Maintaining a United Front with your Nanny

Avoid Being Divided and Conquered

We all remember which parent would allow us to eat ice cream, which one was more likely to let us stay out later, which one was focused on your grades, and which one got more upset about a messy room. Children naturally attempt to divide and conquer, so when you have a nanny in your home, you’ll want to be sure they are a part of your united front.

Hopefully your nanny has a clear picture of how your family operates before they start the position. Nannies should be reinforcing the parenting philosophy of the home, so you’ll want to make sure it is very clear what is important to your family, in order for you all to be consistent. Let’s be clear, “consistent” doesn’t necessarily mean the “same”, but your nanny should know your core values and beliefs, so they are able to create and maintain guidelines.

In practice, this isn’t as easy as it sounds, and sometimes your nanny may make a different decision than you or your spouse would. This is where it is most important for both of you to defer to your nanny, in order to maintain the appearance of agreement (within reason of course). As a follow up, you’ll want to meet privately (and non-judgmentally) with your nanny, to talk about how you may have handled a situation differently.

In fact, regular meetings with parents and nannies to check-in about philosophies, values, rules, limits, and consequences are extremely important. This allows your nanny to run the household when you are not there (or even when you are – most of you are still working from home!), without checking in about every little thing.