How to Make the Relationship with your Nanny Work

I really like the nanny I hired. How do I make our relationship work?

(From For starters, realize that your job doesn't end once you find a suitable nanny. For your arrangement to be a success, you must be a good employer — the sort of boss you'd want to have.

Keep the lines of communication open. Make sure you and your nanny address any problems as they come up.

Amy, a nanny from El Cerrito, California, says she chooses employers who are interested in maintaining a regular dialogue.

"It's very challenging working at someone else's home and helping bring up their kids," says Amy. The chance to talk to her employer about her concerns makes the job easier.

Pay your nanny fairly and provide standard benefits such as paid vacation days and sick days. While some parents do pay their nanny "under the table," doing so puts both her and you in a risky position. See our instructions on what's involved in setting up a legal pay system for your nanny.

Also, make sure not to load your nanny up with additional work beyond what your agreement specifies. If she's only paid to care for your child, don't ask her to do the laundry or mop the kitchen floor.

It should also be clear upfront how many hours a week you expect your nanny to work. If you ask her to work more, compensate her fairly.

Understand that when you leave your child in someone else's capable hands, he may still long for you. The fact that your child isn't thrilled when you leave doesn't mean he doesn't like his nanny. (Of course, if he greets your nanny with a big smile it doesn't mean that he's forgotten about you, either.)

Respect their relationship, but set aside some time at the end of the day to reconnect with your child. Make it clear that you miss him and wish you could be with him while you're at work. Hold him close and tell him how much you love him.

Toddlers will appreciate your words, and babies will feel your love and sincerity. Encourage your toddler to talk about all the fun things he does with his nanny during the day, so that he'll concentrate on the good times they have together.

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