It’s date night — finally! Your hair is done up, your makeup looks good, and you can almost taste dinner at that fancy restaurant. You meet the babysitter at the door and you’re eager to rush out before the kids have even noticed you left.
But not so fast! There are a few things to do before you bolt out the door and your babysitter is secretly hoping you will.
A new caregiver needs a little help in the beginning. The first time you leave someone new with your children, plan to stick around for at least a short while. Introduce everyone, get the kids used to the routine, and answer any questions.
Your kids didn’t go to bed on time
This is the most common thing not mentioned to parents. Bedtime is often a huge challenge even with good mannered children, and likely your babysitter won’t tell you that they struggled to get your children to bed on time.
There are a few ways to help out your babysitter. One easy way to fix this issue is to change the children’s bedtime to an earlier time. For example, if you normally put your children to bed at 9 pm, have your babysitter put your children to bed at 7:30 pm. This way your children will more likely be asleep at their designated bedtime.
Communicate authority and rules
The most helpful thing a parent can do is communicate with their kid that the babysitter is authority while they are away. It seems that this is even more effective when this is communicated in front of the babysitter so that the child understands that mom and babysitter are on the same team.
Babysitting is taking care of the kids. Nannying is taking care of the kids and doing household chores. Make it clear with the sitter which one you are paying them for.
Be Clear About Pay
Another big helper is to determine what we’re being paid before the baby-sitter comes over, that way there is no confusion or hurt feelings at the end of the night.
Always ask them “How much do you charge?” This gives them freedom to say what they actually charge.
Inform your sitter in advance if your kid is unwell
Children are cranky when they’re sick and your babysitter should be aware. Not to mention, your babysitter may become sick because of your children and by alerting them before the fact, they can bring medicine and other things so that everyone remains comfortable. It’s also a good idea to tell your babysitter just how sick your children are, most won’t care about a minor cold but if your child has the flu your babysitter probably won’t want to come over.
They don’t work for your kid
Nothing throws them into a rage more than hearing a nine-year-old profess that they work for them. They work for you, but you need to make it clear to your child that is not the same thing.
Please don’t overreact
It can’t be fun to walk into your home and hear your child screaming bloody murder. It definitely isn’t fun to have what seemed like the perfect babysitting gig go south the second the parent arrives. Parents, approach that situation calmly, don’t amplify situation. Parents who rush in, pull the child from your grasp and harshly ask “what happened?” just make things worse. The kid cries harder, because now they can play the attention card, and the sitter comes across as neglectful. Accidents happen and sitters are just as upset when a kid gets hurt.
They are not in it for the money
Babysitting isn’t something you do just for a pay check. Babysitting attracts people who like kids. Babysitting is about having conversations about dragons and fairies instead of bills and career paths. Your babysitter is like any other employee despite the fact that they love your kids.
By asking your babysitter questions and making them feel comfortable, your babysitter will speak up more and your relationship will be better.