Signs You Have a Bad Babysitter

woman holding baby

We all love our kids and want to spend as much time as we can with them, but there are some days when we just want to go out on the town, have a date night, or just have some alone time from our children. That’s where babysitters come in.

If you choose the right one, a babysitter can be a blessing sent from above. But there are babysitters out there who are more trouble than they are worth. Here are some signs you have a bad babysitter on your hands, and some ideas about what to do about it.

Bad babysitters – just like good babysitters – come in all shapes and sizes, so it may be hard to recognize the bad in a babysitter right away. Some early warning signs you may see that point to a bad babysitter are showing up late multiple times with no heads up, being unreachable when watching your children, inviting other people over while watching your children, and, most importantly, your kids just don’t get along with them.

While your kids may dislike having babysitters in general, there are several reasons to listen to them if and when they say that they aren’t having a good time with their babysitter. Yes, some children do have separation anxiety from their parents, but if a child is complaining about a babysitter or has drastic mood swings around the babysitter, it may indicate the babysitter isn’t doing their job, or, more commonly, the child and the babysitter just aren’t clicking.
There are several options you have as a parent employing a bad babysitter to turn the situation around. Speaking to the babysitter is always the first step. Calmly ask them how they engage with the child while you are away. It is important to get their perspective as well in the situation, as there could be more going on than initially meets the eye. Give the babysitter several different options for activities, or maybe block out specific activity times for your child. For the babysitter, it will seem like you are just trying to keep your child busy while you are away, but it is also an opportunity to get the babysitter more involved and engaged with your child. You can also put a time limit on electronics, not only for your child but also for your babysitter, especially if they have a hard time parting from their phone while watching your child. If you have taken similar steps to these and the babysitter still isn’t working, sit them down and have a conversation about being serious about watching your child. Babysitting is a very serious position to hold, and a babysitter should not take their job lightly. If all else fails, maybe it’s time to get rid of the bad babysitter and get a new babysitter that fits better with your family and child.

Bad babysitters can be traumatizing for you and your family, but it is important to be as open and forthcoming in communication and expectations for the babysitter as possible. In the end, it is always your children’s safety that comes first, and a good babysitter knows how to keep a child safe and happy while parents are away.

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