Our members share their single parenting experiences and reach out to our community with tips, advice and lessons learned. This month’s article topic comes from a woman who is about to become a nanny for a divorced dad and is asking for advice from SingleDad. Read more.
Advice on SingleDad
Nanny for Hire
Not sure where to address this question so I will put it under "Gender". I am a
soon-to-be nanny for an eight year old boy whose father is a single father. His
birth mother has never been around and his step-mom recently walked out on him
and his dad. I am excited about working with this nice little boy but a bit
nervous. I am not sure how I should broach discussions about his stepmom (or
mom) when he brings it up and I am king of concerned that he may grow too
attached to me because I am another woman figure in his life….or not get attached
at all because of what he’s been through. Can you offer me some advice on the
Do’s and Don’ts on being a nanny
for a Divorced Dad?
As single fathers, have you all ever hired nannies for your children? Did you
ever hope that the nanny would be a "mother figure and or female figure"
to your children? Or did you think that overstepped boundaries?
While I am not a licensed family counselor, I have had two nannies over
the course of my 13 years of being a divorced dad and I can share some basic
advice to follow:
Nanny vs. Mother: Being a loving nanny is important and offering
your love and support for this child is key to a successful relationship.
However, your position as Nanny should never get confused with playing a
"Mother-Like" role. You can easily fall into the Mother role and that
can be harmful to both you and the child down the road. Life has many changes
and you never know how long you will be with this family. Now, I am not asking
you to be "cool and distant", however, i am asking you to treat your
role responsibly and take your position as a Nanny as professionally as you
can. As long as you are consistent to all parties involved, your role as the
nanny will remain positive and productive.
Nanny and Father Relationship: I run into this question many times about
the "Nanny and Father" relationship. Sometimes, Divorced Dads and the
Nanny develop a personal relationship. I have never seen a good ending to this
scenario. Once it starts, you can never get the "boundaries" back so
be very careful and make smart choices. If there is a vacation trip involved.
Make sure you have separate accommodations; never compromise your space no
matter what the circumstances are on the trip.
Asking about the Mother: This child may ask about his Mother, and it
is really not your position to offer a lot of details to the "Who, What,
Where and Why’s" of the Mother. The best advice I can offer you is to
refer those questions to the father and tell the child that you do not know all
the answers. If this behavior persists, let the father know and encourage them
to all see a licensed family therapist who can coach Dad about the proper way
to communicate to his children. You should also see if the father would pay for
you to see the counselor separately in order to get the proper coaching.
In summary, make sure you keep your role consistent to all parties.
Make good choices and you will have good results.
Keep me posted.
Richard “RJ” Jaramillo, is the Founder of SingleDad.com,
a website and social media resource dedicated to single parenting and specifically for the newly divorced, re-married, widowed and single Father with children.
RJ is self employed, entrepreneur living in San Diego and a father of three children. The mission of SingleDad is to help the community of Single Parents
“Make Life Happen…Again!”