Riverside Nannies is delighted to host the newly formed
International Nanny Panel
An international group of Nannies and Recruitment Experts
from the United Kingdom, United States,
France and Romania
Sharing and exchanging views and ideas
Answering your questions
Talking about issues that matter to child-carers & families today
Kristen Lockaby of The Nanny Whisperer
San Francisco US Tweeting at @NannyWhisperer
Sarah Parkin of Kids Deserve the Best Nanny Agency Tweeting at @SarahKDTB
Prudhoe Northumberland England
Jess Bousnina creator of Nannies in London Facebook group
Toulon France working in London
‘Janina’ a Romanian Nanny currently working in London who prefers to be known by this name as she would not like to compromise her relationship with her employers
Gaby Morris of Riverside Nannies, Riverside Childcare and Riverside Training Company London writes for various publications on issues of interest to child carers and families. Click here for Gaby’s bio. Tweeting at @nannytraining
Questions and comments can be submitted to the group’s panel member and Editor Gaby Morris to firstname.lastname@example.org and to the blog.
Do you have a question for the Nanny Panel? drop Gaby a line or leave a message on the blog
Our First question to the panel:
Creationism v Evolutionism: If a parent had a particular view and only wanted you to teach their child about this topic in a way that a Nanny fundamentally disagreed with, how would you advise the Nanny to manage the situation?
Jessica Bousnina creator of Nanny in London:
First, I think that interviews are both for you and the parents to see if the characters and beliefs of the people implicated in the children’s education are matching. Secondly, in the case where I am already working with the family and we have a disagreement about fundamental education, effective communication will be the best way to resolve the issue and find a way to agree. You can also email many articles related to the topic to the parents, it might open their minds and your own mind. Ultimately, if it is something you can really not accept and if of course the way the parents teach children doesn’t harm them, I will simply leave the job politely on a good term having stayed for the agreed notice period noted on the contract of employment
Janina, Romanian Nanny:
I think that nannies should respect the parents wishes on things that matter to them and to the child. At the end of the day they are the parent and they decide what’s best for their children, in the same way that we would do if we were the child’s parent instead of the nanny. A confident, experienced nanny will believe they know exactly what is best for a child and it can be hard when there is a conflict of opinion. In the end the child is not ours and we are left having to do what we are asked or what is on the contract if we are to stay in the post. There has to be a level of realization that rather than discussing differences of opinion we need to either accept or change jobs, whilst we are replaceable the parents opinions on matter of religious belief are not really negotiable.
Sarah Parkin of Kids Deserve the Best Nanny Agency:
I agree with Jessica, the interview process is a two-way thing. It is so important for the nanny to feel confident/comfortable with the family. I would hope that either the family would ask the nanny during interview how they would deal with this scenario, and this would give the nanny the indication of whether they can work in this instance. We tell our nannies that it is ok to say no if the job is not right for them. If the topic is not brought up until the nanny has started we would recommend communicating with the parents – if Nanny disagrees with the principle, then asking the family to deal with this themselves would be suggested, and if no satisfactory conclusion be reached the Nanny then has to decide if this is indeed the right family for them. I would hope that any family we encounter would talk to the nanny about this during the selection process as we want to make sure both parties choose wisely the first time. Both Parents and Nannies have a good instinct and know if something ‘feels’ right.
Kristen Lockaby, The Nanny Whisperer:
I believe there are some viewpoints that are fundamentally different from my own that I am comfortable teaching, but there are some that I am not. For example, I have worked for families that celebrate different holidays and have different beliefs than myself and I happily respected their choices and was eager to come up with fun activities for the children in preparation for these holidays. For me, I work best with families that I am able to collaborate with. I appreciate families that like to learn from my experience and I learn a lot form each family I work with as well.
In my opinion, I think its really important to talk about viewpoints and values up front so therefore a nanny and family don’t run into this problem where it could disrupt the whole working relationship and be a detriment to the children. As nannies or families become more seasoned (having worked for multiple families/ many nannies worked for them) I think it is easier for them to identify their own personal values and in turn are able to broach these subjects in the beginning and pick out a counterpart who may work well with them.
To summarize I think that parents and caregivers must be on the same page. It is okay to have the two parties have somewhat different ideals because that will benefit the children by seeing different world views but at the same time if the view points are conflicting it may be best to not enter into a working relationship such as this.
Gaby Morris of Riverside Nannies:
The role of a Nanny is clear but should never cross over into compromising one’s own deeply held views or beliefs. This is a topic where generally people fall into one camp or another – there’s no half-way mark. The interview SHOULD enable one to ascertain the parents views but in all honesty I can’t see this kind of view being discussed at interview unless the parent specifically choses to air it. Which brings one directly into a potential head on verbal collision. Step one: discuss the issue with the parents and make clear your reservations Step Two: Ask that this area is entirely dealt with by the parents.
If the parent insists then you may need to consider whether this job is a ‘good fit’ in the long run.
What would you do?