Supporting Parents

My grandmother loved to make afghans. She would crochet beautiful 3 inch wide strips and then use another stitch to connect her strips together to create a warm and cozy blanket.

Her afghans remind me of my desires for our nanny’s interactions with their nanny family.  Let me tell you more.

Over the years, we have met lots of different nannies each with their own unique personality. We have bold, talkative nannies, we have quieter nannies. We have nannies trained in the latest childcare development techniques and nannies who have an intuitive knowledge of what works best for each of their nanny children. We have nannies who share their love of sports with their nanny children while we have other nannies who focus on crafts and sciences.

One of our jobs in matching nannies with families is to create a great relationship in which each nanny can use her unique gifts and talents to meet our first nanny promise. This is the promise of supporting parents.

Before our nannies even have their first opportunity to cuddle a child, or plan a snack or arrange an activity, our nannies need to be ready to work with the parents to learn how to best support them and their family needs.

What does this look like?

Using the information that Jeff gathers during his in-home meeting, our nannies go into their first nanny shift with basic knowledge of the family’s preferred routine, activities, discipline approach and schedule needs.  Our nanny seeks to fit into this existing concept and find the ways that she can keep things running smoothly for the family.

Debriefing at the end of a shift with the nanny family helps our Northlight Nanny update the family on what happened during the shift, ask questions about situations that came up and gain insights into anything the family wishes to address.  Open communication is key to allowing the nanny and family to feel they are working together to provide quality care for the children.

Using simple techniques like a nanny journal allows a nanny to share stories about small, but crucial events that happen during the day.  Sharing about events such as diaper changes, medicine doses, free play vs structured activities and more can allow the parents to step back into their parenting role after a time away without wondering what their child has been doing.

And finally, a great nanny simply pays attention to ways that she can be helping the family without needing specific instruction.  Can she fit in time to unload the dishwasher before Mom and Dad get home? How about asking if she can help with the kids bedding every couple of weeks? Can she and the children help plan dinner once a week teaching some cooking skills and helping with a meal?  These moments will vary greatly from one family to another, but a key is to pay attention and ask what will be beneficial.

So – what does this have to do with my grandmother’s afghan?  We want our nannies to be yet another strip in a beautiful family afghan. Perhaps that strip is a different color, but it fits into the afghan and helps bring the whole thing to completion.  We are so appreciative of our Northlight Nannies and love all the color and warmth they  bring to our business and their nanny families.

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