How to Nanny Successfully with Difficult Children

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Contributed by Dorothy Popovich

Nannies often find themselves faced with caring for difficult children with little or no experience in how to deal with the child. You must remember that the primary importance should be insuring the health/safety of the children, and keeping your own sanity while doing it.

Certain behaviors children exhibit are signs of an underlying problem or situation. Some behaviors can be redirected or ignored until the child grown out of a phase. Other behaviors such as biting, hurting animals and children are so detrimental to themselves and others, that they cannot be ignored and must be dealt with immediately. Other attention-seeking behaviors such as tantrums, whining and screaming, holding their breath, refusing to eat, or refusing to talk etc. are all behaviors that sometimes stem from causes that can be remedied.

There are steps involved in curbing difficult behaviors of the children in your care.

  1. Determine the cause of the behavior(s)
  2. Determine the developmental level of the child(ren) and whether the behavior is characteristic of that developmental age
  3. Talk to the parents about the behavior(s) and methods they have used in the past to subside those behavior(s)
  4. Brainstorm with the parents on possible measures you both can take to minimize or eliminate those behavior(s)
  5. Talk to the child(ren) directly about their behavior(s) and see if the child(ren) can offer possible causes or solutions to their behavior
  6. Set your rules as a nanny for the children.

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