Nanny never forget the reason you are in the home of your employer. You’re not a mediator in the family’s squabbles or a contributor to the family’s contentious saga.
If you work in such an intimate setting as a family’s home, at one point or another, you’ll undoubtedly hear and see fights, heated arguments, in-law quandaries, and much more. It’s no different than in your own home where you also have bickering among your children, spouse, and in-laws.
What’s different in this case is you are at this particular home to help ensure the children receive the best possible care and are truly content. You are a professional and an employee who knows how to ensure healthy boundaries are always maintained at the workplace.
In a situation where the parents are having a heated disagreement and the kids are present, take the kids to the backyard to play, or suggest an impromptu visit to a playground or park.
You have no business hauling news about one spouse to the other; this just creates, or adds to, existing conflicts. Whatever inappropriate behavior you see, leave to the spouses to handle, as long as it doesn’t involve you or affect the children you care for. It’s no business of yours if Mr. Smith, your employer who works from home, is constantly having friendly chats with Janice, who conveniently visits only when Mrs. Smith is not home or is away on a business trip.
Your business is to ensure that while the kids are in your care, they are not exposed to the inappropriate activity or negligent behavior of a parent. This can be done by simply removing them from the situation when it’s warranted.
We all know the in-laws will visit, and the mother-in-law may not like her daughter-in-law, and vice versa, or the mother-in-law may think the son-in-law is too fat or not wealthy enough. We’ve heard it all. However, it’s not your place to strike up gossip about your employers when the in-laws visit. Don’t allow cheap gossip to be the basis of your relationship with the in-laws and extended family members. You’re not their courier of news events that happen in the family you are employed by.
Find engaging things to talk about with the children’s extended family, whether it is grandma, grandpa, aunts, or uncles. Fill them in on the children’s developmental progress and the funny things they say, or show them the art projects they’ve missed out on.
Whatever you do nannies, stay quiet about the family’s private affairs. It’s not your business, and it’s certainly not the business of the extended family if they weren’t filled in by the family in the first place.