Raise your hand if you’ve ever asked your child “What did you do with your babysitter?” only to hear “I dunno,” or “Nothing.”
I bet your hand is high in the air.
Just about every parent knows that children aren’t often the most reliable communicators. So, that means you have to have great communication with your babysitter. Otherwise, you’ll never know how much your child ate, if the teacher mentioned anything noteworthy at pickup or whether or not your child took their medication.
In the few minutes that you have with the babysitter when they arrive or leave, you have to pack in all of your questions and notifications. Meanwhile your children are either climbing the walls (or your leg) and chattering. So, communication can be difficult.
With these 5 tips for clear, easy communication with your babysitter, you can eliminate the struggle and stay up to date:
1.Start on the Right Foot
Choose a quality babysitter with good reviews. This will give you peace of mind when you leave your little ones in their care. If you feel confident and comfortable, communication will be much easier than if you’re wary of your babysitter. So, take the time to research and find a great childcare provider with the help of UrbanCircle.
2. Use an App
There are plenty of methods of communication out there to make your life easier:
Share an online calendar with your babysitter detailing your schedule. If your babysitter needs to take your kids to soccer practice, music lessons or a birthday party, it’s easy to communicate this via the calendars. Alternatively, you can simply add a hard copy calendar to your fridge for your babysitter to see.
Want updates on your kids throughout the day? Or perhaps you simply want to remind your babysitter about something you forgot? Share it easily through whatsapp. You can also include your spouse so that both parents and the babysitter are in the loop.
Ideal for newborns, this app allows parents and babysitters to track feedings, diaper changes, sleep schedules and more.
3. Be Clear
At the beginning of your relationship with your babysitter, take some time to discuss expectations. Discuss everything from your parenting philosophy to preferred communication methods (should you text or call if you’re running late?), payment, and more. Some other key points include:
- Housework: Do you expect the babysitter to cook dinner? How clean should the playroom be when the kids are done playing?
- House Rules: From screen time to preferred discipline methods, explain how things work at home.
- Allergies and Food: Your babysitter needs to know what snacks are allowed and whether your child has any allergies.
- Emergencies: No one wants to imagine an emergency situation, but it’s important to discuss how you would like one handled. Also, what qualifies as an emergency? Should you be called over a fever or would you prefer your babysitter to administer Tylenol and tell you later?
4. Be Curious
You may question your babysitter’s decisions at times. When this happens, be curious. Rather than assuming your child told you the whole story or judging the situation too quickly, ask questions. This will allow your babysitter to share their perspective. You may discover your babysitter made the same decision you would have made in a similar situation.
5. Periodic Check-Ins
If your babysitter works for you regularly, set up periodic check-in times on a weekly or monthly basis. Allow 15 to 30 minutes time to talk through updates, concerns and questions you and your babysitter might have. There’s not always time on a day to day basis to discuss concerns in depth. So, making a space for this is important to ensure that your kids receive the best possible care. When you and your babysitter are in sync, you offer your kids a great childcare partnership.
Great communication with your babysitter makes for a wonderful experience for your children. It takes some effort to achieve good communication, but once you and your babysitter acquire these habits, it’s a piece of cake.