Building Bridges Not Walls Between Nannies and Parents – Why Communication is the Key.
Posted by: Sue Atkins
I was doing a Facebook Live recently for a group of Nannies and I was asked about ‘Passive Aggressive’ parents.
Lots of us encounter passive aggressive-behaviour on a regular basis in our workplace but it can also thrive & creep in to our in families, schools & relationships.
In fact, a lot of nanny employers are really bad at employer-employee communications despite often being really effective communicators at work.
Many mothers who employ nannies are actually overstretched, overwrought and over tired working women, a number of whom, contrary to their professional personas, suffer from an inability to clearly express their expectations and demands to the people they pay to care for their children.
The result is a peculiar passive-aggressive form of communication, a less-than-ideal dynamic between worker and boss and certainly not an ideal atmosphere for the children.
The Big ‘Gremlin of Guilt’
I have found that most mums whether they are working mums, single mums, stay at home mums, or mums that hire nannies suffer from what I call ‘The Big G – The Gremlin of Guilt’ at times & they can often suffer from feelings of low self-esteem around their own maternal inadequacy, so they fail to articulate what they want from their nanny — and then to make themselves feel better, they complain to friends, to their partner, or vent on an online forum !
One approach is for the nanny to seize the initiative and to draw out of the mother her needs and wants and expectations. To have an effective ‘nanny – parent’ relationship communication is key and if it’s not being initiated by the parents, it has to be initiated by the nanny but that takes confidence and skill.
When I work with nannies one to one, or mediate with the parent & nanny if the relationship gets stuck, I coach them on how to figure out what on earth families really want & the simple answer is: to ask!
The nanny- parent relationship is complex and personal but clear communication is crucial if the relationship is to thrive and to work for all the family.
Nannies are not mind readers and parents need to be confident and up front enough to be clear about what they want from their nanny.
It’s all about building bridges, not walls between the nanny and the mum with open, transparent and clear communication.
I often coach parents to use this technique ‘When you …..
I feel ….
I would like …..’
as this facilitates a simple, easy way of expressing their needs without resorting to being passive aggressive.
When it comes to having a successful, healthy work relationship, communication is key.
If you’d like to find out more about my talks, Facebook Lives and Webinars for nannies and parents drop me an email to [email protected] and jump on an join in my Parenting Club Forum to make new friends, share great ideas and learn, laugh and enjoy the adventure all together.