10 Reasons Your Kids Might Hate Their Babysitter

You’ve gone to great lengths to find just the right person to babysit your children. You’ve spent weeks gathering referrals, conducting interviews and introducing candidates to the family. And when the process has been completed, you’re confident that you’ve hired the very best sitter you could find. Except for one small detail. Your kids seem to hate her! But why? Everyone seemed to get along so well when you had her over. The truth is that sometimes issues arise that you couldn’t foresee. Let’s look at ten possible reasons that your kids and sitter don’t seem to be hitting it off:

  1. The first thing you need to do is talk with the kids privately and find out whether this is just a superficial issue like a personality thing, or if the root problem is cause for greater concern. More than likely, you’re faced with one of the issues below, but don’t dismiss your children’s feelings out of hand. Talk to them.
  2. She’s too strict, in their opinion. She doesn’t let them get away with as much as their other babysitter used to. This of course isn’t necessarily a bad thing. You might need to discuss with each party separately what the issues are to make sure everyone gets on the same page.
  3. They miss their old sitter and resent having a replacement. This is an understandable sentiment, and it may just require a period of adjustment and some bonding to get past it. Usually, if the babysitter is otherwise a good fit, this is something that will pass as the kids grow to trust their new sitter.
  4. Another issue, typically for parents who have only recently begun leaving their kids with a sitter, is that they resent your leaving them. It isn’t anything personal toward the sitter. The kids just aren’t used to having a surrogate take your place.
  5. Hostility or apathy toward a new form of authority is not uncommon. Much like the substitute teacher, a new sitter may meet some initial resistance, but she can gradually gain acceptance as the kids get more comfortable with her.
  6. The kids may be accustomed to being spoiled by their grandmother, if she normally sat for you. Grandparents are some of the most indulgent folks on the planet, and understandably so. You can hardly blame them for doting on their little angels, as much as you may want to.
  7. If the sitter also prepares meals for the kids, determine if it’s a food issue. The kids may like certain dishes that the babysitter doesn’t like to, or know how to, prepare. Maybe the kids are chafing at her attempts to get them to eat healthier.
  8. It may not be the sitter the kids have a problem with; maybe it’s her friend she keeps having over whenever she sits. You may have to lay down the law about guests, if you haven’t already done so.
  9. She doesn’t like to play the same games that the kids do, or watch the same TV programs.  It may seem like a trivial enough issue to overlook when a sitter seems so ideal in every other aspect, but it’s areas like this where strife can easily rear its ugly head.
  10. She doesn’t pay enough attention to them. One of the draws of having a babysitter is there’s someone new to play dress up with. If your sitter isn’t actively engaging the kids, she may be getting low reviews.
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