Child development

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Nannies, Families, and Love Languages

The 5 Love Languages, book by Gary Chapman, swept the nation. Couples everywhere jumped to take the test to find out what their and their partner’s love languages are. Love Languages help people better understand their own emotional needs as well as the emotional needs of their partner to better strengthen a relationship. Knowing what another person wants and needs in order to feel safe, happy and secure is essential in creating a happy and healthy relationship. This study has been primarily focused on adult romantic relationships, but there is no reason that the love language cannot apply directly to children and their nannies as well. 

What are the 5 Love Languages?

According to author Gary Chapman, there are 5 Love Languages, or five ways that people communicate their love or feel love communicated to them. They are: 

  1. Acts of Service,
  2. Words of Affirmation,
  3. Receiving Gifts,
  4. Quality Time,
  5. Physical Touch.

How can I apply this to my child?

Children ask, through their actions, every day if they are seen or understood. A child acting out is a child who isn’t feeling seen or understood. Understanding your child’s love language can correct and assist with discipline. It can create a stronger bond with your child, and a child who feels loved and secure has a much easier time learning and a much higher success rate academically.

Knowing what love language your child most strongly connects with can greatly assist you in your search for a nanny and strengthen your child’s bond with their nanny should you already have one. 

Where does my nanny come in?

Knowing what love language your child most strongly connects with can greatly assist you in your search for a nanny and strengthen your child’s bond with their nanny should you already have one. In searching for your next caregiver, you can ask leading questions in the interview (link to interview blog) that focus on the caregiver’s ability to connect with and provide for your child’s love language. The more your child feels seen and understood by their caregivers, the higher their self confidence and the better they do in school. Studies show that the less a child feels loved, the smaller their brains and the fewer neural pathways they have for learning.

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Speaking to your child’s love language

If your child’s love language is quality time, but the way that you communicate your love is in gift giving, there can be a disconnect between you and your child. You both love each other, but your child may not recognize or understand that to you, gift giving is your expression of love. They need quality time to feel loved, secure and cared for. Instead of buying your child a gift, spend quality time with your child and encourage your nanny to do so as well. Quality time looks like active listening and engaging in the child’s interests without distractions. Once you understand how your child feels loved, you can express this to your child’s nanny so they can better assist in the child’s emotional development.

How to find out your love language

Interested in knowing what each member of your family’s love language is? Take the quiz here

The first step towards providing for your child’s needs is to understand them. Love Languages are a wonderful way to strengthen communication with your child and create strong foundations for their developmental journey. If you have questions or comments about your child’s Love Language, or how to implement the strategy with your child’s nanny, reach out to us

We would love to hear what your love language is and how you show and receive love!

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How To Keep Privileged Kids Grounded

By Franziska Garner

Sarah, three years old, walked up to the driver who was cleaning out the car and demanded pizza. The driver immediately stopped what he was doing and got into the car.

Samuel, five years, broke another boy’s car in the park. Without a word he ran over to his nanny and demanded that she gave him some money to reimburse the boy.

These are just two examples of children growing up in a privileged environment. Their behavior is not necessarily rude and inappropriate. Sometimes, they really just don’t know better. It’s good to learn how to keep privileged kids grounded so caregivers like nannies, mannies and teachers help such children to see beyond their diamond-covered little boxes?

Team Up With The Parents

Always (and especially in a high net worth / high profile setting) make very sure to communicate as much as possible with the parents, or other legal guardian. Some questions I like to clarify include:

  • How are staff addressed? First name, last name, Miss, Mister?
  • Do the children have chores?
  • How much influence do the children have on outings, food, screen time, etc?
  • Are the children’s needs always first?
  • Are they allowed to meet children outside their social circle?

These questions aim as much on finding out the status quo when entering a new position as finding out what the parents expect from their children. Make sure you know how the parents want their children treated and how they want their children to treat others. If possible, make such conversations a recurring event to take the children’s development into account.

Using manners demonstrates respect for the other person. It is crucial to teach the child as early as possible that manners are not a matter of status but rather a social norm that applies equally to everyone

Have a Conversation with the Other Staff

After you talked to the parents, have a conversation with all staff that are contact with the children. That can include housekeepers, drivers, bodyguards, tutors, cooks, etc. By now you know what is expected of the children so you can speak with authority. Explain what kind of behavior is accepted and what is not.

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Manners are a Social Norm

Using manners demonstrates respect for the other person. It is crucial to teach the child as early as possible that manners are not a matter of status but rather a social norm that applies equally to everyone. When someone is higher in status (or in the world of a child, stronger, taller, richer, older, etc), this doesn’t mean that they don’t have to use the same manners as someone who is of a lower status (weaker, smaller, less privileged, younger etc). In a staffed house it is crucial to involve the employees in the teaching of manners by asking them to expect the same politeness and courtesy from their employer’s children as they do from their own.

"Fancy" Outings vs. "Normal" Outings

Hands down, it is great fun to rent an entire movie theater for a birthday party. But even if outings like this are considered normal and nothing special, it can help tremendously to purposefully take the children on low budget outings. Some good examples are the park, a library, a public swimming pool, the zoo, the museum, etc.

Why are such “normal” outings helpful? Low budget outings are exactly that. Low budget. Children learn that it is possible to have a great and fun day without spending a ton of money. It will also give the children an opportunity to be around other young ones who are not in the same social group. If the parents are okay with it, I would always recommend to make sure that the children have friends who live less privileged lives. Meeting and playing with such children can help your charges tremendously when it comes to figuring out their own place in the world.

Random Acts of Kindness

Every child needs to learn that sharing is something positive and beneficial for both sides. Especially children who never lack anything and immediately have every need fulfilled, tend to be seen as self-centered and egoistical. That is however not the child’s fault. They can only learn what is taught.

In my experience, random acts of kindness help children to expand and deepen their contact with the world. They can also support your charge in discovering themselves as a contributing member of society. I do however always recommend, that the child either gives something up that is theirs (toys, clothes, even time), or money they have made themselves.

Let me give you two examples:

1. Why not go through the children’s toys, collect what they don’t want anymore and give them to children’s homes, churches, food banks, etc? Depending on the age and the maturity of the children, they can accompany you there so they see that their toys are really needed elsewhere.

2. Children can do lemonade (cookie,…)  stands. They need to go shopping, prepare the lemonade and actually sell it. The money they make can then go to someone who needs it, like charities, animal shelters, school drives etc. This can be beneficial in two ways: 1. The child works for his/her money and learns to give it up to do something good. 2. The child learns that making money can be hard work.

Whatever you do to teach your privileged children kindness and manners, always make sure that at the end of the day they are allowed to be what they really are: Children who need to be loved no matter how much money their parents make.

About the author:

Franziska Garner was born in Germany and has been living in the USA since 2015. She holds a Masters in Education and is a certified teacher. Franziska has long term experience as a nanny and governess for high profile and high net worth families and as public school teacher. Her professional website can be found here. Franziska currently she lives in Lubbock, Texas.

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Childcare Philosophies

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When looking for a nanny for your child you may find yourself more concerned with scheduling and transportation than with child rearing philosophies. However, understanding the philosophy that would best work for your family can greatly assist in finding the right nanny, and for ensuring that your child has consistent care. Once you understand which philosophy works best for your family, you can skew your nanny search based on this philosophy, creating consistent and optimized care for your child. Below are the top early developmental child care philosophies.

Montessori

Montessori is one of the most popular childcare systems. Founded in 1907 by Maria Montessori, the idea is that children are in control of their own education, with teachers acting as aids or guides. On a daily basis, children participate in hands-on activities in which toys are tools designed for specific purposes to guide their learning about a specific subject. Montessori also encourages children to take personal responsibility for their wellbeing, fostering independence by making their own snacks, taking care of their own belongings and cleaning up after themselves. Children learn at their own pace, focusing on individual learning and creating a healthy atmosphere.

RIE

Resources for Infant Educarers or RIE is the philosophy that the most important education in a child’s early life is the care and connection that they feel with their caregivers. The idea is that the foundation of a child’s learning is based off of how safe and respected they feel. Educating a child through caring allows them to learn about themselves, to feel seen and understood, and feel like they matter in the world. RIE is not only designed to educate children but parents and caregivers as well. Through caring for the child, parents learn to trust themselves and their child, creating a strong bond between the two.

“Are your kids high energy? Does the candidate mention they love to work out, swim or go on hikes in their free time? These are hints that you could be a great fit for each other. We have a long list of extra questions available in our on-boarding packet for new families, just ask to see more!”

Waldorf

The Waldorf method focuses on dependable routine. Teachers are often with the same group of children for up to eight years, creating and nurturing trusting and secure relationships. Through comfortable furnishings and play areas, the Waldorf atmosphere is intended to feel like home. There is also a heavy emphasis on creative learning, such as arts, crafts, music, theater and cooking. The idea is that children thrive in comfort, and the Waldorf method uses the home-like atmosphere and dependable routine to allow children to thrive.

Reggio Emilia

Similar to Montessori, children are their own agents in learning with Reggio Emilia. Children are encouraged to explore their interests while teachers guide them to create projects based on their enthusiasms. The focus is also on creativity and the arts, with projects and daily play documented so that parents and caregivers can remain on the same page and monitor their child’s development.

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High/Scope

High/Scope is the inverse of Waldorf where the emphasis is placed not on social or emotional development but academic success. Instead of creative pursuits, children are directed more towards mathematics and linguistics. Children learn collaboratively with teachers and it is an excellent route for children who work best one on one and for children with special needs.

Bank Street

Bank Street was founded in 1916 based off of the philosophies of Lucy Sprague Mitchell and is great for children who learn best in an environment lacking structure. In Bank Street teaching, the classroom is the world around us and is considered to be the biggest tool in a child’s learning. Children are regarded as active learners as lessons are focused on the social sciences; history, geography and anthropology. Artistic and scientific lessons are taught within the context of cultural applications, creating an integrated curriculum. Children are encouraged to exercise their imaginations, and have the opportunity to choose to work alone or in groups, with teachers acting as guides rather than leaders. 

Religious

If faith-based learning is right for your family, many churches and religious schools offer preschool programs. The philosophy followed in any given religious school may differ, and the religious content taught may vary. Be sure to speak to the school about the program offered, as well as details on their curriculum and philosophy.

At Los Angeles Nannies we source and vet a wide range of nannies with differing backgrounds who have extensive experience in early childhood education. Let us know which childcare philosophy works best for you and we can find a nanny who is an expert and a perfect match for your family.

 

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How to become a private homeschool teacher

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If you’re a longterm Gossip Girl or Elite fan, you’ll understand why the role of private school teacher is a coveted and sought after position. For many nannies who have worked in high profile homes, taught after school classes, or have tutored or home educated, becoming a teacher in a private school is a logical, if not challenging, next step to take. In the current climate with schools largely operating at home, becoming an at-home private teacher may be the perfect route for a nanny with plenty of at-home work experience. So how can one become a private school teacher – at home? 

Understanding Private Schools

First, take a look at what makes a private school private. Public schools are funded by the government, with strict budgetary limitations based on each district’s tax allocations. A private school is privately funded, allowing teachers and students access to more resources not typically found in public schools. These resources range from athletic equipment, extracurriculars, classes in the arts and music, the latest technology, field trips, and classroom necessities. Nannies know exactly what it’s like to have their efforts funded directly by the family, however, families that homeschool often are eligible to receive money from the government for education. This homeschool fund is allocated for supplies, curriculum, time spent educating, and in some cases, for hiring a homeschooling teacher.
 

“The road to becoming a private school / homeschool teacher is long and winding, but the benefits are many. Increased salary, one-on-one learning, job security, and immense freedom in curriculum are just a few perks private homeschool teachers can expect from their jobs.!”

Responsibilities of a Private School Teacher

Private school teachers can expect more freedom in terms of funding and academic life, but they are also expected to participate in student life more heavily than a public school teacher would. Teachers can expect to be required to participate in extracurriculars such as coaching sports, providing mentorship and tutoring, sponsoring student clubs, liaising between the school and community, and participating in fundraising events. As parents are the ones funding the school and therefore each teacher’s salary, they will expect more opportunities for growth for their child and they will also expect more control over their education. This is especially true of teachers who provide at home education. Homeschooling teachers can expect to be directly collaborating with parents to create their child’s curriculum. Because the teacher will be in the child’s home working one-on-one, they will also be heavily involved in the development of the child’s social and emotional life, not just academic. Parents expect homeschooling teachers to be more than just educators. They are required to be mentors, role models, problem solvers, and life coaches. For at-home private teachers, life becomes a lesson. There are teaching opportunities in everything, and teachers can be much more creative in terms of creating lesson plans and field trips to better enrich the child’s learning. With extra funds, private homeschooling teachers can get extremely creative with the child’s academic program by taking trips, creating fun projects, or purchasing the latest educational technology. Homeschool teachers can also expect a more rewarding experience through creating a solid bond with the child.

Qualifications

Because a private school has more money and therefore more resources, the qualifying requirements of it’s teachers are more robust. The same is for private homeschooling educators. Most private schools will require at least a Bachelor’s Degree in Education, but having a Master’s will be preferred. Each parent will have their own education requirements expected of their homeschooling teachers, but continued education is still a great idea. Teachers will have to have a broad understanding of a multitude of subjects such as math, science, liberal arts, classroom management, special education, curriculum creation, moderation expertise, and child development. For private teachers, parents may follow specific childrearing philosophies, such as Montessori or Waldorf methods and will expect teachers to have completed certifications for their designated philosophy, or to do extensive reading on the subject prior to hire.
 

Courses

While there is no standardized testing requirement necessary to become a private school teacher, it could not hurt one’s standings to stand out in the applicant pool. Because many parents will have different expectations, its a great idea for homeschooling teachers to cover their bases and take as many courses as they can. Exams such as the CBEST, California Basic Educational Skills Test, the RICA, Reading Instruction Competence Assessment and the CSET, California Subject Exams Test are the most notable. Exams will vary from state to state, and each private school will have their own necessary requirements for teachers. For private teachers, reading up on homeschooling practices may be helpful as well.
 
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Internships

While getting hired by a private school right away may be difficult, it can be beneficial to ones cause to apply for an internship first. Many private schools offer internships to introduce prospective teachers to the private school industry, offering experience as well as the opportunity to make connections and relationships. Interns at private schools receive hands-on learning and are often available for mentorship by tenured private school teachers. It’s a great resume builder to stand out amongst the other applicants. It’s also a wonderful opportunity to make strong connections with individual students and family members who may be seeking an at-home private school teacher.

The road to becoming a private school / homeschool teacher is long and winding, but the benefits are many. Increased salary, one-on-one learning, job security, and immense freedom in curriculum are just a few perks private homeschool teachers can expect from their jobs. If you are a nanny looking to become an at-home educator, or a family looking to hire a private teacher for your child, reach out to us!

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setting nanny boundaries with families

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Like any industry, setting nanny boundaries with an employer can be awkward and uncomfortable. As an employee, you want to be seen as willing and able to take on all tasks, but you also don’t want to be taken advantage of. So how can nannies set boundaries with your employers in a healthy, professional way?

Understand your worth

It’s important to recognize what exactly needs to be addressed when you feel the need to set a boundary arise. What is it that makes you uncomfortable or exhausted about what your employer is asking of you? For nannies, boundaries usually need to be set and cleared around job expectations. Nannies are first and foremost there to nurture and care for children, so you need to know that your value to the family lies in how great of a role model and caregiver you are. If you feel confident and worthy about your position and your strengths, it becomes a lot easier to assert yourself. You deserve to be treated with respect and it’s more than okay to ask for what you need.

Communicate

Families are not mind readers! Busy parents have a lot going on in their lives, and that’s why they’ve hired you to help out. The unfortunate reality is that they may not stop and think about how asking you to stay late impacts or life, or how leaving messes for you to clean up without asking is disrespectful to you. Most parents are not doing these things maliciously, so it’s important to communicate clearly and articulately how their actions effect you, and how that in turn effects your ability to care for their children.

“If after you assert your boundaries and communicate your needs and they still are not being met, or you are being continuously disrespected, it may be time to reconsider the family you are working for.”

Address a boundary violation as it happens

Being an employee, and even more so being an employee in someone else’s home, it can be difficult and awkward to call out your employer on things that upset you. However, never forget that you are entitled to being treated how you want to be treated. After you have a clear conversation about setting a boundary, let’s say on advance notice on working extra hours, and a parent comes home late without communicating to you, it’s important to address that boundary violation right away. This way, the parent is able to recognize their behavior in the moment and more readily rectify it in the future. It does no good for anyone to stay silent, nurture resentment and explode at a later date. You don’t watch a child put a rock in it’s mouth and then tell it next week not to eat foreign objects, and the same goes for their parents.
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Offer suggestions

An issue with setting boundaries with employers is the fear of not being seen as a hard worker. A great way to offset that fear is by coming into the conversation with suggestions on how to make the situation work for you. If your concern with the family is that they repeatedly come home late without letting you know in advance, stress the fact that it’s not that you are unwilling to stay late, but that you have a personal life. Offer the suggestion that if they know it is going to be a busy week in advance, they please let you know so that you know what to expect. Offering a solution is a great way to redirect, like you would with their child. It shows you want to do the best you can, but that something isn’t working out. It also helps set parameters moving forward to ensure that the boundary is not violated again in the future.

Be specific

Explain how the boundary violation is affecting your work. It is very beneficial if you can remove the “I” out of the need for the boundary and instead reflect on how it is affecting your employer. Get specific about how their lateness affects your ability to care for their child, reminding them that their actions not only affect you, but their child as well.

If after you assert your boundaries and communicate your needs and they still are not being met, or you are being continuously disrespected, it may be time to reconsider the family you are working for.
If you are a nanny now seeking a new family and need any assistance in the process, please do not hesitate to reach out to us with any questions. Please also check out Homework Solutions, who has fantastic resources available to you

 

 

Have you been through this situation with something to share? Let us know below.

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Racism and Children

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Racism is taught. Racism is learned. Racism is not inherent. Right now, it’s not enough to be against racism, one has to be anti-racist. It is a lifelong fight for equity and basic human rights for Black people. Racism and children needs to be discussed.
One of the first lessons a white or white passing child learns is how to dial 911. We tell them that if there is any ever trouble to call the police, the police will help them and keep them safe. Black children, on the other hand, learn that keeping themselves safe looks very different.
 

“Remember that children learn by example. If you are preaching inclusivity while benefiting from a system that oppresses others, what are you really showing your children? Talking to your children about racism shouldn’t be a one time thing, it should be a continued, open conversation in which you both honestly evaluate your actions and beliefs.”

While we watch the news and talk to our friends and relatives about police brutality, racism and protests, children are listening. Children’s developing, inquisitive minds that seek to relate and understand are forming their own ideas based off of what they hear on TV, what they hear their parents say, and how they see their parents act. Often what they are absorbing now is not processed on a conscious level but ingrained in their minds, which is why its imperative that these conversations are had to steer their minds in a positive way. While the topic of race is uncomfortable, don’t be the parent who avoids the topic of race because you’re not sure how to handle it. It’s okay to be uncomfortable right now, because that discomfort brings change.

Equip your child with the tools they need to grow up and be an adult who stands up against and actively fights racism. Raise a child who will be a mediator, a peacemaker. Raise a child who makes a safe space for everyone.

Heal Yourself

How does one raise such a child? By first acknowledging and dealing with your own biases. Unlearning white supremacy and white privilege is a difficult task which can and will be deeply painful. Do it for your children and for George Floyd’s daughter. Do it for all of the Black children who are not taught to call 911 because the police pose the most danger to them. Read books and watch movies curated by BI and POC. Learn about how our systems in America are built on slavery and profit off of the oppression of Black lives. Understand systemic racism and how school districts are segregated. Think back to the times in your life where you exercised your privilege for your own advantage. It will be painful. Do it for your children. If you don’t uproot and unlearn your biases, they will stick with you and show their head when you least expect it, and that will be what your child sees and learns from. Children learn from example, don’t say one thing about race and then show them something different. 

Talking to Children Under 5

Young children learning about their place in the world will point out differences they notice in people. This is done usually in an embarrassing and uncomfortable way for parents in public. Rather than silencing your child when they point out these differences, embrace and celebrate them. “Mommy, that woman’s hair is in braids!” “Yes sweetie, and aren’t they beautiful? They are a symbol of her culture.” Resist the urge to shush or shame them, this will only begin the process of internalization and will make them feel like they can’t come to you with questions and create a stigma around “otherness.” When describing racism to your children of this age, refer to it as being “unfair.” That BIPOC are treated unfairly in the workplace, on the streets, by doctors, and police. Children understand the concept of fairness and this will resonate with them on a tangible emotional level they can comprehend. This will also inspire their beautiful young hearts to want to take action. Encourage them in doing so. Read them books about racism and watch age appropriate content.

Children Aged 5 through 11

Older, elementary aged children can be more difficult to speak to racism about. They understand more and their questions can be intimidating or hard to answer for parents. That is okay. Recognize within yourself that you won’t have all the answers. It’s okay to say “I don’t know,” to a question they have. If you find that’s the case, make a plan for the both of you to investigate together. Make it a learning experience to go out and find your answers about race. Find out what they’re not learning in school, or what is being covered up. Encourage them to give a classroom presentation on what they’ve learned. Being open and honest with your child builds trust and encourages them to seek out the answers they don’t have. Discuss with them what they are seeing in the news and on their own social media. Ask them what their friends are saying and their opinion on it. Unpack any stereotyping or biases that your child or your child’s friends are beginning to form. Remember that racism is learned, not inherent, and can be imposed upon by peer pressure. Do not shame your child or your child’s friends for their thoughts, but steer them in the right direction of thinking with guided questions.

For Kids 11 years+

Pre-teens know a lot more about the world. Their history classes, while undoubtedly skewed to avoid the real race issues pervasive in American History, will have taught them something about discrimination. Usually along the lines of “we had slaves, we abolished slavery and everything was fine! Then Martin Luther King came and everything was great for Black people!” A dangerous and blatantly incorrect curriculum designed to keep the truth from children who benefit from that very oppressive system. Find out what your child knows about racism in school and let them talk, listening to understand, not to respond. Depending on the school, your child may be angry at the injustice, allow them to feel this. Don’t try to tell them “it’ll all be okay” but rather encourage action. Get involved in your local chapter of Black Lives Matter. Research policies in your local government that suppress Black voices, like lack of affordable housing in areas with higher funded schools and make a plan to take action. Volunteer, encourage diversity. Children are natural empathizers. Encourage them to think about how their lives would be different if they were the subjects of systemic and ingrained racial injustice. You may want to protect your child from these “negative” emotions and truths about the world, but the truth is that children are our future and children will save the world. Create children who grow into caring allies
 

Remember that children learn by example. If you are preaching inclusivity while benefiting from a system that oppresses others, what are you really showing your children? Talking to your children about racism shouldn’t be a one time thing, it should be a continued, open conversation in which you both honestly evaluate your actions and beliefs. While this is a time of pain, anger, and injustice, it is also an opportunity for growth, inclusion and coming together.

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Homeschooling / How to Homeschool Nanny Kids

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Many career nannies know that the time between drop off and pick up at school is sacred. The school hours are where nannies can do laundry, schedule appointments, sanitize toys, and gear up for an afternoon of homework help. We’ve seen how the recent change in the childcare industry has affected nannies with parents working from home, but homeschooling has had just as significant an impact. How can nannies navigating in this new zoom school territory succeed?

Here are some tips:

Brush up on your educator skills

Nannying while kids are homeschooling means that you will inevitably become teacher yourself. Remain patient, ask leading questions, and always help them come to their conclusions and assignments on their own. Doing tasks for them is not going to do anyone any favors. If they don’t respond to a certain explanation, try and show them another way that they will understand. The beauty of being a nanny and a teacher is that you know the kids and their interests much better than a teacher would be able to. Spark their creativity by using dinosaurs as metaphors for counting if they’re into paleontology right now. Let them practice letters by writing their favorite words. If you don’t know how to answer a certain question, there is a wonderful new invention called Google. Of course, be sly about when you look things up, kids learn by example and we can’t have them copping out via the convenience of search engines.

“We are in uncharted territory, and all of these big changes can be really difficult for children to digest. When it gets hard, remember that your focus is on being a caregiver. The child’s grades are not a reflection of you or your nannying abilities, so remain compassionate and patient, as confidence and care are the main foundations for a child’s academic success ”

Create a classroom environment

A similar issue with nannies working around work from home parents is spacial boundaries. Kids are used to having their entire homes be just that – their home. But now their sacred-kid-space has been turned into office, home and school all in one and this can become stressful and confusing for developing minds. Designate a specific classroom area where kids will do their learning. Kids need structure and boundaries in order to thrive, and knowing that the dining room or a specific section of the living room is now their “school section” of the home will help them focus their energy to that specific task. Spruce up the area maybe with posters or familiar classroom objects to help them feel more at ease. Take breaks and eat snacks away from the classroom area to better help them adjust and concentrate while they are working.
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Remain compassionate

We are in uncharted territory, and all of these big changes can be really difficult for children to digest. When it gets hard, remember that your focus is on being a caregiver. The child’s grades are not a reflection of you or your nannying abilities, so remain compassionate and patient, as confidence and care are the main foundations for a child’s academic success. It is also imperative that you have patience and compassion for yourself. You are a nanny and not necessarily an educator, so it may take some time for you to get into the swing of things. Remember your first day as a nanny, and how far you’ve come since then. Your educator skills will grow exponentially as well, which is a great thing to have on your nanny resume for future opportunities.
 
Nannying has always been fraught with rewarding challenges. If you are a nanny currently providing care to homeschooling children, we’d love to hear your stories of success and struggle alike. As always, reach out to us with any questions or concerns.
eas and tips on how to make every day equally fun and educational. There are a ton of awesome nanny blogs for creative solutions, as well as nannying groups you can join on social media.

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How to Nanny With Stay at Home Parents

Being a nanny with a parent working from home can be a challenge for many reasons. For some children, it can be difficult to adjust to a new nanny or caregiver. It takes time for the bonds to form and for trust to blossom. This can be especially difficult when one or both parents are also working from home. Some children may defer to a parent if they’re just in the other room, to the horror of many caregivers who know that parent happens to be on a conference call. As a new or long-term nanny who finds themselves caregiving alongside a work from home parent, how can you set the boundaries needed for the child to thrive?

Communicate!

While the child is not present, have a conversation with the work from home parent. If the child frequently calls upon the parent during the day, ask the parent to verbally defer to you so that the child hears from their own mouth that you are the authority on all matters. Some parents may not mind being sought out during the day, but it is important that as the caregiver during your working hours, your authority is not undermined in the eyes of the child. Our Honest House Promise details what a positive, healthy working environment looks like for all. Ask the parent leading questions so you both can be on the same page and avoid any awkwardness in front of the child. Some questions to consider:

  • How do we handle mealtimes and bathroom breaks where you and the child are in the same space?
  • Do the children need to play in areas away from where you will be working? Does the noise level matter?
  • If you plan on interacting with the children during the day, how involved would you like me to be? Is there a task, such as laundry or meal prep, that could get done while you interact with them?
  • If the child needs comfort, at what point would you like to be notified or involved?

Leading questions can help set the foundations for a positive and productive working environment for all. If the idea of communication sets your stomach into knots, here are some effective tips on better communication.

Establish a routine

It is no secret that children thrive under a routine. The idea of having a parent working from home while a caregiver is present may be a novel idea to them, and they will try and push the boundaries to see how they relate in this new environment. Children will want to update their parents during the day, showing them what they made and telling them a funny joke, especially since they’re just in the other room! But designating times throughout the day, such as meal time or “hand off” time where children know that they will have an opportunity to see their parents, can assist nannies in quelling the child’s urge to barge in on the parent’s zoom call to tell them about the especially tasty grape they ate. Here are CDC tips on establishing routines for children.

Being a nanny with a parent working from home can be a challenge for many reasons. For some children, it can be difficult to adjust to a new nanny or caregiver. It takes time for the bonds to form and for trust to blossom.

Create designated areas in the home

Having a “kids section” and a “parents’ work section” can greatly assist in creating the types of spacial boundaries children understand and relate to. Discuss with the parents areas that are “off limits” for the kids and request that you both enforce that with equal measure, ensuring that the message hits home. Having specific play areas that are unique to the child will help make the bitter pill of not being allowed in a certain area easier to swallow.

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Recognize that bonding may take longer

If a child has the choice to be comforted by someone they just met vs. the parent in the other room, they will of course choose the parent. If you are having difficulties forming a bond while a parent is working from home, ask the parent to help you form trust with the child by reassuring the child that you are there for them and you can be trusted. If the parent is verbally reaffirming their choice in you, the child will have an easier time opening up. Engage with the child as much as possible during this period, and if feasible, take them on outings where they can more easily recognize you as the caregiver.

Be ready for parents "popping in"

Having a parent that works from home who frequently checks in can make it difficult to establish authority and trust with the child, and can sometimes lead to meltdowns and disruption of activities. This is why it’s imperative that you create firm boundaries and communicate with the parent your needs as a nanny and stick to the schedule as much as possible. 

There will always be a learning curve when nannying while a parent is working from home. In any relationship, communication is key. Make sure that you and the parent have an opportunity to voice your needs and expectations so that a clear routine and schedule may be formed to allow the child to thrive and avoid any meltdowns or confusion. At the end of the day, as a nanny you are there to create a safe and loving environment for the child and it is important that both you and the parents remember that often. Look at these tips for developing a happy and healthy parent – nanny relationship.

If you have any questions or concerns or are having a difficult time performing your nanny duties while a parent is working from home, reach out to us and we will do our best to assist you.

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COVID-19 and Children

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The spread of misinformation can be just as contagious and equally as toxic as any pandemic. When it comes to protecting our children, who can we trust and how can we take preventative measures? Referring to the Center for Disease Control, who’s only bias is keeping the population healthy, is usually our best bet. Here is what the CDC has to say about COVID-19 and our children:

Will my child get sick?

In most cases, children and the elderly are most affected by disease, due to their sensitive immune systems. However, the CDC says “based on available evidence, children do not appear to be at higher risk for COVID-19 than adults.” While some children have fallen ill, the vast majority of cases have been found in adults, seemingly going against the grain of the usual fear that children would fall into the category of high risk people.

How can I take actions to protect my child?

Protecting your child from COVID-19 is no different from teaching your child regulatory health precautions.

  • Have them frequently wash their hands with soap and warm water for at least 30 seconds and use hand sanitizer frequently. Encourage them to avoid touching their eyes, nose, mouth, ears and face with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid people who are sick, especially if they are coughing or sneezing.
  • Clean and disinfect high traffic surfaces in your house such as doorknobs, tables, chairs, counters, handles, light switches, desks, toilets, and sinks. It would also behoove you to disinfect technology like phones, iPads and gaming systems.
  • Wash clothes and plush toys on the highest possible heat setting with the appropriate amount of detergent.

“”Reported symptoms in children include cold-like symptoms, such as fever, runny nose, and cough. Vomiting and diarrhea have also been reported. It’s not known yet whether some children may be at higher risk for severe illness, for example, children with underlying medical conditions and special healthcare needs.” says the CDC”

How will I know if my child is sick?

COVID-19 symptoms in children do not differ from adults, except in that they tend to be milder. “Reported symptoms in children include cold-like symptoms, such as fever, runny nose, and cough. Vomiting and diarrhea have also been reported. It’s not known yet whether some children may be at higher risk for severe illness, for example, children with underlying medical conditions and special healthcare needs.” says the CDC. As there have been few reported cases of the virus in children, it is difficult to say exactly how they will be affected, there is still much to be learned about the virus’s impact on children.

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Should I have my child wear a face mask?

The CDC says no, only those who have the illness or symptoms of the illness should wear masks and it is not necessary for children to wear them preventatively.

Disease can be frightening, especially when there are so many more questions than there are answers. Remember that as long as you and your children are washing your hands and staying away from those that are ill, you are doing the best you can. We are not health care experts, but if you have any further questions or concerns, feel free to reach out to us.

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