Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Tips for Parents Hiring Nannies for Teens

Having placed nannies since 1984 I am aware of the difficulty of placing nannies for teens. Here are some tips.

1. Seek out candidates with strong job, volunteer or educational histories/backgrounds with pre -teens or teenagers. Applicants should have a desire to work with teens and exhibit enthusiasm and realistic experience and expectations.

2. Be honest about your job description and role and responsibilities of the nanny.
Eg. If your job entails 75% household management and carpooling and 25 % childcare, make it crystal-clear to the applicant. If your child is of the conviction that he or she does not need a nanny, make sure
that the nanny understands your child's feelings. If you are hoping for more of a math tutor than a pal, or vice a versa make it clear. Let the nanny know your priorities for your teens and what the rules are, since teens will lie about rules and constantly test them.

3. Be honest about who your children are and how they are likely to behave with a nanny. Share any relevant history that they have had with prior nannies, both successful and unsuccessful.

4.Look for an applicant that your teens will reasonate with. When dealing with teens it is best to seek out candidates who are bright, hip, and cognizant of teen culture. If your teens are into sports, find a nanny who at least follows sports. If your teens are computer nerds, seek a candidate with computer expertise and interest. Seek out candidates with similar interests and values.

5. Since job descriptions for teens typically include household management and liaison work with other parents, teachers, neighbors, etc. look for applicants who are proactive, adept multi-taskers, confident, organized, and blessed with effective communication skills. Teens also appreciate nannies who are good cooks and who are aware of the latest teen cultural icons.

6. It is recommended that parents have a preliminary screening interview with the applicant prior to introducing them to the children. At this interview parents can ask a number of questions and describe their teenagers without having to censor pertinent information. If you think that they will like and understand your children schedule a second meeting with your children present.

7. Caution the nanny that "less is best" upon first meeting your teens. They should not overwhelm or dominate but should ask your children reasonable questions and show interest in them as human beings.

8. Once you have hired a nanny and they are in place, have weekly meetings in which you can process how things are going and how they might go. Also you need to back up and respect your nanny in front of your children. If you don't respect them, the children will pick up on this and never accept the nanny.