It's 2019 and we have to stay realistic: EVERYBODY has a smart phone these days, but setting boundaries and ground rules before hiring a nanny is a great idea as long as everybody stays realistic.
Long gone are the days of using a cell phone for calling and texting. We now have an abundance of apps: Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, educational and non educational games for both adults and children, and so much more! How much is too much? Should cell phone usage be banned during working hours?
We already know that The American Academy of Pediatrics has issued guidelines on the time limits for children of all ages should be allowed, and it's not only important for parents to be aware of these guidelines, but for nannies as well. Many nannies and parents can agree that setting time limits for children should happen, but what we tend to forget about are the adults.
Many parents are requesting a clause to be put into contracts about no cell phone usage while on duty. As stated before, we need to stay realistic about cell phone usage in 2019 for people of all ages. Parents must recognize that nannies are not only using cell phones to check social media and text their friends. They are using their cell phones to have access to the millions of fun activities for children to occupy their day: music, arts and craft ideas, indoor playtime ideas, creative play ideas, etc. Parents must also recognize that they have easy access to their phones and computers daily and do not have restrictions or limitations on who they can call or text during the day.
We see many posts about parents commenting how a nanny was talking on her cell phone during walking, or how a nanny was posting on social media [easily could have been during downtime]. Boundaries most definitely need to be set when it comes to cell phone usage, but nannies should not be expected to put their cell phone in a drawer and leave it there for the 8-12 hour shifts a majority of them work.
Parents SHOULD set realistic boundaries when it comes to cell phone usage while on duty, and here are a few examples of appropriate and inappropriate boundaries.
Appropriate Boundary Examples:
1. Texting should be done when a child is safely seated or napping.
2. Social media should be used only during nap time/downtime [it is perfectly acceptable to request a nanny to not share photos or details about your family and your children without permission].
3. Phone calls should be brief or only during nap time/downtime.
Inappropriate Boundary Examples:
1. Cell phone should be put into drawer immediately from start time to end time.
2. No calls/texting should be completed, regardless if child is napping
It is important to understand that in this day and age, not only do we use our cell phones for everything, but our children will have access and the ability to learn and understand technology. Putting cell phone and social media clauses in a contract with a nanny are highly encouraged, but parents must remember to stay realistic about it.
We encourage everybody to download a free copy our of nanny contract and to contact us with any questions when it comes to a contract including social media and cell phone use!