– Larissa –
Tell us a little bit about how you decided to become a nanny?
It was 2000 I had just arrived to Los Angeles, when a family friend was in need of a sitter so I helped them, then that family led me to my first formal job with a family that was following the RIE approach, the rest is history!
What experiences best prepared you for this career?
My background for sure, the way I was raised and the important things I learned from my parents as I was growing up. However I think nothing really prepares you to do the job itself. To enter the heart of a family to care for their most precious gift is incredible. There are challenges like personalities, life styles, moral compasses, relatives, and so on, to be a nanny is to be able to get along and to build a relationship with this family, their children and their relatives.
Going back to the position, I was already a mom when I started my first nanny job, so I guess that helped a little, but I feel that I learned more while doing the job. I was fortunate that the first family I worked for introduced me to Magda Gerber and the RIE approach, in fact because of that I decided to make my living as a nanny alone, not an actress/nanny or dance teacher/nanny or assistant/nanny or housekeeper/nanny, no, a nanny alone; because I understood early the importance of the person who is helping shape the entire life of a human being. It is very well known that the first 5 years will shape the next 80.
What’s the most challenging part of your job?
The adults that see children as “cute little things” that they can handle the way they please. Or adults that say “It’s just a baby he doesn’t understand yet”, etc. It is a challenge to be gracious enough to try and make these adults understand the opposite.
How would you define success in your current position?
I have always said that a nanny’s success it is not measured by how much money she makes or how much travel she’s done but by the impact she’s made on a child’s life. I can see today the fruits of the eight years dedication to the children I care for, they are the most compassionate, sensitive, thoughtful, giving, selfless human beings always thinking about others and about giving.
How would you explain to a parent that you are “Not Just a Nanny”?
For the last seventeen years in every interview, I had said to parents: “I won’t be here to entertain your child and change his diapers I am here to support a natural and healthy development of your child. I will treat your child with respect and I will let him know everything I am doing unto him before I do it.” Then I will explain to the parents about RIE and its principles, although they didn’t understand fully they did like the ideas, and once I was hired they were able to see the unfolding of their baby and were grateful and amazed.
- What are some of your best qualities that make you a great nanny and how does that explain you are “Not Just a Nanny”?
One is experience, two my education, I invested in Early Childhood Education. I have been practicing the Educaring ™ approach (RIE) for the last seventeen years. I have also participated in all kinds of parenting courses, last year I went to Budapest to the Pikler Institute to learn for 2 weeks about how to care for infants 0 to 3 years old. I am also current on the latest research about brain development during the first 5 years of life, through blogs, videos and research institutions. Three, I am patience, compassionate, gentle and I have a servant’s heart, I am passionate about serving and helping others. I am not just a nanny, I am educating the parents and the child while I work. How I treat the child he will later treat the world.
- Give us an example of when you feel you went the extra mile for a family/child(ren)?
I have gone the extra mile many times when I had to put my family and personal life aside in order to accommodate schedules, trips, holidays for the family I was working for.