Respecting Professional Boundaries
The time to discuss with your employers how you will discipline their children is well before starting a nanny job, during the job interview. For discipline to be effective it is essential that parents and nannies are on the same page. All caregivers must be consistent and back one another other up.
During the job interview nanny candidates should discuss with parents that they don’t want to work for parents that hit or excessively yell at their kids. Nannies should ensure the parents that they will never spank, use corporal punishment, or unreasonably raise their voice with the children.
Instead, professional nannies understand that the best way to teach kids is to let them learn from natural consequences. Professional caregivers also know that to effectively and positively discipline children they must use kindness and firmness. Kindness shows respect for the child and firmness show respect for yourself.
Children want to feel like they belong. Punishing children discourages bonding by putting up a wall between the adult and the children.
Also, when working with stubborn children the last thing nannies and parents need is to get into power struggles. Remember that when adults try to show children that they are stronger, they are being as immature as the stubborn children.
When adults punish kids they are taking the responsibility of learning away from the children. Allowing natural consequences to occur reduces intense arguing and teaches children that they can sometimes be wrong and not be ashamed of making bad judgments.
To keep from yelling or punishing kids too often: stop, calm down, breathe, and think for a minute. Take control of yourself and speak in a calm voice. If you let natural consequences teach children rather than punishing them, they will learn without being mad at you.
Most importantly, parents and nannies must be on the same page, consistent, and support one another by following through when disciplining children.