7 Actions That Will Scare Off Your Nanny

I’ve worked as a nanny, worked with families, hired a nanny myself and monitored nannies so I’m very familiar with the conflicts and issues that can arise when someone else comes into your home and plays such an integral role in care-giving.

It’s not easy as parents to hand over control and it’s not easy as a nanny to completely meld into your family. I often blog about red flags when hiring nannies and ways to help train and properly communicate, but sometimes it’s good to look at your own actions and what you may be doing as a parent that sends red flags up to your nanny.

We all know it’s good for our children to have consistency, so if you are constantly finding yourself with nannies who quit or seem unhappy, it’s a good idea to make sure you are doing everything in your power to give your nanny a reason to stay.

Here are some parent actions that drive nannies off:

  1. Unrealistic expectations. It’s fine to have a schedule and outline what you want your nanny to do with your kids when it comes to enriching activities, healthy eating and a bedtime. It’s not OK, however, to expect that the schedule never need to be adjusted.
  2. Failure to communicate. So many times I talk to parents who have grown annoyed with their nannies and started to resent them, but they have never communicated with their nannies about the behaviors that bothered them. For example, if your nanny does little things like leave the kitchen messy after mealtime or load the dishwasher a certain way you don’t like you have to communicate this. These are small things that can be fixed but if you let them build up and start resenting her without communicating what you want and how you want it, it’s a recipe for disaster.
  3. Changing the plan. Continually making last minute changes or always coming home later than you say you will are two really easy ways to drive your nanny off. Try to set out a consistent schedule at least a week in advance and always apologize and ask – not assume – if your nanny can handle last minute changes.
  4. Never letting your nanny be “off the clock.” I know a lot of people keep weird hours and sometimes think about things they want to tell their nannies at all hours of the night. It’s best to establish a set time when you communicate with her, however. A nanny shouldn’t feel like she has to respond to your calls and texts all night and weekend long in her time off.
  5. Money issues. Not paying your nanny in a timely manner is also hugely off-putting. Other smaller things, though, you may not think about. For example, you may tell your nanny that you will reimburse her for expenses like cab fare and things like getting your kids a snack at the park. It’s really best to leave cash for her ahead of time, though, because those expenses can rack up. Nannies who are continually shelling out their own money on your kids will get resentful very quickly. It’s also uncomfortable for a nanny to have to remind you to pay her.
  6. Bad-mouthing your nanny to your friends. This can – and will – often get back to your nanny. Be careful how you speak about your nanny when she’s around and when she’s not. Also be careful when your kids are around because they will pick up on things that could get back to her. If you have an issue, you should address it with her face to face.
  7. Undermining your nanny in front of your children. There might be times when you walk into a situation and want to save the day, but if you go against what your nanny has already told your children prior to your arrival, you are completely stripping her of all her authority.

It can be really difficult to recognize behaviors in ourselves and it’s always easier to throw blame on someone you are paying to look after your children, but like in all relationships when conflict arises, it’s good to look at your own actions first.

If you’re interested in more information about our services as they relate to your nanny, check out our nanny consulting page.

What Is Nanny Monitoring? How I Became A “Nanny Spy”

To understand how LW Wellness Network came to be, it’s important to also understand my background as a Nanny Spy. You might be wondering what Nanny Monitoring is, and why it’s such an integral part of what we do here as a family concierge service, so let me give you a little background.

I worked as a nanny for many years before becoming a mom myself and hiring nannies of my own so I definitely understand the business from both sides. My first Nanny Spy job came to me quite naturally, before I even realized this was such an important service that many parents were looking for and need.

After seeing one particular nanny always come to the same park with the child she was looking after and consistently neglect him to the point where I felt it was getting dangerous, I asked around and was able to contact the mother. She was so grateful to me and this idea that I would “spy on nannies” kind of sprang from there.

My first actual assignment as a nanny spy was, as you can imagine, a very nerve-racking — and yes very exciting — experience!!!

The client had hired me for eight hours to follow their nanny and report back on exactly where the nanny was and what she was doing with the child during the day. It might sound a little odd, but these parents had grown suspicious of the woman looking after their 3-year-old son and they felt they could get peace of mind if I was able to bring them back some hard evidence and facts.

They were obviously hoping I would report back that the day had gone smoothly and their son was in capable, loving care the entire time, but in the event that this wasn’t the case, they wanted that knowledge so they could immediately fix the situation.

In this particular case, nothing too alarming happened. I did witness the nanny flirting with guys; the child was definitely not her main focus. I saw her talk to a strange man at Central Park, which I definitely thought was a red flag.

The most disturbing part, though, was that I was able to witness her bad mouthing the family to other people. She said that the parents were never home and that kid was super hyper and required a lot of attention.

All of this I reported back to the family. While I didn’t feel the child was in grave danger, I did recommend that they sit down and talk with the nanny, as it seemed like the relationship had been damaged and was no longer productive for them all.

As the years went by, I spied on hundreds of nannies and wrote countless reports for parents and it became clear to me that what I was doing was protecting the innocent children from being emotionally/physically abused or neglected by their child care providers.

My passion and mission in life is to prevent mental illness and promote wellness in families. The Nanny Spy service is not about “spying on” or “ratting out” your nannies. It’s really about giving peace of mind to parents, documenting red flags, and stepping in if the situation is at all dangerous for the child.

Many of the nannies I observe are incredible, loving, giving nannies and they help protect children and do their best to create a healthy, well-balanced environment. However, the few who I find are not doing their jobs and either neglect or abuse the child, or they are not mentally or physically well for the job, help reinforce the importance of what I’m doing.

LW Wellness Network is a family concierge agency dedicated to bringing vital resources to parents as they raise their children. We’re all about collaborative care giving and open communication when it comes to parents and nannies.

If you’re interested in more information about our services as they relate to your nanny, contact us today!