Losing A Nanny – How To Talk To Kids About It
Kids tend to get very attached to their nannies, and when the nanny leaves, it becomes tough for the parents to handle the situation. My kids often question me if the nanny misses out on even one day of work, and I have to explain why she had to take a break and reassure them that she will be back. If your kids love their nannies as much as mine, we are in for a hard day’s work when they leave permanently.
If your nanny leaves on a good note, you can still convince your kids and encourage them to keep in touch with her even after she is gone. However, if you and your nanny have had a row before she quit, the situation may not be as simple. My recent experience of losing a nanny taught me a few things about how to talk to my kids about it. Here are a few tips that can help you too.
- Explain The Reasons For The Departure
It is always good to be honest with your kids about why your nanny had to leave. If she has gone on a good note, explain why she has to move on and tell them that they can still keep in touch with her.
If your nanny is leaving after a fallout, talk to your kids in an age-appropriate manner. Younger kids should be told the basics like ‘Your nanny is moving to another place,’ or ‘getting a better job,’ and so on. You can probably tell your older kids about the real reason without making it sound negative- ‘Your nanny and I had too many disagreements’ or ‘Your nanny’s behaviour wasn’t acceptable to me.’
- Keep A Positive Attitude
Losing a nanny may invoke some unwanted emotions in you like anger, resentment, stress, etc. Don’t let your emotions take control of you when discussing the situation with your kids. Kids observe your behaviour and tend to take after it. Which means that they will behave the way you do. So, ensure that you make it seem like this transition is good and that change should be welcomed. I tried to reflect on the happier days the kids had with their nanny so that they continue remaining positive about the relationship.
- Acknowledge Your Kids’ Emotions
Be prepared for a range of emotions that your kids will display and bounce off you. Your child may have had a special bond with the nanny, and their departure could leave them with confused feelings. Try to acknowledge them instead of shying away from these feelings or reacting adversely by scolding or getting angry.
You can speak to your kids and tell them how you feel and why it is okay to have these emotions. Encourage them to talk to you about and vocalize their thoughts. This will help keep a tab on any extreme emotional outburst, that leads to a difficult transition. Also, be ready for some mood swings and new reactions as your kids move from the old nanny to the new.
- Reassure Your Children- It Isn’t Their Fault
When my kids’ nanny left, the first question my little one asked me was, ‘Is she leaving because I didn’t keep my toys back when she asked me to?’ Children tend to blame themselves when someone they were close to leaves them. If your nanny has had an amicable departure, it is still easier to make the kids understand the situation. You can even make them speak to the nanny and reassure them.
However, explanations become more challenging when there is a fallout, and kids might feel at fault. This is when you need to make them understand that it was your decision and that they are not to be blamed. Also, let your kids know that you are there to support them in every way.
- Prepare Yourself and Your Kids For A New Nanny
The most challenging part, perhaps, is to bid adieu to the old nanny and get ready for a new one. And this transition is often more difficult for the parents than the kids. Children tend to be more flexible and accommodating than parents. Adjusting to a new nanny might come easily to them but can still be stressful for you. You can make the children meet the new nanny a few times before she comes on board full time and begins setting a comfort level. Make sure you remove all the negativity around the departure of the old one, so the new one is welcomed with a positive attitude.
If you have had a fantastic nanny, you can perhaps plan a farewell party for her with your kids. This can really help them accept losing their nanny. Moving on may not be as easy as it seems, but eventually, time helps children adapt to changes.