As most Toronto nannies will tell you, caring for children is not always easy. With the right skills, however, being a nanny can be a challenging yet rewarding job. Many Toronto nannies utilize a few childcare tips when caring for children. The first is to stick to a set routine. Children thrive on schedules and predictability. For example, if the children’s mother or the previous nanny has been serving them lunch at a specific time, then taking them to the park and giving them a snack, try to stick to this schedule. Knowing what to expect will help a child adjust to your presence and will help avoid tantrums and outbursts.
Disciplining children who are under your care can be difficult, especially when their parents spoil them or fail to set boundaries. Many Toronto nannies find that positive reinforcement helps bring out the best behavior in small children. Most children crave attention and like to please authority figures. You can use this behavior to your advantage by refusing to give a child who is misbehaving any of your time or attention. Simply go about your business like he or she is not there until the child begins to act appropriately. When a child does something good, like shares a toy or says “please” or “thank you”, praise them. The child will remember your response and is likely to recreate the good behavior in the future. Seasoned Toronto nannies know that naughty children are often simply bored.
When left to their own devices, children will get fussy, tease one another, and get into trouble. To help keep your children on their best behavior, try to plan structured activities. You can play simple childhood games like tag or hide-and-go-seek, do craft projects, or bake cookies. Children will enjoy doing something new and will stay focused and engaged. You can also go for a walk or a hike, visit a nearby playground, or play house. Many parents appreciate nannies who plan educational activities with their children. You may want to teach the children you care for to count or learn the alphabet. Older children can practice math and reading with you. Look for opportunities for learning in everyday activities. For example, while in the kitchen you can show children how baking soda and vinegar react and foam. If you take the children to the park, take time to point out the various types of flowers, cloud formations, and animals. Some nannies choose to keep a daily log of the children’s behavior, including what they ate and what activities they engaged in.
This helps keep parents up-to-date with their children’s progress, and reaffirms to them that you are not just sitting their kids in front of the television all day. Some parents may ask you to give them a specific daily or weekly report, while others may leave the decision up to you. Finally, keep in mind that as a professional nanny, you should always be on your best behavior and set a good example for the children in your care. If you use foul language or practice bad habits in front of the children, they may start to pick up your mannerisms. Never ask the children to keep secrets for you or lie to their parents. Even so-called “white lies”, like telling their parents that they ate vegetables when they really ate pizza and ice cream for dinner, may come back to haunt you and could easily destroy the trust your employers have in you. Many houses may have hidden cameras that monitor nannies’ behavior. In some cities, parent groups even operate websites where parents or other nannies can report caregivers that they spot misbehaving or neglecting children.