Diffusing Jealousy in the Parent/Nanny Relationship

Respecting Professional Boundaries

One of the most complicated aspect of the nanny and parent relationship is jealousy. In the book Touchpoints The Essential Reference: Your Child’s Emotional And Behavioral Development T. Berry Brazelton, M. D. discusses the common jealousy parents feel when they go to work leaving their child in the care of another person.

Parental jealousy is a natural feeling when sharing the care of a child. Both nannies and parents should remember this rather than becoming resentful or hostile towards one another.

Brazelton says, “Of course, parents will feel jealous. They will mourn the loss. This mourning is accompanied by three defenses: denial, projections of their feelings onto others, and detachment from the baby’s care. These defenses can interfere with the parents’ relationship to the other caregivers, as well as to the baby.”

“If they are understood as normal defenses — necessary for protecting vulnerability — parents can have some perspective and avoid becoming hostile with the very person upon whom they will depend,” explains Brazelton.

To Diffuse Parental Jealousy Nannies Should:

1. Be sensitive to the fact that all parents miss their children and may feel jealous of your relationship with their children. Expect jealousy at times.
2. Don’t leave the parents out. Tell them everything about the child.
3. Encourage the parent and child to bond.
4. Share with the parents what works best for you so they can have a similar experience with the child.
5. Follow the parents’ directives. Do not intentionally ignore the parents’ wishes.
6. Never criticize parents who are undoubtedly making their best efforts.
7. Ignore a few jealous or critical comments. Yes, sometimes it’s better to just keep your composure, peace of mind, good mood, and move on.
8. Communication is always the key to resolving issues. Ask the jealous parent what they need from you to help them feel better.

Get your own copy of Touchpoints The Essential Reference: Your Child’s Emotional And Behavioral Development by clicking the links above or below.


Touchpoints The Essential Reference: Your Child’s Emotional And Behavioral Development

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