Anyone who has knowledge of a second language has an advantage in many aspects of life. Everything from cultural exploration to employment status can benefit from knowing more than a single language. For the nanny, it could be a way to engage bilingual children on a social and interpersonal level. A nanny that is willing to learn from his or her family would do well to do so. How can this impact the environment of the home?
1. Interpersonal Bonding – Getting children to respond to a nanny is easier when there is a common bond that can form between them. Having the children help the nanny learn the primary language of the household can give them a way to bond with the individual on an intellectual level. This experience can be incredibly fun for everyone involved as the children have become the teachers.
2. Self-worth – Most children simply want to feel like they fit in. By having them teach an adult, it can fill them with a great sense of pride and confidence. As children usually play the part of the student, switching this role can invigorate their own sense of self-worth as they are now an important part of teaching someone a new task. This shows the child that adults are not infallible and everyone needs help at some point. It’s akin to creating a balance of humanity as the child is taught that we should all strive to improve ourselves regardless of the teacher’s physical attributes.
3. Improving Relations of the Home – For a nanny to willingly put effort into learning the natural language of the home, he or she is proving to the family that the situation is important. They are willing to go the extra mile in order to form a lasting bond with everyone under the roof. Over time, language barriers and misunderstandings could become a thing of the past and the nanny could be viewed as a part of an extended family. Although they are usually more centered on professional relationships, there is nothing wrong with forming an interpersonal respect for those within the home.
4. Improving Nanny Worth – The more fluent a nanny becomes in a secondary language, the more worth he or she will have in future employment opportunities. There will come a time when the nanny’s duties are no longer required and he or she will have to find another family to care for. Being bilingual will be a bonus as the marketability for this individual has increased due to the lack of language separation. Any nanny should welcome the opportunity to learn on the job in this aspect – as long as there is someone in the house that can speak the nanny’s language. You don’t want to place someone in the house if there is no way to understand each other.
The important thing to remember is how it makes the children feel to be excited to teach an adult. From their point of view, adults should already know everything and they should be the students. The exchange of this role can be greatly beneficial to the child and fill them with a confidence that could impact every decision they make from that moment on. Would you be comfortable to let your children teach a nanny the native language if he or she was willing to learn?
Rachel is an ex-babysitting pro as well as a professional writer and blogger. She is a graduate from Iowa State University and currently writes for www.babysitting.net. She welcomes questions/comments which can be sent to rachelthomas.author @ gmail.com.