Choosing someone other than a family member or friend to care for your children in your absence is one of the most difficult decisions a parent can make. To help us in thinking about this critical choice, here is a list of the top ten things to hope for in a nanny:
Ten: You want your nanny to be reasonably strong and agile. Watching kids is strenuous work. Your nanny should be up to the task.
Nine: You want your nanny to cook well. There’s no need for a gourmet chef, but you don’t want someone who can’t handle the basics of food preparation.
Eight: You want your nanny to be tidy. You don’t need a maid, but you want a nanny who keeps the areas around your little one clean and doesn’t wreck your home.
Seven: You want your nanny to be self-assured. Kids emulate personality traits. You’ll want yours to learn confidence.
Six: You want your nanny to be creative. You don’t want someone who sticks to the same routine every day. Children crave variety and imaginative inspiration.
Five: You want your nanny to be chatty. Babies need verbal stimulation to develop their minds. You want a nanny who talks to your baby as much as you do.
Four: You want your nanny to have a good memory and presence of mind. Absentmindedness is okay for professors, not so okay for caregivers.
Three: You need someone who is consistently reliable. Half of life is showing up, and you need your nanny to do so.
Two: Judgment, judgment, judgment! You need your nanny to have excellent judgment in every situation.
And the number one thing to hope for in a nanny is:
You need your nanny to love your children.
Don’t be threatened by this last hope. Your nanny will never be your child’s parent. Only you can be that. Ideally, your nanny will form a relationship with your child, one that may outlast the limited parameters of employment. Let’s all hope our children have as many special relationships in their lives as good fortune, and good parenting, can provide.