Respecting Professional Boundaries for Nannies
When caring for other people’s kids I urge nannies not yell at children. To encourage kids to be respectful and kind you need to be respectful and kind towards them. Consider if you wouldn’t use an aggressive tone with another adult, why is it okay to us an aggressive tone and scream at a child? Although it’s inevitable that kids will occasionally “get under your skin” yelling at kids shows that the caregiver has lost control of the situation. Yelling at kids for something that is affecting you, will not resolve the problem with the kids.
Before responding to children in anger, take a deep breath and count to ten. Give yourself a few minutes before responding.
In the book 365 Ways to Raise Great KidsSheila Ellison says, “Instead of you joining in with screaming, here’s an alternative. Go to where the children and commotion are and have everyone stop, sit on the floor, and take three deep breaths. After the breaths, talking may resume in a sort manner. This will slow everyone down for a few minutes, and at the same time teach [children] a new tool they can use on their own.”
“Yelling at a child who is trying to annoy you gives the child the upper hand by getting a reaction out of you. Instead, calmly tell the child what you have to say. Constantly reacting to behavior contributes to misbehavior for the sake of getting attention,” says Ellison.
Let the consequences of their actions teach children. If you have a reward and punishment system in place let the rewards and punishments modify the children’s behavior rather than yelling.
For example, if the child knows they get a star on a star chart for making their bed and lose a star if they don’t, you don’t need to yell or criticize the child. Just give them the start they earned or take away the star they lost. If kids know they will lose a privilege if they yell at their siblings, then enforce the discipline instead of yelling.