Tips to find a good nanny
You probably passed a lot of interviews while getting fixed up in a job. And what shall you do, when you’re searching an employee? Moreover, the most important one – a nanny for your baby.
One of my colleagues could act in advertising about baby boom: she looked wonderful while pregnancy, and felt even better. The last business trip fell on the 8th month, and a mother to be quitted going to work for less than 2 weeks before the delivery. She gave birth to a calm and healthy boy. Everything would be ok, but young mother started thinking about returning to work. Here a difficult task of choosing a nanny appeared. How is it possible to foresee whether a nanny will cope with a baby, the way she will treat him or act in a difficult situation? There’re many questions. Right at that moment my friend decided to turn to me: “You execute a selection of personnel for our company, so you can appraise a nanny too. Compose a list of questions for candidates’ interview!”
First of all, let’s understand what we need to value and which our expectations are. We tried to avoid both minimalism (everything will suit) and excessive idealization: there’s nothing ideal in this world. As a result, we composed 5 important points of our interview.
It’s important for a nanny to be a positive person, especially towards children. Children often play up, can tire very much, and behave themselves stupidly, as adult person may think.
There’re 2 extreme approaches: negative (“all children are capricious, wicked, they should be brought up in severity, punishment is the best way of up bringing, you need to point them to their bad qualities” etc.) and “lisping” ( no matter what a child does, it’s good, let him get and do everything he wants now).
The first one resembles school and kindergarten method, the second is relatives’
way, especially old ones. But strange people also lisp sometimes: I saw several
times how an old lady gave place to a boy of 5-6 y.o. in a bus.
We want a child to grow in a friendly atmosphere and he should have an adequate self-appraisal, so we decided that a balanced, friendly, positive method without lisping is the best one to up bring children.
How to check
“What do you think, why do children often play up and cry?”, “Why do children mess about?”, “Why do they often disobey adult people?”. You may ask any of these questions or one after another, so that to understand a person’s attitude: aggressive answers (“bad upbringing”, “naughty”, “they don’t know how to behave well”, “something always goes wrong” etc.) show that some spiteful nanny may come to us.
There’s another indifferent kind of nannies. Such people always say something like: “Well, this always happens”, “Something common”. The most optimal answer is to search the reasons: “Why do they play up and cry? May be they have some ache, may be asking for something, and may be they’re just tired”. There can be lots of such answers, but they all have something in common: an adult one finds real reasons, rather positive and objective, than negative.
A child brings great obligations. To read, have a walk, cook something, do washing, there’s a lot of things to do always….
So you need to find a nanny who can easily switch over from one work to another and can execute two-three works at the same time.
A slight digression to the sphere of psychology: a speed of switching of attention is different for all people. There’s also an inclination to a consecutive or parallel fulfillment of works: some of us can easily discuss working moments on the phone while printing a business letter, reading a book or watching TV, with all this going on, each work is done well. We need such kind of person.
How to check
You should ask such a question: “If you cook a holiday meal, are you busy with several dishes at the same time?” (Mention also that she won’t have to cook holiday meals, otherwise she can interpret you wrong way). You can ask such question about watching TV and reading a magazine, ironing linen and watching a new film etc. The main is to specify the way a person feels MORE COMFORTABLE, not the way she CAN feel. You can be calm if you have a nanny that likes doing several works at the same time and easily switches from one to another work, then everything will be cared of.
One of my friends told me that her serious health problem, requiring a very careful attitude all the time, is connected with the fact that long ago her grandmother was afraid of telling parents about granddaughter’s fall from a bicycle. My friend hurt herself severely at that moment, and as a result – she suffers from displacement of vertebras that wasn’t cured in time. And this was her grandmother… Unfortunately, the risk of such situation can increase in case with a nanny. So, it’s necessary to understand whether a person is able to take responsibility for her mistakes.
How to check
“Have you ever had mistakes or failures on your work? What they were connected with?” you can restate or concretize the question, the main is that our potential nanny could admit her failures, as everybody has them. So, a positive answer will be admitting of her past mistakes, including mistakes through her own inadvertence. Although, exaggerations and self-reproach are not good too.
Speaking by “adult”, business language, it’s important for a nanny to be disposed to receive return connection from your child, react to his emotions, striving to attach him to her. Moreover, it’s important to understand the way a nanny will determine a child’s and parents’ attitude to himself and his actions.
So, here goes another point of the test: does a nanny strive to receive a return connection and how does she do it?
How to check
“Do children love you? Why do you think so?” or “Are you a good nanny? Why do you think so?”. We need to receive an answer on the second part of each question: parents’ opinion should be heard for sure. (“Parents always praise me”, “They ask me to prolong the term of my work”), child’s attitude (“He’s glad when I come”, “He often laughs in my presence”), objective signs (“He never was sick”, “He learned to eat (dress) by himself”). If you don’t hear such constituent in an answer, then we risk receiving a nanny, who knows herself how to up bring both a child and his parents.
Of course, staying with a child, a nanny influences the development of his values, views and ideas greatly. This influence is not so purposeful and essential, like parental one, but all the same it’s important. So, it’s necessary to determine a nanny’s views and values that can really influence a little child.
How to check
One of possible questions: “What do you like most in people?”, or “How do you think, in which situations deceit is allowable?”, or anything that seems to be important for you. There’re no advices here. You just have to like an answer.
Small children fall sick often, different stressful situations or situations requiring quick and competent response, ability to make decisions and find a way out of difficult situations, may occur. We decided to value exactly this quality.
How to check
“A child fell sick, he has high temperature and you cannot contact his parents. What will you do?”, “A child refuses to take a medicine, why?”. A good answer is the one that contains as much ways of ACTIONS as possible. The main is to see a person’s readiness to solve difficult situations and take the responsibility on herself. An ability to look at the world through a child’s eyes is hidden in the question about medicines. A good nanny will look through lots of ways of answers: “bitter”, “tasteless”, “it hurts me when swallowing”, and not an angry and simple – “these are all his whims”.
Anyone can really work hard only when he has a strong motivation, but not just doing something in despair. So, you need to know whether out future nanny likes something in this job. Or may be nursing your child is only a routine way of earning her living.
How to check
“Why did you decide to become a nanny? What attracts you in this job?” You’ll probably hear some good and positive answers. Or may be you’ll hear a phrase like: “I had to change my work, you know how they pay to State employees”. If this is only a necessity – you’d better not to get involved with it, as it’s impossible to do something without putting your soul in it, moreover, it’s impossible to earn baby’s love.
Of course, one can value a lot of other features, but we decided to be realists
and solve problems as needed: to make a preliminary decision, based on the answers
we’ll receive, then check references, ask our intuition and, only if it would
not be enough, compose additional criteria of appraisal. Our interview ended well:
we succeeded to choose the best nanny from several ones while the first attempt,
and for 1,5 year already they all are happy and content – mother, son and nanny.