You’ve done all the legwork to find the right Care Professional for your family and your relationship is off to a good start. But how do you keep your Care Professional happy in your home over the long term?
These 10 tips are designed to help you develop a long-lasting relationship with your Care Professional that’s based on mutual understanding and trust. The time and energy you invest in the relationship will pay off in spades as you benefit from a Care Professional who is loyal to your family and who adores your children!
1. Create a Warm Welcome
Whether this will be your very first Care Professional or you’re already a pro, creating a warm welcome sets your relationship off on the right foot and paves the way for a successful future together. Start by looking at your Care Professional’s bedroom with fresh eyes. Is it equal to other bedrooms in your home with a comfortable bed and furnishings? Is the room designed to be a space your Care Professional will look forward to retreating to after a busy day? Consider personalizing the room with a bulletin board and photo frames. Have the children create welcome cards or a banner, and put together a gift basket with special items. Use your creativity to make a memorable welcome!
2. Demonstrate Respect and Trust for your Care Professional
You’ve chosen your Care Professional for the education, training and experience that he or she brings to your family. Build a lasting relationship based on mutual respect and trust by allowing her to use her knowledge and skills to make decisions and independently carry out her daily responsibilities. While you’ll likely ask your Care Professional to follow your lead in many areas, at the same time you’ll want to give her the space to make decisions without micromanaging. If having a nanny cam is important to you, be sure and discuss the camera use with your Care Professional ahead of time so she understands why it’s in place. By demonstrating you trust your Care Professional, you’ll allow her to shine in her role with your children.
3. Value your Care Professional’s Education and Training
Your Care Professional will be motivated to use her professional skills and training as she works closely with your children. Encourage her in this area by asking her to share observations from the day about the children’s behavior and talk together about useful information from therapy appointments or school visits. Ask her to share her knowledge and skills that could be useful with your children and her perspectives on new or different methodologies. Take the time to consult with your child’s therapist or teacher to see how your Care Professional might get involved as an observer or volunteer. By being an advocate for developing your Care Professional’s career, she’ll appreciate you and the experience she’s gaining in your home.
4. Don’t Treat Your Care Professional like a Housekeeper
While your Care Professional’s role will likely include housework and errands that pertain to the children, like doing the children’s laundry and cleaning up after them, you should avoid asking her to take on general housekeeping chores, yard work, or things like regularly doing dishes for the entire family. As a member of your home, your Care Professional should pitch in to help the household run smoothly, but don’t expect her to assume a lot of chores outside of her role as a care provider for your children.
5. Show Appreciation & Recognition
Everyone has a favorite way to feel loved. Find out how your Care Professional likes to be appreciated so you can speak her language! Does she like words of affirmation? If yes, take the time to compliment her on a job well done or give a thank you note. Showing appreciation through acts of service is another way people feel loved. Maybe it’s stocking the fridge with her favorite foods or helping her research a new vacation spot. Surprising your Care Professional with a small gift or holiday bonus can also show your appreciation. By taking the time to get to know how you can best appreciate your Care Professional, you’ll go far in building a close and happy relationship.
6. Manage Conflict
Conflicts are inevitable. In the best of relationships, it’s not always smooth sailing. Each person brings a set of values, experiences, cultural norms and expectations to any situation. And usually, no two people agree on absolutely everything. Conflict in and of itself is not a bad thing. It’s simply a situation where people disagree on an approach or on how to handle an issue. It’s normal and expected. So when it does happen with your Care Professional, be sure to address the conflict quickly. Conflict has a way of festering and becoming worse if left unaddressed. When addressing problems, try to keep an open mind and be open to new solutions. Also, be sure to listen actively and encourage open communication.
7. Follow the Rules
While the flexibility of having a live-in Care Professional is important, be sure to follow the rules when it comes to scheduling, days off, sick leave and work duties. It might be acceptable to change your Care Professional’s schedule at late notice on occasion, but avoid making last minute changes on a regular basis. By being respectful of your Care Professional’s time and following through with your commitments, you’ll not only build a strong relationship based on trust but your Care Professional will be more likely to pitch in and go above and beyond for you when needed.
8. Support your Care Professional’s Personal Goals
In addition to focusing on her profession, you’ll want to encourage your Care Professional to achieve her personal goals. Take the time to find out what opportunities for personal growth and new adventures your Care Professional wants to experience and then support her in her efforts. Maybe she’s focused on personal health and wellness. Is it an option to add her to your gym membership or take an on-line fitness class together? By showing you take a personal interest in what matters most to her, you’ll build a strong relationship together.
9. Communication is Key
Take the time to debrief with your Care Professional at the end of the day. This gives her the opportunity to share any successes or worries and makes sure you are both on the same page moving forward. In addition, having a weekly meeting is a great way to keep communication lines open and resolve problems as they come up. You can use the weekly meeting to talk about any issues that need extra time and attention. It’s also a great time to check-in on your relationship and air any concerns or problems that you may be experiencing. In today’s busy world of quick text messaging, taking the time to communicate face-to-face is an investment worth making.
10. Create a Team
You and your Care Professional will be a team, working together with the shared goal of keeping your children thriving, healthy and happy. You’ll want to work together to support one another and appreciate each other’s beliefs, needs, strengths and efforts. Have you ever been on a team with someone who didn’t take other people into consideration and acted like they always knew best? That’s never very motivating and can leave others feeling left out and disappointed. The best teams are made up of people who are supportive and respectful of each other.