Don't let your Mary Poppins Crash and Burn
We can all learn a lot from other people who spend a great deal of time with our children.
When I was a teenager and babysat I was a very competent sitter, but I was also still very much a child myself. I bonded with the kids I sat for and I definitely had favourites, but when I punched out of my shift, I punched out. I never understood the difference between a "babysitter" and a caregiver until I had kids of my own. We have been very fortunate to have so many people who care so deeply about our children, on and off the clock. I've come to realize that I'm not interested in a babysitter for our kids, I want someone who is going to hold a more important, continuous role in our children's lives.
Here are some ways that you can thank the people who help take care of your munchkins, for Nanny Appreciation week and every day:
1. Say thank you, often. Whether it's in person, in a note, an email or an annual holiday card.
2. Treat your caregiver kindly and with respect. Everyone has bad days, if you don't treat your caregiver politely, what do you think your children are going to do based on your example?
3. Set clear expectations and allow for input and an open relationship. I don't know about you but I want to know if my kid is misbehaving.
4. Give your caregiver authority. Let them know how you deal with discipline so they can deal with it consistently.
5. Make their shift fun. Let them bust out the bubbles, colouring books, new stories or a favourite movie. The more fun your children have, the easier it will be for everyone to cope when you're gone.
On another note: Funky Lindsay wrote this fantastic list of things that she learned from Mary Poppins: Everything I Need to Know, I Learned from Mary Poppins. I hope you enjoy her list as much as I did!
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