In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, many nannies and child care professionals are heading to work with one major change — the hiring parents are now working from the home. How can nannies effectively manage this new dynamic? We’ve got some great tips to help out.
To comfortably adjust to the many changes in the home-working environment, it’s imperative to set some parameters and expectations around the workplace. Here are some ways to make that happen:
Setting A Schedule For Your Nanny Kids
While the parents are working, it is important that the kids have a clear sense of when and how they can interact with their parents. As a nanny, you will be coordinating meals, naps, and activities, but as the kids aren’t used to the parents being home all day, they may be more inclined to want to spend time with their parents during inopportune times. Set up a system where the kids know how the day is going to look and give them an age-appropriate update about the schedule, sharing with them that for large portions of the day their parents will be home, but they must not be disturbed during their workday. Set up times when the children can expect to have quick check-ins with their parents, maybe for lunch everyone can sit down together for a bit, or right after nap time, etc. Be sure to discuss this with the parents ahead of time so everyone is on the same page with the schedule each day.
Establishing Physical Work Space For The Parents
Another great way to set everyone up for success with parents working from home is to have the parents’ workspace separate from the main area of the house where you and the kids will be throughout the day. If possible (considering the size and layout of the home), this distinction between the home and work space can help young kids understand the boundary between their parents being home and happy and able to interact with them, and work, where their parents are unreachable just as if they were out of the home working.
Dealing with behavioral situations like tantrums can be especially challenging when the parents are home and the kids may instinctively want to ignore your role and go straight to their busy working parents. Now, more than ever is an excellent time to brush up on your positive discipline skills. Check out our recent blog post about Sproutable’s online certification course for Positive Discipline and consider joining Summit Sessions to watch some of our past sessions dealing with Respectful Care and Positive Discipline. Speak with the parents ahead of employing anything new, and be sure to share your insights about discipline with them so that everyone is on the same page.
Embracing Changing Needs
There are so many changes happening for young kids right now from being out of school to having the parents at home, to feeling the stress and anxiety of the adults around them. Children need the nannies and care providers in their lives to address their fears and help them to navigate the big emotions they’re feeling right now. Check out our recent blog post with information from the American Academy of Pediatrics outlining ways to help your nanny kids cope with all of the changes they’re experiencing.
As nannies, we know that our young people are going through a lot right now and we can do a lot to support them throughout this dynamic time. Setting expectations and defining a schedule, establishing a home office space for the parents, managing behavior with care and positive discipline, and embracing the children’s needs will go a long way in making working with your nanny kids while their parents are home much easier for everyone involved.
What are some of the ways that you are navigating this pandemic as a care provider? We’d love to hear about your personal experiences or best practices!
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