10 Things Great Nannies Have in Common
November 5, 2012 | in Background Check
Although every nanny is different, there are certain traits that all great nannies share. These things are what enable them to be successful with their charges and loved by both kids and parents alike. Here’s a look at 10 things they have in common.
- They truly love spending time with kids. This may seem like a no-brainer, but it’s a crucial trait to have if you’re pursuing a profession in childcare. There are a lot of people that love children, but it takes a special kind of person to spend 8 to 12 hours a day with kids for 5 days a week, and still be excited about doing so. Great nannies never get tired of hearing a giggling baby, watching a child make a new discovery, or getting a sticky kiss. In fact, they know those things are the best part of the job.
- They understand children. Knowing how to support and foster a child’s physical, social and emotional development doesn’t just happen. Great nannies invest in themselves, their knowledge, and their abilities through ongoing training and learning. They read childcare books, subscribe to parenting magazines, attend conferences, take online classes, and share tips and techniques with colleagues. They do whatever they can to help their charge grow into a happy, healthy adult.
- They’re problem-solvers. Every day nannies are presented with new and different challenges. Some are big, like how to help a child deal with the sudden death of a beloved pet, and some are small, like how to get a carrot stain out of a favorite white shirt. The size of the problem doesn’t matter. A great nanny won’t stop until she finds the solution.
- They have a good sense of humor. Great nannies are able to laugh at themselves and the situations they find themselves in. They understand that when met with a smile and a light-hearted attitude, everything is easier. They find a way to smile through toddler tantrums, poop explosions, and dogs actually eating homework. And while they may sometimes laugh because the only alternative is to cry, they still choose to laugh.
- They’re committed to doing an amazing job each and every day. Great nannies take their jobs very seriously. They recognize the huge impact they have on the children they care for and they’re determined to make those teachable moments count. They don’t settle for “good enough”. They bring their best every day.
- They’re resourceful. Nannies don’t have an HR department or resource library to turn to when they have a question. They have to figure things out for themselves. Great nannies quickly learn to be expert researchers; they dig and dig until they find an answer that works for them, and when all else fails, they create their own solution.
- They’re flexible. If there’s one personality trait that great nannies depend on more than any other, it’s flexibility. To be successful they have to be flexible with the kids they care for, the parents they work for, and the situations they face on the job. They understand that each day is different, each child is different, parents’ needs change, and what worked once is not guaranteed to work again. They’ve learned to live comfortably in the ‘let’s try it and see” and “it’s not a problem” space.
- They know how to say no. Nannies who thrive in their profession understand the importance of personal and professional boundaries and they’re able to say no when needed. They pride themselves on being flexible, yet speak up when something is too much, too often or simply out of bounds. They can communicate their needs and their boundaries in a respectful way and reap the rewards of being honest and upfront.
- They have a healthy work/life balance. Great nannies know that to take care of other people, they first have to take care of themselves. Their first instinct is to give without taking, but they also know that over time that attitude leads to burnout. So they make sure to take time out to relax, enjoy family and friends, get some exercise and have fun.
- They have a strong moral compass. Great nannies understand that a big part of their job is helping to shape the moral development of the children they care for. They take special care to model things like honesty, good sportsmanship, compassion, integrity, loyalty, fairness, kindness, respect and other important values. They use daily activities and interactions to teach the things that are important and know they’re making a real difference.
Great nannies are a unique group. They’re devoted to the families they work for and have special relationships with the children they care for.← How to Handle False Accusations About Your Nanny | What You Should Include In Your Nanny’s Reference Letter →
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