Navigating Difficult Conversations with Your Nanny

Confrontation is never easy, but when the person you need to address is a nanny who’s responsible for taking care of your family in your home every day, it can be particularly unnerving. To avoid added emotional stress and discomfort, parents may find themselves pushing off having a hard convo with their nanny, but any concerns around your nanny’s performance or behavior should be addressed quickly and clearly.

Effective communication is essential for any successful parent-nanny relationship. When problems come up, talking directly to your nanny can clarify expectations and ensure that your kids are safe and well cared for. Being proactive also helps avoid misunderstandings and a potential escalation of an issue. 

Here’s how to have a difficult conversation with your nanny: 

Prepare yourself 

Organizing your own thoughts and feelings is the first step to having a productive discussion. Take some time to prioritize what you want to communicate and consider your nanny’s point of view when deciding how the message will be best received. Then, choose the actual words you want to use to most clearly, concisely, and respectfully communicate the issue. Remember, it’s always best to address a singular issue immediately, rather than wait for a number of things to discuss, which can be overwhelming for both parents and nannies.    

Time it right

Choose a time when you can talk with your nanny privately and without any distractions. It’s not appropriate to have a serious conversation in front of your children, so plan ahead to ensure you’re alone and fully engaged in the conversation. An in-person convo is ideal, but a video call is the next best method of communication. 

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Be clear and concise 

During your conversation, use specific examples to illustrate your points, and be careful not to make any assumptions or use vague statements. Your language should never be confrontational and should clearly capture what you believe the issue is and why you have concerns.

Listen carefully 

Next, it’s your turn to listen actively to your nanny’s response. Try to gain a better understanding of their perspective and build trust by showing empathy and understanding when appropriate. Remain professional and show respect by asking clarifying questions rather than dismissing their point of view verbally or physically. 

Find a solution 

Once you have both shared your perspectives, focus on finding a solution or solutions that are acceptable. Be open to compromise and consider your nanny’s needs in addition to yours and your kids’. Your discussion should end with a clear resolution. 

Follow up 

In the days and weeks after the conversation, follow up with your nanny to ensure there’s a clear understanding of the expectations and that progress has been made. Depending on the issue, this may be an informal check in, or a dedicated discussion. 

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As hard as it can be, we know sometimes parents have to let good nannies go. If you have a nanny you’d like to refer to a new family, please visit our Find My Nanny A Job page today.