How Your Babysitter Can Bond with Your Preteen Kids

By Garth Brunner on April 28, 2024

We all know the struggle that comes with preteen kids. We love them, but it can be hard to bond with them. Imagine how difficult that can be for an outsider, like your babysitter! Especially because your preteen is probably insistent that they can take care of themself. Regardless of your reason for getting a babysitter, they need to try and have a pleasant relationship with your child. Your babysitter is great on paper and with your child, but you noticed they just are not bonding like you would prefer them to. While it might seem like a relationship that is out of your control, it’s quite the opposite! There are many things you can do to help strengthen the bond between them.

via Pexels

Fun Activities

One way that your babysitter can bond with your preteen kids is to bring them to fun activities. This can be extravagant activities like your babysitter taking your child to an amusement park for a day, it can be going to the movies so your kid can see something they’ve been begging to see, or it can be something as simple as playing a game they like at home. This depends on what your kid likes. Encourage your babysitter to spend time around your kid and take an interest in the things they like to do. When your preteen sees that someone actually cares about what they do, they are more likely to start opening up to them. If it’s in the budget, buy tickets for a fun day out! Your kid will remember the day fondly and relate it back to their fun, cool babysitter.

Make Their Favorite Food

Whether it’s breakfast, lunch, or dinner, food can often be the way to a person’s heart, especially a preteen’s! There are a few ways you can go about this, and it depends on your child’s favorite food, your budget, and the babysitter’s level of cooking. You can either make the food and leave it almost done and it just needs to go in the oven, have your babysitter make the food, or order it in!

For example, if their favorite food is pizza, you can order a pizza, naturally. You can make one from scratch before leaving, or you can have the babysitter and the child make their own at home! The latter alone could be a good binding experience. If you order in, let the babysitter take a little bit of the credit. Have them suggest ordering pizza, and that will make your child think they’re cool! But don’t forget to leave the money for them. If neither you nor your babysitter know your preteen’s favorite meal, pay attention to what they ask for the most or what they look happy eating.

Use Social Media Together

In this day and age, kids, especially preteens, love to go on social media any chance they get. Even with limited internet time, they still want to scroll! Some of their internet time can be while the babysitter is in charge. All your babysitter has to do is sit next to your child and watch with them as they scroll. This is a unique way of bonding so the two can talk about the videos or pictures they see, plus it allows for human connection during something usually isolating. The babysitter can also deflect if they see something inappropriate, in ways like, “Can I show you a funny video really quick?!” Talk to your babysitter about this to see their opinion. It’s a relatively low-stress activity, but it is actually a great way to bond. After all, we all like to show funny memes to those we love!

Give Your Preteen Space

This might just be one of the most important ways your babysitter and preteen can bond, though it might sound counteractive! Preteens are at the age where they hate being smothered and want to be alone for at least a few hours a day. By giving your child a chance to just be, they will resent the babysitter less (and hopefully not at all)! Then, when they come out of their room to hang out, it will be THEIR choice! It is extremely important to give preteens choices so they can feel in control when their life is a whirlwind of hormones and school!

Now, while your babysitter may want to try kissing up to your child in order to create a stronger bond, they still need to remain professional, set boundaries, and follow your rules. Remember, every child is different, so it might take a week, a month, or more before you start seeing progress. Both your babysitter and you need to just keep trying. Before you know it, your preteen will actually look forward to seeing their babysitter, though they’ll still miss you.

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