My name is Jacalyn Burke of JSB Consulting. I’m a child care coach and family consultant. For years I’ve worked with all types of New York City families with differing parenting styles and preferences … and I’ve observed a wide variety of both children… and childcare. Without a doubt, the kids I had the privilege of caring for taught me the most. I discovered how quickly a child’s emotional and developmental needs profoundly change within a few short years. I experienced the joys and pains of teething, of working alongside breast-feeding/pumping moms, of transferring infants from liquids to solids, of walking and potty training. No other line of employment provides one human being, and a relative stranger at that, with a precious window into another human being’s evolution.
I also learned that no two families are alike and that within each family unit there is a sacred hidden space, a private realm into which a non-relative childcare provider enters and operates. There are rules of course, and there are also hopes and expectations from all parties. Sometimes this little Kingdom is in sync and everyone, including the parents, flourish. Often, however, and even in the most progressive, emotionally solvent families, issues and problems periodically arise.
Such issues can be seemingly trivial at first, things such as a working parent being irked that all the kids’ toys haven’t been picked up at the end of the day. It can be that a nanny feels that those, “Hi sorry, I’m running a bit late tonight.” text messages are becoming a habit. It doesn’t take much for random incidents to build to a tipping point.
Because working parents and nannies co-depend on one another so much, it means that addressing problems head on can feel confrontational. Unless issues are addressed, the small, insignificant, random actions of one person can become unbearable to another over time. Most humans when faced with what feels like an intolerable atmosphere, revert to all types of dysfunctional behaviors.
This is where a child care coach comes in. An independent mediator can help a family to regain its balance, play devil’s advocate, guide conflict resolution and identify common patterns of dysfunction.
A child care coach is there for everyone: mom, dad, children and nanny. Her focus is reestablishing a healthy, harmonious working environment and a nurturing home life. For example, at times it may be a child’s behavior that creates an underlying tension between parents and their nanny. In which case, a bit like my compatriot Jo Frost, I perform a hands-on Nanny 911 type intervention. I work alongside the child and troubleshoot the possible roots of disruptive behavior; then I offer solutions.
I am thrilled to be partnering with Nannies by Noa, an agency that shares my passion for quality care. For more information please visit www.jacalynsburke.com.