How to keep your babysitter (so you can keep your sanity!)
One of the most precious things we experience as parents is watching our children grow up right before our eyes: every moment a new discovery and every step a new adventure. But that’s not to say there doesn’t come a point where we’d trade sippy-cups for Sauvignon blanc and tantrums for date-nights — even if only for a couple of hours.
Cut to finding a babysitter. We’ve all been there, trying to find someone reliable that you — and more importantly, your children – like. And you want them to like you back, too.
Here are 5 tips to help you and your kids build a bond with your very own Mary Poppins that’s sure to last for years!
- 1. Get to know them on a personal level
Yes, in theory, your sitter is your employee, but they shouldn’t be treated like one. Creating a relationship that blossoms into a genuine friendship will eventually forge a deeper level of trust between you and your sitter. Over time, your sitter may start to feel like family, and what better way to go out guilt-free than by leaving your little ones in the hands of family?
- 2. Provide clear instructions and expectations
Sitters aren’t mind-readers. Provide a list of simple instructions that includes appropriate snacks and meals, bedtime routines, tips to calm any melt-downs and tantrums, ways to reach you, and alternative emergency contacts.
- 3. Fair Pay
There’s no job more important than looking after your children. Paying a sitter fairly should be a no-brainer, and when it comes to the well-being of your little ones, it isn’t the time to go looking for a deal. More often than not, your sitter’s rate is dependent on their age, experience and how many children they’re caring for on any particular job. If your sitter comes recommended, respect their rate. You’ll get what you pay for.
- 4. Keep your kids entertained
Holding onto your babysitter can be as simple as helping them keep your kids entertained. Any babysitter will have a repertoire of go-to activities, but providing entertainment you know your children will love will give your sitter a helping hand. You could suggest simple building or fun mix and match games, or even encourage your little Picasso with arts-and-crafts supplies. They may surprise you with a cute creation at the end of the night!
- 5. For the babysitter
Now that the kids are asleep and the house is tidied up, keeping the sitter entertained is not an obligation, but it’s certainly a nice gesture. Make sure they have access to the WiFi in case they need to catch up on homework, or give them access to the movie channels. You might even set aside a separate dinner for them to sit down and enjoy that isn’t the carrot sticks and plain pasta your little finicky eats every day.