I can hear a number of you saying, “I don’t think so,” or “I think I’ll pass on that job.” Right? It’s not as bad as so many caregivers make it out. In today’s technological world, more parents have the option to work from home. As a parent myself, I applaud parents who are able to work from home. Are you about to log off of your computer now or close the book? Well hold on, let’s discuss it. Assuming you work for sane people, and that you are also sane and skilled in the custodial care of kids, that is, you are able to nurture and stimulate their psychological and cognitive development, then the presence of mom or dad should not interfere with your task at hand. I understand fully that having a parent at home can lead to new squabbles because children behave differently when a parent is around. A child who is normally well behaved when you are alone with him/her will suddenly become more defiant because of the presence of a parent and will throw tantrums to illicit a reaction. This too can be worked out with a great deal of efficacy as long as the caregiver and parent(s) have harmony as it relates to rules, boundaries, and matters of discipline. A system must be developed by which mom or dad articulates to the child that, when the caregiver is on duty, the kids get all directives from the caregiver, and that the caregiver only liaises with the parent if necessary. This tactic helps the child understand the hierarchy in the household. There must be a concerted team effort and cohesiveness in setting rules that create consistency and clarity for the children, which may limit the number of times a child bangs on the parent’s office door. Another concern of many caregivers is the feeling of always being under the parents’ microscope. Hence, caregivers feel like they are constantly walking on eggshells while caring for the kids. Don’t be alarmed just yet; this problem too has a solution, provided you work for rational parents. In order to avoid such a situation, which could be very uncomfortable, articulate your concerns to your employers and, in turn, validate any concerns your employer may have. Understand that in a caregiver-family relationship, there must be constructive criticism by both parties; hence, both must be able to accept it to improve the work situation. Concerns such as a break while children nap and a time to check in on your own kids and family has to be allotted and well understood by the parents so you do not feel the need to hide when such things are being done. Never work for anyone who does not acknowledge the importance of your own family.
Lastly, there should and must be clear, valid, and objective reasons for believing that there is a monster behind the closed office door. So often, caregivers fail to understand their employers and, consequently, make judgments that are not warranted. Take time to understand your employer’s likes and dislikes and respect them. Do not expect an employer to be what you want him/her to be; remember employers are individuals with their own ideologies.
And, of course, when you know for a fact that there is a monster behind that closed office door, start looking for new opportunities. (Excerpt from “A Guide to Developing a Successful Family and Nanny Relationship…yes it can”) by Alene Mathurin