By Amy Daire for Insider
Being a nanny — and having one — can be a great experience. Not only do nannies get to care for a sweet, adorable child, they also get to inspire and teach a developing mind. When you find a great nanny, sometimes they start to feel like family.
I've been a nanny on and off over the past five years, and I've gotten very close to the families I have worked for. However, it's important to remember that no matter how much we might feellike family, we actually aren't. That means there are lines you shouldn't cross, discussions you shouldn't have, and very clear definitions of what is and isn't appropriate.
To ensure that you aren't pushing boundaries and making your nanny uncomfortable, here are five things you should never do in front of your nanny.
1. Talk about your finances
If you're struggling financially, try not to bring it up casually in front of your nanny, or any other employee for that matter. It will make them think they should be charging less or they might lose their job. If you do need them to take a pay cut or let them go, that should be discussed in an established meeting.
On the other hand, if you happen to be rolling in it, make sure you aren't saying too much on that matter either. Your nanny might think you're underpaying her, which won't end well for anyone.
2. Fight with your partner or talk badly of them
This should go without saying, but sometimes nannies become so familiar that you might not realize they're even around. It's best, however, to make sure that your private matters are kept private.
Unless your nanny is also your best friend, try not to air your dirty laundry with them when they still have to work professionally with your other half. It might ruin any relationship or respect they've built up with your partner and it can be uncomfortable for your nanny.
3. Complain about your last nanny
It's one thing to be constructive and let your nanny know what you'd like done that the last nanny might not have accomplished. It's another to talk harshly about their style, looks, or interests. Talking down about these things will make your current nanny feel like that could be said about them as well.
As a nanny who's been through this, I can tell you that it's very distracting. Would you rather have me concerned about how I'm sitting, speaking, or dressing, or would you like my attention to be on your kids?
4. Belittle them
Parents can say things that make nannies feel bad about themselves — even if they don't realize it.
It's best to give your nanny specific instructions on how you want things done in advance. If your nanny handles a situation differently than you would have, do not berate them for it. Just explain how you want things done.
I have had a parent tell me that it's "common sense" to do things that are very, very far from "common sense." There's no one set way to handle child rearing and everyone has their own methods.
Also be mindful of how you voice your opinions about politics and general topics that might affect your nanny. I once worked for a parent who often said that people from Florida were dumb and that public school educations were terrible clearly without knowing that I am both from Florida and went to public school.
Your nanny might agree with you, but stay on the safe side and word things carefully.
5. Try to convince or bribe them into staying with your family
If your nanny decides to leave their position and you really want them to stay, express it up front. You can tell them that you'd love for them to remain apart of the family or offer them a raise after they've told you of their plans, but once they've made their decision, do your best to respect it.
When I was leaving a job to start writing I had parents say "that doesn't pay very much," or "being a nanny is so much more rewarding." I have been offered free room and board, and a friend of mine was offered a shopping spree as a bribe for staying on as a nanny. These tactics will only make your nanny happier that they're leaving, and it will make them think twice before recommending the newly open job to their peers.