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How Moms and Nannies Can Recover After a Disagreement

Posted on by Erin | in Nannies

Any parent who has ever needed a helping hand with child-rearing knows that it is nearly impossible to agree on every issue regarding “kid stuff,” even when the help is coming from a partner or another close loved one. Child-raising disagreements with a nanny or caregiver are also bound to happen. Thankfully, most arguments between Mom and Nanny can be resolved quickly and easily, allowing life to go back to normal promptly for the most important people involved — the children.

Inevitable Childcare Disagreements

Disagreements between a mother and her child’s nanny have been occurring since childcare practices began. Emotions regarding the care of children often run high, and are a completely natural component of the mother-caregiver relationship. That being said, there are differences between understandable conflicts between mothers and nannies regarding care and unnecessary conflicts that revolve around relentless nitpicking.

Common, understandable disagreements often include — but are not by any means limited to — the salary and hours of the nanny and the bedtimes, meal choices and activities of the children. If you get into an argument with your nanny over the color of her shirt, there may be a bigger problem here than mere communication.

If the cause for conflict is something life-threatening, goes against religious or philosophical beliefs or causes either party some form of legitimate discomfort, it needs to be discussed. Disagreements happen, and they occur between people everywhere, every day. That doesn’t mean they are easy, it just means that we can easily overcome them.

Let’s face it: even the strongest, most powerful moms on the planet can be nervous when it comes time to confront someone, especially when that someone cares for their child. After all, mothers worry. What if she walks out and I can’t get to work until I find another nanny? What if he takes the disagreement out on the kids? My child likes this nanny so much; what if she can’t connect with another caregiver? These are all common concerns that mothers have. Likewise, even the most talented, self-assured nannies worry about confrontation regarding hours, salary or work conditions. What if they hire someone who will work for less? What if I get fired because I can’t work on Sundays anymore?

The Truth About Needs, Disagreements and Resolution

We all have needs, and sometimes those needs create conflicts, especially if we become defensive when certain talking points are brought up.

Moms, it is OK to be picky about the care of your children. If you want them to eat only vegan-friendly foods every other Tuesday or if you insist they get their homework done before they are allowed to have screen time, then that is your prerogative as a mother. If you want your child to be in bed by seven on weekdays and nine on Saturdays, or you have a strict rule banning all artificial food dyes from your household, that is also your right. You should never be nervous about expressing these needs and rules to your nanny, and you should also never be nervous to remind them of these needs if you feel like your rules are being breached. By starting the conversation, you will:

  • know you and your nanny are on the same page;
  • be more comfortable with your children in his or her care; and
  • allow your children to grow and develop steadily with the same nanny for years to come.

Nannies, if you feel you need (or deserve) a higher salary, or if you just can’t work those extra weekend days you’ve been putting in anymore, it is OK and absolutely necessary for you to honestly communicate your needs and frustrations. If you feel like you are overworked, underpaid or just deserve better, have a discussion with your employer, even if it turns into a disagreement. Once you’ve discussed your concerns with your employer you’ll be able to:

  • get what you want;
  • leave the resentment at the door; and
  • do your job to the very best of your abilities, without feeling under-appreciated or unheard.

Disagreements are a natural part of a good working relationship. When problems are not solved through clear and assertive communication, the relationship between mom and nanny becomes unhealthy. Resentment and tension build, and sooner than later the gasket will blow. When that happens, Mom and Nanny both risk saying things that can’t easily be taken back. If this is what you’re dealing with, a large dose of good, old-fashioned conflict resolution may be just what the doctor ordered. Communication is an amazing tool that can fix many problems, even with hurdles that seem far too high to rise above.

Resolve Conflicts, for You and the Kids

Children deserve to grow up in a village filled with loving people. That village includes family, friends, neighbors and caregivers. When a disagreement occurs between mother and nanny, it is important for the conflict to be resolved, if possible, for the sake of the child, so he may develop healthy attachments and grow up with his own set of healthy, beneficial relationships.

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