How to Tell a Good Nanny from A Bad One

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This Expert Column is sponsored by Not Just Babysitters

As a nanny agent, I get my fair share of calls from irate moms who are furious with something the nanny has done or (in many instances) not done.  My years of experience have taught me that the best thing to do in these situations is to listen actively.  That means that instead of succumbing to the routine answers of ‘Mmmm’ and ‘Uh-huh’, I take the time to listen to what the mom is saying and also read between the lines to get to what she is not saying.  So I take notes on everything the mom is telling me.  That way, I can address her concerns one by one and make sure she feels that as the customer her needs have been accommodated.

Sometimes I do feel like a therapist.  I often feel like I have to talk moms down from a ledge, that’s how upset they are.  It’s understandable in the context that these are their beloved children the nanny is working with.  The angry “Mama Bear” stereotype is real.  She seeks the best for her child.  She knows what her child needs and she is determined to make sure that he or she gets it.