Do You Trust Your Babysitter?
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Hiring a babysitter can be nerve wracking enough without worrying if your house is still going to be intact when you get home. Inviting someone into your house to care for your child requires a great deal of trust, and it shouldn’t be taken lightly. Anything can happen when your child is in this person’s care. If you are suspicious about behavior from your babysitter while you’re away, what can you do to give yourself some peace of mind?
1. Video Cameras – Many households set up "nanny-cams" in order to keep a watchful eye on the home. These have been used to prove innocence of wrong doing as well as provide evidence of child neglect. While nearly any video camera could serve this purpose, using an IP camera with remote access can allow you to watch the home anywhere you have Internet – such as work or even on your smartphone. The hardest thing about setting up this kind of surveillance is finding the right camera for your needs.
2. The Drop-in Friend – Have a friend or family member "drop by" to see if you’re home. He or she can quickly size up the situation and can determine if there is any cause for concern. You could even ask a neighbor to periodically take a look at your house to make sure nothing looks suspicious throughout the day. This can also provide you with a method to test your babysitter on how strangers around the home are dealt with. You could even ask a family member or good friend that the babysitter doesn’t know to try and gain access to home through introductions. Don’t scare the babysitter, but see if he or she will let a perfect stranger in through the door.
3. Observations – If you have a liquor cabinet, guns, or other valuables throughout the home, keep them locked up at all times. If you’re unable to secure certain items such as liquor or other goods, monitor them closely. Watch for signs of various objects being moved about the house. It’s not paranoia. When it comes to your child and your home, a person needs to earn your trust.
4. Home Early – Instead of telling your babysitter exactly when you’ll be home, round it up an hour. For example, tell the babysitter you’ll be home by seven if you plan on being home by six. Many people wait until the last minute to clean messes and the like. This can give you a chance to see what is going on without the babysitter knowing when exactly you’ll be walking through the door. You don’t have to do this all of the time. However, it can help you trust this new person to care for your child if there is nothing amiss when you come home early.
Although some of these examples may seem deceptive to the babysitter, you can never be too cautious when it comes to inviting a new person into your life. You need to make sure that they are honest and trustworthy. References and resumes can only tell you so much and a background check might not hurt either. It is better to be safe than take the chance of something happening to your child.
Ken Myers is a father of three and passionate about great childcare. He’s always looking for ways to help families find the support they need to live fuller, richer lives. Find out more about expert childcare by checking out @go_nannies on Twitter.