Nannies are more than babysitters. They nurture while mommies are away. I was recently quoted in an article discussing how nannies can create a warm and trusting relationship with the children they are responsible for. For moms, making sure your nanny is connecting with your child is essential, these are techniques you can share with your nanny to help foster the kind of bonded and safe relationship you want for your children.
Posted on April 30, 2014 by admin | in Nanny
There is nothing more precious than a child who wraps his or her arms around your neck and enjoys the comfort and nurturing you provide. As a nanny, a mom/child relationship is only natural when you have bonded with a little one.
It takes time, creativity and a sense of trust to establish this close relationship with the children you care for on a daily basis. In order to enhance the nurturing environment and a child’s sense of comfort in your care, begin by creating a bond that will last a lifetime with loving actions and fun activities.
Books and Bonding
Children love to lose themselves in mystical stories and fairy tales. Create a bond with a child and encourage his or her imagination to run wild by making story time and reading a regular part of your day. Gather together at a designated time, whether it is before a nap or as a mid-day treat, and bundle up on the couch together to dive into another world. Allow the child to choose a book she enjoys or spend the time making up your own stories together.
The key to bonding with a book is to show your personality and learn to trust each other when being silly and creative. You can also learn more about a child’s likes, dislikes, hobbies and interests when prompting him or her to share experiences in story form.
One sure-fire way to establish a mom/child relationship as a nanny is to show an interest in your child’s hobbies and passions. If the child loves baseball, consider taking him to a professional game, tossing the ball around in the backyard or organizing a team with the neighborhood kids. As the coach, you can learn how your child interacts with others, improves his skills and if he knows how to be a good sport. By taking a special interest in his hobby, he will also learn that you are invested in his interests and that you support him.
“Any activity that allows a nanny and child to spend quality time together, talking and sharing a mutual interest, does wonders for their relationship and the child’s self-esteem, says Dr. Nerina Garcia-Arcement, a New-York based clinical psychologist.
If your child has a flare for art, dive right in by providing a blank canvas for the two of you to create a masterpiece. You can use this opportunity to learn from each other and most of all, learn more about each other.
The list of possibilities is endless when children have a variety of interests. From visiting a museum to spark his love for history and taking a dance class together with your little ballerina to hiking with your nature enthusiast and reading with your bookworm, quality time together sharing interests will surely build a mom/child relationship.
The Tell-All Session
Children are curious and want to know everything about each new person who comes into their life. The more you share with a child about your experiences, childhood, likes and dislikes, the more likely he or she will begin to trust and bond with you.
Take the opportunity to put together a storybook about your childhood with the child while prompting her to do the same. You can even research ancestry websites to find out more about your family and the child’s family.
Beyond sharing about your life, inquire about your child’s experiences. What does she like to do for fun? What are her dreams and goals? What does he worry about or fear? What are his friends like?
Take an interest in what’s important to the child to build a bond between the two of you. “Activities that allow a nanny to talk to the child about their friends, what they like to do, what they want to do, dreams, worries and hopes are recommended,” says Garcia-Arcement. “This way you can learn from each other.”
The Child’s Level
Even though you have to be the disciplinarian at times, it is still possible to maintain respect from a child while acting like a child yourself. Get on her level by divulging in kid activities and games.
A simple game of duck, duck, goose while sitting on the floor, at the same level as the child, shows your willingness to be a kid, too. Get silly and crawl around with your toddler, dance to music with the little one and dish about friends and fashion with older children.
Use these opportunities to have fun and also spark conversations with the children so that they can see both a playful and serious side of you, recommends Garcia-Arcement.