Kidsit Founder, Editor, Illustrator, and father of three beautiful kids in Sydney, Australia.
Do you have a babysitting job where one or both parents work from home? Are the kids well behaved when you’re alone with them, but now, you struggle to get them to listen to you?
This article can help.
So how can you babysit when the parents are home? To babysit successfully when the parents are home, you need to (1) communicate well with the parents, (2) set boundaries with the children, and (3) establish who’s in charge. This will help to keep the kids in line, as well as set the expectations between you and the parents.
Let’s go over some tips that will help you become a successful babysitter when the parents are at home and then cover the three steps in detail.
When a babysitter has to care for kids in the parent’s presence, those three steps are super important. Parents might think that they’re helping when they step in and handle a behavior issue or give permission for something. After all, they’re the more experienced ones since it is their children.
But you may feel disrespected or that your presence is not needed. The parents did in fact interview and hire you. They obviously trusted you with their kids, but now it would seem that they don’t.
Kids often are confused as to which adult they should go to. With so many adults in the house, who really makes the rules? It could be a family tradition in the house for the kids to go to whoever gives them the best answer. Also, the idea of their parents working from home could be a foreign concept.
They might need help understanding that when the parents are interrupted they can’t work. It can be a frustrating experience for all involved if these three things are not dealt with.
Is it possible to work out the kinks to babysitting kids when the parents are home? Many babysitters have done it and continue to enjoy working for the family whether or not the mom or dad is home.
Let’s talk about the three steps to follow to successfully babysit for a family who works from home.
Good communication with both parents before you start working for them will increase your chances of success. You should tell them your expectations and why they’re important to you. For example, most babysitters want to be the ones who will be in charge of disciplining and making decisions. This would be the same as if you were alone with the kids.
What almost always happens when the parents are home is that the children will go to the parents to ask for permission for things. They may even start off by asking you but if the answer is not what they want they might decide to go to mom or dad.
One way to approach the subject with the parents is by sharing your concerns. For example, you could say, “When you work from home I have found it to work best if nothing really changes. I would still like to take the lead with their schedule. If any problems come up, I would like to handle those too. When the kids see that everything is still the same, they won’t be tempted to go to mom or dad. They might not listen to me at all when you are home. This would make it hard to care for the kids.”
I would ask the parents how they feel. Once an agreement is worked out, both the parents and you should inform the kids and stick to the plan.
Setting Boundaries with the kids when their parents are home is necessary. The parents need to be in on this conversation as well. The kids should know that when the parents are home that they are working. They can’t be interrupted.
The parents might like to join you guys for snack time or go to the park with you. It all depends on what works best for all involved. For most kids under 3, seeing their parents for short periods of time might not be a good idea. They might cry and fuss all over again. Or it might be something to look forward to. The kid might be just fine with it.
The bottom line is that you need to discuss what the boundaries will be with the parents and talk to the kids about it.
Establishing who’s the boss when the parents work from home is crucial to a smooth-running operation. You can’t have too many cooks in a kitchen without problems creeping up.
Children need rules in order to thrive. When the parents are home when you are babysitting, it will be confusing as to who to go to when something is needed. Again, I would talk to the parents and suggest that when they are home that I would like to be responsible for the kids.
This would make it easier for the parents to focus on work. The kids wouldn’t be tempted to interrupt the parents with questions that you can handle. You’ll be way better off when parents have the policy of: “When ‘The Babysitter’ is here, she’s in charge.”
It would be nice if after all this wonderful open communication a decision is made that leaves both the parents and babysitter happy. But what if it doesn’t? What if the parents don’t want you to be in charge when they’re around? Or what if they say they do, but when they are home they’re constantly interfering?
Here are a few suggestions that will reduce the not so good effects of mom and dad interfering:
Babysitting kids while their parents are home has its potential challenges. But if you have good communication with the parents, set boundaries with the kids, and agree on who’s boss when all are present, it will likely work out well. Keep in mind, though that it doesn’t always work out well. Be ready to move on if you find that it’s not going so great. You might be a better fit for another family.
The most common duties of a babysitter include watching, feeding, dressing, cleaning after, keeping safe, and disciplining children when necessary. It varies from job to job. The specifics need to be discussed and agreed on during the interview.
Read our list of babysitting responsibilities to learn how duties may change depending on job requirements.
According to some sources, the national average wage for babysitting in America is about $16/hour for a certified, trained babysitter with experience. Obviously, though, there’s a lot of things that can affect this wage. For example:
Read our babysitting rate guide to see exactly what you're worth per hour.
Of course, you can earn more if parents agree to pay more. Read our article: How to negotiate a babysitting pay rate to learn some essential negotiation strategies.
Kidsit Founder, Editor, Illustrator, and father of three beautiful kids in Sydney, Australia.
Published: 10 February 2019
I'll walk you through the major steps of a babysitting interview process so you'll know how to prepare and what to expect.
We look at the key differences between babysitting from home and running a daycare, special restrictions that might apply in your area, insurance, and costs.
See out how much you're actually worth as a babysitter by reviewing your skills, experience, the job requirements, and where you live.
Learn these 8 simple tricks to nail a successful bedtime every night! It's surprising how many of these sleeping tips are not commonly known.
Learn the important things to keep in mind when you're babysitting a toddler, as well as 28 tips to make your job a bit easier.
65% of employers say that clothing could be a deciding factor between two otherwise equal candidates. Read our essential tips and beat the competition!
The best way to bring your A-game is to be prepared for everything. This article will help you pack the ultimate babysitting pack.
205 Kids Games, Activities & Ideas to keep even the fussiest kids entertained for hours.
Learn how to tell for yourself if you're old enough to start babysitting, and things you can do to make yourself more likely to get hired as a young babysitter.
Everything you need to know about babysitting kids with autism including how to prepare, effective care strategies, safety, and fun activities to enjoy together.
Learn how to deal with difficult children, it will make work easier, and can also open up extra well-paying jobs that others aren’t willing to take.
Learn how to babysit a baby by following our simple beginners guide and you’ll know what to do in no time.
Learn the different tasks and responsibilities that need doing if you're babysitting at night time including the finer art of bedtime routines.
Strike the best balance between professional and practical by following our handy clothing tips for your next babysitting job.
How sick is too sick? Do I need to find a replacement? What are the risks of babysitting when sick? Read on for the answers.
Caring for sick children doesn't have to be difficult. Follow my 10 worry-free tips to create a fun and rewarding experience that encourages a fast recovery, and don't get sick in the process!
Learn what preschoolers need, what's important to them, effective discipline strategies, and common mistakes all babysitters should avoid.
Learn the most common responsibilities that parents expect of their babysitters and how your duties may change depending on the job requirements.
We look at some of the key qualities that parents look for, and you should have if you want to be a successful babysitter!
Learn when babysitters need to provide food, what kind of food preparation you might be asked to do, and whether you need to bring snacks for yourself.
Learn how babysitting shows leadership, how to effectively lead children, and how to develop important leadership skills through childcare work.
Learn how to build meaningful relationships with the children you babysit and set the right conditions to build success in their life.
Learn why a babysitter might get insurance, what insurance the parents should have, and what insurance requirements there are for a child care center.
Try face painting on your next babysitting job and discover the pure delight and wonder that children can experience. You can be the best babysitter ever!
Learn all the steps for keeping safe from the interview, to on the job childcare. Our tips include preventative measures and best practices while babysitting kids.
Learn some simple tricks to make babysitting easier and more fun for both you and the kids. Sitting doesn't have to be difficult.
Learn how to be a safe babysitter by following our essential safety tips and best practices while looking after children. Safety is so important!
Cleaning is a part of doing a good job. A good babysitter will tidy up any mess made while caring for the children. But how much cleaning is necessary?
Download and print our free babysitting kit. It's packed full of useful resources to make childcare easy and fun.
See all the skills that babysitting can teach you and learn why most of them are fully transferable to other occupations.