From this I draw the obvious conclusion that it is a subject that concerns nannies, and probably families too, and that people are looking for guidance on how to go about saying goodbye.
I'm not sure that there is much more that I can add to make this process any easier. In my original post, which was based on a nanny's decision to move on, I recommended such strategies as:
- being clear with parents and children about when you would finish;
- speaking positively about future plans for the children eg 'next week you will be going to daycare', or 'next week Jane will be taking you to the park and you'll have fun with her just like you do with me';
- acknowledging that it is hard to say goodbye, that it is OK to feel a bit sad;
- perhaps creating a book of photos of fun things you have done, or giving the children a photo of you with them;
- not making promises you can't keep about future contact.
It is hard, working alone in a family, not to think of yourself as the most important person in the child's life, but this is not reality. The child's parents have this role. They lend you their role in the hours you are caring for their child, but it is only a loan. From the start of the time you meet a family you need to be clear to yourself about your role and what that means. You are, as the legal term says 'in loco parentis' ie in the place of the parent, BUT you are not the parent. You act like the parent, in the parent's absence, making decisions about the care of the child (in accordance with the parents' wishes), about diet, activities, safety...all the aspects of daily life with children. This is one of the reasons why we are very keen that nannies employed by our agency:
- make their planning for the children clearly available to parents;
- make reports on the children's day.
Most families these days don't expect their nanny to stay until their children are old enough to leave home, but at the same time do not want to see their children have to face too many changes. At the same time, nannies often have changes in their own circumstances, (eg marriage or pregnancy) or are looking for a new professional challenge, so many move on after about 2 years.
Change is part of life, and we need to grasp it with both hands, looking for new opportunities, not looking back with regret.