3 Tips For Parents To Make Thanksgiving Week Special For Both Nannies And Your Kids

With Thanksgiving next week, I thought it would be a good time to discuss holidays and how you as a parent can make them festive, free of stress and days your entire family and your nanny actually enjoy.
Child Drawing Turkey Hand Thanksgiving
Once a week, I teach a class of continuing education for nannies and in almost every class, I find nannies who feel appreciated at their jobs perform much better and are much more motivated to work. And let’s admit it: They work very hard!!! Holidays are the perfect time to show your nanny your appreciation. Weeks like Thanksgiving are also times when communication and the little extra things will go a long way in keeping your nanny happy in your home.
During one of my  training sessions recently, one nanny actually started crying tears of happiness as she told me the story of how the parents she works for said she could have two extra paid days off around Thanksgiving. She said at first she figured  the parents would negotiate with her and ask her to work extra hours during other days or come on the weekend, but they simply told her  they appreciated all her hard work and wanted to thank her by giving her those days off as they were going on a trip anyway.
I encourage you to talk to your nannies about holiday weeks sooner rather than later and come up with a schedule that works for both of you. While you don’t have to do anything extra, these are often weeks you will want to spend more time at home with your kids anyway, and giving your nanny some unexpected breaks/perks around the holidays is something that will encourage your nanny to be loyal. It’s important to be considerate of your nanny’s family obligations and remember that Thanksgiving should be a special time for them, too.
Here are three specific ways you can make next week special for both your nanny and your child.
  1. Encourage your child to make something special for your nanny. It can be a simple drawing. Even when you baby is only 6 months old, you can always use a handprint or a footprint as something tangible to say thanks. If your children are older, encourage them to write a note of gratitude (and you should write one too!).
  2. Give something. That something doesn’t necessarily have to be money or a gift, but it can be time. You can let your nanny leave an hour early or if you come home early from work one day, then it is OK to give your nanny half a day off or even a full day off. I have always considered my nanny to be a co-parent because the fact is that when you have a nanny (part-time or full-time), she is there to help you parent and help support your family. When I worked as a nanny, I used to get mani-pedi gift cards and I loved them and was so grateful. Anything from a gift card to a candle to a small decorative box with notes from your kids goes a long way in showing your thoughtfulness and gratitude.
  3. Decorate your home. Suggest that your nanny schedule special activities related to Thanksgiving with your kids. You can either use Amazon to order some arts and craft supply related to the holiday or you can ask your nanny to come up with some creative ideas for craft projects if you think that’s something your kids would enjoy. There are festive books, movies and music you can fill your home with that will make things festive for both your nanny and your children.

Of course, we all get super busy during this time of year and often even more stressed. A lot of times we need our nannies even more hours than usual and at the end of a long workday, showing your appreciation for your nanny can be the last thing on your mind. This is why Thanksgiving is a good time and an opportunity to let your nanny know how grateful you are!

If nothing else, treat your nanny to her favorite drink at Starbucks — and grab yourself a Pumpkin Spice Latte too! Trust me, it will get you both in the spirit of the holiday.

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

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