While anyone can call themselves a nanny, some people may be a better fit based on their personality, values, and life experiences. Below we cover five great topics/nanny traits to consider when interviewing for your new nanny. Also before you make the big decision on who to choose, check out our post on 5 Signs That Your Nanny is Perfect for Your Family for a little confirmation on your decision that you chose the best fit for your family.
Experienced with Children
No matter if you’re a first-time parent or a seasoned parent, sometimes you’ll find yourself needing advice. An experienced nanny may be able to give teething tips and know how to intervene when Sally bites Billy. A nanny without experience may find themselves overwhelmed and unsure how to calm a colicky infant. If your nanny does not have experience, you may spend a lot of time going over the basics of childcare.
Great Sense of Humor
Someone who is naturally high strung may not enjoy the job as much as someone who can laugh in a tough situation. Kids are little tornadoes and at times can be quite a challenge. A person who loses their temper easily may not be the right fit for the job. A caregiver who can dust off your messy preschooler, give them a smile, a juice box, and a knock-knock joke may be a much better match for your family.
Values in Line with Yours
A nanny who shares the same core values as your family can be a great role model for your children. You may put family and faith first, place great value on education, giving back to the community, and so on. The person you hire to care for your family and invite into your home will be spending a lot of quality time with your littles ones. They will be a role model for your children. Remember that traits like honesty, patience, and generosity are often taught by example. A good caregiver will exhibit all of these and more.
A Sense of Adventure
A nanny that with a passion for adventure can add a little extra magic to your child’s day. While you may see a pile of pillows, your child may see a fort. If you get lucky enough to have the type of nanny who also sees a fort, you know you’ve scored a winner. A nanny with a sense of adventure can turn a boring old walk around the neighborhood into a scavenger hunt and a dreary rainy day indoors into a castle adventure.
Willing to Speak Up
Tension can arise during times of miscommunication or when one party isn’t seeing the big picture. While a nanny or caregiver that agrees to any and every request may seem like a dream come true, it can end up leaving your nanny with negative feelings about their job or your family. Having an employee and employer relationship where both parties compromise is a major key to success.
If your nanny is able and willing to say no occasionally, and is clear as to why, you’re likely to have a smoother relationship. Maybe you didn’t realize she worked overtime every week this month when you asked if she could stay late again on Friday so you could have a parent date. If she is confident enough to remind you in a kind way that she had requested time off for her own personal reasons, she less likely to agree to work late and then carry around hurt feelings.
If you have an amazing nanny, make sure you keep the monetary and tax side of your agreement on the up and up. Paying them cash under the table may seem like a good idea at the time, but it can cause a lot of friction later on when you don’t get your tax breaks and they don’t get their benefits. See our article The Negatives of Paying an Elder Caregiver in Cash for more information on why you just shouldn’t do it. If you need help with the tax math or find yourself overwhelmed, check us out at NannyTax.ca. We are experts in all things related to nanny, elder caregiver, and household employee taxes. We help you keep it legal, make things super easy for you, offer your employee direct deposit, and give you a free month of services with no strings attached!
Photo courtesy of Greg Westfall on Flickr.