Book Review: "A Guide to Developing a Successful Family and Nanny Relationship..."

Photo courtesy of Graham Crumb via Flickr Creative Commons
Photo courtesy of Graham Crumb via Flickr Creative Commons

“…Yes, It’s Possible” by Alene Mathurin

review by lesley gambill.

A Guide to Developing a Successful Family and Nanny Relationship…Yes, It’s Possible by Alene Mathurin is a viable guide for families and nannies to create and obtain a positive, healthy relationship for the duration of their time together.  It is obvious that Mathurin has numerous years of experience as a nanny for many types of families, and discusses caring for these families from both a personal and informative perspective. The book touches on subjects necessary for novice and experienced caregivers, as well as the families that employ them. For the many nannies who do not go through a placement agency, the book serves as step-by-step reminder of things that are imperative to a successful nanny, including the importance of a nanny contract (this is where things such as vacation, sick time, pay, and other miscellaneous factors are discussed) and how to keep an open communication line between the family and nanny.

Mathurin stresses the importance of a nanny having a life and caring for herself outside of the job. Additional content touches on subjects such as temper tantrums, enrichment classes, and how to communicate children’s development in these areas to their parents.  The nanny profession and field is becoming increasingly popular, and Mathurin proves to bring up issues that are relevant and up-to-date. Many nannies now travel with families, live in, are mannies, care for multiples, or work for same-sex couples. The context provides practical advice when dealing with these situations, as well as how nanny should conduct themselves at all times.

Mathurin makes a point to stress the importance of staying away from “nanny mafias” as she calls them, and remembering the reason a nanny working.While much of the book is geared toward the nanny, there are a great number of concepts that parents can take away from the book also. Some of these concepts include finding and hiring the right nanny for your family, what to do about your nanny when you vacation, and reminding parents that “a nanny is a nanny,” not a cook, maid, or dog walker. The book is an easy read, and is broken up into short chapters, with side stories (some appalling, some humorous) that keep it from being mundane. Nannies that do not work in large cities may find it difficult to relate to some of the topics discussed in the book, such as working in a high rise with doormen and taxi allowances for working late. Overall, however, the advice presented throughout A Guide to Developing a Successful Family and Nanny Relationship…Yes, It’s Possible, serves as invaluable guide and resource that would prove beneficial for all nannies and the people that employ them.

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