Balancing Texting and Surfing on the Job

aaaRespecting Professional Boundaries for Nannies and Parents

It is often hard for busy parents and nannies to find time to chat in-person. Some parents can only make time to text or email their nannies on the train on the way to work or discreetly during meetings during the work day. The life of modern nannies and parents require them to keep in touch electronically via electronic tablets or smartphones.

While most nannies carry a mobile phone in case of emergency, it’s very easy for employees to take advantage of easy access to texts, Facebook, and Twitter instead of being attentive to the kids.

There are parents who feel strongly that their nannies shouldn’t be making personal calls, texts, or surfing the Internet at all when working. Many nanny placement agencies agree. In fact, we asked 27 nanny placement agency owners and staff if nannies should be allowed to text and use their cell phones on the job. Most ask their nannies not to make personal calls or texts at all during the work day. Click here to see their responses.

Therefore, professional nannies need to make a concerted effort to keep their cell phones out of their hands (while keeping apps closed, unopened, and turned off) whenever possible while working.

Most professional nannies can still be great caregivers balancing the needs of the kids and being allowed to make a few personal texts. But nannies shouldn’t assume they can make personal texts and surf the Internet on their electronic devices without first discussing the issue with the parents.

Ultimately nannies are working at a job. If their employers don’t want them making personal texts or phone calls than they shouldn’t.

Stop by next Monday for more advice on Respecting Professional Boundaries for Nannies and Parents.


  1. I just think it's unreasonable for parents and agency owners to say we can't use our cell phones. It's necessary. If they want to make rules about cell phones then give us a free phone that they pay for and be upfront that it's only for work use. But I wouldn't take a job that said I can't use it.

  2. I agree with Steph 6 and often this comes up in interviews. I politely ask the family if they make calls, texts, or spend any personal time while at work, and remind them that while I am a great nanny, I too am human and have my personal life. What if my children or animals get sick, injured, etc? What if personal plans need to be cancelled or changed?

    If the family still is adament that they do not want me to make any personal texts or calls for the 10-12 hours I am on duty, I will let them know we would be a good fit, and direct them to others who I think may better suit them.

    It’s all about finding a nanny/ family with the same perspective!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: