Do not use your cell phone while at work unless it is an emergency. You couldn't possibly be putting proper attention to a child while talking on the telephone. Even if you see mothers do it all the time. It is one thing to have a mother with coffee in hand, cell phone in the other while walking the dog and carrying a newborn baby - equally not smart, but certainly as a professional nanny, you should know better.

5. Keep your skills honed. Take child development courses whenever possible and constantly read magazines and books about raising children so that you are always on top of the latest ideas and methods of approaching child rearing. While learning, you can make suggestions, but always follow the mother's way of rearing. Do not decide that you are the mother of the child and absolutely know the better way of raising children. You should implement a new approach only if the parent agrees that you do so.
About the Author
Marta Perrone, author of How to Find, Hire, Train and Maintain Household Help. Free report: Top 10 Mistakes Household Employers Make When Recruiting Help.
http://www.domesticpublications.com, http://domestic-connections.com, http://martaperrone.com
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