Saturday, January 24, 2015

Is there a Nanny in the House?

“What is a nanny?  Are they just a glorified baby-sitter?”

The term “nanny” refers to an individual whose career is to care for children in the family’s home.  The nanny juggles roles of a childcare giver and a domestic worker. The nanny is an integral part of the family. Whether the nanny is hired to live in with the family, or lives outside the home and goes to the home to work on a regular schedule, the nanny’s position nevertheless changes the family makeup because the family pattern changes.  Yet, the integrity of the family must be maintained.

“Why not just use a daycare—there would be professional standards in place and the children could be socialized?  Which is better a daycare or a nanny?”

A nanny is by far the best choice, providing this is an experienced person with a good record and background check. 

Socialization—that’s not a problem.  It’s part of the nanny’s job.  The nanny’s position is to help the child learn to get-along with others through facilitating interactions with other children as well as adults.  For children under the age of three, staying at home is perfectly adequate.  When the child reaches about pre-school age, going to a half-day pre-school twice a week would provide good socialization and skills for getting-along with others.  
Being a nanny is a legitimate form of work in the childcare industry.  The nanny profession offers families a new option for solving child care problems.  Parents have the satisfaction of bringing competent care into the home while providing continuity for the child.

Professional nannies complete comprehensive studies and internships in order to develop their skills with infants and young children.  Written and oral examinations, psychological testing, portfolios and internship evaluations help determine the qualification of each nanny.  Most receive certification upon completion of training in a licensed program.  Certified nannies generally have training in the areas of:
·         Child development
·         Child behavior and guidance
·         Infant care
·         Family relationships
·         Family lifestyles
·         Communication skills
·          Safety, health and sanitation
·         Nutrition, food service and home management
·         Children with special needs
·         Activities for children

“Well, how does having a nanny affect children and their bonding with the parents?  This is another person in the child’s life that we would expect the child to become attached to.”

It is the responsibility of the parents to bond with their children.  They do this by spending quality time before and after they go to work.  Feeding, bathing, playing with the child, giving plenty of tender, loving care and getting-up in the night to attend the child is a basic foundation for a solid attachment. This bond is usually formed during the first three years of a child’s life. An emotionally stable nanny can enhance the child’s development while making way for continuing a strong parent-child bond and attachment.  

“Which is better, having two parents working to provide all the amenities and luxuries or to sacrifice these and have one parent work while the other stays home with the children?”

One parent at home with the children is by far the best choice.  Children during the early years need to be with the parent as much as possible in the home setting.  This fosters bonding and attachment and strengthens the entire family.  This is worth the sacrifice and parents will feel better over time for having made the decision for one parent at home.  Some parents who engage a nanny to be with their children while they go to work may later find themselves feeling guilty for not having been at home with the children.  The question to ask is: Over a period of eighteen years or so of the child’s life is it not a better choice to devote at least three of those years to creating a good start for the child, the family and the child’s development?

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