Leaving your child with a stranger for the first time can be a difficult experience for parents; it’s natural that parents would worry about the well-being of their child. However, having a babysitter is beneficial for both parents and children. How so? Here are five reasons to consider:
1. Babysitters are an alternative to daycare, which may be stressful to young children. As opposed to the familiar environment of their own home, daycare is a new place with new people. Caretaking at home will allow them to feel more relaxed and comfortable, and they can continue with their existing routines (i.e nap/snack time). Flexibility in scheduling is also there, as babysitters can take your child to playdates or enrichment classes when you can’t.
2. The one-to-one interaction with other adults gives children a chance to form bonds. Higher levels of care is provided for the child with absolute focus from the babysitter. Apart from adults in the family, babysitters provide a different sort of exposure to children. Communicating with adults can help to build confidence in them from a young age, and can be beneficial to their growth in the long term.
3. Building on the human-centred approach of babysitting, there is less reliance on screen time for entertainment. Babysitters are a point of human contact that engages your child in times of urgency (i.e work call, family emergencies). They can also bring different expertise and experiences to the table, such as music, art and even special certifications like first aid training or specialised care skill sets.
4. There is less reliance on family members to do care work. Time for self-care and alone time applies to everyone; grandparents or other relatives also increasingly desire time for themselves. A babysitter can step in as a secondary option anytime, which can alleviate the problem of relationship strain.
5. The well-being of parents is essential to the well-being of children. Babysitters help you pay attention to the other aspects of your identity and individuality temporarily. After all, you are not just ‘Mummy’ or ‘Daddy’, you are also a wife or husband, brother or sister, son or daughter. Paying attention to other relationships in life is beneficial for the mental and emotional health of parents: happy parents raise happier children!