Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Tips From A Nanny On How To Treat Yours

Dear Tazi:

I love, love, love your column and am hoping you will print my letter. I am a professional Nanny in the Boston area, and just gave my two-weeks notice to the family for whom I have worked for the past two years because, as great as the children are, I am sick to death of their parents' poor treatment of me.

I have several leads on a new job, so I am not worried about employment, but decided to put together my own contract this time around instead of using the one provided by the agencies I have worked through in the past. From this contract, I have put together a list of Rules For Parents that I am hoping you will print. Nannies everywhere will thank you!

Rules For Parents, From Your Nanny:

1) I am a Nanny, not a housekeeper or a cook. My job is to assist in the care and raising of your child(ren). In the course of my duties I will see that your child is fed, properly clothed, and their quarters tidy; however, it is not my job to clean your house, do your laundry, or see that dinner is on the table for you when you return from work; so please do not expect me to do these things for you.

2) Part of my job as a Nanny is to see that your children are properly disciplined. I personally do not believe in spanking, so please do not ask me to hit your child. Even if I were a proponent of spanking, the liability alone would stay my hand. A revoking of privileges will usually do the trick.

3) I may not have children of my own, but this does not mean I do not know how to raise a child. Please do not speak down to me. Most Nannies possess post-secondary education and/or specialized training in the field of early childhood education and are better prepared to deal with the stresses of child-rearing than many parents.

4) Please do not take your emotions out on me when your child runs to me before/instead of you to show off their accomplishments/milestones/etc. As a Nanny, I will always encourage your child to put you first; but I cannot help it if they feel a closer bond to me. Consider spending more time with your child and see a closer bond with them develop.

5) If you need me to work overtime I am going to need more than five minutes notice at the end of my shift. You know that you are working late/have plans after work/are stuck in traffic. Give me the courtesy of knowing this, too, so I can notify the people who are waiting on me.

6) Please do not undermine the authority you vested in me when your children complain that I am being "mean" by not giving in to their every desire. There is a reason why I am not allowing them to have ice cream before bed, and it is not because I don't want to deal with them being hyper until after midnight. It might be because I know they have an 8 AM soccer game and need a good night's sleep in order to play their best.

7) Pay me on time. I nanny your child in order to make a living, not because I enjoy their company so much that I quit my day job to spend more time with him/her.

8) While on the subject of payment: If you want me to go on your family vacation with you, you will have to pay me my regular wages as well as my travel expenses. It may be a vacation for you, but it is still work for me; so do not expect me to be grateful for the "opportunity" to travel. You would not go on a business trip for no pay; do not expect me to do the same.

9) Respect my days off and do not expect me to be available on those days. Your boss does not call you at home and demand that you come in to the office on your day off, nor should you do the same to me.

10) Understand that as much as I care about (and for) your child and am like family to you, I am still your employee. Do not expect me to spend Christmas Day or other holidays with you. I have my own family and will be spending time with them. I make this matter clear to your child; please do not confuse them by suggesting otherwise when they whine about how they would like me to be there.

Thank you for giving me a larger voice, Tazi!

The Nanny

Dear The Nanny:

My Mommie worked as a part-time Nanny many years ago, so I ran your list by her to see if she agreed. Many of the reasons you listed are among the reasons she chose not to continue in that field, and she actually spewed her coffee from laughing so hard over Rule #7. Apparently, there are a lot of parents who think that payment for services rendered is optional. (She would like to state for the record, though, that the parents she worked for were all amazing, and always paid her on time!).

Thank you for these suggestions! Readers, if you employ a Nanny - or even a part-time babysitter or a daycare professional - please print out a copy of these rules and tape them to your refrigerator door as a reminder to be professionally courteous to your child-care provider.


Ask Tazi! is ghostwritten by a human with a Bachelors of Arts in Communications. Tazi-Kat is not really a talking feline.

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