Texting Nannies

We have seen a recent trend in Families and Nannies texting each other. There is no doubt texting has become a popular way of communicating. I personally use it to keep track of my teenage children, ask my husband when he will be home and check if friends are on their way. I find texting a fast and easy way to communicate. That said there is a time and place for texting.

Nannies and Families are misusing texting causing confusion and frustration instead of increased communication.  Like email, emotion does not come through in a text. Text messaging also tends to be less formal and although abbreviating words and using acronyms is common in texting it is important to think about how your message will be perceived.  Below are a few example of good and bad uses for texting.

Good:
The nanny texts you when the children go to sleep. (Sam went to sleep without a fuss)
The nanny texts you when the baby stops crying after you leave. (She cried for 20 minutes and is now happy and playing)
A nanny lets the family know where they are. (We are at the park and will be home by 5pm.)
The family gives the nanny paise. (Thank you so much for coming in 30 mins earlier today.  You’re a life saver!)
Communicating something that they forgot to say. (I forgot to tell you that baby Olivia really enjoyed the pureed sweet potatoes last night.  I put the leftovers in a container in the fridge so please feed this to her at lunch.  Thank you!)

Bad:
A text from the nanny saying she is running late. (I slept in this morning so I will be 30 minutes late)
If the parents are running late to relieve the nanny.
Firing the nanny by text.
Quiting by text.
A nanny asking for vacation time.
A nanny texting a family that she is sick.
A family texting a nanny that they are not needed that day.
Asking for a raise.

If you do decide to communicate through text make sure you establish some ground rules before you start.

Remember that you want to keep a professional relationship between employer and employee. Always err on the side of over communicating by picking up the phone or talking to each other in person.

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