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Five important technology rules for your babysitter

When you hire a babysitter you spend time showing them around your house, telling them about bedtimes and other house rules. However, have you considered talking to them about your policies regarding cell phones while watching your children? You want to make sure your sitter’s attention is focused solely on your children - not the latest SnapChat story. Take some time in advance to establish clear rules about your expectations regarding technology to help ensure the safest environment for your children when you’re gone.

Babysitter with cell phone

The most important thing when leaving your children with a sitter, is making sure they are safe and well cared for. If your sitter spends the night texting or SnapChatting they aren’t closely monitoring your children. This could simply bring about a night where your child is ignored - a disturbing thought on its own - but it could also cause an accident to happen. Establish clear rules and communicate them ahead of time so your sitter knows what to expect.

Five technology rules for your sitter

Lay out ground rules: If your sitter is on the phone, they are not focusing on your child. Tell them when it’s okay to be on the phone - perhaps during nap time or when the child is in bed for the night. And clarify that you expect them not to use the phone otherwise unless it’s an emergency.

Establish social media boundaries: Of course your children are adorable, but do you want their photos or videos shared on Instagram, Facebook, SnapChat or other social media? Are you okay with it if there are no identifying names or location tags?  Would you rather their photos never be taken? Clearly spell out your boundaries.

Take advantage of the cell phone: Have your sitter add all emergency contacts to their contact list - yours as well as nearby family or friends. If you would like updates while you’re away via text or photos - share that with your sitter. A cell phone can be useful if you establish some ground rules. If your sitter will be taking your children away from home, ask them to carry their cell phone with them in case of emergency.

No texting while driving: If your sitter will be driving your children make it clear that you expect no texting while driving - no exceptions.

Your child and the cell phone: Cell phones are attractive devices to kids! Are you okay if your child plays games or watches videos with your sitter? If not, say so. If that is within your normal limits, clearly talk about which apps and videos are acceptable and set screen time limits.
Remember, you’re the boss. You are hiring this young person to watch your children and your expectations regarding technology should be met. Don’t assume your sitter knows how you feel about cell phones - spell out the rules.

Learn more tips about babysitting:

NorthpointPeds Checklist BabyPrep
Baby girl with pony tail in white