If you have a love for children, a creative personality and a lot of love to give, you may be perfectly suited for life as a nanny! There are many different types of nannies or au pairs. However, most excellent nannies have a handful qualities in common. Here we will address the most important qualities that every nanny should embody along with a few considerations a future nanny should take.
- Excellent nannies have an incredible capacity for compassion
Not all nannies work full-time. But even just a few hours a week with the same child or children can be both challenging and rewarding! If you are willing and prepared to open up your heart to a new family several hours a week and patiently care for children even through the difficult times, you might just make an excellent nanny. You will find yourself kissing scraped knees and sometimes even breaking up fights between siblings. This will require a lot of compassion and patience!
- Excellent nannies are hard-working and creative
Being a nanny is not for the faint of heart and it is in no way a passive job. You will need to be prepared to work constantly. You will need to find creative distractions and games and you will need to be willing to tutor young children through their homework. Nannies don’t just care for children, they also teach them essential life skills they need to care for themselves. You will likely spend a lot of your time as a nanny changing meeting the hygienic needs of children (dirty diapers anyone?) while also attending to household needs like laundry and cooking etc… the work is truly endless!
- Excellent nannies are CPR certified
Becoming CPR certified is a skill a nanny hopes to never call on. But you and the parents you work for will have much greater peace of mind if you add CPR certification to your nanny-arsenal! Classes are simple and often times can be completed within just a day. CPR recommendations change somewhat regularly as our knowledge and understanding of the human anatomy deepens, so it is important to keep your certification current – don’t let it lapse! Nannies who are CPR certified can expect higher salaries, greater peace of mind and their choice of families to work for!
- Excellent nannies are disciplined
You don’t have to be tough on children to be disciplined. Children are funny little creatures that crave routine! As boring as it may seem to you, children may get into interesting little ruts that involve the same lunches or snacks every day, the same bedtime story, the same lullaby… But beyond their own individual quirks, they need a consistent schedule. If bath time is at 7:30 every evening, you need to strive to keep it that way no matter what. Make sure they are in bed at the same time nightly and waking up the same time each morning. This will require a lot of discipline on the rough days!
In conclusion, being excellent takes a lot of heart, patience, and intelligence. Becoming a nanny can be a rewarding, diverse and fun career for the right person.