I recently received a call from one of my clients that I had placed a nanny with two years ago. Desperately on the other end of the phone I heard, “Dara! Katie is leaving! She is getting married and moving out of state”! We will need a new nanny, can you clone her??! I immediately thought, who could take the place of this nanny in which had woven herself into the fabric of this families lives and how are the children going to take to the new nanny that will be coming onboard? I found another nanny for the family, matching almost instantly, however that was the easy part. The harder part was to help the family shift these two children into life with the newly appointed nanny.
For the new nannies entering into this situation, the goal is help the children feel safe and comfortable in their care. Part of that will take some time and trust will have to be built. Understanding their behavior to the old nanny leaving a large part of the process, as they might not be in full control of their emotions and their reaction to their new caregiver might not be embracing. The new nanny will need to know that this is a normal part of the process, and essentially it will part of their new position to help smooth the children’s transitional needs with gentle encouragement, some great insights and creative solutions.
Here are some ideas to help ease the children into moving forward with this change. I suggest that the new nanny initiate and foster these adventures, projects and ideas as it will help create a bond between the new nanny, old nanny and family while implementing loving and trustworthy friendship with the children.
Be creative with your time and energy with the children!
I’m Thinking of You Nature Hikes/Nature Collage
Take the children on a walk around the neighborhood, go to the local park, take a road trip a few miles away from the house and bring a plastic bag to collect things that can be used as a collage to make for the other nanny as a “Thinking About You” gift. This not only gets the children out for exercise and fresh air, but it also encourages their language development and creative open ended thought process that are very important aspects to focusing on the “whole child” through cognitive, emotional and physical growth.
I Miss You Art Projects
Art Projects for children are one of the best ways for a child to have self-expression through a creative endeavor. This also allows for a mood or energy release. Children love making things that mean something to someone and this outlet fosters more than just the creative aspects of development in children, it fosters open ended thinking, gross and fine motor skills, special skills as well as it empowers their self esteem.
The new nanny might suggest snapping a photograph of the children. Children love a camera! No matter if it’s a disposable or a nice one! That in itself can lead to a whole lot of fun, chasing one another with the camera’s, taking pictures at will! With the picture, encase it with a beautifully hand collaged frame and send to the old nanny. If the old nanny has moved out of state, the idea of going to the post office can also be part of the entire process. The packaging of their beautiful picture frame, the addressing of the label, packing up the gift and the excitement of meeting the postman, the adventure can be endless! This also helps them get to know the “people in their neighborhood”, as being a part of the community is also important for the children to see how they fit into the larger part of our society.
I love You Cooking Projects
Children love to cook, bake and create with food! There are a million different things you can make with the children! Call the old nanny and ask if she can meet you at the park so that you can have a “Thanks You Party”. Bake cupcakes, bring tea, sliced fruit, a picnic basket full of paper plates, juice, water bottles. You can also incorporate a beautiful Thank You Card for the old nanny.
A cooking project on the lager scale not only has the children in the kitchen making something with their busy hands and minds, but it also incorporates fine and gross motor skills along with science, math and language development, empowers their self esteem and allows them to be creative.
The children miss the old nanny, of course they do, they should. Not only has she been a reliable source of continual love and warmth, she has been part of their routine and has been a source of continuity. Although any change in a child’s life is difficult, new nannies entering into a child’s life understand this progressive change. The children are the focus of all parents and their nannies. As a team, and to foster the needs of the children that are being cared for, everyone can help ease the transition of old nanny to new.
Dara B. Green
President, Seaside Nannies Inc.
Seaside Nannies Inc. was founded by Dara Green, nanny of 23 years and preschool teacher in the San Diego community. Seaside Nannies has been created to serve the needs of each family and nanny to create relationships that last.