How To Be a ‘Fun, But Firm’ Nanny

As a nanny for NOC, we work with a variety of children from many different backgrounds.  The only thing some of these kids have in common is their biological age, other than that they have different temperaments, energy levels, and food preferences.  Something that is sometimes requested on postings is a ‘fun, but firm’ nanny for more spirited children.  I would like to share some tricks that I have learned after working with kids for over a decade.

I am a firm believer the kids need boundaries.  This is especially important when I am the new person coming in and we haven’t met before.  A simple boundary that I have is to clean up the toys before we play with another one.  I come with a nanny kit and once a child is finished with a toy and wants to get another it’s as simple as ‘Let’s clean up this toy first before we get another one. Can you help me?’ All done.  I usually encourage and praise the child after the task is done to reinforce their good behaviour.  I find that this is a simple rule to let the children know that you are there to have fun, but you are also the person in charge.

Sometimes children will act up, especially with a new person.  If they are the right age (and maturity level) take the time to explain why their behaviour is inappropriate and the consequences if they continue.  And example of this would be ‘Tommy, when you throw the toys at your sister it can hurt her.  That is not allowed to happen anymore.  If you continue to throw the toys, they will be placed on the shelf for the rest of the afternoon.  Do you understand?’  I have found that kneeling and getting to the child’s level is also very helpful. Mostly, the kids are eager to please you and want to continue to play.

My final tip is to have fun!  Sometimes certain kids are going to challenge your authority and at that point, I have said ‘You do not need to play with us right now.  If you decide that you would like to join us, you know what behaviour is expected.’  I have had kids go off and sulk for five minutes, then calm down and play nicely.  Sometimes they need a bit of quiet time and space to sort through their thoughts.  Having a nanny is actually a lot of fun for kids, we get to play new games, talk about different things, and go outside exploring.  Usually, having a nanny from Nannies On Call is as much of a treat for the kids as much as it is for the adults!

That’s all for now.   Do you have any other tips for being a firm, fun nanny?

Written by Nanny Gina

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