Get your kids to love their Sitter


Find the right sitter for your family; it ‘s important,” says Rebecca Craig, owner of
Babysitting Whistler in Whistler, BC. “If you find someone bright and fun and who takes initiative, your kids will love spending time with the sitter. And if you’re lucky enough to find a sitter your kids love, be sure to look after them, because great sitters are hard to come by.” “Chat about the sitter with your kids before she comes over,” says Jodie Humen from Strathmore, AB. The result is that 19-month-old Jackson is chomping at the bit to play with her. “I tell him, ‘You’re going to play with Isley today and it’s going to be so much fun.’ He gets so excited when I talk about her.” Another way of building excitement is to have your child draw a special picture to give to the sitter when she arrives. Encourage a great relationship by talking about the sitter with your child on days when they aren’t seeing her. Take a photo of the sitter together with your child and put it somewhere it can be seen regularly (on the fridge, for example) and invite your sitter to family gatherings as a guest, not hired help. Prepare your kids in advance. Review what will happen when the sitter arrives. Tell them that you’ll be giving them a goodbye kiss and heading out the door for the night. If your child finds your leaving an ordeal, it might help to do a practice run before the sitter gets there. Plan a special activity for the sitter and the kids. Fourteen-year-old Gabbi Schafers, a Vancouver babysitter, says, “If they know that when I come we’re going out to play soccer or heading to the park, then they can’t wait for me to get there.” Invite your sitter to share her interests with your children. If she is the crafty type or loves to bake, ask her what supplies you should provide so she can lead an activity everyone will enjoy. Don’t undermine the sitter’s authority in front of your children. It’s a surefire way for them lose respect for her. And she may not want to sit for you again. “Let the babysitter do things her way,” says Craig. “If you have a problem with something she’s done, take her aside and talk about the problem away from the kids. That way, everyone feels respected.”

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