Making the decision to hire a live-in nanny is not an easy one. You’re opening your home to someone you don’t know well, you’re inviting this person to help care for your children, and until it actually happens you don’t know how your family dynamics will be affected. One way to make the transition as positive as possible is to prepare your kiddos ahead of time for life with a nanny.
Try visiting other families who have nannies, role-playing, making something special for their new caregiver, or sitting down and talking to your children.
Visit other families who have nannies and live-in caregivers!
This is one of the best ways to get your kids excited about having a new caregiver in their life. Schedule a play date with other children who have nannies. While there, explain what a nanny is and encourage your kids to ask questions if they have them. If your kiddos see their friends interacting positively with their nanny, they are more likely to be less nervous about having a nanny of their own. Giving your kids the opportunity to talk to other nannies can show them that caregivers are regular people too, and life with them around is nothing to be nervous about.
Role-play with your kiddos!
Pretend play is a fun way to prepare the family for this new change in routine. If this is their first time away from you, it can be stressful for everyone in the household. No one wants to try to leave for the day with a screaming child glued to their leg, and it sure won’t be fun for your little one either. Explain to them how the new schedule will work; for example, you will be going to work in the morning and coming home in the evening, and they will get to stay, play, and learn, with their new nanny.
Role-play for several days before the big day actually arrives. Pretend that you are leaving for work, let them tell you goodbye, and leave the home. Next, pretend you’re coming home to them. Let them know how excited you will be to see them again, how much you missed them, and ask them about their day. Get your nanny in on the act if possible, so that when the big day arrives everyone will be prepared and “hopefully” less stressed.
Make a gift!
Get the kids excited about the new addition to the household by allowing them to make him or her a special gift. It can be something as simple as a drawing, a macaroni necklace, or a handmade photo frame. Your child giving the gift can be a great way for them to break the ice and talk to the new adult in their life. Encourage them to talk about what they used to make it and how they did it. Having this little trinket to give can have your child counting down the days with excitement.
Talk to your kids!
Yes, this sounds simple, but some parents get so busy preparing that they forget to stop, sit down, and just talk to their kiddos. Some children bottle up their anxiety and it comes out in an Earth shattering temper tantrum later. Take a few moments to ask your child how they feel about a new caregiver. Ask them if they have any questions or if they are worried about mom or dad going back to work. Do what you can to give them a positive outlook on the new nanny, answer questions, and talk about anything that seems scary regarding the new situation. You may want to talk to them several days beforehand and then again later. Try telling them things you know about the new nanny and why you chose this person.
Bringing a nanny into the home can feel exciting and overwhelming at the same time. With a little preparation for the kiddos, the transition will be a piece of cake. Do you have tips to make the adjustment period easier? Be sure to leave a comment and let us know!