You have to be able to trust that your experienced caregiver will take good care of your baby when you’re not there. That’s why you feel unsettled if you discover that she – whether it’s Grandma, your domestic helper or a babysitter – isn’t following your instructions.
The problem is that you rely on her and don’t want to create tension. Such a clash of opinions could result in anxiety. Worse, she may decide to call it quits.
On the other hand, you can’t simply stand back and do nothing when your decisions are overruled regularly.
Try to understand the situation from her point of view. Be positive and assume that she wants the best for you and Baby.
Tell yourself that your caregiver is not deliberately trying to undermine you; she’s only trying to help.
Talk it out peacefully
Consider the possibility that she doesn’t fully understand you.
Could it be that your instructions are ambiguous, leaving them open for an interpretation that is different from your original intentions? Think about this.
Over the next few weeks, make your requests very clear and in a non-threatening way.
Point out you want these tasks carried out in a particular way because you think that most suits your growing child.
Speak to the caregiver at the end of each day to check out how she actually implemented what you asked her to do. This approach might be enough to bring about the change in her performance.
If she has followed your new, clearer directions, let her know you are delighted. If she hasn’t, then it’s time for a serious chat.
Keep calm and focused during your discussion. Explain that you are concerned because she’s not following your directions.
Tell her you are unhappy as a result, and ask her why she does not cooperate with you.
Maybe she doesn’t realise how much this matters to you. If that’s the case, your comments will encourage her to be more attentive to what you ask for.
In contrast, should she admit to deliberately going against your wishes, ask her to explain why.
Listen to what she has to say. If she is doing things her way because she thinks she know better than you, clearly express your dissatisfaction.
Remind her you are the parent, and you expect her to follow your instructions.
Have confidence in your parenting skills
Don’t be swayed just because someone disagrees with you. If the caregiver (even if it’s Grandma) continues to insist she has to do everything for Baby her way, then surely it’s time to find a replacement as quickly as possible.
That’s because when this clash of opinions last too long, it creates a tensed atmosphere at home. It unsettles you, her and Baby.
Despite the short-term inconvenience, getting a new caregiver is probably the best long-term solution when the current one refuses to cooperate with you.
And you’ll find that your life is much more settled when she and you work harmoniously together.