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which kind of parent do you prefer?(18 Posts)
After employing our nanny for nearly 2 years we finally got to meet the family she works with on the days she's not with us (actually there was no real reason to meet them before, we co-existed happily enough, just thought it would be nice) and they seem to have a very different style to us. I'm very hands off, so long as the things we feel are important are adhered to (bedtimes, rules about certain types of behaviour etc) I don't really tell our nanny how to do her job. She isn't qualified as such but has been in child care for 10 years and has her own child the same age as my youngest so I'm happy for her to do things her own way.
The other family seem very different. They have found certain playgroups, activities, groups etc they're happy for their children to do and that's what our nanny does with them. She pretty much follows the schedule they've designed for her.
It hadn't occured to me to do anything like that. DS is in reception at school and dd is in nursery for an afternoon on 2 of the three days our nanny works, so really she's only got one day when she has dd all day. Should I be structuring things for her to do on these days?
If you're a nanny/au pair which style of working do you prefer?
I would like parents like you too, but suppose it depends on the nanny, some inexperienced ones may like to be shown the sort of things to do.
It depends. Are you happy with her performance and initiative? Has she ever indicated she would prefer more input?
It may be that the other family were already going to those groups and just wanted the many to continue.
Horses for courses!
Def prefer parents like you that leave me to get on with it
I am very happy to go to a group /activity etc that family have been going to if start a new job but generally I plan what activities /structure of day
One of the benefits often cited for having a nanny is that you do, as a parent, get to call the shots to whatever level of detail you feel you need. I suspect the fact that you don't feel the need to lay down a lot of routines and rules means that you are confident in your nanny and trust her judgement. Perhaps the other family are more controlling or more anxious.
A big part of the joy of working with children is to have the freedom to be spontaneous and pursue their interests, so I would personally prefer the type of parents who trusted me to get on with my job without micromanaging, but who gave me a gentle steer now and then in the form of genuine feedback about what they felt particularly benefited the children.
Parents like you Though I am happy to go to groups/classes that the parent would like me to - I just wouldn't want an employer that planned and structured all of my working hours.
I'm not sure if the other family were already going to those groups, our nanny started with them when their youngest was only 1, and the older one was 2.5.
I am happy with her performance now, she was a bit of a slow starter, I said to her to let me know if there were any groups she wanted to go do and I'd leave her more money to enable her to do any activities etc. She didn't really act on that for about 6 months, but she started at the beginning of the summer and couldn't drive at that time so I think it suited her more to play in the garden or local park. DS was at nursery 5 mornings a week then so I wasn't too bothered. DD had our nanny's dd to play with so they weren't bored.
Even now she can drive she doesn't really do a massive amount on the day she has dd all day. Today was a trip to the local playground. Nothing much else planned. They probably ended up in the local town for a stroll around the shops.
Should I be pushing for more constructive activities on these days? They do go swimming sometimes, maybe twice a month. The only time I've suggested an activity was for a play group at ds's school one morning a week as I could take dd up with me at school drop off and meet them there. I know the mother in the other family pretty much asks for a break down of what they're doing each day.
There's a really nice soft play place a few miles from our house, I've offered to show her where it is several times but she's never taken me up on it. Should I perhaps be more proactive and tell her "I'll show you where it is so you can take them next time" rather than letting the girls play together at home or going to the park again. Just to bring some variety in to their routine because if truth be told I'm not sure dd has much variety.
But... the flip side is of course that when I was growing up, the park was all there was really. No soft play, precious few baby groups/playgroups. Am I worrying too much that a 3 year old needs huge amounts of variety in her life?
I don't think there's a 'should' about it really.
If you want to then it would not be unreasonable for you to give your nanny some more structure/input.
It's also not unreasonable to let your DD play in the park with her friend.
Is DD happy? Developing? Confident? Bored? Misbehaved? I'd take your cues from her.
I need to be able to plan my own time. I wouldn't enjoy a job where I was being micromanaged, but then I have the initiative to find softplay/playgroup etc. and organise activities, so I don't need to be organised by someone else.
Yes, dd is happy, developing, confident and usually well behaved
apart from when she's not
I'm like you but some friends aren't. I fill the fridge and fruitbowl but wouldn't dream of menu planning for my nanny for example. I do book a music class but only because its a habit from mat leave.
In that case I would say things are probably ok as they are
skiBumMum I wouldn't dream of menu planning either, but my dcs are pretty limited in what they would eat. Last week out of the three days she worked, she gave the dcs the same thing on two of those days (spag bol, I'd cooked the sauce and put some in the freezer) so perhaps I should! I did have to ask her to not to buy them so much junk food. I usually leave her some money if she wants to buy them an ice cream in the park or needs to go on the bus etc but she was buying them junk from Greggs pretty much every week.
Definitely a boss like yourself. All the jobs I have had are similar to your nanny's. and the one I currently have I have complete and utter freedom, so long as my charges are happy my boss doesn't mind.
I'm glad nannynicnic
I'm not trying to win votes as "employer of the year" or anything, we had one other nanny before who was very qualified, ex teacher etc and she was super organised and had masses of structured activities. I really didn't have to think of anything. I very much left her to it. Our current nanny is totally different, not only in her training and qualifications, but also her outlook. She's very laid back (one of the reasons I liked her) and chilled, and is very much of the school of letting the children amuse themselves with her supervising. She will do some structured activities but a large part of their day the kids just play with each other. They're bright, happy well adjusted kids so I'm assuming that it's fine.
Headfairy, Are you happy with the service you are getting though? Its all very well being hands off, and I lean towards being like that myself as a nanny employer. But our nanny has lots of energy and initiative. I don't want to appear rude or be too blunt, but are you getting more than a babysitter here? Fine if that suits you, and you're paying that type of rate, but not if you're not iykwim.
Your dd is in nursery 2 out of the 3 days, so structured activities on that 3rd day in my view are not needed. Better to have it as a do-what-you-want-day, where it can be baking cakes at home and going to the playground, going swimming, visiting a place of interest such as a castle, museum, going for a trip on a bus/train/boat, whatever takes the child's fancy (within reason). They are only children for a short time and can learn lots from seeing/doing what they want.
I am not sure how many train track layout designs I helped build this afternoon... girl I care for wanted a track, played a bit, then wanted a different track. Repeat, repeat. Think she was learning how to get it to join up each time. Maybe she will be making tracks that link up by herself soon, rather than branchline tracks.
Going to the shops is fine, sometimes more hope they will eat the food if they have chosen it.
There are days when I wish someone would plan out everything for me, easier than coming up with ideas myself. However in general I far prefer a boss who does not plan everything, I far prefer just going with the flow.
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