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Nurturing Mindful Caregiving at home- Partnering with your alternative caregiver

Along with our Mindful Nanny Workshops, we understand that caregiving is a complex and profound  journey, often shared among family members, friends, and trusted professionals. Creating a respectful and collaborative partnership with your alternative caregiver is so helpful towards building mindful relationships and nurturing mindful caregiving at home. 

Here are some suggestions for your consideration that could help you  strengthen the foundation of your caregiving alliance:

1.Role model respectful and mindful relationships with all 

We invite you to consider how you can role model respectful and mindful relationships not just with your children, but also the adults around you. When the adults are on the receiving end of being treated with respect and mindfulness, they may understand why it’s important to you and extend this more naturally to you and your children. 

Initiate regular conversations with your alternative caregiver, fostering an environment where both parties feel comfortable sharing thoughts, concerns, and insights. This transparency helps build trust and ensures that everyone is on the same page regarding children's needs. 

2. Role model healthy emotional regulation 

Healthy emotional regulation does not mean to be calm all the time. Where possible, it looks like practicing taking a breath and pausing during emotionally charged situations; It looks like finding an appropriate space and time to sit with, process and release your emotions; It looks like reconnecting and repairing rupture in relationships after having taken time to process your emotions. Practicing this with your adult caregivers, as you practice this with your children, can also help your caregivers experience what this imperfect practice could look like, and hopefully it allows them to adopt and emulate some of these practices. 

Create a space where both you and your alternative caregiver feel comfortable discussing the emotional aspects of caregiving. Regular check-ins, open dialogue, and the sharing of coping strategies contribute to a supportive and empathetic caregiver partnership.

3.Share Information and Resources:

Empower your alternative caregiver by providing essential information about your children. Share details regarding medical history, medications, and emergency contacts. Additionally, offer resources such as preferred healthcare providers, support groups, and relevant literature. An informed caregiver is better equipped to provide comprehensive and tailored care. You can also empower your alternative caregiver with courses like our mindful nanny workshops for them to learn more about respectful caregiving in a safe, non-judgement and secure environment. 

4.Inviting curiosity and compassion towards yourself and your caregivers

Just as we do our best to meet our children where they are at, we can try to do the same with ourselves and with our fellow caregivers. When we / our caregivers are facing challenges in practicing mindful caregiving, consider what is coming up for them in these challenges. Are they struggling with acceptance, understanding, emotional readiness or capacity perhaps? Understanding what their specific challenge is,  may help you decide how to partner with them on caregiving duties. For eg, if the caregiver finds it easier to manage the practical duties of homecare versus soothing the child, perhaps we can structure the duties such that they take on more of those duties, as they ease in towards connecting with the child. 

5.Collaborative Problem Solving

Where possible, it can be so helpful to have conversations to troubleshoot conflict and resolve caregiving challenges, when we can have discussions with our caregivers during moments of calm and collectedness. Understanding their feelings, needs and inviting their input towards possible solutions, can create a sense of empowerment and invite solutions that they may be more receptive towards. 

6.Setting clear and realistic requests and boundaries

Preemptively having open communication with your caregiver and letting them know what your values are, what is important to you, and explaining the rationale for your caregiving practice, can help them understand the importance and logic behind your actions and requests. 

Setting clear and realistic requests and boundaries with positive empowering language, such as, “When you are commuting with the child, bring a special “commuting toy” that he can look forward to, to make the commute more pleasant for him and you.”; “When you are having a hard time with the child and feel your body tensing, please do not be afraid to come to me to ask me for help, so I can step in and support you.” “if you are alone with the child, and you are feeling angry because the child is crying, I would prefer that you walk away to pause and collect yourself, by maybe splashing your face with water, and then return to the child to soothe them in these ways…”

Clearly outline the roles and responsibilities of each caregiver to avoid confusion and conflicts. Develop a comprehensive list covering daily tasks, medical needs, and emotional support. This clarity not only streamlines the caregiving process but also promotes a sense of shared responsibility in providing the best care possible.

7.Working with the family’s resources and capacity

When the adult’s well being needs are met, they are in a better position and capacity to be a present and mindful caregiver for the child. We understand that every family has a unique set up, structure and set of resources. It can be challenging to practice mindful caregiving in an under-resourced home; Take note that every positive interaction and practice is a step towards nurturing and building mindful relationships and homes. 

 Acknowledge and celebrate the successes that come with caregiving. Whether it's achieving a small milestone or overcoming a significant challenge, take time to reflect on and appreciate the positive moments. Simultaneously, view challenges as opportunities for growth and improvement. Learn from experiences, adjust strategies as needed, and continually refine your caregiving approach.

Remember, the journey is more important than the destination. Together with your supportive caregiver, you can navigate the challenges and celebrate the joys that come with providing compassionate care to your children.


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