Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Teaching Respect

We’ve all heard the adage: To gain respect we must give respect. How do children learn to be respectful? We all know that children learn from the adults around them, so what are we modeling? Are they seeing that mom, dad and nanny are treating each other respectfully? Are they expected to be respectful themselves? Are they feeling respected? Respect is a two-way street

Although children may not put labels such as respect or disrespect to the behaviors they see around them they are watching . . . and learning. Is it the lesson you want them to receive? When children see adults they care about communicating in an open and valued manner they will follow those examples. And it’s not only what is said or how it is communicated but body language as well. Children are constantly interpreting what they are seeing and feeling.

Encouraging Respect:
1) Serve as role model of respect in your daily interactions; taking other’s opinions seriously and controlling emotions. You are also a role model when you correct children after they behave insensitively towards others.
2) Encourage appropriate group interactions. Children need practice with their peers and adults. Understanding individual uniqueness while having a feeling of belonging goes a long way in building respectful behavior.
3) Encourage self discipline. Individuals who are able to discipline themselves have an easier time managing reasonable social rules and expectations.
4) Provide decision making opportunities. Giving children a say in family or other group rule development empowers them to follow those same rules in various circumstances and to appreciate the authority of others.
5) Often showing respect means being tolerant. Cooperating with others in projects and conflict resolution helps build the values of sharing and tolerance.
6) Promote discussion and debate. Issues such as fairness, inclusion or exclusion, and following rules are part of a normal day for us all. Being able to discuss feelings and opinions in a constructive manner needs to be practiced and developed.

Show Respect:
1) Allow the speaker, adult or child, to complete what they are saying uninterrupted. Be a good listener.
2) Allow children to make mistakes – and forgive mistakes that are made by others, whether children or adults.
3) Allow and encourage civil disagreement. We don’t all agree on everything. Being able to accept differences is important. Civil discussion is a balance of expression and listening skills.
4) Transition time is necessary. While this is most often true of children it can also be true of adults. Being pressured can lead to disrespectful outbursts that could be avoided.
5) No means no. Being able to say no and stick to it. This is a good one for all of us to follow. Wheedling to get a “no” to turn into “yes” is disrespectful. If your “no” is easily turned to “yes” what message is that sending to others?

Respect is an asset worth everyone’s investment which has great return, not only to your family but to the community at large.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

How to Keep a Nanny Long-Term

"We’ve had challenges keeping a nanny long term with our family. What are we doing wrong?"

The nanny employment relationship is very unique. For one thing it is very personal and intimate. This makes for a great foundation for caring for children and working with parents in a partnership. It also increases sensitivity about the daily issues that can come up and can make dealing with concerns challenging for everyone. Here are a few tips to keep in mind.

MUTUAL RESPECT: This is huge. Respecting each other is critical from day one. Being cognizant that your nanny is a professional and her expertise can really be an asset to your family. Great nanny and family relationships rely on respecting each other.

WORK AGREEMENT: Establish a work agreement with details about the position that everyone is clear about and then follow through with what you’ve agreed to. If things aren’t working for whatever reason address them directly and specifically. Don’t wait until frustrations set in before talking together. Nannies from the Heartland client families receive a fill-in-the blank work agreement document to use as is or as a springboard for creating their own.

UNDERSTANDING THE NANNY: Nannies are nurturers. This is ideal for a profession centering on children and families. Their position with your family is very personal to them. It’s a very different environment than working in the corporate world. So a different approach is needed when discussing job related issues with the nanny. Put yourself in her shoes and see things from her viewpoint.

APPRECIATION: Everyone needs to know they are appreciated – in your job, with your family and friends. Appreciation builds a relationship and fosters loyalty. Letting your nanny know that you appreciate the care she is providing for your children and family goes a long way. A daily “thank you” is simple and effective. A thoughtful personal gift on their birthday or at a holiday will show that you not only appreciate them but have taken the time to know who they are.

COMPENSATION: Appropriate compensation which reflects your nanny’s experience, background and education will help ensure a long term working relationship. This includes paying accurately and on time. If you are uncertain about the current market, contact us at Nannies from the Heartland, we’d be happy to assist you. The compensation package should also include how vacations, holidays or other benefits are handled. Following through on your work agreement in these areas is important to the nanny. Period performance and compensation reviews should be done to keep everything up-to-date. Nannies from the Heartland supplies a performance review document that is provided to both the nannies and families working with us.

GREAT PARTNERSHIPS = Long Term Positions: We have many stories of amazing nanny and family relationships which have lasted for years and years. The one common theme is the time they took to develop their relationship and really work as a team. Great nannies who are happy in their work truly value their job, the children and their employers. Great employer families support their nanny; treating them with respect and care. While not every nanny and family relationship is always long term, many are. Nannies from the Heartland are experts in helping both nannies and families find the best possible fit to build strong partnerships.