How to Prep Your Kids for a New Student Sitter

By Garth Brunner on September 11, 2023

Getting a new student sitter for your kids can be a difficult adjustment, especially if you and your children have developed a strong relationship with your current or previous one. Unfortunately, your child might find this more challenging than you. In order to mitigate this change, before and shortly after your new sitter starts working with you, here are the best things you can do as a parent to help prepare your child.

via Pexels

Talk it Through

Do not just bring in a new sitter before discussing it with your child. This will be a shock and can make them more hesitant to talk with someone new. If they did not even know their first student sitter was leaving, they may be hesitant to form a bond with someone new.

Instead, tell them your current sitter will be leaving with enough time for them to adjust. This can be different for every child, but the sweet spot is about two or three weeks. Your child can enjoy the time they have with their current sitter but know that it will be ending soon. Explain that all good things come to an end, but someone will be filling their shoes. It is not a replacement, but just someone else to fill the role.

Ensure your child knows when the new sitter is coming so that they are prepared to meet someone new. It can be scary, so if they express their fears, assure them that their feelings are valid. You should also try to find out the root of their concerns. Are they scared of strangers? Do they have separation anxiety? Are they worried they’ll never see their current student sitter who they have come to love? The list of reasons may be endless, but talking these through with your child can help you not only understand them more but also potentially make this transition easier for everyone involved.

Take it Slow

Your kid will adjust better to their new student sitter if you start with smaller meetings first, so do not plan an overnight stay with your spouse right away! Consider these as trial periods. After school one day, or whenever works for everyone, your sitter can come over an hour or two. This will give you a chance to see how your child reacts. If they take to them right away, great! If not, then just keep at it until they adjust.

It also may be helpful for you to stay there for the first visit with your new student sitter. This way, you can see how they interact and give your child peace of mind knowing that you are there to step in if they feel too overwhelmed.

Even if your new sitter is only there for a little bit, this gives you ample time to have some extremely important conversations.

Set Boundaries

It is important that not only do you set boundaries with your new student sitter, but you let your child set boundaries. Talk to them and ask what would make them uncomfortable. If they do not want to be touched by their new sitter, then make that clear to them.

Your child will want to feel comfortable around your new student sitter, so letting them make those boundaries themself will help immensely. If your student sitter is a good one, they will be more than happy to oblige so that you and your child become more comfortable with them. If they do not oblige, you might want to ask why and potentially look for necessary qualities another one. This is why trial periods mentioned earlier are essential as well.

Stick to Your Usual Routine

Considering that change may already be difficult for your child, you should not start making many other changes in your lives or routines right as you change student sitters. For example, if Dad is usually the one who helps get your child ready for school in the morning, do not switch to Mom with little to no warning.

Of course, our lives are already pretty unpredictable, so there is nothing we can do to ensure everything is constant all of the time. Still, there may be extra changes that can upset your child when there is already a major change at play. If you find something is unavoidable and may upset them, talk to them.

You Got This!

Sometimes children can be unpredictable or react in ways we did not expect. Never assume your child will be completely okay with a change like getting a new student sitter. By following these steps, you can make this transition. It might take some time, but before you know it, your kid will adjust to your new sitter just like your old one.

Help them feel in control of the situation by following these steps and monitoring their behavior. Talk to them when you need to, because communication is key!

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