Pandemic induced or not, we know that saying goodbye to our kids isn’t easy on anyone – especially when we’re leaving them with someone new. Luckily, you’re not alone and there’s lots of tips and tricks out there to help out, we’ve put together a list to help ease the transition on you, your kids and your lovely new sitter.
You try this with a partner or parent, or trusted friend. Starting with practicing short stints of separation, whether you’re quickly popping out to the shop or even if you’re still in the house just in another room. This gentle approach takes a bit longer but can really help with the transition.
Don’t skip out!
While it may feel a little bit easier to sneak out this could actually make things a lot worse once your child realizes you’ve left, making the sitter’s job a lot tougher. This could also make the transition process more painstaking on all parties and take a lot longer. Instead it’s really important to make goodbyes a positive experience.
Set a plan for later
Talking through what you’ll do later not only gives your children something to look forward to but also helps reduce the feeling of uncertainty.
Plan a fun group activity
If you’ve got the time, a 20 – 30 min activity or session with you, the new sitter and your kids can help build their trust in a new person looking after them as they can see the relationship and rapport that you’ve built with them.
Discuss tactics with your sitter beforehand
Don’t be afraid to ask your sitters advice too, they’re used to this sort of thing and may have a few tricks that have worked for them in the past. It’s super useful to think of something that will make your kid feel comfortable with someone new to get them off to the right start. It’s a good idea to give your new sitter a heads up of their favourite activity or treat ahead of time so they have this set to go.
Be genuine here, this can be leading up to and part of your goodbye, discuss fun things that your sitter has planned with your kids. Eg. a trip to the park down the road, grabbing ice creams or a homemade pizza activity.
Check in with your kids afterwards
Debrief sessions are also really important to find out about your child’s experience to make them feel acknowledged, supported and like they have a role in how this will go going forward. If the painting session was a bust, then something new can be tested next time!
If you haven’t used a nanny or sitter before or if you’re bringing in someone new – it’s great to naturalize the idea of someone new in the house. “There’s a Nanny in MY House” by Marie Culley is a fantastic resource to help introduce the concept of childcare at home. By reading this to your kids over time this can help reduce the concept of childcare being alien.
Leaving your kids does get easier for both you and for them. Try not to succumb to the guilt – it’s definitely ok to have other responsibilities and things to do. Booking a sitter or nanny through Bubble can be a great solution to finding some local, reliable and that your kids will love.