Nanny Talk – Boundaries in the Workplace
Every nanny’s work situation differs; however, the one important commonality that all nannies must share is the goal of ensuring that they help promote a conflict-free environment for many reasons but especially to benefit the children within the household. One way nannies can achieve this is by ensuring cohesion with the parents in terms of rules within the home, boundaries, value systems and facilitating the constant flow of open and honest communication.
Embracing the knowledge that everyone has his or her own unique beliefs and learning to respect them is paramount when working as a professional nanny in intimate settings, such as a private home. On the other hand, caregivers must be able to articulate to a potential hiring family their own unique beliefs as applied to parenting, rules, values, and so forth. Establishing and maintaining an open dialogue between both parties will help ensure the compatibility in fundamental beliefs necessary to guarantee that boundaries are set and not violated.
Tips for ensuring that boundaries are maintained while working as a nanny in a private home setting:
- Respect the autonomy that the parents have provided you, as it relates to setting up playdates, park visits, spending on necessary incidentals and so forth. An effective caregiver is ethical in her dealings and will always ensure that she further gains the family’s trust by being honest in all facets of her job.
- A professional caregiver dresses, speaks and maintain a dignified, yet approachable rapport while on the job. Remember perception is reality and hence extra attention should be placed on how you present yourself as a professional.
- Be able to respect differences as it relates to religious beliefs, sexual orientation and the family’s lifestyle, if you are going to accept a job as a nanny. Respecting these differences will ensure that you never violate some boundaries while you provide care to children.
- Have open dialogue with the parents about your expectations and ensure that they are willing to meet your expectations. Also communicate immediately when your expectations have not been met in order for you to not feel violated by the family.
- What happens in the private lives and home of a family should stay in their private home! A caregiver should be mindful never to share a family’s personal information with others. This violates their privacy. Likewise a family should never share the caregiver’s personal information with others as this too, violates the caregiver’s privacy.
- Be careful how you communicate with the children in your care, no matter if it may be the tenth time that you are trying to correct a behavior. Be assertive but calm while communicating with children.
- The central place for a nanny’s job is the family’s home and hence caregivers need to appreciate and respect that intimate space and also know the boundaries and rules that the family has as it relates to their homes. Never invite anyone to the family’s home without their consent. Set boundaries for yourself as it relates to the family’s private areas like a master bedroom or home offices.
- Have an open mind but also be conscious of your own boundaries, limitations and what you can generally tolerate. Ensure that there’s compatibility as it relates to value systems. Failure to not fully explore this area may result in a very uncomfortable work situation.
No matter where people work, they are generally more productive if the work environment is stress and conflict-free; that there’s a great appreciation for constructive dialogue which can serve as a way of improving better work relationship.