How to survive awkward conversations with your babysitter
Did you see this segment on the TODAY show? Career coach Debra Shigley and Parents magazine's Chandra Turner discuss how to deal with situations that may come up with a babysitter or childcare provider.
They ask questions like, "If your friend is looking for a nanny and asks if she can borrow your nanny for a little while and asks for your nanny's phone number for extra babysitting should you give it to them?" They suggest not to in case the caregiver ends up liking the friend more.
"What do you do when your nanny asks for a raise and you can't afford it?" The experts recommend being honest and offering extra days off and other perks.
They ask the going hourly rate for babysitters and the experts recommend visiting sittercity for the going rate. They answer, $10 to $18 per hour.
The experts say, "99% of babysitter issues can be solved with a written agreement." Plus, they recommend that parents shouldn't micromanage or expect their caregiver to be perfect.
When it comes to the people we trust to watch our children, some conversations have a way of getting .... awkward. Fast.
Say your babysitter isn't getting your kid to eat his veggies like you want him to. How do you communicate with her without coming off as a micro-managing momster?
What if your nanny shows up late a lot -- but she's otherwise so great, you don't want to upset her by complaining about her tardiness?
Or, what do you do when a friend asks for your baby-sitter's phone number -- but you're afraid if you give it to her, your babysitter will end up being her babysitter, and you'll be out of luck.
The truth is, the relationship you have with your child's caregiver is unlike any other employer-employee relationship. An episode of 30 Rock last season brilliantly dynamic when executive Jack Donaghy (Alec Baldwin), who considers himself a master negotiator, finds himself totally at the mercy of his child's nanny. Most (good) bosses want their employees to be happy -- but when you're dealing with someone who takes care of your child, you really, really want them to be happy.
Debra Shigley, author of the "Go-Getter Girl's Guide," and Chandra Turner, executive editor of Parents magazine, joined TODAY this morning to talk about how to navigate your way through these tricky conversations with nannies and babysitters.
In general, honesty is the best policy. If you talk openly and honestly with your child's caregiver, you can work out most issues. Setting out expectations up front goes a long way. Of course, sometimes a little subterfuge is OK -- like when you think your friend wants to poach your best babsitter. Try stalling, "forgetting" about her request, or giving her the number of your backup, Debra Shigley told TODAY in an earlier interview: "Keep your friends close -- and your babysitter closer! It's every woman for herself when it comes to reliable childcare, and all is fair in love and daycare!"