From making costumes, picking out candy, and helping your kids turn your home into the scariest haunted house on block, you may find you enjoy Halloween even more as an adult. However, what happens when your child wants to go trick-or-treating with the nanny instead of you? While you work your full-time 9 to 5 job each week, your child likely spends most of his/her waking hours with the nanny. You feel your nanny is irreplaceable—you have a great relationship with her, and so does your child. And believe it or not, something like this is a common problem in households. So how do you respond when your child wants to trick-or-treat with the nanny instead?
It is understandable that your feelings may be hurt. Most importantly, take a step back and a deep breath. Don’t react out of emotion and risk damaging this very important relationship you value. Remind yourself: this is the best problem I could have. I’ve gotten exactly what I wanted, a nanny my child adores and someone who gives me peace of mind when I’m not home.
Here are some practical ways you can save your relationship and Halloween:
- Pull the Nanny Aside First
Explain to your nanny your detailed plans for Halloween. Share with her what your expectations are for her involvement. Say things like, “I would love for you to be involved in our family’s Halloween celebration. Could you help my child make treat bags for the trick-or-treaters? Could you get her dressed in her costume and start taking some pictures before I get home?” It would also be helpful to write out a schedule for your nanny with approximate times and lists of activities. Presenting the schedule in a positive way is key. Say, “I will try to make it home from work early, but since this is an important holiday for the kids, I wrote out a schedule so everything can run smoothly.” Make sure you include who is responsible for what activity.For Example:
- 4:15 p.m.-4:45 p.m. Give the kids an early dinner (Nanny)
- 4:45 p.m.-5:30 p.m. Dress kids in Halloween costumes (Nanny)
- 5:30 p.m.-5:45 p.m. Take kids next door to the Millers while we’re getting changed from work (Nanny)
- 5:45 p.m.-8ish Mom and Dad take kids trick-or-treating
If both parents want to take the kids trick-or-treating, ask the nanny if she wouldn’t mind handing out candy. Make sure, however, that she is willing to do so and that you pay her extra for her time. It is a small price to pay to keep your relationship going and the gesture lets her know she is valued. Handing out candy is not considered part of a nanny’s job description. Small, kind gestures like this go along way in keeping a relationship strong.
- Talk to Your Child With Patience and Understanding
It may not be necessary to talk to your child, but if he/she continues to ask about the nanny coming along you shouldn’t avoid the question. Perhaps say something along these lines: “We are so glad you love our nanny. We love that you want to include her in our family’s Halloween celebration. She will be helping you pack candy bags, getting you dressed in your costume, and taking you to a few houses. Mommy and Daddy also are looking forward to being a part of the celebration and will take you trick-or-treating as well.”Good nannies know why they are there: to step aside and let you get the moments you crave with your child. Just know that your nanny has come to love your child and vise-versa. Letting your nanny be a part of the celebration doesn’t take you out of the equation. Your child will feel loved and enjoy spending time with all the people who love him/her. Remember, Halloween is not just a day, it’s season. You can assure your child that the nanny can participate in other Halloween-related events, such as outings to pick pumpkins, attending (and recording) their school plays while you’re tied up at work, choosing costumes, Halloween arts and crafts, and many more fun activities!While a problem like this can be tricky to navigate, it doesn’t have to be. Your nanny can be as involved as possible in your child’s Halloween preparations, which help you tremendously during your busy schedule. This is why you hired her! You will then be able to enjoy Halloween night with your child, which is the absolute best part of the bargain.