For those of us who watched Friends many years ago, we can remember the hilarious episode where Rachel wants to hire a male nanny for her daughter Emma. However, father Ross is totally shocked at the suggestion as a male nanny wasn’t a job title that many of us were familiar with.
Increasing gender equality has gradually broken down the lines between male and female jobs roles but stereotypes in childcare do still exist. Parents are learning however that the only real difference between a female nanny and a male nanny is gender and male nannies are just as capable as female nannies. In fact, there are occasions where a male nanny can really offer an advantage, including:
Male Nannies are becoming increasingly popular with single mothers who want a male role model for their children. Families that have a lack of a father figure benefit from a male nanny, especially if the mother has sons. Research has shown that a positive, strong male role model is important for the development of young children and a male nanny allows single mothers to provide a strong, stable and consistent male presence for their children
Male nannies are often multi-skilled and offer strengths in other areas i.e. tutoring in both academic and sport subjects. They can also provide basic maintenance around the house
For many mothers a male nanny allows them to remain the primary female caregiver, ensuring they have no fears over feeling replaced
Many kids find it easier to bond with a ‘big brother’ male nanny as they see them as an older sibling. Households filled with all boys find the energy of a male nanny matches their sons, especially those with young boys. A male nanny also provides a good role model and guides them on how to become responsible young men who can demonstrate respect and good manners
Families with large numbers of children or very young children often experience that male nannies can interact with children in a more physical way. This allows the kids to blow off steam and use their energy through play and fun interactions
Many parents want to provide their children with a great example of how male and female roles are no longer defined by their gender. Male nannies offer a clear message that child care is not only woman’s work
The growing demand for the male nanny has seen greater numbers of highly qualified male nannies becoming available, and the demand is set to increase, especially as celebrities such as Madonna, Britney Spears and Gwyneth Paltrow join the trend.
Although the ultimate goal is always to select a child care giver on experience, qualification and personality, there clearly are reasons why a male nanny may be a better fit for a family than a female nanny in certain situations.