Here’s What to Do If Your Child Hates the Babysitter

a sad child

It takes a long time to find a good babysitter who fits your schedule, accepts what you’re able to pay, and meets all of the needs you require.

What happens if your child hates the sitter? You’re left with a problem that has no easy solution.

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What To Do When Your Child Hates the Babysitter?

If your child hates the sitter, there may be a real reason. Children rarely irrationally hate anyone, which means there is a root issue that needs to be uncovered. It could be as simple as separation anxiety or as serious as abuse. Never brush off your child’s feelings for the sake of convenience.

What if Your Child Hates the Babysitter?

So your child has decided they hate the babysitter. What now? The good news is that your child feels comfortable enough to talk about their feelings. The bad news is you need to find out why there is friction.

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Ask Your Child Why They Hate the Sitter

This one is simple enough. Ask, “Why don’t you like your babysitter?”

As every parent knows, your child will give you a reasonable and thought-out response with a pie chart and spreadsheet so you have no further questions and can move on.

Or, in the real world, most kids will shrug and say, “I don’t know.” That’s where some probing questions might come into play.

Unfortunately, you do have to think about abuse at the hands of the sitter. Ideally, you’ll have a nanny cam you can check to make sure no abuse is taking place, but you should also question your child.

Here are some questions you can try are:

  • What happened to make you not like the sitter?
  • Did the sitter tell you to keep something a secret?
  • Is the sitter touching you when you don’t want them to?
  • Does the sitter say things that make you feel uncomfortable?
  • Has the sitter shown you pictures or read you stories that are scary or upsetting?
  • Did the sitter hurt you?

It’s important not to ask leading questions from the outset.

What’s a Leading Question?
A leading question is one that has its own answer within the question itself.

That’s why it’s important to start your questioning with “what happened” rather than the more detailed questions that follow.

If Abuse is Suspected

a child hugging mom

Naturally, if abuse is suspected, you should fire the sitter immediately and explain why. You should NOT wait to try to catch the sitter on a nanny cam or look for bruising.

You should also report the caregiver for abuse so your state’s authorities can look into the matter further.

Be warned that if your child shows no outward signs of abuse and there’s no camera evidence, the sitter will probably face no charges.

It may be a good idea to talk with your child’s pediatrician and/or a child therapist to work through abusive situations.

Related: Can a Babysitter Take a Child They’re Watching to the Doctor?

Separation Anxiety

a sad child

Child abuse by a babysitter is pretty rare. In most cases, your child dislikes the babysitter simply because they like you. They don’t want you to leave them, so they project their feelings onto the person who takes your place.

If you like your babysitter and you know there is no abuse, there may be ways to work things out so that your child starts to look forward to seeing the sitter.

Talk to the sitter one-on-one. Tell them that your child is suffering from separation anxiety and might need some extra care. A fun trick is to have “babysitter only” toys, books, and games.

If your child only gets to play with their Osmo when the sitter is around, they just might start getting excited instead of sad or angry.

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Another option is to give your child a special keepsake to remind them of you while you’re gone. A set of matching bracelets might help both of you feel closer while you’re away.

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What if Your Child Still Hates the Babysitter

a child that's sad

You have given the sitter multiple tries. You watched footage from the nanny cam to ensure there is nothing concerning happening while you’re gone.

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What if none of that works?

Regardless of how much you love the sitter, there may simply be a personality conflict that you can’t detect from afar.

My Experiences
I experienced the opposite of this myself. His name was Vincent. He was five years old, and he was my nemesis. He didn’t get into trouble. In fact, he was perfectly behaved.

Still, after a few nights of babysitting him, I called it quits. I never could pinpoint what it was about him, but he just made me feel very uncomfortable.

These things sometimes happen. Even if you can’t put your finger on it, if your child doesn’t like the babysitter, you should try to find someone to take their place.

Key Takeaways

The relationship between a child and their babysitter can be a very close and special one.

Make sure you rule out any abuse and then try to cultivate a good connection between the two. If it doesn’t work, let the babysitter go. Make sure to give the sitter a good reference if foul play is not suspected.

Share your thoughts on this in the comments!

Find Top-Rated Babysitters in Your Area

If you’re looking for a babysitter, this service can connect you to qualified babysitters who have been pre-vetted.

Have You Read These Yet?

Frequently Asked Questions

Thank your kids’ sitter for everything they’ve done, but unfortunately, it doesn’t look like it’s working out with your kid. Be honest. For a sitter who hasn’t done anything wrong, make sure to offer to write them a good recommendation if they try to get another babysitter gig watching other children.