Adventure Nannies Blog

Nannies Are The BEST Mentors: Here’s How To Stay Connected To Your Teen Charges!

 

 

 

From the first time you laid eyes on them, your charges have been curious about every aspect of you. Whether you were fast friends or more cautious to get to know one another, the bond that is created between an extraordinary nanny and their charges is incredibly meaningful, and with the right effort, it can be truly timeless.

 

As a professional nanny or childcare provider, you have committed your life to the incredible work of nurturing, teaching, supporting, challenging, and growing young people. Your efforts quite literally impact the future for all people and the investment you’re making is so vital — teaching kindness and inquisitiveness, compassion, and love to the most vulnerable of us.

Along with this important work comes an extra responsibility to potentially support these young ones as they develop into tweens or teens. You may develop a genuinely close bond with one of your charges where it makes sense for you to maintain a sort of mentorship presence in their lives and the parents will most likely be ecstatic to have your continued insight.

This is not to say that you have this responsibility to mentor every child that you ever work with, but more that should the situation come up, you may be open to extending the positive impact you’ve had in a persons life. We want to offer some practical ways that you can do that for your nanny charges that are growing up!

 

 

 

 

WHAT IS UP WITH TWEENS + TEENS?

 

Tweens are between the ages of 8 and 11, and they’re in the midst of some of the most enormous physical and emotional changes that they’ll ever experience.

Physically tweens are growing rapidly and approaching puberty with all the hormones and physical changes that go along with it. Their brains are also going through a rapid period of growth and development. They are now capable of more abstract and complex thinking and of using deductive reasoning to successfully anticipate consequences.

Socially they are moving away from their parents and family being the center of their world and becoming more and more influenced by their peers. Peer pressure and other friend issues may become important as they become more aware of ‘fitting in’.

As a mentor, you can support them throughout these changes by understanding the things they’re experiencing and speaking openly with them about their feelings. Here are a few major keys to successfully connecting with tweens and teens:

 

 

 

 

RESPECT

 

All humans are wired to respond positively to being treated kindly and with respect. When it comes to interacting with young adults, respecting their autonomy, their individuality, their perspective, and their values. Most teens are drawn to older mentors who treat them more like peers than like projects. Think about the things they’re going through in school, with their bodies, and with their rapidly developing brains, and approach each conversation by assuming the very best of them, and signaling that you have their back.

 

 

 

 

HONESTY

 

Kids and young adults are just like us, they have an ear for truth and are always searching for it. In a mentorship, it is vital that you gain the respect of your mentoree by always being honest with them, editing your message for age-appropriateness as always. Don’t shy away from the difficult questions, but take the time to show them how to find the answers. Offer them your personal experiences, and then show them other perspectives via web searches and library visits.

 

 

 

 

COMPASSION

 

Going through puberty is no joke and with all of the physical and psychological changes that young people experience, it’s no wonder that these years are rife with growing pains. Parents may suddenly feel the self-consciousness of their tween and see the impact of that awareness when it comes to family activities. Young brains are still working out the relationship between actions and consequence so you’ll notice lots of surprising decisions made where the result or consequence wasn’t taken into consideration. All of these situations can create quite a lot of frustration and feelings of rebellion for the teen, and as a mentor, you have the opportunity to offer them unlimited compassion. If they come to you angry about a recent incident that resulted in some sort of negative consequences for them, you can listen to them and encourage them to express their feelings. You can offer them your perspective without judgment, and you can offer them complete acceptance as they navigate these new feelings.

 

 

 

 

 

The work of a nanny is never done, and as our charges grow into tweendom and eventually adulthood, we have this extraordinary opportunity to be a safe space for them to return to. We can treat them with a high level of respect, communicate with them honestly, and care for them with compassion. What are some of the ways that you’ve maintained a relationship with former or older nanny kids?

 


 

What else would you include when it comes to supporting tweens and teens? We’d love to hear about your experiences with older nanny kids!

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