Aside from the more common tasks like cleaning, one of the more challenging roles required of a London housekeeper is to serve as nannies for the house owner’s children. There are times wherein both mother and father are working, leaving a house helper in charge of taking care of their sons and daughters.
About.com features an interview with Ingrid Kellaghan, founder of Chicago’s Cambridge Nanny Group, discussing nanny duties and the relationship between keeper and owner, in relation to the children’s welfare. According to the article:
“Shared core values are the cornerstone of all successful relationships. It’s a greater indicator to long-term success than the nanny’s skill, experience, and job competencies. It’s the glue that holds everything together. When disagreements repeatedly emerge it’s often the result of conflicting philosophies on how a child should be raised. At the end of the day a nanny is a proxy parent. For the relationship to work well, philosophies and attitudes, including discipline must be in alignment. Shared beliefs are a critical issue that should not be overlooked.”
Parents and nannies may have different ways of dealing with children and these ideas may either clash or coincide. Developing a proper relationship with the housekeeper, therefore, is going to be an important element in having a successful partnership for child care.
Having the parents and the nannies on the same page when it comes to caring and disciplining is important so that the child is given consistent guidance. Children are, after all, creatures of habit, and for them to be told to do one thing while with his parents, only to be told to do another when he is turned over to the nanny, will only create confusion for him.
Children need to feel safe, and they feel safe the most with what is familiar to them. As such, the experience of care he has with both parents and the nanny must, for the most part, be the same, at least insofar as established rules and guidelines are concerned.
Overall, while it is the housekeeper’s main job to ensure order and cleanliness in one’s house – that’s what the clients hired them for in the first place – their role becomes much more important when keeping watch over the children becomes part of the equation. It is a huge responsibility not only because the house must be kept safe under their watch, but more importantly, because the safety of their ward also depends on their capability. Whether they act as custodians to the house or babysitters to children, the job of a housekeeper in London is undeniably important, especially for a household who has both parents out at work for most parts of the day.
(Source: How to Work with a Nanny to Address Child Behavior Problems and Discipline, About.com, Undated)