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“Think of me as the wife you don’t have,” my nanny said in her interview, sizing up the state of our household. “I can see you need one.”

I met a lot of nannies after I had my second son. Most discussed previous feats and merits – all borderline preposterous. You potty-trained 15 children simultaneously? Challenge. You can go two weeks without sleeping? Please don’t drive our car. My children are the most charming you’ve ever met? One is throwing food; the other is pulling your hair.

This one was honest and refreshingly funny. I hired her on the spot.

In the recent revival of Gilmore Girls, our favorite frenemy Paris Gellar, now a mom, admits to crying when her nanny leaves at night. Even the high-achieving, robotic Paris can’t help but exhibit a touch of human emotion when juggling responsibilities in and out of the home. Deep down, we’ve all been there.

Read full original article at Tilden here.

 

 


 

 

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Not a week goes by at the agency that we don’t have a conversation with a nanny or client about boundaries. As we write more blogs we will cover all sorts of boundary issues. Today’s is about the “over-share” – don’t do it!

Imagine the scenario: you’re a couple of weeks into your new job and things are going better than you could ever imagine. You and mom are at the breakfast table and mom starts to share a bit about her personal life. It’s bound to happen, as these are personal relationships you’re developing.

However, while mom may feel comfortable sharing details about her life, better to maintain the boundary of professionalism by choosing to not share about yours. When at all possible, check your personal life at the door.

We’re not suggesting you don’t chat with mom or share bits and pieces about your life – of course you can do that. Just keep it light and breezy. No matter how persuasive mom might be, she really doesn’t want to hear you were loaded at the club on Saturday, nor a rendition of your relationship woes!

In the same vein, if a client asks you why your last gig ended, or if there was anything negative about your last boss, better to leave the dirt in the past with your past job. What went on in the past, stays in the past.

This is a nanny-world best practice even if you didn’t sign an official confidentiality agreement. Remember, if you speak badly about a past client, however much it might seem this is you and the new mom bonding, new mom is going to envision you talking smack about her and her darling offspring down the line.

Keep your replies to mom’s enquiries positive and neutral. Keep it clean and keep it professional in all regards.

Your boss and your job will thank you!

 

 


 

 

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Navigating the world of childcare can be daunting at times, especially when it involves a new family. After the well-deserved sigh of relief that comes from a successful interview, we reach the all-important trial phase. During the trial, we are introduced to new charges whom we’ve often never met. NOW WHAT?! How do we form a connection with children we don’t know? For some of us the answer is simple, for others it’s baffling. Regardless of how many trials we’ve experienced, there’s always room for improvement.

Let’s start with the basics, nanny trialing 101. Your attitude before you enter the house guides your emotions and sets the background on which you’ll build an outstanding trial. Belief in yourself, a can-do mindset, and a winning smile help ensure a positive outcome. You should always take time prior to meeting a new family to remind yourself of all your amazing qualities. By doing this, you're pushing these aspects of your personality to the front, allowing you to showcase them to a future family. Alright, we’ve got a positive attitude? Yes! Now let’s go meet these new kiddos!

During a trial, there can be a lot going through your head. Advice provided by the agency, from friends and fellow nannies, memories of past trials, and good old basic instincts. Feeling foggy from the multitude of thoughts makes it difficult to connect with new children. Now is the time to trust your instincts and your previous experiences. Remember, the agency thinks you are a good match for the family and you “passed” the interview. This is the time for you to shine in your own way. Rather than try to read the situation and provide what you think the family is looking for, be yourself! Acting naturally and showing who you are will make the trial more comfortable and successful!

We’ve found these tips help create great trials:

  • Ask lots of questions: most kids love to share information about themselves.
  • Plan an activity: a quick way to bond is through teamwork. (Crafts and games are great!)
  • Don’t be afraid to be proactive: see something out of place? Fix it. Think Bobby is getting hungry? Prompt the parents for a snack.
  • Share details about yourself: the kids want to get to know you too!
  • Professional is great, but relatable is better: Your interview showed professionalism, the trial is a glimpse of daily you.
  • Always be hands-on: dive right into the moment, act as though this isn’t your first day.

Going to a trial isn’t always easy, especially because you’re walking into a new situation. Armed with these tips, you can begin a trial with confidence and actively create a bond with new children.

Thanks for taking the time to read and good luck at your next trial!

 

 


 

 

 

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Meeting Santa at the zoo (photo via www.lazoolights.org)

An LA holiday staple (it's their 50th Anniversary this year!), head on down to the zoo to check out their amazing lights display. See some real live reindeer (with two new babies), visit with Santa, and enjoy seasonal treats!

When: November 18-January 8
Where: LA Zoo (5333 Zoo Drive, Los Angeles)
Phone: (866) 949-8007

 

 

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Singing together! (photo via www.musiccenter.org)

Gather together downtown with friends and family for a night of singing old holiday favorites under the stars (live accompaniment and lyric sheets provided!).

When: 6:00-7:30 PM, December 16
Where: The Music Center Plaza (135 N. Grand Ave., Los Angeles)
Phone: (213) 972-7211
Tickets: Free, but you need to have one! You can get one at the box office starting at 5:30

 

 

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Finally a chance to break out the mittens! (photo via www.visitpasadena.com)

For all you transplanted East Coasters who miss white Christmases (or if you want your SoCal-raised charges to have the chance to experience snow for the first time!), head over to the Kidspace Museum's Snow Days event! They'll have REAL SNOW – so make those angels, build those snowmen, and throw those snowballs while you can – and be sure to bundle up!

And if you'd rather stay warm while having some "winter" fun, grab a sled and head over to the Venice Beach sand berms!

When: December 26-30
Where: Kidspace Children's Museum (480 N. Arroyo Blvd., Pasadena)
Phone: (626) 449-9144

 

 

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Even Charlie Brown and Snoopy love gingerbread! (photo via www.discoverycube.org)

Check out the science behind the feat of engineering (and deliciousness) that is a gingerbread house! The LA Discovery Cube is offering cookie decorating, a gingerbread house competition, a gingerbread car derby (where you can build and race your very own candy car!), and, of course, Santa Meet and Greets.

When: November 25-January 1
Where: LA Discovery Cube (11800 Foothill Blvd, Los Angeles)
Phone: (818) 686-2823

 

 

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Ringing in the New Year - just a little early! (photo via www.laparent.com)

One of our favorite annual holiday events – Noon Year's Eve at the Kidspace Museum – lets little ones who will be asleep long before midnight on New Year's Eve get a chance to join in the fun! The celebration features sparkling cider toasts, little ones can create their own noisemakers, and everyone should be sure to arrive in time for the balloon drop at the stroke of noon!

When: 10:00-3:00, December 31
Where: Kidspace Children's Museum (480 N. Arroyo Blvd., Pasadena)
Phone: (626) 449-9144

 

 


 

 

 

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Looks like fun to us! (photo via www.calacademy.org)

The California Academy of Sciences  invites you to visit live reindeer and then take a step inside the Academy's Snowman Theater for a viewing of Lights of the North. Settle inside to enjoy a variety of holiday-themed programs, including live musical performances and quiz shows.

When: November 23 through January 8
Where: 55 Music Concourse Drive in Golden Gate Park, San Francisco
Phone: 415-379-8000
Admission: Free with Academy admission

 

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Tree lighting in Union Square - gorgeous! (photo via www.unionsquareicerink.com)

Lace up your skates and join the Holiday Ice Rink in Union Square! All levels are welcome (and you don't need to be able to skate at all to enjoy their hot chocolate!).

When: November 2 through January 16, 2017
Where: Union Square, 333 Post Street, San Francisco
Tickets: $12/adults; $7/kids 8 and under. Skate rental: $6
Phone: 415-781-2688

 

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On the left are the SF Zoo's resident reindeer herd - on the right, a visiting herd greets them!

(photo via www.urbanbackpacker.com)

The reindeer are back at the San Francisco Zoo and they are ready to share the holiday season with us! Meet Belle, Holly, Peppermint and Velvet, four North American caribou and hear from their handlers about the real reindeer stories behind the myths and lore!

When: Now through January 1st daily 10 AM - 4 PM
Where: Sloat Boulevard and the Great Highway, San Francisco
Phone: 415-753-7080
Tickets: Purchase tickets online!

 

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Riding the train at Santa's Workshop! (photo via www.santasworkshop.com)

487 acres of trees to choose from at Santa's Tree Farm and Village! On weekends the farm offers $3 train rides, carolers, handmade goodies in the Elves' Workshop, and visits from Santa and Mrs. Claus. You can register for all activities prior to your visit on their website.

Good to Know:

- It's kitschy
- The bathrooms are port-o-potties
- Many of the activities cost extra
- Most people go to Santa's for the experience – you don't need to be tree-shopping to enjoy it!

When: November 22nd through Christmas Eve
Hours: Weekdays, 9 AM –5 PM; Saturdays & Sundays, 8 AM- 5 PM
Where: 78 Pilarcitos Creek Rd. (Hwy 92), Half Moon Bay
Phone: 650-726-2246

 

Have a wonderful holiday season!


~ Sarah  

 


 

 

 

 

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One of our great nannies having some summer fun with her charge - one of our favorite pictures!

 

We're so excited to meet you and a big hello to those we already know!


This blog is for you. Please take it as an invitation to be part of the Elizabeth Rose conversation. Through our postings we will share everything we have learned in the past 27+ years. We will share about child and family-related activities going on in your neighborhood, and answer questions about the industry as a whole.


Sarah, my sister and partner in the San Francisco office, will be the primary blog writer and information sharer, of which she has heaps. She is a qualified British nanny, a Montessori teacher, a family counselor and newborn care specialist/coach and a mom of two pre-teens.


Oh, and my name is Julie, "Jules". I started the children's division of Elizabeth Rose LA, 25 years ago as of January 2017. I have a BA in Human Behavior with an emphasis in personal dynamics and a MA in Spiritual Psychology. These days I do quite a bit of client coaching. I'll be posting too. 


We will also have some amazing guest bloggers sharing their expertise and ideas about parenting, children, relationships and psychology and a myriad of other topics.


Our intention for the blog is to be informative, thought-provoking and entertaining, with a Q&A quality, so get your questions coming! (You can email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)


Sarah and I are thrilled to start this conversation, and look forward to you joining us!

 

~ Jules and Sarah