Time to Let Go

A good nanny can become like a member of the family - a family member who may drive you crazy by not loading the dishwasher right, buying your kids annoying toys as "presents", or eating the rest of the sliced cheese and forgetting to tell you. No matter, a nanny comes to your house, cares for your children, prepares them special food, cleans up, wipes their noses, teaches them to wear "big-girl" pants, and marvels with equal pleasure at all of the adorable things your precocious tots may say or do. She tells you in a quiet voice when somebody had an argument with his best friend at school today. She may even love those little rascals. But unless you envision your son at age 15 still wanting his crusts cut off his PBJ and needing a good nose wipe, all things must end someday. For some families, the end comes when the nanny decides to move to be closer to her family, to go back to school, or to start a family of her own. For an unlucky few, the police show up with a warrant and take her away. For other families, the nanny must simply be let go. The children are older, you’ve quit working, or what ever the reason, there are a few simple ways to soften this painful task. (1) Remember that she has been caring for your children (for years in some cases) and deserves your respect. (2) Ask other mothers you know if anyone is looking for a nanny. Get some job leads for her if you can. (3) Give her ample notice or give her good severance. (4) Always be willing to serve as a reference. (5) Have the children make her a special drawing or gift. As always, lead with the positive when breaking the news (“you have been so loving, reliable and kind”) and end things on a pleasant note.

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