Happy Tuesday everyone!
It’s Laura back with my next video “Should I Restrict My Nanny’s Cell Phone Use?”
Spoiler alert: The answer is an emphatic NO!
Most nannies are professionals and know how to conduct themselves when it comes to topics such as cell phone usage.
I always caution parents that including a cell phone policy in the job description can be a big “turn off” to nannies and can lead to feelings of mistrust, micromanagement, and “helicopter” parenting later in the relationship.
Check out this video where I discuss why you shouldn’t restrict your nanny’s cell phone usage and how to discuss cell phone use with your nanny when it comes to:
- Driving your kids
- At the park or another “out of the house” activity
- While working in your home
PLUS a bonus tip at the end that all parents and nannies should check out!
Scroll down to check out the video and I hope you find it useful!
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A transcript of the video can be found below:
Hi everyone, Laura from Nanny Parent Connection here.
Today I’m going to talk about should I restrict my nanny’s cell phone use during work hours?
The short answer is NO, but your nanny should know when it’s appropriate to use their cell phone.
I hear from parents all the time who wish to restrict nanny’s cell phone use during working hours.
I think this is something that comes up so often cause many of us have seen or heard of a nanny who’s spending more time on their phone and ignoring the child.
I’m gonna talk through this a little bit, I’ve seen when parents go ahead and put that in their job description something about cell phones and that’s often a big turn-off for nannies. Many nannies do consider themselves professionals, and they also know how to conduct themselves professionally when it comes to cell phone use and how to handle that.
Nannies have shared with me that when they see a cell phone policy listed as early as the job description stage, that can be a big turn off because they feel like their parents might be micromanagers, might be entering into the relationship with mistrust or they might be “helicopter” parents.
So just know that having that information about the cell phone uses in your job description can be a big turn-off for nannies.
The reason is such a turnoff, besides the micromanaging aspect is that everybody’s lives are happening at the speed of light, right? We are always connected, we run our lives on our smartphones. Think about all the things that you do on your smartphone. It’s so integrated into our daily lives to communicate with others, to take photographs, to jot down notes, to read a book, everything that happens, even our calendar is on our phone now.
Think about that and think about how that might play into your nanny’s day when they are working and they are in your home.
The bottom line is that your nanny is going to be using their cell phone throughout the day, the key is of course to be using that responsibly, so long as it doesn’t affect the general care, safety or the level of engagement your nanny has with your child, it shouldn’t be a problem. And of course, your nanny’s cell phone usage should not affect the number of job duties they’re able to get done in a day. So, if their job duties are listed out, they need to get them done every day. Cell phone use should not interfere with those duties.
But, you definitely should have a conversation with your nanny about cell phone use. When you’re entering the contract stage and discussing expectations, spend the time to get on the same page with your nanny about what’s appropriate and what’s not appropriate. It could certainly help to outline those expectations within the contract as well.
I’m going to go over a few topics regarding cell phones that you should cover with your nanny.
Topic #1: Cell Phone Use While Driving
Obviously, your nanny should not be using their cell phone while driving, so if they need to make or take a call, they should stop and pull over. We all know that no one should be texting while driving. If they do need to operate their cell phone, they need to stop when it’s safe to do so, pull over, and then operate their cell phones safely when they’re stopped. And also they should be following the state law when using their cell phone while driving, and that usually includes operating hands-free with Bluetooth, that sort of thing.
Topic #2: Cell Phone Use When Out and About
As I mentioned before, we have all seen social media posts or heard tales of parents just absolutely dragging nannies about cell phone use at the park. I’m going to confess here, and I bet some of you guys have done it too. But, I use my cell phone when I’m at the park with my children, now I’m not on it, ignoring them, but I pick at it from time to time or if a message comes through, I check it.
I encourage parents to give the nanny the benefit of the doubt and make sure as long as they’re operating their cell phones safely, that it’s okay to be on their cell phones from time to time. And also parents out there, please don’t judge nannies on their phones.
However, if it’s impeding the safety of the child, that’s not going to work, that’s going to be problematic. But, think about all the things that the nanny could be doing that pertain to the job. They could be looking up recipes, they could be looking up craft activities, that could be coordinating a play date. I know tons of nannies also take pictures of the nanny kids throughout the day or little videos to share with the family. They could be sending little updates. sending video, picture messages to mom or dad, they could be texting with mom and dad, they could be entering in a grocery list that they need to swing by and pick up later for the family, all sorts of things. So, please just give nannies the benefit of the doubt.
Of course, if there’s something not safe, that’s another story.
Talk with your nanny about cell phone use while out and about and let your nanny know that you expect them to be engaged with your children. What I usually say is, “I expect you to always be ensuring the safety and well-being of my kids”.
Topic #3: Cell Phone Use When Working In Your Home
So of course, as I mentioned before, cell phones are so integrated into our daily lives, we use them for absolutely everything, so it’s going to go without saying that your nannies are likely going to be checking their phones throughout the day.
Nannying is a really unique job, nannies often don’t get rest or meal breaks, so think about that.
If they need to conduct any business and they’re working from say eight to five Monday through Friday when do they have a chance to do any business that needs to be conducted during business hours?
So parents, please recognize that your nanny should get little breaks here and there throughout the day, as often as they can take them. Nap time is a perfect time for your nanny to have a rest. Give your nanny permission to take a 30 to 60-minute recharge break for a lunch break so that they can be on their phone, they can unwind, they can recharge, and be ready to go for the afternoon. And of course, if there’s any negligence that surrounding cell phone use where the child’s needs aren’t being met, safety is not being insured, anything like that, job duties aren’t getting done, that’s gonna merit a conversation with your nanny.
This doesn’t really pertain to the nanny’s use of their cell phone while on the job, but it does pertain to how you and your nanny communicate and interact on your cell phone and when that’s appropriate, so make sure to have a conversation with them about how they would like to be communicated with when off the clock. It’s not something that is going to happen on a regular basis but it’s going to need to happen likely one time or another. They might prefer a text message or an email instead of a phone call.
It’s probably ideal to keep that to a minimum if possible. Nannies do not want to hear from their nanny family every evening no matter how much they love you. Trust me, all weekend long they don’t want to hear from you.
But of course, if it’s something that’s emergent, you know something that like, hey, we’re all of a sudden not gonna need you next week, we wanted to let you know as early as possible so you can make plans, that sort of thing, just have a conversation, respect bedtimes, don’t be texting past 9pm, that sort of thing.
Discuss with your nanny what is acceptable and stick with that.
In summary, set clear expectations by having a conversation right from the beginning of your working relationship. Maybe even include that information within the contract, just a brief outline of what expectations are, be reasonable and realistic.
Your nanny is going to need to use their cell phone, they’re going to want to use their cell phone, and likely they need to use their cell phone to conduct some business here and there throughout the day.
So, as long as that doesn’t impact the child’s safety to the general care of the child for the level of engagement your nanny can provide with a child, that should be OK.
It is preferred to use cell phones during breaks, remember having a restrictive cell phone policy is likely not going to sit well with your nanny and they may look for another family.
Last of all use, common sense.
If you feel like things aren’t getting done. If you feel like a neighbor reported something, take it with a grain of salt, you don’t know all the information, but you want to have a conversation with your nanny like, “Hey, I noticed XYZ didn’t get done today, I just want to check in and see if there is anything that I can help with time-wise or set a schedule so that certain things happen on certain days.”. Again, it’s just kind of going over expectations.
I hope you found this information helpful. I hope it helps you navigate what a cell phone policy could look like with your nanny.
I hope that it’s given some insight as to its just not probably going to work to ban your nanny from using their cell phone. That’s gonna feel unduly restrictive, It’s likely not gonna sit well if you just ban cell phone use for your nanny and say you know they’re not to use it during working hours. It’s just not realistic.
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Thank you so much for tuning in everyone. I will see you next time goodbye.