Guest post courtesy of SOSsitter.ca:
It’s a double edged sword, isn’t it? You want to be able to reach your nanny and you want her to have the security of having access to a phone in an emergency but you don’t necessarily want her to be on her phone all day, right in front of your kids.
So how do you balance both sides? Realistically, you cannot monitor your nanny’s behaviour on her own phone. Even if you are paying for the phone, your ability to monitor her activities on it would be a grey area, at best. Technically, you would be within your legal rights to monitor what the phone is being used for but there is a simple reality to consider: if you are trusting this person with your children, you probably should trust them with your phone.
Assuming a culture of mutual respect and communication is indeed your goal with your nanny, we have a few things you should consider to help you achieve it:
- Whatever rules you want to put in place for the use of technology, with or around your children, should be clearly spelled out in writing either within the employment contract or in a nanny handbook. Your nanny needs to be sure of your expectations from the beginning.
- Outline what you consider to be acceptable use of technology in front of your kids, whether you pay for it or she does. Can she call friends? Check Facebook? Text? Allow some latitude given that most things like play dates and appointments are coordinated online these days but be clear about times when it is absolutely unacceptable, like if the kids are in the swimming pool, for example.
- State what you consider to be acceptable use of technology BY your kids. Do you have screen time limits for them on their own or shared devices? Are there things they are NOT allowed to do, like have a Facebook account for example? Your nanny should be clear as to what she can say yes to when it comes to your kids and their use of tech.>
- Be unambiguous about pictures of your kids and whether you allow them to be posted online and if so, under what conditions? Your nanny might take a cute selfie with your kids that she sends to you by email but do you want her putting that on her own Facebook page or not?>
- Finally, while clear rules are important, remember that technology is a great way to stay connected with your nanny and to be a part of the day to day activities of your children.>
Straightforward rules about using technology will help everyone stay on the same page.
SOSsitter.ca is a Canadian portal designed to help you find local caregivers in your area, easily and quickly. The nanny who is right for your family is only a click away.
Photo courtesy of Caitee Smith on Flickr.