Talk to the nanny when organizing a play date
“Mommy, can we have a pway date with Ewica?” your three year old asks, one morning. “Sure, honey, let me check in with Erica’s mommy, okay?” Erica’s parents work outside the home and have a nanny, so Erica’s mom suggests that you talk to the nanny, Matilda, directly to set up a play date. Just like at school events and family outings, the nanny is an integral part of the family.
But how is this going to work? Frankly, it doesn’t work much differently from any other play date, but there are a few things to keep in mind when talking to the nanny about it:
Talk to the nanny when hosting the play date:
- Talk to the nanny directly to set up or confirm the play date details.
- If the kids are old enough, a drop off play date is in order and you can decide that with the the nanny when you set up the play date but with younger kids or children with special needs, it might be best if the nanny stuck around. Treat her like another mom. She’s not YOUR nanny and she’s not there to take over running the play date while you run upstairs to take care of some email.
- Don’t be nosy about your nanny’s employer or her life as a nanny. She is not the child’s mother and may feel that she is not in a position to refuse to answer certain questions. She is a guest in your home for the duration: treat her like one.
- Skip the gossip about her employer or other parents. Again, as an employee of the person you are talking about, she may feel like that kind of talk will put her job at risk. Don’t put her in that position. Keep it light and friendly.
If you are taking your child to a home with a nanny in charge:
- If it’s drop off, keep it to a reasonable time (1 – 2 hours): the nanny isn’t your free babysitter.
- If your child has special food requirements, bring a snack for the nanny to provide but DON’T bring crafts or other ‘play date’ paraphernalia, like games or toys: that gives the impression that you don’t feel the nanny can do the job adequately.
- Be sure to be clear what time you will be picking up your child and make sure that the nanny has your contact information, in case of a problem.
- Arrive a few minutes early to help with clean up! The nanny may be paid to clean up after the child in her care, but she’s not paid to clean up after yours.
Bottom line: it’s best to talk to the nanny like to another mom that you don’t know very well, ensuring a pleasant and easy time for all concerned.
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