RULES FOR PARENTS WHO HIRE NANNIES AND BABYSITTERS
Childcare is a thankless task sometimes. Don't make it harder than it has to be.
- •Please discipline your children! Say no to them! Be a good parent!If your kid is a brat, I can't fix that. I can only lose my mind trying. You don't pay me enough to be your substitute parent!
- •Don't expect your child minder to enforce rules you don't enforce.You don't want your kid to watch TV when they're with a sitter, but let them watch whenever they want the rest of the time? THAT'S F**ING RUDE. DON'T PLAY THESE GAMES.
- •Don't micromanage!If you are that insistent about everything being just so, I shouldn't be there. Parenting requires some flexibility, especially if you want someone else to watch your kids for you. Don't insist I read aloud to children who would rather read on their own. LET ME DO MY JOB, BRENDA* *fake name, her real name is Ursula.
- •You have to say, "Make yourself at home. Feel free to eat whatever you like."This is important. If you don't say this, I don't feel comfortable snacking. If I don't feel comfortable snacking, I will be miserable, and I will prob make your kids miserable tbh.
- •Buy good snacks.You can't just have an unopened thing of hummus and some big carrots and say, "Eat whatever you like!" A nanny or sitter is not going to feel comfortable digging into your real person food, especially if it's unopened. You have to get GOOD snacks: chips, dip, crackers, fruit, cheese, cookies. Remember, part of the cost of childcare is the price of snacks.
- •Don't hang around.Especially if you have a toddler, don't act like you're leaving, see the kid crying, and draw out your departure. This is very annoying. Usually, two minutes after you go, your child will be distracted by a toy or a snack and stop crying. You are not helping by sticking around. Get out so I can start taking selfies again.
- •Have the tough conversations with your kids!Don't make me be the one to explain what "slavery" or "testicles" are.
- •Teach your kid an appropriate amount of independence!A 6yo should be able to brush his own teeth and wipe his own butt, right? Am I crazy? Is this expecting too much??
- •BE OVERLY APPRECIATIVE.Make it ABUNDANTLY clear to your sitter how much you appreciate them. Do it with words and with snacks and with money. Watching your kids can often be really frustrating and not fun. I imagine that's why you decided to work in the first place. Since there are no real tangible accomplishments to this job, make sure your child minder knows that every day they resist growling at your 6yo, they are making a difference.
- •*BONUS RULE FOR ANYONE WHO MEETS A NANNY OR BABYSITTER
- •Don't say, "So are you still in school or something...?"This is v condescending! Do I ask you what else you do for work? Should I ask you which of your dreams haven't panned out yet? Maybe I'm a career nanny! I'm not, but I could be, and there would be nothing wrong with that.