Moms need help. But let’s face it, being a mother is a tough job. How are we supposed to find qualified help? I mean, we’re hardly qualified ourselves! We had to go through some pretty intense on-the-job training, so I think it’s entirely appropriate to interview with new sitters if that’s something that would make you more comfortable. Here are 10 questions to ask your babysitter.
Whether you’re a full-time stay-at-home mom, or a nine-to-five working mom, or something in between, you need childcare options on hand that you can trust. If you’re anything like me, leaving your children with a stranger is a no-go, and even when you find a promising candidate, it’s hard to leave without having a bit of a rapport and relationship with the person you’ve chosen to respect your wishes and care for your tiny humans.
Here’s a good roundup of the top sitter websites if you’re starting from scratch, but a great place to find sitters is from personal recommendations of other families with similar values and parenting priorities. Local Facebook groups, your church website and preschool directors are all great resources to ask as well if you are brand new to an area. Use these questions for phone interviews, in-person chats, or to strike up a conversation with a potential babysitter you meet in person that you want to get to know a bit better.
- Why do you like working with children?
- What’s the most important thing you’ve learned from your childcare experiences?
- How do you feel about discipline or boundaries for children? What do you expect kids of my age are capable of?
- What are the first three things you would do in a (choking, injury, illness) emergency?
- How do you comfort or console upset children?
- What was your most difficult childcare moment, and how did you handle it?
- What do you enjoy doing with your free time?
- What are your pet peeves?
- If my child were upset and you weren’t sure why, how would you respond?
- If you weren’t offered this job, what would you do instead? What other jobs are you working at the moment?
These conversational questions assume the technical issues like payment, references and certifications have already been made clear. Most moms find these things equally important to “on paper” qualifications. You can follow whatever trails the questions take, and if they don’t lead you anywhere, that can be informative too. After a good chat, you’ll feel more comfortable (or uncomfortable!) with the person you’re considering. And you’ll be so thankful when you can confidently trust the person you hire. Here’s to your finding the ideal person to care for your kiddos whenever you need to step away!