A Mommybites reader asked:
What happens when I have to fire my nanny? How do I break the news to my toddler?
Heather Ouida’s reply:
If you are firing your nanny because of life and/or financial changes it’s important to make sure your toddler has a chance to bring closure and say goodbye. Perhaps they can make card or craft for the nanny, or pick out a gift of some significance to their time spent together. If you are letting the nanny go because you had an issue with the care of your toddler, you can judge what type of closure, if any, is best.
How to Talk with a Toddler about a Nanny Being Let Go
Either way, you don’t need to over communicate the reason behind letting your nanny go. Use simple clear language (again, the phrases you use depends on how the relationship ended). For example, if the child liked the nanny, but she was fired due to other reasons (being late regularly, etc.) you could say something like, “We know you have enjoyed your time with Julie, but Julie will no longer be coming here to take care of you. I know Julie will miss taking you to the park and playing with you.”
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If the nanny was fired because she did something to your child (in which case your child may be relieved that she’s gone), you can use this as an opportunity to reinforce that you, as parents, will only leave your child with kind and qualified people. “Mommy and Daddy have decided we did not like the way Julie spoke to you (or how she was always on the phone, or whatever the reason for the firing was) so she will no longer be taking care of you.”
Each family’s reason for firing will be unique, so what each toddler is told will be unique. What’s important is that your toddler does not hear you bad mouthing the nanny and that your toddler knows he or she is not responsible for the nanny’s firing.
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About our expert-
Heather co-founded babybites with business partner Laura Deutsch. Heather was a learning specialist where she taught in London for many years as well as at The Dalton School in Manhattan. Heather holds a BA in psychology from Hobart and William Smith Colleges, an MA in child development form Tufts University and acquired her learning specialist degree form York University in England. Heather currently resides in Manhattan her husband, two boys, two fish and pet turtle. Heather’s hobbies include, hot yoga, Nutella eating, writing, Bravo watching, reading and sharing inappropriate jokes with girl friends.