Establishing boundaries and discipline for your nanny

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As you may know, parenting styles vary from family to family. Some may have a strict set of rules and a tight schedule, while others never care about watching the clock, instead preferring to let the child eat and sleep when s/he seems ready.

Keep in mind that your nanny may have had various experience in different households, and needs clear direction to understand how your family works. You will succeed if you communicate openly and explain your thoughts on parenting.

  • When is it okay to use discipline?
    Talk opening about when she should discipline the child and what form it should take. Make sure she’s comfortable with your methods. If you readily use spankings as a way to control behavior but she’s more comfortable with time-outs, talk about it so that you can reach a mutually agreeable compromise.
  • Go by the book.
    Is there a reference book that your family uses to guide your parenting style? From Dr. Spock to Dr. Sears and attachment parenting, there are many childcare experts that have published volumes on childcare. If you follow one of these experts, share the books with your nanny so that you and she are using the same childcare methods.
  • What are the house rules?
    Write out the house rules and post them in a convenient spot. This way, when children are getting out of order, the nanny can point to your list of rules to get them back on track. Even if the answer is merely, “We have no rules,” it will help your nanny understand how to approach caring for the child.

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