How to Help Children Like a Babysitter
At Sitters, whenever you make a booking with a sitter who is new to your children, we recommend that you tag on an additional half hour before you leave to help you, the children, and your sitter all become accustomed to the set-up without making for overly long goodbyes - which can make things harder for children.
However, there are some important steps both you and your sitter can take to help your child feel comfortable and secure with their new sitter.
Children are, of course, individuals and unique in the same way as adults. Therefore these suggestions are just guidelines and will need to be adapted depending on how extrovert or shy your children are.
As a parent time is often short, so when you organised your babysitter your children were unlikely to have been involved. Therefore, it’s important to take a couple of minutes making sure the proper introductions have taken place.
Before your sitter comes you can tell your child their name, show them a photo and perhaps tell them whether they have children of their own. Your sitter should get down to the child’s level and introduce themselves and perhaps ask a question or two of the child, such as their age, their favourite colour, or what they had for tea.
From here your sitter will be able to gauge whether your child is ready to lead them off to a game or a story. Children who are shyer will need a little more help transitioning.
In these instances, your experienced sitter will be able to actively engage with your child and will likely ask for ideas on their favourite games and then start playing!
The sitter-child relationship is an interesting one. Usually it’s a relatively short window of time in which the two parties can get to know one another. However, it’s vital that the child feels comfortable and secure so they can get off to sleep when necessary.
By gradually engaging the children in games or activities – such as board games, watching their favourite programme, or drawing a picture – and asking questions alongside, the child learns to trust and like their sitter. Even the shyest will love to know their sitter is interested in them!
Manage the Goodbyes
When it’s time to leave, the tears and fears can start. It’s important that both you and your sitter are confident and capable of managing this transition for the child. The sitter’s role is to stay upbeat, not take the tears personally, and work to distract and re-engage the child.
This is probably the most crucial stage and your children will understand that your sitter is in control, and they are safe, secure, and cared for.
Be Calm and Relaxed
Both parents and sitters should aim to be calm and relaxed. Parents need to demonstrate to their little ones that they are confident with the person they are leaving their child with. This helps the child to relax too – remembering that children pick up on both verbal and non-verbal clues.
Be Prepared to Offer Space
Sitters childcarers have all worked with children on a daily basis in professional childcare roles, such as childminders, teachers and nursery nurses, so they are experts at recognising when they need to be hands on and when they need to give little ones some space. Often children, particularly older ones, simply need to know they're there, and they can call on their sitter when needed. It can be counterproductive to jostle them into a game or activity they are resistant to.
Finally, it’s very important that parents impart any useful information to their sitter which will help form the relationship. What are their favourite soft toys? What is their normal routine? What are the child’s favourite stories? These small cues will help to ensure your children are at ease and relaxed.
Book a Sitters Babysitter
To ensure your children have a reputable and experienced babysitter, that both they and you love, choose a babysitter from Sitters.
We believe your little ones deserve the very best care. That's why our local network of babysitters are personally checked and picked by our family for your family www.sitters.co.uk.