As we work to re-adjust to our new normal, many babysitters and nannies have been called in to assist with families who are now working from home. Caring for children while the parents are home poses a whole new set of challenges. We’ve pulled together a few tips to help you babysit or nanny while parents are home that will hopefully make your day easier in a new working environment.
Over-Communicate, Over-Communicate, Over-Communicate
Making sure that you and the parents are on the same page is more important than ever now. Depending upon the space available for you to care for the children, most likely, there is going to be an increased number of individuals sharing the same space. This can pose some logistical issues when planning activities with the kids.
Talk About the Day
It’s a great idea to ask for a rundown of what the day might look like for the parents when you arrive. When you’re aware of the parent’s schedule you can plan yours with the kids accordingly. This can include asking whether the parent has any meetings scheduled (so you know when to monitor noise levels), if there are any off-limit areas in the household, or asking where the parent will be working for the day. Now that parents are home, you can ask if you will all be having lunch together, or plan to do this separately. Additionally, it can be a good idea to ask the parents if there’s anything specific that the kids need to get accomplished today, school-related or not.
Set Ground Rules
Oftentimes, when parents are home the kids will want to seek help from their parents over you as the sitter or nanny. There is no offense to be taken here, it’s natural for this to happen. However, when both authority figures are home, it’s important to set clear expectations on who’s in charge and who’s to take the lead on things such as lunchtime, chores to be done, homework, and behavior-related challenges. This can make things easier when said challenges come up.
Make a game plan for the day. You don’t want to be left with your toolbag empty. Not only should you make a game plan, but make a plan b and a plan c. As we all know, not everything will go as planned. Whether the kids don’t want to do what you had planned for, or the parent asks for you to do something else. Having alternative plans and being flexible will make the day go a bit smoother.
Get in the Mindset About Parents Being There
It might be a shift, or you may be used to it, but knowing that the parents are going to be there will prepare you for a day with a house full of people.
You’re Still There to Help
Even though the parents are home, they’ve still asked you to come help with the kiddos. They want you there, and they still need your assistance in caring for the children.