How to Say Goodbye to a Babysitter Moving On

By Kaitlin Hurtado on June 14, 2022

You may find yourself having to say goodbye to your current babysitter for a number of reasons. The babysitter may be looking for a new career opportunity or may be experiencing their own life changes that are requiring them to part ways. Your family may be relocating to a new home or have to adjust your budget with one that can no longer cover the wages of a babysitter. Whatever the case may be, saying goodbye to your babysitter can be rough for everyone involved.

Help your family and your babysitter navigate the farewell – keep reading for what you should keep in mind for your upcoming goodbye.

Photo: Pexels

Involve your babysitter in the process

Depending on the amount of time your babysitter has spent with your family, there may be a very close bond between your babysitter and your family. If you are preparing to say goodbye to your babysitter, have your kids involved in the process. In an ideal situation, you will have the time to plan out a discussion between your babysitter and children to let them know your babysitter will no longer be in their lives going forward.

Having your babysitter explain why they are leaving can help your child feel more involved and more in control of the situation. They can ask questions and get them direct answers that can help them grapple with the situation. Of course, an effective discussion can be impacted by how old your child is and how capable they are of understanding the situation, but breaking the news in a way you deem appropriate for your child should take priority.

Having your babysitter be there one day and gone the next with no explanation can be sudden and traumatic.

Introduce your new babysitter early 

If you are going to be hiring another caretaker after saying goodbye to your current babysitter, you may want to consider rolling out some sort of overlap between the two to make the transition easier for your children. Saying goodbye to someone they love and trust and facing a complete stranger can be difficult on their own, syncing up the two changes can help your child face the change together.

Your current babysitter’s “stamp of approval” for the new babysitter may just be your child’s final step toward acceptance of the situation.

Your child may experience some changes in their mood and behavior at the loss of their current babysitter and the introduction to their new babysitter. Reassure them experiencing loss and the emotions of sadness are normal and they will get through it. Support your child as they experience these emotions as depending on their age, this can be their first time experiencing a larger loss in their life.

Keep your normal routines up

Change can be difficult for everyone, but especially for children that are too young to fully grasp having to say goodbye to someone they are used to spending so much time with. They may not be fully aware or understanding of the reasons behind a babysitter leaving – they may just feel a sense of loss that a constant in their life will suddenly not be there.

Help your child navigate the sudden change by trying to keep their routines as consistent as possible. Keeping routines consistent can help minimize the amount of change they will feel overwhelmed by.

Stay positive 

Be an example for your child. Depending on your situation, you might be feeling anger or sadness at the nearing loss of your babysitter, or you may be feeling some anxiety if you are having trouble finding a suitable replacement. This isn’t the time to paint your babysitter as the enemy or the big problem in the eyes of your child, nor do you want to point them out as the cause of your current negative emotions.

Your child may very well look to you on how to react to the confusing situation – mirror how you would want them to react. Staying positive for your child can help them accept the change while reducing a harsher, more emotional reaction. Your child is bound to experience some type of negative emotion, especially if they are attached to the babysitter. These emotions are normal and are to be expected, but you can help guide them to look at the situation in a more positive light. For example, your babysitter may be moving on after graduating from school now that they are ready to pursue their professional career. Help your child see the goodbye in a more positive light, such as celebrating their beloved babysitter’s big life accomplishment with a proper send-off and celebratory dinner/gift to part ways.

Allowing your child to take charge in planning a small goodbye dinner or giving them control in selecting a goodbye gift or writing a card can help them feel some sense of control in a situation they previously felt was out of their control.

Above all, be patient with your children as they say goodbye to their babysitter. Goodbyes are normal in life, and while saying goodbye to a beloved babysitter can be tough and emotional for your young ones, you can help them learn an important life lesson in saying goodbye.

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