Being a nanny is definitely a hard job, but it is also a rewarding career for many people looking for flexibility and financial stability in today’s tough economy. And let’s face it; if you’ve ever had a nanny for your children, you know that they become a close and important part of your daily life. As parents, we entrust the lives of our children with them on a daily basis and our reward is seeing happy, smiling faces upon our return.
We sat down with ABC Family star Amanda Averill, who currently stars as herself on the new hit reality series Beverly Hills Nannies. She talks with us about life as a nanny in one of the country’s most affluent neighborhoods, and how you can start prepping now for a smoother back to school season.
1. What is the easiest way to have a drama free morning before helping the kids get out the door to school?
Nighttime preparation! Lunches packed, clothes picked out, toothbrushes ready, cereal bowls on the table. An extra five minutes at night preparing for the following school day not only saves you time but MELTDOWNS before 7am. As a parent, set your alarm 15 minutes earlier then normal so you can be ready for the kids when they wake up. Easy breezy mornings!
2. What three things are always in your kids’ lunch boxes and why?
I always make sure to have a fruit, a vegetable and a protein! Brain food for kiddies! Turkey/hummus wraps, “ants on a log” (celery with peanut butter and raisins), or chicken strips with fun dips are great for lunch. Lunch should be fun for kids. I always like to spice up the ole’ brown bag. Use cookie cutters to cut shapes into sandwiches. Or, make fruit kebabs instead of an apple. The more fun the lunch, the fuller the bellies, the happier children! I also like to put in a little note for the child readers of the family. It’s thoughtful, and always puts a smile on a child’s face. And as far as dessert is concerned, I grew up in a household where some nights we had dessert and some we didn’t. It was never a big deal and never expected. So once in a while when I got a cookie in my lunch box it was so exciting and very special.
3. How do you handle after school melt downs and overall grumpy behavior?
I have noticed that kids really need a moment to decompress after school. They need to zone out. Hold off on bombarding your child with questions about their school day for about 30 minutes. Let them have a snack, play with a toy, play a game on the computer, go up to their room, etc. After they have a second to transition back into family life, I can guarantee they will come running downstairs to talk about their day.
4. Is there a difference between babysitting kids from Beverly Hills versus other kids?
Honestly, not a whole lot! Kids all have very similar needs. They want to be happy, loved and kept busy! If there would be any difference between Beverly Hills and somewhere else I would have to say it would probably be in the toy department. I’ve noticed children from Beverly Hills have an over abundance of toys, electronics, iPads, video games, Play Stations, etc., whereas somewhere else in the country a family might have only one of these toys. Kids in Beverly Hills have them all and in three different colors. I, however, have noticed that kids get sick of toys regardless how much money they cost. A child might play with the box the truck came in far longer than the actual truck. Kids are creative. They don’t need bells and whistles to have fun.
5. Fashion! What are the kids wearing this fall? Do you see a trend in what the girls/boys are wearing? We’re sure you’ve gotten a sneak peek at some of their new clothes!
I about dropped Xander when I saw a baby Dior dress far costlier than my prom dress! I think baby fashion trends reflect what the parents are trending. If the mom loves Marc Jacobs, then I am sure she will melt over Baby Marc Jacobs hats and dresses. Who wouldn’t?
6. And finally, what is the hardest part of your job and the best part of your job?
The hardest part of the job is also the best part of the job. I get a chance to take a step into another family’s fantastic Beverly Hills life! It’s almost as if nannies live double lives here in Beverly Hills. Some days, I wish I never had to leave their homes and I could move in to the spare “wing” of the house. And then there are some days I am counting down the minutes until I can run back to my little life in my one bedroom apartment. There are no shortages of interesting situations being a nanny in Beverly Hills! It’s a fun way to spend my days, and the kids are adorable to boot!
You can catch new episodes of Beverly Hills Nannies every Tuesday on ABC Family at 8/9 p.m. central.
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