A babysitter is a very important part in a families life. After all, the babysitter will care for children whenever the parents are unable to do so. However, many parents have a hard time with babysitter’s listening to boundaries. This is most often caused due to ambiguous guidelines, boundaries and communication. To avoid this, parents must set up clearly defined boundaries for the hired babysitter.
Swearing and Questionable Language – This one often gets overlooked, but it’s incredibly important. Many parents do not condone swearing around children and have a swear jar. Parents must clearly lay the guidelines for swearing. For instance, darn or dang may be okay, while the alternative is not. In addition, if the babysitter catches herself or the children swearing they must put a quarter into the swear jar. While you may not be around to monitor this, you will surely notice if your children start throwing the “f-bomb” around when you’re home.
Visitors with Babysitters – It should go without saying that the babysitter should not be allowed any visitors while caring for children. However, parents may allow visitors with advance notice or during certain hours. It’s entirely up to the parents, but be sure to lay the guidelines in the beginning. Parents can easily ask the children if strangers were in the house, just for extra precaution.
Movies and TV Shows near Kids – Often times a babysitter will watch TV shows or movies with children. The easiest route is to lay out DVD’s for allowed shows and movies. However, it’s also acceptable to write down a list of banned shows. Parents may also enact parent controls on the TV or set a list of acceptable movie and TV show ratings.
Cell Phone Use – In today’s world everyone is connected at all times, especially with cell phones. Parents may wish to set boundaries for cell phone usage – for both babysitter and children. This may include no cell phone while eating, watching TV, cooking or playing games. Let your babysitter know that her first priority is the children, and that you don’t want to risk the safety of your children because of cell phones. You may also ask that the babysitter leave out information regarding your home and children for Facebook or Twitter updates.
Allowed Foods – Some families follow a strict diet such as gluten-free, vegan, non-gmo or vegetarian. Be sure to let your babysitter know any and all food restrictions. In addition, let the babysitter know if your children have any food allergies or aversions. Provide appropriate resources for cooking and preparing food and snacks.
Parents must provide their babysitter with guidelines and boundaries, be it with their children or home. Of course these boundaries vary with each household and lifestyle, but it’s necessary to outline these before the babysitter starts. This ensures a happy, healthy and stress-free time when you’re out and about. Plus, your babysitter will know exactly what to do!