The building blocks of a good child-nanny relationship are trust and security. More often than not, these are not automatic components of the foundation of the relationship — trust must be developed over time. Children can be very shy, or even hostile, towards a new nanny.
A child sees their primary caregiver as a critical component of survival, and a stranger is a threat to their basic security. It is important to build trust between yourself and the child that you are caring for so that you may nurture the relationship. Use these trust-building strategies for caregivers to become a pillar of security in your child’s life.
Be a Leader
As a nanny, you should be confident in your leadership abilities and provide a clear way for the child to follow. Be sure to always set a good example and practice what you preach. If you tell a young child that eating vegetables is great, yet you do not eat vegetables yourself, they will most likely refuse to trust your word. Simple, small lies are not missed by children. Keep your word; never make a promise that you cannot keep.
Be a Listener
The small voice of a child can carry an enormous amount of meaning. Be a listener and engage in regular conversation with the child in your care. You may be the one person who gives them attention and time, and that goes a very long way when trying to gain a child’s trust. Do not ever be judgmental, and always appreciate the moments when a child is willing to talk openly.
Always Tell the Truth
This may seem too simple, but even a well-intended white lie can hinder trust-building in a relationship and take away from the security the child may feel while under your care. Always tell your child the truth. Keep your explanations age appropriate, but filled with factual information. For example, when a child asks if a shot will hurt, explain that there will be a bit of pain, but the brief hurt is necessary for their good health.
Do Not Break Promises
If you tell a child they will get a treat for good behavior, you need to be prepared to give that treat. Breaking a promise you have made to a young child is an easy way to break the bond you have with that child. If you do make a promise and realize that it cannot be kept, immediately tell the child and communicate the reasons for your broken promise.
Appreciate a Child’s Honesty
When you know that a child has told the truth during a situation in which they may have been tempted to lie, be sure to let them know that you appreciate their honesty. This praise will encourage future honest communication and deepen the feeling of security between the two of you.
Being a person that provides the child with enjoyable, fun filled days is a quick way to break the ice and begin to form a trusting relationship. You want the child that you are caring for to look forward to spending time with you. Plan fun learning games and activities that the two of you can enjoy together.
If you are seeking employment as a well-qualified caregiver, Opti-mum is available to provide you with the professional reputation necessary to fill a great job as a home caregiver or nanny. For more information, visit our applicant’s page.