Hiring a nanny for a teen or preteen can be a challenge. The age at which a child no longer needs a nanny is often hotly contested in the childcare and parenting communities, as well as within individual families. As kids become preteens and teens, they typically feel that they are too old for a nanny; however, many parents do not feel comfortable leaving their older children completely unsupervised. It is important for parents to acknowledge their preteen or teen’s growing maturity, and one way to do that is to move from a nanny to a teen chaperone.
What is a Teen Chaperone?
Although a teen chaperone is still a professional nanny, his or her responsibilities are markedly different than those of a nanny for young children. For instance, because the amount of active childcare required would be much less than what is required for younger children, teen chaperones typically also perform household management or family assistant duties. Each family’s needs are different, so it’s important when interviewing a teen chaperone to outline specifically what would be expected of them.
However, the most important part of hiring a teen chaperone is finding someone who can mesh well with your child. It can be a difficult role for a nanny to play because oftentimes teens and preteens resent the idea of a chaperone and may act out or try to challenge his or her authority. A good teen chaperone needs to be able to lead and gain the trust of both the parents and child.
Effective teen chaperones are often younger, well-educated, and have a solid understanding of youth culture. College-aged adults or young professionals may be best suited for this type of position, especially if they have a strong history of working or volunteering with preteens or teenagers. When interviewing candidates, parents may want to look for someone who functions as a “big sister” or “big brother” more than an authority figure and who can lead the child in a positive direction by example and suggestion.
How to find a Local Nanny or Teen Chaperone
If you’re hoping to find a local nanny or teen chaperone, the Nanny Authority works with numerous candidates across the country who fit the profile. Over the years, our nanny placement specialists have helped countless families find nannies for children of all ages. Contact us today to discuss your teen chaperone search!