Mothers, Nannies, and Playdates – do they mix well?
An American lady, Lora Brawley, wrote an interesting article this week, and raised the issue of mothers, nannies and playdates.
So, we know that Playdates are a very important part of a child’s life.
Of course they are for the child’s enjoyment, but they but they also play a part in that child’s emotional and social development.
To start with, the child learns to play alongside another, and as they grow older, to separate from his/ her main childcarer, and to fit in with another family, and even learn about other cultures.
However, in the first instance, what happens if you are a mother with a playdate where the other child is with a Nanny?
1) Although Nannies (hopefully!) love looking after children, please don’t treat someone’s nanny as a free babysitter.
2) Always confirm the playdate direct with the nanny. In some situations, the nanny is solely responsible for scheduling the child’s day. In other situations, the mother plans the child’s day and then gives direction to the nanny. And sometimes, it’s a combination of both. However it’s done, it’s important to ensure that you have the nanny’s contact information so that you can confirm the details of the playdate with her.
3) If your child does best with one-to-one supervision, you should be there on the playdate too. Also, if your child is under 3 to 4 or has special needs, it’s a good idea to stay during the playdate and be right there in case any issues come up.
4) If you do stay, treat the nanny as you would another mother.
While you and the nanny may not be great friends, spending the time checking your email or chatting on the phone while the nanny supervises the children is really not the way to behave!
5) Don’t discuss the nanny’s employers… at all.
Remember if the situation was reversed, you would not like to be discussed with another parent.
Also, you shouldn’t share personal information about her employers with her. You may make a remark in innocence, but you never know how it will affect something happening within their nanny/family relationship. (Saying, for example, how wonderful it is that the mother or father were just promoted, and received a huge bonus won’t be great news to a nanny that was just denied a pay rise!).
6) Make sure the nanny knows everything she needs to know about your child – the other Mother may know your child and your family well, but remember that the Nanny may not …….. If for example, your child has food allergies, or for religious / cultural reasons doesn’t eat certain foods, it is down to you to let the nanny know.
(If your child requires a special snack either because of an allergy or food preference, send that snack with her. It’s better to be safe than sorry).
7) Make sure the playdate doesn’t go on too long – it should be appropriate for the age of the child. Keep the time reasonable for the age of your child.
8) Make sure you’re available to pick your child up at any time during the playdate – you know that even when the children are best of friends, there can be occasions when they just aren’t getting along, or an emergency can come up for either you or the other Family, that requires the time to be cut short. The nanny should have your full contact information, and you should not be doing anything that would keep you from getting to the playdate’s home in a reasonable amount of time.
9) At the end of the playdate, try arriving 5 or 10 minutes early, and have your child help tidy up. Not only is it good training for your child, but the nanny’s job to care for children, not to clean up after them.
10) Reciprocate. When the nanny hosts a playdate, offer to host the next! You should not assume that because the Nanny is getting paid, she’s fine with hosting every time. It’s also an opportunity to teach your child social etiquette!
11) And the golden rule: Don’t ask someone else’s Nanny to babysit for you during her off time unless you clear it with her employer first. Nanny poaching doesn’t just happen on reality shows. Parents lose nannies on the playground, in the park, and during playdates.
I hope that you have found this blog informative and interesting.
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Of course if you would like help from an accredited Nanny Agency the next time that you are looking for a recruitment agency in London to help you find your nanny, housekeeper, or companion, please feel free to contact me.
Additionally, I run Training Courses, including Ofsted Compliant common core skills and first aid, an Ofsted registration Service, have a stand-alone reference checking service, am authorised to check ID documents, and can apply for stand-alone enhanced DBS checks for nannies or your other employees. (Terms apply)
If you would like to find out more about me, the way that I work, and how my Agency could help you, please do have a read of my website, call me on 020 70 60 40 50, or email me on firstname.lastname@example.org
I look forward to speaking to you soon,
Norma Lewis Nannies
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