Bringing a new nanny or babysitter into your home to care for your children for the first time is a big decision that requires some getting used to from everyone. Some kids may react anxiously while others might express feelings of excitement. Regardless of their initial reaction, they’ll likely need some time to warm up to having a nanny around, and planning for this is key.
If you’ve already sifted through applications and found a good fit, congrats! The hardest part is over!
With that out of the way, it’s time to prepare for the introductions.
Give them fair warning.
If they aren’t used to being watched by a virtual stranger, don’t spring it on them at the last minute. They deserve some time to prepare, too. If you sense that your child might get a little too worked up if you let them know too far in advance, wait until the day before and bring the topic up casually.
Give the nanny some tips, too.
Let the nanny know what your children like, if there’s anything they really dislike, and anything else that could be of use beforehand.
Set aside some extra time for introductions.
Have the nanny arrive about 30 minutes early so that your kids are able to get acquainted with the nanny before you leave the house. This will allow you the time to walk through the routines and show your nanny where things are (first aid kit, snacks, art supplies, etc.) Keep in mind that it may take time for your children to establish a bond with their new nanny. Avoid jumping to conclusions if the kids don’t take to the nanny immediately.
Take it slow if you have a very small child.
If you have a baby, it might be a good idea to take a step-by-step approach to introductions. For example, you can have the nanny come over to help while you’re at home. This will help your baby get comfortable being around this new person and associate the nanny with a safe and positive atmosphere.
Get kids excited about meeting their new friend!
Yes, I said friend. Frame it as though the kids are meeting a new friend and they’re far more likely to look forward to it. Talk about how much fun they’re going to have and encourage them to brainstorm about what they’re going to do together.
Give the kids some power.
Letting your kids show the sitter around the house is a simple way to let them feel more in control of the situation. Giving kids a sense of control helps to alleviate feelings of helplessness and anxiety and will help them to break the ice with a new person.
Discuss the house rules.
Your kids need to understand that just because you aren’t home, it doesn’t mean the rules are any different.
Plan activities for your kids to do with the nanny.
Often, kids misbehave out of boredom or anxiety. Keep them busy with prepared games and fun activities while you’re away. They’ll have fun, and it’ll keep them out of trouble. The prepared activities can be anything from board games to art projects. Additionally, it will give the nanny an idea of what your children enjoy and some insight into their personalities, which she likely wouldn’t get if she just sat down and watched a movie with them. It’s as important for the nanny to get to know your kids as it is for them to get to know her, especially if she’ll be a regular fixture in their lives.
Let your kids know that you’re only a phone call away.
Giving your kids reassurance will help them feel more secure in the face of an unfamiliar situation. If you’re worried that they’ll call for no reason, you may want to discourage them from doing so unless it’s really important.
It may also help to let them know what time you plan to be home. If they’re particularly anxious, offer to call and check in after a predetermined amount of time.
Be open with your kids and encourage your kids to do the same.
Your kids probably already know that they can talk to you about anything, but sometimes it’s helpful to remind them. Tell them that their opinion on the new nanny matters.
Ask your kids for the rundown on the new nanny.
After the nanny leaves, ask your kids how it went and if they like the new nanny. Ask about what they did and if they think the new nanny should come back. Most of the time, kids will answer with a resounding yes.
Introducing your kids to a nanny or a babysitter for the first time will take a little foresight and planning. If your child is well prepared, and hopefully at least a bit excited, the transition should be a smooth one.
At Colonial Van Lines, we strive to help you prepare for whatever life throws your way. Whether it be for a long distance move or introducing your kids to the new nanny.
When you hire us, you’ll get:
- End to end service, including packing, moving, and storage
- Reliable, friendly, experienced movers
- A plan customized to fit your needs and budget
- A free transparent rate quote
- Affordable options
Whatever you’re preparing for, the team at Colonial Van Lines is happy to help! Contact us today for our free rate quote and we’ll get you moving in the right direction.