How to Connect with your Nanny Children
Did you lose your dream nanny job to a nanny who clicked with the families children better? Did you bond with the children during the nanny interview or did it fall flat? A parents biggest fear is that the children will not feel comfortable with the nanny (often followed by the fear that their children will prefer the nanny). If you are struggling to build that relationship with your nanny children after you’ve been hired, or if you are a parent that just needs a couple of creative ways to connect with your child, here are some great suggestions.
Make eye contact with your nanny children – Put your phone down, turn the TV off, put all the screens away and really look each child in the eye. Studies show that when an adult and a baby look at each other their brain waves sync up. When that happens even babies will try to vocalize more and adults communicate more effectively when they are “neurally synchronized.” On a less scientific level, looking your child in the eye communicates to them that they have your undivided attention. So take a few minutes to slow down, stop the chore, put the screens away, and really look your child in the eye and listen to them.
Learn and celebrate their interests – One of the greatest joys is learning the individuality of each of the children I cared for. Whether celebrating an athletic child or watching their brother fall in love with all things construction, it’s joy to watch their individual interests develop. As your nanny children realize that you are interested in their interests, enthusiastic about their passions, they will open up to you more and more. So get down and play princesses with your Disney princess lover, color and paint with your budding artist and learn all about animals with your future veterinarian. Before you know it you will be the keeper of their secrets and their trusted friend.
Be Yourself around your nanny children – Let your nanny children really get to know you as well. Yes, you have to maintain structure and discipline and keep life running smoothly, but let them get to know you. Do you have an artistic streak? Bring canvases and paint with them. Do you like to bake? Teach them your favorite cookie or cake recipe. Get them involved in helping you. Are you the coolest dancer on the dance floor? Put on some music and show off your moves. Teach them your favorite, the running man, the floss, the twist! Impress them with your skills.
Learn your child’s love language – There is a great book by Dr. Gary Chapman titled “The Five Love Languages of Children.” I highly recommend this book. Each person, child and adult, receives love in a different way. Each child feels more loved when they receive love in their own language. From an act of service (doing a chore for a busy teenager) to snuggling during reading time with your physical touch child, all of it can help each child feel more connected to you.
In a world of increasing social media interaction, distraction and isolation, finding ways to intentionally develop a strong bond with our children and nanny children will help build stronger, healthier and more well-adjusted children. Try some of these techniques today and tell us what works best for you.