Having spent considerable time with nannies from all walks of life, I realize that some caregivers consciously make themselves sound and even look less educated so that they do not appear to be their employer’s equal. They knowingly take a stance of cognitive submissiveness.
I understand the hierarchy inherent in the caregiver-family relationship: The family sets the rules the caregiver follows. This, however, does not mean that your opinions and vast experience become obsolete. On the contrary, an employer who is psychologically and emotionally healthy will welcome your ideas on caregiving even, or especially, if they differ from their own. To suggest that you have no opinions on any subject is absurd. This ultimately feeds into the stereotype that caregivers only know how to execute custodial care like diapering, bathing, and feeding.
To refuse to voice your ideas in a constructive, educated, and respectful manner does a disservice to you and your invaluable experience. It’s not what we say but how we say it, and the tonality, that matters…cliché but nevertheless true.
How do you give feedback about caregiving especially when it differs from your employers?
By Alene Mathurin