Babysitters can be a valuable addition to any family. They provide a safe and responsible presence you can rely on when you need to attend events or simply take a break from being that responsible presence yourself.
While you might feel entirely comfortable with your babysitter and trust your children in their care, your kids may not yet feel the same. Building trust can take time. Fortunately, fostering a rewarding relationship can be easier than you think if you take these actions:
Introduce the Babysitter in Advance
Immediately putting your children in the care of someone they don’t know won’t always be the best approach. Some children struggle to be away from their parents, even when you scour the best online baby stores to stock your home with comfort items.
To help your child grow accustomed to your temporary absence, arrange introductions with new babysitters in advance. Let the babysitter interact with your kids in a short meeting so the next time they meet, your children can feel more comfortable.
Share Information About Your Child
We can be so busy ensuring our babysitters know when our children’s mealtimes and bedtimes are that we forget to share insights into their personalities and preferences. Take the time to write down all the toys, games, and activities your children love so your babysitter can use this knowledge to their advantage.
They’ll find it easier to engage with your child and ensure they have fun in your absence if they know all their likes and dislikes.
Don’t Leave Right Away
Given how hard it can be to find regular childcare, you might rely on babysitters more often than not. When hiring a babysitter is not a one-off event, you have the time to make it a more comfortable experience for your child. You can do this by not leaving right away during the first few babysitting sessions.
Instead of rushing out the door, join in on an activity with your child and babysitter. Leaving the house should be much easier when they’re engrossed in something fun with their new friend.
Talk About the Babysitter Positively
All the hard trust-building work doesn’t have to wait until the babysitter arrives. It can start long before then. In the days leading up to your babysitter’s arrival, talk positively about them and how much fun your child can expect to have when they arrive.
Talk about any special activities they and the babysitter will be able to do together, like arts and crafts, outdoor sports, and board games. By the time the babysitter knocks on your front door, your child may well be leaping to let them in.
Start with Short Sessions
Some children can struggle with being away from their parents for extended periods, especially with babysitters they haven’t yet formed a bond with. If you know your child will need time to adapt, start with short babysitting sessions. You might leave them at home with the babysitter while you go to the store before building up to multi-hour sessions and full work days.
While this approach might mean you spend more on babysitting initially, it can be worth it when your child forms a lasting bond with their babysitter. You can then leave the house confidently, knowing they’re happy and safe.
Helping your child feel comfortable with a new babysitter doesn’t have to be a stressful process. You stand a better chance of success by making it a positive experience, starting slow, and giving your child time to adjust. Maintain patience, and you’ll get there in the end!