To quote Winnie the Pooh, "Oh bother" a gentle way of saying I'm frustrated, angered, disappointed, etc. Simply put babysitting is a challenge and much different then parenting and teaching. Babysitters need to make a connection with a child immediately while adhering to family rules, keeping children safe, making snap judgements as to safety and what is really allowed by parents and what is not. There are always details missing, and kids will inevitably tell a babysitter that they can do something when they probably can't.
Something to consider when leaving notes for a babysitter, which most parents do OR should do is, include the rules of the house. Consider these helpful tips to let babysitters know.
7 ideas of information to pass on to your babysitter:
- Do you allow jumping on the couch?
- Do you allow jumping on the bed?
- Do you allow eating in other parts of the home besides the dining area and or kitchen?
- What do you allow at bedtime, reading in bed before lights out, allowed to choose their own bedtime, chocolate milk, etc.
- What is your family rule for screen time, not what you want the babysitter to do that isn't the same as what you allow. Kids give babysitters so much trouble if all of a sudden their screen time is limited because the babysitter is there. It has to be the same so behavior issues don't come up because it isn't consistent, and to ensure that babysitters aren't dreaded by the kids in the future.
- When is after meal snacks appropriate, and are they allowed even if meals aren't finished?
- What is your clean up policy for the kids?
You may think that some of these questions are obvious but babysitters are subjected to so many families that all have different rules for their home, not to mention the rules that the babysitter personally had while they grew up that your family rules need to be expressed. For example; I was never allowed to jump on the furniture while I was growing up, and I'm amazed at how many households allow jumping on the furniture. If I'm not told that jumping on the furniture is allowed I don't allow it. So, as you can see it's the little things we forget to pass on to babysitters that can make or break a relationship with a babysitter.