Top Tips for Building Trust With Your Sitter

By Aaron Swartz on October 15, 2023

Babysitting is a really stressful event for a lot of parents, especially those who are new to letting someone else take care of their child. Overly worried parents may end up hovering over their babysitter, getting on their nerves, and generally making it difficult or impossible for them to do their job as a babysitter. For some parents, there is simply nothing a babysitter can do to put you at ease, but for the vast majority, it’s helpful to really get to know your sitter as they will be working with you to care for your children. A relationship built on trust and mutual respect will go a long way; to help you accomplish that, here are six tips for establishing trust.

Photo via Pixabay

1. References

One of the most important steps when hiring a new employee is having them prove they have the experience, temperament, and skill to do the job. AA resume helps a lot with giving you a picture of the candidate’s experience, but the most important tool in a potential new hire’s arsenal when it comes to building trust is references. Contact any prior families, daycares, or other places where the sitter has worked caring for children and ask them about their experience with the sitter. You’ll feel better hearing references share just how great a worker and how good with kids the sitter is and be eager to bring them on board.

2. Confidence

Maybe you’re a parent who is overwhelmingly worried about trusting your child with someone else for the first time. A babysitter can help ease those fears if they project confidence and give you assurance that they know what they’re doing and have the skills and abilities to handle themselves and your child.

3. Meet and Greet

After the whole long process of references, interviews, and eventually hiring, you will want to suggest another step before you hire a new person in the role of the family’s babysitter: a meet and greet. What we mean by that is pretty simple and acts as a sort of supervised play date between the sitter and the kids while you, the parent, are still around. A meet and greet like this gives the sitter a chance to meet the kids they’ll be babysitting and begin to build a relationship with them. If your kids show they like the babysitter, it’ll ease your mind a lot about leaving them as their caretaker.

4. Do a Trial Run

After your sitter has had a chance to spend some time with the kids and get to know them, the next big step you can have them take (before they begin babysitting as normal, that is) is a trial run. Essentially, during a trial run the babysitter acts as though they’re babysitting normally but you are actually still home and keeping an eye on things. It’s a way for you to check in and be available for any questions, offer help if anything goes wrong, and — most importantly in this instance — it lets you see the babysitter knows what they’re doing and can keep your child safe. With a trial run out of the way, most parents will be more than ready to leave the sitter alone with their kids without any further worries.

5. Attentiveness

When a new sitter is hired, there’s a lot they need to learn: where everything is in the house, what the kids like and dislike, what the expectations and rules are — it’s a lot to take in! That’s why one of the best things they can do to build trust with you is to prove they are listening and have it all under control. For instance, if your sitter can quickly remember the red blanket belongs to the eldest and not the youngest, that the baby is allergic to nuts and the oldest daughter gets a later bedtime, you’ll feel a lot better about leaving your kids in their charge.

6. Honesty

Honesty is one of the best ways to build trust with anyone, and babysitting is no exception. Your babysitter should be honest about their skills and certifications and know when to ask for help. If something goes wrong, you want your sitter to tell you, and the same goes if something goes right. Open and honest communication will endear your babysitter to you and make you trust them even more.

Hopefully, by keeping these tips in mind, you’ll be able to hire a new babysitter you feel good about and who you can build trust with, putting you at ease about who you have watching your children.

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