5 Tips for Nannies Hosting Their First Playdate
Hosting a playdate may be your own idea or that of your employers, but either way it’s a fun and exciting way to help kids socialize and provide a break from your daily routine. Just as with any other new experience, however, there are a few rules that you’ll want to keep in mind. Approaching the playdate from a nanny’s perspective is a bit different than it is for parents, which is why it pays to make sure that you’re covering all of your proverbial bases.
- Get Other Nannies and Parents Involved – There are a few reasons why you’ll want to get the other adults involved when you host your first playdate, not least of which is preventing the likelihood of someone taking advantage of the situation. Some parents and other nannies may see this as an opportunity to drop the kids off for a playdate while they take advantage of what they see as free childcare. Make sure that you let parents and caregivers know that you’re looking forward to their involvement so they won’t be tempted to unload the youngsters before leaving.
- Plan Activities Ahead of Time – It’s important to have at least a loose plan in place regarding activities and games before your charges’ playmates arrive, especially if the kids aren’t familiar with one another. Sending the kids to a bedroom or common area to play while the parents have coffee may work out when everyone knows one another and has a track history of getting along, but throwing strange kids together and hoping for the best is sure to be awkward for everyone involved.
- Learn About Food Allergies and Dietary Restrictions – Unless each child will be bringing their own snacks to the playdate party, it’s imperative that you find out about any dietary restrictions or food allergies in advance. To be on the safe side, you should make a habit of keeping peanuts out of the equation altogether, as even contact or inhalation of peanuts can be lethal for an allergic child.
- Keep Your Complaints and Observations to Yourself – Your first playdate is more than an opportunity to help your charges get to know new people and play with their peers. It’s also a chance for you to enjoy a bit of adult interaction, but it’s important not to get carried away. Not only are your criticisms and complaints about your employers or work environment likely to make their way back to them through the gossip grapevine, but you’ll also be painting an intensely unprofessional picture of yourself to the new people in your circle. Playdates can be very valuable networking opportunities, but only if you don’t make yourself look petty and unprofessional by gossiping about your employers.
- Make Your Charges Your First Priority – While you’re certainly allowed to interact with the other adults at your playdate, it’s important that you keep your priorities in line. You shouldn’t neglect your charges or assume that the other caregivers or parents will pick up any slack. Your primary role is still that of a childcare provider to your charges, and acting as a hostess comes second.
In addition to these tips, it’s also wise to keep in mind that some parents are a bit more standoffish with nannies than they would be with other parents. While it’s rude and unpleasant, it’s also common enough that you’ll want to prepare yourself for this in advance. Hopefully you’ll encounter only welcoming and friendly parents, but you should realize before the big day that you could be stuck with an unresponsive stay-at-home parent.← 7 Parenting Solutions for Boys With Bad Tempers | 30 Blogs with the Best Tips on Helping Siblings to Get Along →
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