Due to flexible work schedules, more and more parents find themselves working at home or managing their household while engaging caregivers to assist with child care. As a parent at home, your collaboration with a Care Professional has the potential to enhance your child’s upbringing. Here’s how to make the partnership fruitful:
1. Foster Understanding, Respect, and Authority
Care Professionals have completed education and training in child care. To help them succeed in their role, it’s essential to allow them the space to establish their authority. Engage in initial conversations to discuss roles, guidelines, and expectations. Encourage a family meeting to introduce the Care Professional as a respected part of the team.
Tip: Back up your Care Professional’s decisions and be open to consider new suggestions, as their experience and perspective can provide valuable insights into your children’s needs.
2. Collaborate on Routine & Schedule
A routine helps in maintaining control and providing consistency. Coordinate with your Care Professional to understand and complement existing routines. Share changes to established routines like vacations, appointments, or work commitments to ensure a smooth functioning home environment.
Tip: Establish clear work hours and handoff routines. This clarity will help your children understand who’s in charge during specific times.
3. Designate Spaces and Boundaries
If your Care Professional is working from your home, establish designated spaces for everyone to avoid confusion and ensure privacy. Collaborate on creative ways to delineate spaces, like room dividers or specific times for usage.
Tip: Regularly review space usage to make sure everyone feels comfortable and productive in their designated areas.
4. Nurture Bonds
Your children might need time to bond with the Care Professional. Support this process by helping to facilitate the relationship. Give the Care Professional time to engage in activities they like, and be patient with the bonding process.
Tip: Share information about your children’s likes and dislikes to help the Care Professional tailor their approach.
5. Prepare for Parent Pop-ins
As you work from home, you might find yourself checking in on your children. While natural, make sure that these visits do not disrupt the Care Professional's routine or your workflow. Think about setting up scheduled visits or regular text check-ins to maintain seamless communication and home efficiency..
Tip: If pop-ins cause distress, work with the Care Professional to find alternative ways to check-in.
6. Embrace the Learning Curve
Recognize that there will be a learning curve in integrating a Care Professional into your family's daily routine. Be patient, flexible, and proactive in addressing challenges and celebrating successes.
Tip: Keep communication lines open. Regular meetings, feedback, and collaboration will build a strong, effective partnership.
Being a good employer to a Care Professional while managing work or household tasks from home is a balancing act. Embrace collaboration with understanding, respect, and open communication. By following these best practices, you and your Care Professional can work together to create an environment where your children thrive.