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WHAT TO WATCH OUT FOR IN HIRING A NANNY.

If there’s one childhood movie that has transcended through the times, it’s The Sound of Music. The turning point in the lives of the Von Trapp children came when the new governess/nanny came into their home.

She uplifted their spirits, made them happy, disciplined them without them even noticing, and made life easier. She had a lively disposition and adored children.

Image: Courtesy of MaamiNG

A nanny could be a lifesaver and ease life’s stress—if you do it right. Before hiring a nanny, recheck your schedule and ensure that it’s necessary. If you can wiggle your way and avoid a nanny, do so.

If you can’t, then watch out for the following while hiring.

1.Character

Character is a major aspect of the nanny hunting. It’s vital and can’t be overemphasized. A nanny should possess motherly qualities as any mother would. Also, she should be patient, soft-spoken, empathetic, attentive, playful yet disciplined and have a keen observing eye.

Patience: Kids go wild and play uncontrollably. It takes one with a reign on their temper to prevent hurting them. There’s no room for a shouting match.

Soft-spoken: This trait might sound inconsequential, but in reality it’s not. A nanny’s voice should appeal to the children. It should be warm, inviting and friendly. It should remind them of a loving mother, not an evil stepmother.

Playful and Disciplined: Just like Maria in The Sound of Music, a nanny should know where to draw the line between playing with kids and disciplining them for wrongdoings.

Empathy: Empathy might seem like a serious requirement, but it’s a way to know if the nanny can understand when the child is hurt. Can she put herself in the child’s shoes when he’s  hurting or crying? That’s empathy. She should not just be facially attractive; having a heart too counts.

Attentiveness: Kids utter gibberish a lot. They come up to you with gist and stories and are laughing and keeping a straight face while explaining their foreign tales. Mothers always translate—wonder how they do that—and a nanny should also listen. No matter how absurd the gibberish is, a little attention matters.

Keen Observing Eye: Why hire someone that can’t give an account of the happening while you were away. A nanny must have an observant eye to notice when a child under her care is hurt, happy, hungry or sleepy.

She should be able to recount the day’s activity to the mother without leaving out any detail.

2.Time Schedule

Before you hire a nanny, you have to be sure that she’s flexible, and that her time complements yours. Some opt for a live-in nanny, and others prefer one that comes and goes.

With either of the cases, understanding when the nanny would be available will ensure you get the very best for yourself and your child.

If you work between the hours of 8 am and 4 pm, a nanny who’s free from 4 pm to 8 am wouldn’t suit your needs now, would she?

3. Background check. Background checks are difficult sometimes, but it pays to crosscheck every information supplied by the nanny. If you can, visit the referees and ensure it’s the right person you have in your house.

4. Finance: You’ve done the background checks. You checked off the character from your list. The nanny is perfect. She’s all that you’ve envisioned. Finally, you can go to work and have peace of mind. But alas, there’s a problem: you can’t afford to pay her.

This stage is heart-crushing. So before nanny-hunting, plan your budget. Get an estimate from people and calculate how much it would cost to maintain a nanny.

The ability to get a nanny that has good character and perfect schedule can be a daunting task.

Sitting through interviews and having to rely on motherly instincts to pick out the right person to hand your child over deserves the utmost concentration.

Don’t rush the process because you’re running out of time or you have other places to be. Take your time and find your child their Maria or Mary Poppins.

Author: Cornelius Ndubuisi (www.corneliusndubuisi.com)