What to do if your Nanny has a Favourite
Does this sound familiar? Your new nanny is showing a special interest in one of your children. Your other child(ren), feeling left out, acts out in order to garner some of the extra attention that your other child is so happily receiving.
First, let’s try to understand why this happens.
Let’s look at the landscape. It’s usually the youngest of the bunch that receives the most attention, and there are 3 reasons for this;
- The older child is at home less and has had less time to bond with the nanny
- The older child may have been very connected to your last nanny and has been reluctant to accept the new nanny thus shaking her confidence
- And finally, the younger child may just be easier.
The good news is that there is a fix for this dilemma!
The important thing to understand is that this is an unintentional act on your nanny’s part, but one that needs to be addressed and the sooner the better. Your nanny isn’t behaving this way out of spite or malice. She is just taking the path of least resistance and will need your help to rectify this behavior.
So here’s the fix;
- Schedule some time with your nanny where you can speak without distractions from the kids, dinner or any other activities. Tell her that you just want to review how things are progressing with the kids. We recommend that you speak with the nanny privately instead of having both parents present. Although you may not mean it, it will feel like an ambush – two against one. Start with the great things she has been doing. Tell her that there is one area that you feel she may need some help with. Remember – keep the tone encouraging. You want to make your point, without discouraging her. She should leave the conversation feeling confident, empowered and encouraged.
- Tell your nanny what you have observed. Ask her if she is aware and why this is happening. Let her know that you understand.
- Ask her if she has any ideas as to how this issue can be resolved.
- Give her an opportunity to spend time alone with the child that is getting less attention. Make sure it is something that the child enjoys. She needs time to develop a trusting relationship with this child.
- Simply listening to your nanny’s frustrations will provide her with the confidence she needs to change the situation.
- Sometimes just making your nanny aware of the situation will encourage change.
- Agree to a follow up conversation in a week and make sure you praise her for her effort to change and the results.
We wish you all the best, and look forward to seeing you next week. Good luck.