How to Choose A Nanny With Positive Discipline Skill

by Heligirl on October 24, 2011

in Guest Posts,Mom Tip Monday,Parenting Articles,Positive Discipline

Today I’m handing of the controls to Nancy Parker, a nanny and writer who wanted to offer some advice on finding a nanny who uses positive discipline. What she offers in just a beginning, but the points she makes are none the less important to keep in mind. Take it away Nancy.

Finding the perfect nanny is a lot like finding your soul mate”¦ there’s just so much involved! Finding your soul mate requires a lot of weeding through the rejects, figuring out compatibility, learning to trust each other, and giving them one of the most precious gifts you can: your heart. Likewise, finding the perfect nanny requires a lot of researching people, finding someone who is going to fit well into your life, learning to trust them, and letting them watch over another one of your most precious gifts: your children. So it’s practically the same thing, right?

But finding a nanny who touts the same beliefs you do is just one step. One of the biggest hurdles to overcome when finding a nanny is finding one who believes in the same positive disciplinary actions as you do. It’s hard to let someone else discipline your kids, and you want to be able to leave them full of confidence that they are in good hands that will help to mold them into individuals with solid characteristics. So how do you determine if you and your nanny are on the same disciplinary page?

On the surface, it’s pretty simple: ask the right questions. There are, of course, the general questions that need to be addressed: why do you want to be a nanny, what’s your prior experience with kids, etc. Then there are the questions to help you feel out if you’re on the same page or not when it comes to keeping kids in line. Such as:

1.      How do you approach disciplining kids?

It’s important to know their tactics so that you can immediately determine if they align with yours or not. Ask this question WITHOUT giving your opinion on the matter to pave the way for a truthful answer, not one that is given to satisfy you. It’s also important to find out if they are willing to positively reinforce good behavior and approach discipline in a way that enforces that the behavior is wrong without being negative towards the child or being too severe in their handling of the situation.

2.      Are you willing to do _____in terms of discipline?

One of the best ways to enforce disciplinary measures is consistency. You will need to explain your own disciplinary measure to the nanny and ensure that they are willing to follow suit. Your kids will only end up confused and start to doubt your own authority if the disciplinary actions taken change constantly.

3.      How did you deal with difficulties in past nanny positions?

Every nanny will run into problems with kids because kids are naturally very open-minded when it comes to trying new things, establishing their independence, etc. Knowing how they’ve approached difficult situations in the past will help you determine if they will fit in well with the type of values you’re trying to instill in your kids.

Once you’ve hired someone you’ll want to have regular meetings to assess the child’s behavior and ensure that you’re still on the same page about everything. Work out a plan that works for the both of you in terms of discipline and have them let you know when your kids are acting up and how they handled it.

While ensuring that you’re on the same page with the main disciplinary actions is important, it’s also important to show your nanny that you respect her and compromise on areas that don’t really matter. You don’t want your child questioning your authority when your nanny leaves, but you also don’t want to come across as a dictator that could scare off potential nannies.  Just like finding your soul mate requires the ability to compromise on trivial matters. See? Soul mates/nannies”¦ practically the same thing!

Nancy Parker was a professional nanny and she loves to write about wide range of subjects like health, parenting, child care, and babysitting, find a nanny tips etc. You can reach her

Jen here again. Nancy offers a good place to start when looking for a nanny or sitter who shares your discipline strategy. I would add to sit down and share your strategy with your childcare provider and give special attention to anyone who has attended a positive discipline class or is familiar with positive discipline books. Share your resources and techniques so your nanny can help you maintain a level of consistency with your kids. And definitely take Nancy’s advice about regular checkins with your nanny. Just as you rely on feedback from your boss to know you’re doing what is expected and meeting expectations, so does your nanny.

Previous post:

Next post: