4 Things to Never Say To or Ask of Your Babysitter

By Alicia Geigel on August 4, 2021

Hiring a babysitter is like getting your own personal vacation for just a few hours. No screaming toddlers, fussy kids fighting over which toy they want to play with next, or moody teens looking for their next way to sneak out with friends. When hiring someone to babysit your children, you’re essentially giving them some duties of taking care of your family, without the full responsibility of doing so. Being a babysitter is by no means an easy job, and it takes a lot of trust and responsibility(on both ends) to ensure everything goes smoothly.

When it comes to your children, and especially someone else looking after your children, it can become easy to be hyper-aware and overly critical of each and every thing your babysitter does. After all, you want them to follow all of your rules while overseeing your home and children. However, there can be moments where this natural, protective nature can go a little too far and become overbearing and demanding.

Are you a parent who currently hires babysitters or has in the past? Unsure of the best way to effectively communicate with them while simultaneously trying to set boundaries and rules? Here are four things you should never say or ask of your babysitter, and solutions to these problematic statements.

babysitter, child, kid, reading, book, mom

Image via Pexels

1. To Stay Longer Than Originally Agreed To: Sometimes plans go awry; you might be stuck in traffic on the way home from an important work meeting, or you got carried away having dinner and drinks with friends and forgot the time. Things like this happen and in most situations, babysitters can adapt to these slight differences in time. However, don’t let situations like these become regular occurrences. Your babysitter agreed to a specific start, duration, and end time for babysitting your children, so don’t ask your babysitter on short notice to stay longer than originally agreed to. They have plans and a life as well, so it’s only respectful and considerate to remember this when planning your schedule.

2. To Take On The Duties of a Parent: In some ways, babysitters can take on some of the duties that you normally have as a parent, which is where it can be tricky because the lines often get blurred. Before you start demanding your babysitter to do everything you normally do, be sure to establish your expectations and rules prior to hiring them. If this is communicated and your babysitter has an understanding of your standards, then that is fine. But if they are coming into your home with a certain idea of your expectations and you pile more on top of them, it’s both unfair and inconsiderate. In a basic sense, you can ask your babysitter to watch over your children, play games with them, prepare them snacks and easy meals, and/or help them with the bathroom or bath time.

3. To Deal With Homeowner Responsibilities: This ties into the previous point, but it is still as important. Babysitters are in your home to watch over your children for a temporary period of time, not to take on the responsibilities of being a parent or a homeowner. When you hire a babysitter, don’t expect them to deal with the grand problems or duties of being a homeowner like deep cleaning the house, doing laundry, landscaping the yard, etc. Additionally, don’t schedule any maintenance or service jobs while your babysitter is working, it can put them in an uncomfortable position and leave them vulnerable to making decisions they don’t need regarding your home.

4. To Figure Out Meals With No Food in the House: While babysitting, feeding the children is a huge priority. Children are active little people! They like to run around, play, entertain themselves in a variety of ways, which can be both tiring and spark an appetite. Be sure to have enough food in your home for both your children and babysitter to eat while you are out. Easy meals like macaroni and cheese, deli meats and cheese for sandwiches, spaghetti, soups, etc. are great for lunches and dinners. Snacks like fresh fruit and vegetables, chips and pretzels, and yogurt are easy and fast ways to feed the kids. Don’t leave your babysitter stranded with little to no food to feed your children. A blog post by the McGruff Safe Kit suggests, “Whether it’s a frozen pizza, a list of takeout options and some cash, or a hearty, healthy, home-cooked meal, leave her (and, of course, your kids) with something to nosh on if she’s going to be at your house for a few hours or more — it’s only fair!”

babysitter, child, kid, mom, play, love, laugh

Image via Pexels

When hiring a babysitter, you may have your own rules and expectations that you want them to abide by. This is fine only if you relay these things and don’t leave them in uncomfortable situations that demand more than you originally agreed to. The lines can sometimes get blurred in terms of babysitter responsibilities, so be sure to always communicate with them and ensure that they are comfortable with the job!

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