It Takes a Village: A Nanny’s Special Place in the Family.
We firmly believe it takes a village to raise a child and the more we can develop that village with people that positively impact our children, the better. A village has never been more important than it is today with the pace of change and competitive pressures on children. Navigating parenthood can be daunting and having more minds (that may be a bit saner, a lot less exhausted, and more balanced hormones) at the helm to steer the ship is helpful. No single person has ALL the answers. Creating a larger support system for children, providing welcomed relief for parents, adding in new talents, skills, and ideas, and creating a stronger sense of community are all fantastic benefits to sharing the load when it comes to childcare.
ANYONE can be part of your village. Anyone you choose can be part of it, not just family, but close friends, professional caregivers, teachers, coaches, neighbors. Really anyone who loves your children and can help you navigate this adventure we call parenting. Because each of these role models shares the attributes of a parent, in some way, shape, or form. If there is ever anything you feel is missing from your child’s environment, it’s time to expand your village. Talk to an old friend who had a particular love for music or a neighbor whose house always smelled like freshly baked bread or the teacher whom all the students in school went to talk to when they had issues to work through. A village can be as big or as small as we need it to be the help foster and develop our children at different times in their lives.
Benefits of creating a village for your children:
A bigger support system for your children. Imagine competing in a game and instead of seeing just mom and dad in the stands, you see mom, dad, Aunt Nelly, Grandma, Grandpa, Coach Tinsley, Mr. and Mrs. Smith, your neighbors and their kids, your teacher, etc… You get the point. It would be AWESOME! The entire stand would be filled with cheerleaders there to encourage you. We create this sensation for our kids when we surround them with so many people who love them and are cheering for them in life.
A bigger support system for the parents. Have you ever been to a big family dinner when everyone wants to hold or play with your kids? An hour later you look over and your youngest is asleep on Aunt Betty’s lap and your oldest is enthralled in a game of cards with grandpa. Suddenly you realize, you just had an awesome hour catching up with your sister? Sometimes we just need a break. Some time to sleep, gather our thoughts, have a long shower (maybe the first that week), and spend some time on ourselves to make us better parents. A friend to take the kids to the park for an hour or a family member to take them to their sports game so you can get dinner ready. Strong support helps us become better parents.
Different perspectives. There are over 60,000 books on parenting listed on Amazon.com, each with a unique view on some aspect of parenting. While this is too many to even consider, having an arsenal of techniques, philosophies, activities, and efforts is important to strengthen our capacity as parents throughout our children’s lives. Having a deeply involved village can help bring some of these different viewpoints to bare at the right times.
Different interests, talents, and skills. Sometimes kids are interested in developing skills that neither parent has, such as playing guitar or cooking. This is where the strength of the village comes in! Baking an apple pie with Grandma to learn the importance of patience and time or connecting with an old friend from college to teach your son the guitar are perfect ways to design your village to fit your children’s needs.
More minds to tackle challenges. Parenting can be a minefield. Just when we think we’ve arrived at a sense of normalcy, a new challenge arises and throws things out of whack again. Having more minds available to help us through all of the challenges along our path is not just helpful, but, in many cases, necessary.
A stronger sense of community. All humans need to feel like they belong. It is part of our tribal evolution. In early childhood, the community provides our children with a sense of value for who they are. It also encourages the creation of warm and responsive relationships that provide a sense of security and promotes mental health and well-being.
Allow others in. Chances are high that there are others that love your children and want to spend time with them. Grandmas, grandpas, uncles, aunts, friends, neighbors. By carefully crafting your village, you are allowing others the joys of spending time with your kids, whom they love and want to see succeed and be filled with happiness for life.
Children have a powerful effect on others. Youth is infectious. Children have powerful imaginations and are full of positivity. Being around children has a strong impact on adults including their affection, energy level, all-consuming dependence, and need for full attention. Allowing family and friends to enjoy time with your kids goes a long way in letting your kids shed light and happiness on the world and others around them.
Strengthens relationship building skills. Developing social skills is a critical aspect of childhood that carries well into adulthood and impacts all aspects of life, including partner relationships and careers. Learning how to develop relationships with individuals outside of the family unit, whom they don’t know as well and spend less time with, is an important skill to master.
Surround them with love. We all need to feel and be loved, children especially. Love comes in many different forms. The love of a mother is different than the love of a neighbor or a family friend. All of these forms of love add to the sense of belonging and value a child feels from the world. Surrounding them with people who love them and whom they love in return is one of the greatest gifts we can give them.
Nannies are a huge part of designing a village for your children. They are in it or the long-term and can help the family grow immeasurably, developing our children in a loving and supportive environment. They can have creative and informed suggestions to help our family through challenges and provide unconditional support second to none.
Our goal, at Nannified, is to provide the information and tools to help families strengthen their village and the growth and development of their little humans.