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NAN: Fostering Independence by Setting Safe Limits

Nannies must strive to balance a child’s desires to be independent with keeping the child safe. One way they can do this is by setting consistent and safe limits. 

Nannies can set safe limits by letting a child know what he can do versus what he can’t to. For example, when a child throws a hard object she can remind him that balls are for throwing. By guiding a child’s behavior to what he can do rather than focusing on what he can’t do helps to foster his independence. 

Since a toddler’s impulse is more powerful than his judgment, nannies must remember that she is completely responsible for keeping a child safe. A toddler cannot be depended on to keep himself safe. For example, a toddler may know not to run after a ball, but his impulse to go after the ball in the street will override any judgment that says doing so is unsafe. 

During toddlerhood, children are limited by their own point of view. By setting limits and inviting children to participate in completing a task or solving a problem, nannies can encourage cooperation from the children in her care. 

For toddlers, understanding is a process. It takes time for toddlers to understand rules and expectations. By reinforcing desirable behaviors nannies can help foster understanding. 

For these reasons, nannies must anticipate danger, supervise potentially dangerous situations and accept complete responsibility for keeping children safe. 

Nannies can encourage good feelings that come from when a child does something for himself. By giving hints or demonstrating a solution, a nanny can help a toddler to be successful at his attempts to be independent which in turn will build his confidence. 

Michelle LaRoweNAN: Fostering Independence by Setting Safe Limits