For divorced parents with shared custody, coordinating childcare can become a real dilemma. Where there was once two parents jointly juggling the family, work, and home related responsibilities, after parents divorce each parent is often left to fend for themselves and, as a result, childcare arrangements can become a mere afterthought.
When children of divorced parents need full-time childcare, hiring a nanny can be a feasible childcare choice. In addition to providing personalized and customized childcare, nannies can help divorced parent’s co-parent successfully.
Here are 5 ways how:
Nannies can provide consistency of care. Children whose parents share custody often live between houses, traveling from one parent’s home to the other quite often. In the midst of the transition and ongoing changes nannies can provide consistent care. Nannies can help ensure the children’s schedules and routines are followed in both homes and help parents avoid logistical nightmares of tag teaming drop-offs and pick-ups from daycare. Children feel safe and secure when there is routine and structure in their lives and a nanny can bring those feelings to light by providing consistent, high quality childcare.
Nannies can provide a sense of stability. As everything around a child is changing, a nanny can be a source of stability in a child’s life. When parents are going through a divorce the bond a child has with her nanny may be the most stable and stress-free relationship she has. Nannies can help children cope with divorce by being a safe, secure, familiar, and constant force in their lives. Children thrive when they feel safe and secure.
Nannies can advocate for the children. Nannies can help ensure that the child’s needs are being met first and foremost, regardless of which home she is at. Keeping both parents abreast of any changes in behavior, demeanor, or physical, social, intellectual, and emotional needs can ensure that the child’s needs are clearly articulated. Nannies can also alert the parents if the child seems stressed or displays signs that he is having difficulty coping with the divorce. When a child’s needs are met by both parents, it will reinforce that he is loved.
Nannies can reassure children that it’s not their fault. During a divorce children may bear the unearned burden of responsibility for their parent’s breakup. Having a nanny to reinforce that the child is loved by both parents can help lift this unnecessary and painful emotional burden.
Nannies can facilitate communication. During and after a divorce the emotions are often too raw for parents to have successful and meaningful communication. While a nanny shouldn’t be in the position of being the go between for non-child centered communication, having a nanny to help facilitate communication regarding the child can ensure a smooth transmission of information. Having a nanny who is able to communicate information about the children to both parents, to transport the children to and from each parent’s home, and to put the children’s schedule into a useable form for all parties to refer to can help ensure important messages are delivered timely and accurately.
If you’re a divorced parent considering hiring a nanny, it’s important that you select a nanny who is a solid communicator. Having a detailed work agreement and custody schedule that your nanny clearly understands is also vital to setting your nanny up for success. While turning to your nanny as a confidant can be tempting, resist the urge to blur professional lines. Treating your nanny as a valued professional rather than a friend will empower her to do her job well and to always put the child’s best interests first.
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