What Should a Nanny Do If Her Boss is Upset with Her?

Posted on by admin | in Nanny

You might be the best nanny that your employer has ever engaged, your charges may think that you’re the best thing since peanut butter and jelly, you may be willing to perform the occasional non-childcare related tasks, and you might hold a college degree in childhood development or education. No matter how competent and qualified you are, there will inevitably come a time when you’re not quite in your employer’s good graces; no one can perform flawlessly all the time, and tempers can be notoriously short when parents are resentful of the time that they’re forced to spend away from their children. Rather than panicking and putting out feelers for a new post, consider your options and the best methods for salvaging your existing engagement.

  • Realize That These Things Are Rarely Permanent – Unless you’ve committed a major transgression, the chances of your employer resorting to drastic disciplinary measures are fairly slim. Provided that you’ve been an otherwise good employee, most parents would rather resolve an existing problem than take on the Herculean task of sorting through dozens of resumes and conducting nerve-wracking, tedious interviews. That being said, it’s not wise to be too secure in your position; if you’re overly cocky and consistently go against their wishes your employers will eventually have all that they can take.
  • Confront the Issue Head-On – If you know that your employer is angry but haven’t been approached with a reprimand or a request for an explanation, it’s best to take the bull by the horns and approach her with your concerns. It’s especially smart to make an effort to mend fences if you know why your employer is upset and agree that you are in the wrong. Letting the situation go unacknowledged for too long can cause resentment to build up and exacerbate the problem, so don’t dodge your employer in hopes that things will blow over.
  • Be Honest – Should your employer confront you with questions about an incident in which you know you were in the wrong, don’t give into the temptation to cover your tracks. Admitting that you were wrong and are willing to accept any penalties as a result of your poor choices shows strong character and moral fiber; in addition to being the right thing to do, it may also impress your employer enough that they second-guess their outrage.
  • Keep Your Own Temper in Check – Being accused of misconduct, whether you’re guilty or innocent, is enough to put almost anyone on the defensive. Taking this tack with your employers as a reaction to questioning or accusations will only escalate the situation, and perhaps lead to the loss of a post that you would otherwise have been able to retain. Remember the old adage about flies and honey and realize that anger, even of the righteous variety, will get you nowhere in these situations.
  • Accept Responsibility For Your Actions – Attempting to pass the buck, or blame someone else for your failure to perform properly or your momentary lapse in judgment, isn’t likely to endear you to your already-upset employers; instead face the consequences of a poor choice as gracefully as possible. Whining or shifting blame isn’t just ineffective, it’s often downright counterproductive.
  • Make a Concerted Effort to Make Up – It’s easy to hold your breath and hope that a tumultuous period in your relationship with your employer will pass without any attempts to mend fences on your part, but that’s almost never the case. Extending the olive branch isn’t always the easiest thing to do, especially if you feel that you have nothing to apologize for; still, preserving that relationship, and perhaps your post itself, may depend upon your ability to do just that.
  • Keep the Conversation Behind Closed Doors – Your charges, your friends, and other nannies at the playground don’t need to hear you air your grievances or discuss an ongoing problem you have with your employer. Even in the largest, most densely populated cities, most social circles are relatively small and people will talk. Letting news of your woes get back to your employers is a surefire way to make them give up on you altogether, so make sure that you keep any and all conversations about the state of your relationship with your employers and the details surrounding it away from the public eye.

Depending upon the severity of your mistake and the potential repercussions, you may want to consider the possibility that your job could be in danger, though it’s not altogether likely in most cases. To help prevent similar situations in the future, make it a habit to come clean with mistakes as soon as they happen, rather than waiting with bated breath for them to be found out.

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