The way to kindness and compassion.
I hear comments from both nannies and families, as well as parents and kids, it’s all connected, about how they want to be appreciated. How they want to be heard and seen. Acknowledged, as they are.
It is quite rare that people ask for or expect expensive gifts or big bonuses as a token of appreciation. I’m sure lots of people want that too, but from my anecdotal collection of data it seems more important to most people to be seen and heard than to get material compensation as a thank you for being awesome.
What all these people want is to be seen and appreciated. I would even go so far as to say that all people want to be seen and appreciated for what is important to them. A mother wants to be appreciated as a good mother to her kids. She wants her efforts seen and heard. Professionals want to be acknowledged for the work they do whether it is launching rockets or waiting tables. As a nanny it is important to get to hear that your family appreciates all the love and all the things you bring to their kids. It’s important for everyone to be appreciated at work, and in your private life.
So isn’t it awkward saying nice things for no apparent reason? It can be, but it doesn’t have to be :)
I think the key is authenticity. Say things that are real, not exaggerated and that you mean.
As a nanny, you know what is important to your family. I am sure you know where your family might feel insecure, what kind words would mean a lot to them. Tell them something nice. Be sincere. Be thankful and generous.
And as a family, tell your nanny how you appreciate her. I am sure there are lots of things he or she brings to your family that you are so thankful for. Maybe you are thankful for how they make you feel safe. How your child gets exactly what they need. Maybe it’s a specific activity that you like that they do. Maybe it’s something they taught you about yourself. It’s not hard to find.
You see what happens when you do these very small, simple, huge and free gestures, you connect. You do something that makes another person feel good about themselves. And when people feel good in a situation, in a relationship, they go above and beyond what is expected of them and what they have to do.
So think of some nice things to say to your nanny or your family. Be specific and authentic and see their souls thrive.