Nanny as educator
Today we are going to talk about the nanny as educator. I think that when a lot of families think about hiring a nanny or even hire a nanny they think about it as someone who is going to look after their kids and keep them safe. But you and I know that there are benefits way beyond keeping safe and looking after when it comes to what a nanny can do for your family and your child’s education.
As a nanny you have a huge responsibility, not only to keep your kids safe, but to set a good example and emotionally nurture the kids. And to teach them. We know that kids do what we do, not what we say, so setting a good example in your behavior is so important. That’s also why parents who are hiring a nanny should look for how a nanny carries herself, how she communicates and how she interacts, that is what will imprint on your kids if they spend a lot of time together.
Your nanny can teach manners, they can teach your kids how to be respectful to all people and to always say please and thank you. Provided that is how they are themselves, I don’t believe you can be one person in private and one at work.
Please and thank you, for example.
I don’t know about you, but I don’t really fit into one category of parenting style. I like to think that I am pretty laid back and progressive, but then I find myself really valuing some traditional values and one of my biggest pet peeves are kids that are rude and don’t know how not to be. I’m not talking about less than perfect, I mean kids who act inappropriately towards others. This is maybe a can of worms and might vary a lot between cultures, we are famously a mix culture family who mixes and matches, but this is where the person you choose as a nanny comes in.
Your nanny is probably going to be spending a lot of time with your children, so you want to make sure that they teach your children the values that you promote as a family. This is a great opportunity and potentially really good news.
When you have a good fit with your nanny, she or he will be an essential part of your child’s education and they learn how to navigate socially based on the cues you give them, but also the day to day, minute to minute things their nanny teaches them.
So if your nanny is adamant about pleases and thank you’s, your child might be too, and if you think about how being kind and considerate sets you up for success, the choice of person who is part of your parenting team becomes bigger.
I know one family where the little girl has grown up with the nanny as the primary caretaker, a highly educated, very focused nanny and this girl is the most well rounded, empathetic and polite child you will ever meet. She could have been spoiled and entitled, but she is not, thanks to being raised by an amazing nanny. That’s a good example of both good parenting and nannying, a team working together to give the kid the best it can have.
And your nanny is good for teaching all kinds of things.
Like Tying our shoes, literally and metaphorically.
When I was a kid I had the fastest and coolest shoes. I don’t remember the brand, I think it was “Lejon’”but they were light blue, had white stripes and velcro binding. I was the first one out on the playground at recess. Probably because I didn’t have to tie my shoes. (I went to school in Sweden where we take our shoes off inside.)
My dad always loved technology and novelties. In Sweden in the early 1980s velcro shoes were very new and cool and hip. So were digital watches. So even though my dad meant the best for me when he got me those cool gadgets, I didn’t learn to tie my shoes or read time until I was a bit older. I did have a cool watch though, from Donald Duck, my favorite character.
There are so many big and small gestures, much smaller than tying your shoes or reading time that our kids are learning every day. The person spending time with them is going to be their guide learning a lot of these things, like holding a pen, gross and fine motor skills, recognizing the nuance of colors and shapes, seeing relationships between objects, and navigating different surfaces. Every little thing they meet and experience each day is an opportunity to learn and relate. You want the person next to your child to be tuned in and conscious of that.
Your nanny will help develop your kids gross and fine motor skills.
Like Holding that pen
Children are naturally creative, I find that observing my kids make things, tell stories around their creations and getting to experience their world through their play and creativity is a way of getting to know them in a very deep and meaningful way. Drawing, painting, mark making in general is such an important and fun part of their development, from learning to hold and handle a pen, to the brain-hand connection that helps them process their stories and information in a way a tablet doesn’t, is significant. The time, the patience, the slow pace it takes to master skills like this is often overlooked but is essential.
One of the things I am personally really fascinated by, both for myself and my family, but also for work, is neuroplasticity. It is how our thoughts, actions, experiences and relationships physically change our brains, and the way we think. How our brains can be rewired and our triggers and reactions changed. I am so interested and inspired by relationships between people, energies and objects and I think it’s pretty amazing how we throughout our lives can rewire our brains. Imagine the possibilities. Imagine exercising and strengthening the connections that make the pathways in our brains.
I have a friend that I love very much. Her name is Cara and she is a visual communicator and facilitator, and she told me something that I really loved. When you work visually, like doodle or draw something, or express yourself visually, your brain lights up in a completely different way than if you are just reading, or listening to something. And you process information more efficiently if you are doodling while listening, did you know that? I didn’t, but I like it. That is one reason that we ask our families to incorporate a visual element at the end of the client intake when hiring a nanny, through your drawing or making of the avatar we get a lot of information about who you are and what you like, in a way we don’t with a questionnaire.
Allowing space for creativity and visual thinking makes better results because it goes deeper. For both children and adults.
Thank you so much for listening and spending some time with me today.
If you have any comments on today’s episode, if you would like to ask any questions or if you just want to say hi, you can always email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and put podcast in the subject line. I love hearing from you :)
Today’s episode is brought to you by Mamatoto, the place where mothers go for education, support and connection. It’s a great place to learn about prenatal nutrition, take courses to prepare for pregnancy and birth and find support into motherhood. Check them out at mamatoto.info
I will see you next week when we will be talking about ending a job. Until then, be safe and awesome. Bye :)