Warning Signs of a Bad Babysitter

By Ashley Paskill on February 4, 2024

No matter how thorough your interview and hiring process was, there is unfortunately always the chance that your babysitter is not exactly who you hoped they would be. You may see warning signs during the hiring process or the signs may show up as you hire the babysitter and have them work. Either way, it is important to be on the lookout for the warnings of a bad babysitter.

They routinely fall asleep

Depending on your babysitter’s schedule and work arrangement, sleeping during their babysitting shift may be okay. However, if you have mentioned that they are not allowed to sleep while on duty and they do so after you have told them not to, they may not be the best babysitter for you and your family. Your child’s safety is the highest priority, and if you feel like your babysitter cannot keep your child (or children) safe when they are asleep, it is your right to part ways.

References speak up

When you are in the process of hiring a babysitter, you likely ask for references on the application. You ask them questions to get a sense of who the potential babysitter is. If the reference seems hesitant about answering questions or says things that are against what you want, it is a potential sign of a bad babysitter. Also, if they are unable to provide childcare references, they may not have as much experience at babysitting as you need for your kids. More importantly, check to see if the reference has anything “negative” to say about the potential candidate.

No certifications

It is important for your babysitter to keep up with their learning. If they have out-of-date certifications or no certifications, this is a red flag. In case they have not even started the certification process, it shows they may not know what they need or where to get anything they may need. However, if they need to get started and they know exactly what they need, it may be a sign they are lazy, which you do not wish for your kids. With technology where it is today, your babysitter should be able to find the certifications they need and be able to do them quickly online. Being certified allows your sitter to know as much as they can about what they are doing, and without being certified at least in basic CPR and first aid, they may not adequately be able to keep your kid safe.

Image: Pavel Danilyuk via https://www.pexels.com/photo/a-certificate-and-lady-justice-figurine-on-table-8112198/

Your kids are not fans

Ideally, your kids will be a part of the interview process with you so you can see how they interact with their potential babysitter. Even if they are unable to be there for the hiring process, they will let you know that they do not like the babysitter. They will clue you into how the babysitter treated them and things that were done and said that may not be what you are looking for. Of course, be sure to talk to the sitter first before taking your child’s word for what was said or done. However, your kids ultimately have to like the babysitter, so if they do not get along, the babysitter is not right for your family.

You get a bad vibe

As a parent, you want someone kind, caring, and trustworthy to take care of your kids. As you go through the interview process and even get to know them after you hire them, you may come to see that you are getting an overall bad vibe from them. While it may be tempting to give them the benefit of the doubt, it is also important that you trust your intuition that they may not be the best fit. Your instinct will let you know right away who is perfect for your family and who is not.

Overstep boundaries

Before the first day, you must set boundaries with your babysitter. This can look like what is available for them and your kids to eat or how they are allowed to discipline your kids. If you ask questions during the hiring process and they give answers that indicate that they may overstep these boundaries, you may not feel comfortable hiring them. However, if you correct them and instruct them on what needs to be done and how to do so and they do not follow this, it may be time to part ways. It is crucial that your babysitter follows any and all boundaries you set, especially since they are taking care of your child. Your child and their safety is the highest priority, and if your babysitter is blatantly overstepping boundaries that are meant to keep them safe, they are not a good babysitter for your family.

Being able to see the signs that a babysitter is a bad fit for your family early on is crucial. However, you may not recognize it until you hire them. Either way, finding the best babysitter possible for your child is crucial for keeping them safe and happy.

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