SAVE THE DATE: OCTOBER 23-25 | APNA Annual Conference
SAVE THE DATE: OCTOBER 23-25 | APNA Annual Conference

The Nanny Doctor asks: “Why do Families Behave that Way??”

  1. They are scared and or desperate
  2. They need help
  3. But they’re scared!
  4. Other invisible factors

As an agency owner, you may find yourself asking, “Why is this family behaving this way?? We are just trying to help them!” This is a valid question. Many times we are trying to help a family and they may put up barriers or requests or demands even, that end up making it more  difficult for all of us to do our jobs and help them find the right nanny for their family.

A lot of the time, the family is feeling desperate to find care for their child and there is an intensity that comes across in the calls with them. Here are some tips for managing these clients:

  • Repeat what they are saying to you – this will help in them feeling heard and acknowledged.
  • Respond with a specific plan – don’t just say, “we will look into this and see if we can find anyone”, rather respond with: “We will look into what nannies are available and interested in this position as well as recruit additional candidates that fit for your position. We will update you within the next 24 hours via e-mail or call.” When people feel anxious, they feel better with a specific plan.

Sometimes, families are in such need of help and they feel helpless in the process.

  • Reassure them that you are going to do everything possible to help them locate their next nanny for their family. Empathize that you know that it can be hard to wait for next steps, but you are confident that they will have some candidates to consider in the next 24 hours.

The fear families experience as part of the nanny finding process can be debilitating.

  • Empathize with them and reassure them. Mention their children by name and that you are doing your best to find the best nanny for them. Anything you can do to personalize the search in your interactions with the family will help the family feel more relaxed and that you are really helping them and have their best interests at heart.

Sometimes, families have other things going on, personal challenges, that can include marital issues, health issues or work stresses that they aren’t telling you about.

  • Sometimes we see families struggle to follow up with interviewing candidates or trialing or deciding to hire. This can be baffling to us because we provided them with great candidates. Because of their seeming paralysis, they end up losing out on great candidates, and then in turn sometimes become dissatisfied with the agency.
  • This can all snowball into months and maybe even years of working with a family and the family not seeming to be able to hire a candidate.
  • Agencies can become angry, annoyed, frustrated and even hopeless during this phase. These clients can end up taking up so much of your time and then never place.
    • Maintain appropriate boundaries with these clients. Remind them of hiring contact timelines or replacement policy timelines.

At The Nanny Doctor Consulting Services for Families and Nannies, we collaborate with agencies to help support these types of families,  to move them along, and successfully place a nanny in their home. This can save your agency a lot of grief and time! Collaborating with The Nanny Doctor is at no cost to your agency. If we partner with your agency, we extend a complimentary 1 hour consulting session to any of your families. Following use of that hour, families choose whether or not they would like to continue to work with The Nanny Doctor and in turn pay her fee directly.

We’d love to hear your thoughts! Reach out and let’s talk!

Instagram: @thenannydoctor

Twitter: @thenannydoctor

Facebook: The Nanny Doctor Consulting Services for Families and Nannies

Phone: 310-384-9300


Lindsay Heller is a professional nanny consultant who works with families and agencies all over the world to help families find the right nanny for their family. She’s a former nanny of over 10 years, a mother, and former employer of a nanny. She’s been consulting for 15+ years!

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