Selecting The Right Babysitter (Part 2 of 2)

4. The final step in the selection process should be a meeting that includes your child as well. This should take place after you have narrowed your potential caretakers down to two or three. Letting your child be involved in the final selection process (assuming they are of an age that they will be able to express their feelings to you) can increase both you and your child’s comfort level. Even if your child is too young to communicate their assessment of the individuals you have selected, you can often gain a very good idea of their level of comfort just by observing them interact with potentials.

Once you have made your decision, try to start by only being away for short durations. This will allow your child to gradually become accustomed to being watched by someone other than a family member. It will also let you, the parent, become comfortable with the quality of care being provided which will ease your own inevitable feeling of separation anxiety.

By the way, it is perfectly reasonable (and recommended) to periodically make unannounced visits while your child is being cared for by a babysitter. This will allow you to see for yourself how care is being handled while you are away. Another great way to gain insight, when older children are being cared for is to ask them specific questions about what goes on while you are away. Always make sure to encourage your children to share information with you, whether it’s positive or otherwise and be sure to tell them often that you trust and value their feelings and opinions. This will raise your chances for maintaining open and honest communication that can allow you to spot problems before they become serious situations.

Take care, and happy hunting!

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