Originally from Costa Rica, Reyna has 23 years of experience as a nanny and housekeeper in the US. Her references describe her as being terrific with infants and toddlers, honest, and the most hard working person they know! One former family tells us: “She’s very kind and always goes out of her way to make sure everything is to our satisfaction. She is just a really good, trustworthy person. She always goes above and beyond.” Another family tells us: “Reyna is very upbeat, very bubbly, and really enjoys being around them. But when she is here cleaning for us, she is just very focused and organized, and all about getting the job done. She is comfortable with travel and is bilingual, important qualities for the family that hired her this summer as their nanny/home manager in Chandler with a new baby and a busy toddler. They tell us: “Just don’t let anyone steal her away from us!”
A regular employee / employer relationship can get complicated under normal circumstances, but if you’ve ever been a nanny or if you’ve employed a nanny, you know that it’s different from any other employee/employer relationship. A nanny may spend more time with the children and other members of their immediate family than the parents do. Usually, the children adore their nanny and in turn the nanny loves the children and develops a wonderful bond with them. That’s what parents want–the peace of mind knowing that their children are cared for and truly loved.
It’s easy for the family to grow close to their nanny, since they are trusting her with their precious little ones, and over time, the nanny naturally begins to feel like part of the family. The nanny’s goals should be for her to make the family and children feel comfortable, to feel she’s part of the family and not just considered an employee. Both need each and rely on each other. It is fine to be close, but the key is not to get too close. This relationship especially requires healthy boundaries. However, that is easier said than done. There’s an invisible line that gets blurred along the way. How can we head off these problems?
1. BE RESPECTFUL. The nanny must respect the family as her employer and the family should respect her limits as the nanny. There must be a degree of emotional detachment, of not taking things personally.
2. DON’T SHARE TOO MUCH. It’s important for both the nanny and the employers to understand that neither are each other’s therapists. Both parties need to remember not to divulge too much information, especially personal information to each other. That doesn’t mean they can’t support each other. If something major is taking place within the family, like a divorce, or a death, of course the nanny will know and is affected by it and will help the family and especially the children get through it. However, it is wise not to discuss the following personal matters with your nanny:
a) Marital Problems
b) Financial Issues
d) Problems with a former Nanny
The nanny’s observations and opinions regarding such personal issues within the household should be kept to a minimum. The employer sets the example for what’s acceptable to share and what should remain off-limits. Unless it directly affects the nanny’s job, she really doesn’t need to know. Likewise, when it comes to a nanny’s personal life, the family shouldn’t ask personal questions that don’t pertain to her nanny responsibilities. This helps in preserving the separation between her personal life and her job.
3. SET BOUNDARIES FROM THE START. Although it is not easy, both the family and the nanny should strive to maintain the types of relationships that would be appropriate at an outside-of-the-home workplace. Since that invisible line easily gets blurred, define boundaries from the start, including them in the written Working Agrement. This helps everyone become comfortable with what is and is not appropriate. The result is a healthy and long-term relationship that is beneficial to all, especially the children. We realize this is harder than it seems. The relationship between Moms and their nannies is a veritable mine field, and even Moms who are head of HR stuggle with these issues, because, “She is home with my baby all day and I don’t want to rock the boat–it’s really not that important.” But it is important and it is harder than you’d think. So remember that you can call our office any time with concerns or questions, or just to vent!:)
You’re shopping at the mall with your children when one of them suddenly disappears. A quick search of the nearby area is unsuccessful. What do you do?
Now there’s a free new tool from the FBI that can help. And it’s just been updated!
The iPhone mobile application, which enables users to electronically store photos and vital information about their children, so it’s handy if they need it, was launched on August 5 and has been downloaded over 80,000 times.
In response to user feedback, the FBI Child ID APP has been updated with new features, including password protection and more photo capabilities. With the Child ID App, you can quickly share pictures and physical identifiers such as height and weight with police officers. And using a special tab on the app, you can quickly and easily e-mail the information to authorities with a few clicks.
This app also includes tips on keeping children safe as well as specific guidelines on what to do in those first crucial hours after a child goes missing. Tell your friends and families about this life-saving tool. The FBI does NOT have access to any of the information about your child untill you release it to them. READ MORE DOWNLOAD
Two Glendale, California brothers may have been sexually molested by a 19 year old babysitter they found through an online site. Investigators say the suspect was communicating with up to 100 families using online childcare sites.
Online babysitting sites give families a false sense of security by saying the applicants are ‘mom approved’ or have gone through a nationwide background check. Most online services are just postings put up by anyone who wants to advertise their availability and do not ensure a families safety.
Families don’t realize that the $9.95 computerized background checks can easily miss a red flag. Sitter City uses LexisNexis, and has a disclaimer on it’s site that it covers only 38 states. Some online job posting services call the LexisNexis check nationwide which can be misleading. Misdemeanors rarely show up on the quick and inexpensive nationwide computer searches. Typically, only a felony will be reported. So the inexpensive background check may give feeling of security, but they won’t report a candidates lower level run-ins with the law which tells you so much about their past and character.
While the cost of a professional background check is much more expensive, costing up to hundreds of dollars, it takes time and knowledge to do it right, and most critically, it is done by a person, not a computer. This is the safety net that Caring Nannies puts up for each our families before sending a candidate to work in a home with young children. You can read in detail what a thorough background check entails here
Caring Nannies uses US Information Search, a nationally recognized service that provides the most comprehensive checks available. A candidate’s social security number is traced to find every state in which they have lived. A record search is done of each county where the candidate has lived.
We meet with each candidate in person and are experienced in seeing potential problems, and we know the right questions to ask. We also use a personality testing program to search out candidates who are patient, kind, and genuinely love children.
The online sites will represent anyone who can fill out the form.
After 28 years in the business, families come to us because of our reputation for sifting out all but 8% of the candidates who come to us. Your family’s safety and security and well being is our top concern.
The difference between now and before the economic downturn is that instead of receiving 5-10 resumes for each position, today, we need to sort through dozens of resumes. How do we go about matching the people who are best suited for your family?
How can personality testing help you in choosing the right nanny as well as securing an ongoing strong relationship with her?
Interestingly, many of our top tier nannies have their greatest strength in the “Supporter” or “Always there when you need them” Type “D” personality. The typical “D” personality doesn’t like change, and prefers to be given a set of guidelines to follow and they enjoy routine. They are very supportive of others and are the kind of person we turn to when we need advice. They are high in compassion and are happy and content with themselves and life in general. They are dependable, on time, adding balance and support in the home.
We suspect that many of our clients are Type A personalities, described as leaders, entrepreneurial, risk takers, independent, direct and to the point. They prefer to delegate routine tasks to others. Type “A” is often a business owner, manager, or in a position requiring a take charge, decisive, persistent person.
The “C” personality thrives on details, accuracy and takes life seriously. They dress impeccably, want to get the ‘facts’, are consistent, and predictable. They take a long time to make a decision, are deep, thoughtful and sensitive. They can get caught up in the details and not see the big picture.
“B” is the socializer, high energy one, who loves to be in a big group, and is the center of attention, and wants to have fun while working. They want to be liked, and can be sensitive. They are outgoing, persuasive, and talkative.
PERSONALITY OPPOSITES ATTRACT
Although opposites attract, they can clash. Opposites can complement each other if they try to understand each other’s perspective. Opposite personalities often marry and it works since they make up for the other’s weaknesses. However, if a parent is expecting the nanny to do things in a way that is opposite her personality, there can be conflict.
If a neat, precise “C” personality is micro-managing a nanny who is creative, gets out the play-doh, or finger-paints, makes tents in the living room, and shoots paper airplanes, this may not work out for long. Nothing is “wrong” with either person, they just need to have more insight into each other’s personalities and find middle ground. If the Mom is inflexible and demands perfection, it won’t surprise us to see turnover, especially if the nanny is a strong “B” personality.
Every family and company probably has all 4 personalities, and each one’s gift is needed to balance out the dynamics. The key is having the right understanding to identify these traits so you have the best chance of successfully working with each other.
In our uncertain economy, many of us feel it is a sacrifice just to have in-home help and the thought of gifting our nanny seems out of reach. However showing appreciation need not be pricey. My most memorable gifts were homemade or showed that someone had put some thought into me, and noticed what I liked. So observe your nanny, see what she values, and involve the whole family.
1. PRAISE HER IN FRONT OF FAMILY AND FRIENDS Let your nanny hear you brag about her while you’re talking to others. She may blush or say something back, but secretely she’s feeling pround that you’re happy with her.
2. GIVE HER A SUPRISE DAY OR HALF OFF. If you can work from home one afternoon or secretly arrange for someone to watch your children, surprise her by giving her a few hours off, and perhaps top it off with a certificate for a pedicure, a massage, a movie ticket or resturant.
3. MAKE A SPECIAL DINNER FOR HER Find out what she likes and have the family prepare a homemade meal or take her out for dinner with the familly.
4. LEAVE SURPRISE STICKY NOTES IN UNEXPECTED PLACES Try leaving notes in odd places, like inside the microwave, the refrigerator or even on toilet paper. A good example would be to put one on a light switch that says, “You brighten up our home.”
5. TELL HER HOW MUCH YOU NEED HER Let her know your family just wouldn’t be complete if you didn’t have her. Tell her how much you appreciate how she loves and nurtures your children.
6. WRITE A SILLY SONG ABOUT HER make up a silly song or poem and video-record it or sing/read it in person.