Never make a parent feel like you know how to raise their kids better than they do!
Last week I overheard a parent complaining to another parent about her nanny when she asked, "Does it sometimes feel like she thinks she knows how to raise your kids better than you do?"
When helping to raise children, knowledge, experience, and confidence are great qualities for a nanny to have. But, overconfidence can just be rude and condescending. A little professional humility can go a really far way in most careers and certainly when nannies and parenting coaches are helping to raise another person's child in their home.
The Academy for Coaching Parents International (ACPI) describes parenting coaches role as a mentor who is a friend, educator, teacher, or listener. While the most important characteristics of a nanny may be to help raise children may be patience, creativity, organization, and love -- the most important characteristics a nanny can have when working for parents are compassion and support. Childcare providers are hired to support the parents and remain professionally humble and respectful no matter how much knowledge or experience they may have.
Obviously, two parents cannot agree all of the time on how to their children. So, certainly nannies won't agree with the parents style of raising kids every day either. Not only may two parents have different parenting styles, different hot buttons, and different expectations than their spouse, when they hire a nanny there's a third personality that has been raised by different parents and taught different values and discipline methods that helped shape who they are.
Raising kids is never easy. Sometimes it might feel difficult not to judge the choices of the parents, but no matter hard it gets, parents and nannies must work hard, be creative, communicate openly, and support one another so that children in their care develop to their best potential.
My hope is that no one reading this blog will ever make a parent feel like the mother I overheard last week who felt like her nanny thought she knew better how to raise her kids than she did.