How Nannies Are Making the World a Better Place
One of the hottest topics in psychology circles, and in coffee shops all over the world, is the age-old debate of nature versus nurture. Are the human beings we become as adults shaped more by the traits we inherit in our DNA or from the experiences we have as children.
While the jury is still out on this one, and probably always will be, most people will agree it is a combination of both. Our childhood experiences matter a lot on the type of person we become. And… this is why nannies can quite literally make the world a better place!
All working parents have to decide who is going to take care of their children while they’re working. Will it be daycare or a nanny? There are many reasons that nanny is the definitively better choice. We discuss some of these reasons below.
Nannies Work Very Closely With Parents
Most states have regulations regarding staff to child ratios at daycare centers. For example, in California daycare centers are required to have at least one adult supervisor for every fourteen children aged six years old or older.
These high ratios effectively eliminate the possibility of a daycare supervisor interacting closely with the parents.
When you hire a nanny, it’s a very different dynamic.
Nannies trade detailed information about the kids with the parents every day, often several times a day. If Scotty got his feelings hurt by his big sister the night before, the parents can pass this on to the nanny so he or she can be watching the interaction between the two siblings more closely.
If a fight breaks out between the two of them, the nanny will know that it may actually have little to do with what is going on at that moment and more to do with what happened the night before.
The nanny can intervene more effectively with this knowledge and work on helping to heal the relationship more quickly and prevent it from escalating into something more ugly. Just getting the siblings to giggle and laugh about something together might do the trick.
There Can Be More Child and Parent Interaction
With a nanny, special accommodations can be made so the child or children can spend some quality time with the parent on a workday. For example, a parent can call the nanny throughout the day and have them put a young child on the phone for a few minutes.
Just one or two minutes on the phone with Mom or Dad can make a huge difference. The child can share their excitement about an activity with the parent and the parent can give positive reinforcements like saying, “I’m so proud of you honey.” This would be far harder to arrange, if not impossible if the child is in daycare.
A lunchtime video Skype session can be planned for a child to have a face to face conversation with a parent. For example, if a child is sick in bed, she can get some extra comfort from her Dad. A child can show off an art project or a new song he learned to his Mom.
A lunchtime Skype session would also a great opportunity for the child to see the nanny and parent interact with each other and to interact with both the parent and nanny simultaneously. With this type of interaction, the child will more easily grow to think of the nanny a trusted family member.
A nanny could also take the child to a park near the parent’s place of business so they could all have a picnic together, again strengthening the family dynamic and including the nanny in this dynamic.
Nannies Notice Little Things That Really Matter
The bond between a child and a good nanny is like that of a favorite aunt or uncle. Because of this, they get to know every microexpression that child has! They know when the child is pretending and when they’re not.
They also start to care for that child as if they were a niece or nephew, so they become more observant and more vigilant over their activities and feelings.
If a child has a minor toothache, he or she may try to cover up this fact and pretend it doesn’t hurt so they don’t have to go to the dentist. It’s the sort of thing only a person who knows them intimately would be able to see through.
A nanny can alert the parent that there may be a problem so the parent knows to watch the child very carefully when they chew over dinner and or drink a hot or cold beverage. This way, they can get the child to the dentist if need be before a minor problem becomes a major problem.
The nanny can also help soothe the child’s nervousness about going to the dentist so they don’t spend all day fretting about it and building up even more anxiety about it. When the nanny sees that starting to happen, they can distract them with a fun diversion.
A nanny may notice that a little girl doesn’t want to color black straight hair on a girl in a coloring book even though she has black straight hair. She may press this issue a bit by suggesting this color and style on the next page. If the child still does not want to, she may gently inquire why. The child may then open up that she was teased at school about her straight black hair.
The nanny can hug her and tell her how pretty her hair is, comb her hair, have her look in the mirror, and ask the little girl if she would please color one to look like her so she can take it home and hang it on her refrigerator.
The nanny can also tell the parents about this so they can reinforce what the nanny has done so they too can help the child to grow up with a more positive self-image and more confidence. While this sort of thing could potentially happen in a daycare center, it is far less likely with the adult to child ratios they have.
Nannies Can Tailor Activities More Specifically
A nanny may notice how excited a child gets when she sees a hummingbird on a walk in the neighborhood. She can encourage this interest by helping the child to look up on the internet how to make their homemade hummingbird feeder and then help him to gather the supplies and make it.
The nanny could take the child to the library not just for any books but specifically on books about hummingbirds and birds in general. The nanny could then take the child not just on a public field trip to the science museum, but they could spend a lot of extra time in the bird section to nurture and grow the child’s natural interest.
This could lead to the child growing up to be a scientist and or a person who likes to take their children on nature walks. Building on a child’s natural interests right at the moment they occur can have a profoundly positive effect on the rest of their lives!
On another walk, the child might get excited about seeing giant sunflowers growing in someone’s yard. The nanny could take the child to the store to buy sunflower seeds and show her how to pot them inside and then transfer the seedling outside.
She could also help the child pick out just the right place in the yard to plant the sunflower by asking her questions like, “Where does the sun shine brightest in the afternoon?” They could even track the sun for a few days as it moves across the sky, noting where the sunshine is the brightest at different times of the day.
The nanny could even help the child plant the sunflower as a surprise for Mom’s birthday by helping the child research how long it will take to get big. This experience may start a lifelong passion for gardening and for giving homemade gifts from the heart.
The possibilities are endless with the nurturing of a good nanny, especially one that becomes part of the family and is careful to keep in good communication with the parents.