The technology available today offers so much; information on any topic is available instantly at the touch of a button and it’s possible to be constantly in touch with people no matter where they are in the world.
However, it isn’t without its challenges and for parents and Nannies it presents a major distraction when in charge of young children. Indeed, excessive phone use is being blamed for so many things from an increase in playground accidents at the park and speech delays in children, to an escalation in emotional disconnection which can make children feel deprived of attention and feeling ignored.
In truth, research has shown that if a child’s caregiver is distracted then it can generate cognitive problems as well as physical and emotional problems. The reason being is that as a human brain grows 90% by the age of three these are the years that a child needs positive and repetitive interactions and someone who is focused and responding to their needs, as it creates emotional attachment bonds as well as promoting brain growth and the creation of neural pathways.
The simple truth is that a child’s inaudible chatter is essential to their development but more than that is the importance of the response they receive from their caregiver, therefore if the person taking primary care of them is distracted constantly by their phone their emotional and cognitive needs are being overlooked.
It’s therefore paramount to agree on an appropriate phone usage policy with your Nanny, especially as their role is so often unsupervised. However, it is also necessary to take into consideration that the role of a Nanny is demanding with very long hours, isolation and few real breaks throughout the day and of course, any parent wants to be able to contact their Nanny during the day.
They do need the opportunity to make personal calls throughout the day, although it needs to be made very clear that the time for this is during nap times or when the child is being supervised by another adult.
Above all else, it is vital to make it clear to your Nanny that they are being paid to pay attention to your child and always put their needs first and of course, the best Nannies will fully understand and respect this.