My Life: The Top 10 Things That Make My Nanny Day Easier

Image via CC.0 Creative Commons/Public Domain.
Image via CC.0 Creative Commons/Public Domain.

by chelle cochran

We all know nannying can be a rough job. Check out my top ten tips and mantras for surviving even the most challenging of days.

10.I Love You So Big!

This is more so just for my benefit. On most days, I leave before the twins wake up from nap so I want them to know that I love them before their day with nanny ends. When I lay them down in their beds, I whisper in each of their ears, “I love you soooo big!” They repeat what I say and I can usually still hear them saying it on the monitors when I come downstairs. I want the children that I care for to know that I love and adore them so big so they can always trust and count on me. It also feels great to know that they love and adore me too.


I have a handful of chants and sayings that help our day run a little smoother.

You get what you get and you don’t throw a fit.” This chant is used when my charges want a certain color, size, toy, food, or other item. Discourage pickiness right away.

Hands on deck!” I use this in all public places and when getting in and out of the car. The children place their hands on a wall or the car until I free them from “pirate jail”.

Swallow your nasty words.” This is usually used for the big sister to give her a chance to think about what she is saying when her bossy words come out.

“Before I wake my sleepy head, I must always make my messy bed!” This one’s self explanatory.

8. Have Fun!

This tip is always, always my number one rule and my charges know it. They also know that if they’re not following any of our other rules, they certainly are not following the most important rule.

7.Make Chores Fun.

No child wants to clean so it’s up to us to make chores and duties fun for them. When it’s cleanup time, I play a game and ask them to first find all things with wheels, things that are red, or any other criteria you want that will help to get the job done. When it’s time to put away clothes, we pretend to be superheroes and do it super quickly! You’ll get a much better result this way than by barking out orders.

6. I Model Good Behaviors.

If I want my kiddos to eat their veggies, I too shall eat veggies. If I want them to clean up their messes, I have to clean up mine as well. If I want them to share, I share my things (at my discretion) too. I also try to model some sort of teamwork during the day so that they understand how working together can really help.

5.Car Stickers

Each of my three charges loves to sit in the middle seat in the back of the car. To beat the “I want to sit in the middle” battle, I created a fun little game that my charges love. I purchased name tag stickers and placed a tag on each car seat. Each tag has a different shape on it. Before we go outside to get in the car, my charges draw their “ ticket” from a pile that I prep before leaving. They must match their ticket to the car seat and that is where they sit the entire day.

4.Eliminate “No”.

This was very, very hard for me to change but it has done wonders with everyone’s attitudes, including my own. Think of it this way: if you tell a child not to open a door, they are going to open that door. Instead of telling them what they can’t do, it’s important to tell them what they can do.


Old phrase: “Don’t stand on the chair!”

New phrase: “Your bottom goes on the chair.”

Old phrase: “Don’t kick the dog!”

New phrase: “Your feet are to kick a ball.”

Old phrase: “No spitting!”

New phrase: “Your mouth is for eating and smooching Mommy and Daddy!”

3. Choices

Instead of barking out orders, give your charge choices so that they are accountable for what happens. Let’s pretend that your charge does not want to eat any of her lunch. I would say “it is lunchtime and it’s important to eat so that we have energy to play later. You may eat your lunch or you can choose not to. If you decide not to eat lunch, there will be no snacks until after dinner. It is your choice. Let me know what you choose and we can move on together.” This lets them choose what happens next. Just be careful not to give too many choices at once.

2.Behavior Chart

I found this behavior chart on Pinterest over a year ago and I follow it religiously. My charges know that if they do not follow the rules, they must move their name down the chart. They also know that they can earn their way back up the chart so that they can end at the top. They are responsible for their movement on the chart and know the consequences for moving down. We very rarely have time outs and they are constantly thinking of new ways to stay in the positive.

1. Consistency

I believe that consistency is the most important rule when it comes to raising children. You have to do what you say as the adult and follow through with everything that you say. You don’t always have to just be consistent with discipline. You should be consistent with love, fun, and play so that you help create positive, fun-loving, intelligent children.

What little sayings or mantras help you get through your day?