7

Background:

My wife and I babysat 4 children and the parents made it sound like a) there was a schedule and b) if there were difficulties to just say something like 'are you listening', 'are you being respectful', etc. Trying to follow the schedule did not work and the phrases did not work, one child continuously wanted to be not in her room because it was uncomfortable, but didn't have any answer on what would make her comfortable. Our approach was to attempt to block her in her room with our body or the door, but that involved staying there. I was not particularly close to the family so didn't want to go out of bounds with a punishment/discipline so didn't end up doing much else.

Question:

What are some strategies to raise children that can be more easily babysat by others? Or will it just depend on the child and I should have a list of allowed punishments for the babysitter?

  • 1
    Find a daycare provider that follows the similar approaches as you do. Because a provider isn't going to tailor discipline to each child they watch, they are going to have a set of rules that are followed by all children. If they don't, it doesn't matter what you tell them they might not follow your rules anyway. – user20343 Jun 12 '18 at 13:16
  • @SiXandSeven8ths this question is more about those times when we go on a date and need a babysitter, not day time care – depperm Jun 12 '18 at 13:18
  • Ah, sorry I misunderstood. I think, then, you have to lay the rules out for the sitter so they know what to expect of the parents and the child. – user20343 Jun 12 '18 at 14:19
  • Hi, and welcome to the site! Thanks for asking such an interesting (and well-formed) question, looking forward to some other takes on it! – Joe Jun 12 '18 at 15:14
6

Every child is babysittable. There's no special magic to raising a kid that's easier or harder to babysit. All of the other things you're hopefully doing anyway to raise a child who is able to function normally in society will help here; and every child will have their hard days.

What you're missing is that babysitting is a skilled profession. Yes, there's not a degree for it (except, there is - "early childhood development"); but sure, most babysitters won't have that degree. But you don't just magically become good at babysitting; you learn how to babysit, largely by doing it. Some babysitting experiences go poorly for newer babysitters, especially ones with little experience. And four children is a lot of children, if you're not that experienced with those kids and don't have a rapport with them already.

What you should do for your children is:

  • Find a babysitter who has some experience for their first few times.
  • Find a babysitter who you know and who already knows the kids, if you can.
  • If you can't, have the babysitter spend one day with you and the kids before having their first time with you away.

If you follow that, odds are they'll have a good experience. And don't micromanage things either with the babysitter or with your kids - adding stress for your kids is a bad idea, and adding stress for the babysitter probably will be pointless. Find a babysitter you trust, who has experience, and who knows your children at least a little, and they'll be fine.

  • I would like to add that it helps immensely to start babysitting early - if you are the whole world for your child for years, weaning him/her of that is much more difficult. – Christian Sauer Nov 5 '18 at 7:11
3

We raised three children that everyone agrees were very easy to babysit or look after, and we used some very simple tactics. To raise your own kids to be as easy as possible for others:

  • Be consistent with all your discipline
  • Be consistent with language. Don't use words nobody else will understand.
  • Don't work around your kids, help them be part of your life rather than adjust everything to be part of theirs
  • Don't protect your house or animals from children, instead teach your children to respect these things
  • Teach them to appreciate everything around them, including time with babysitters, friends etc

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.