9 Social Media Rules Your Nanny Should Follow
Discuss acceptable online habits with your nanny so you can protect your family.
In the age of Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Instagram and countless other social media outlets, sharing information has become practically instantaneous, and it is likely that your nanny connects with her friends and family through at least one of these outlets. And that sharing is perfectly acceptable -- except when it involves your children and your family. Most companies have social media rules in place, so there's no reason you can't set ones up.
After you hire your nanny, talk about what you expect when it comes to her social media content. (Or have this belated conversation now with your current nanny.) Are you okay with your nanny posting the location of your child to the viewing pleasure of several hundred strangers? Probably not, and it's important that you convey this worry to your nanny, as it may not be something she thinks about.
So have an open and honest conversation and discuss your concerns and what social media policies you think are important. Use specific examples of things that are okay and things that might be problematic. Here are some guidelines to refer to when talking with your nanny.
Turn Off Location
On many social media sites, the location of your nanny will become visible when he or she posts content. Make sure your nanny turns this option off so strangers won't be able to locate your child, house, etc.
Know What's Okay to Mention
Be clear and detailed about what content is okay and not okay for your nanny to post. If you are not comfortable with your nanny talking about your child at all, be upfront about it. Maybe you need a policy saying that your nanny shouldn't post, tweet, blog, etc. about any topic that involves your family. Or if your nanny wants to offer advice for other nannies on blogs, your family's privacy just needs to be respected.
Post Acceptable Photos
Can your nanny post pictures of your child? Or can she post, but not "tag" people or locations in photos?
Review Privacy Settings
Ask your nanny to check that her privacy options are set, so that only her direct friends or followers can view her content.
Don't Name Names
Your nanny should never share your children's full names online. Decide if nicknames or initials are okay.
Avoid Specifics About Your Home
Your nanny shouldn't reveal the exact location of your house (or even the street or town), or any details that might tempt burglars (like a picture of your brand new high-end TV).
Check Out -- Not In
Can your nanny "Check in" on a social media site if she's at your house or out with your family?
Set Usage Rules
Do you want your nanny using social media at all while on the clock? Remember that she may need to keep in touch with her family as well. Decide on a system that is acceptable to everyone. Maybe she only checks her updates while your child is taking a nap.
Discuss connecting with your nanny through social media. If your nanny feels comfortable connecting with you, go ahead and "friend" or "follow" away. However, if your nanny would rather not, respect that as well. If you still want to keep tabs on your nanny and kids throughout the day, read our article on 9 Ways to Keep in Touch with Your Nanny.
And make sure to talk about what your nanny can do. Nannies love to share pictures with close friends and family -- and why shouldn't they want to? Kids are adorable! Be sure to explain acceptable ways that your nanny can safely share content.
Once you agree on rules, add them to a social media section in your nanny contract. This way everyone knows what is allowed and misunderstandings are avoided.
This conversation can be difficult, but it's important that you have it. Your nanny would probably never post anything on a social media site to intentionally harm your children or family, but she may not realize that posting a simple picture or "Check in" is a risk. It's much easier to establish rules now before they are unknowingly broken.