Not all sitters are created equal. When looking for a new babysitter, make sure you find someone who can match your parenting type!
Just as parents have different approaches to taking care of their kids, so do babysitters. Some can be strict, while others are more laidback. Some sitters may focus solely on carrying out your house rules, while some may proactively take it upon themselves to keep your kids preoccupied while you’re away.
Since nannies and babysitters essentially serve as extensions of parents, it’s important to find a childcare provider whose babysitting style aligns with your parenting type. This way, you can ensure a positive environment for your kids while you’re busy with work, out with friends, or running errands.
Whether you’re a parent hiring a babysitter for the first time or a sitter trying to discover your approach to babysitting, it’s important to understand different approaches to childcare. Knowing these common parenting and babysitting types (and which you gravitate toward) will help you determine your strategy!
For the Rigorous Mom and Dad—“The Supervisor”
The supervisor is a stickler for structure. This type of babysitter runs a tight ship and makes sure that kids stay in line. Whether it’s sticking to strict screen time limits, getting schoolwork done on time, or enforcing lights-out at bedtime, the supervisor will make sure no rule goes unfollowed.
Supervisor-type babysitters usually come with extensive childcare experience. Not only do they have a knack for interacting with kids; but they also have the technical expertise to back it up. They’ve most likely handled kids of different ages, possess industry certifications, and have developed a standard approach to babysitting over the course of their careers.
Parents can expect this sitter to pay close attention to requests and guidelines. They will likely also thoroughly review all household info you leave them, so you can rest assured that things will run smoothly while you’re away. However, as they focus more on keeping things under control, they might not be the type to keep an endless supply of creative activities and games for your little ones.
The supervisor is great for more rigorous parents as they will:
- Enforce house rules
- Keep you in the loop about the kids’ activities
- Take control of scheduling for the day
- Hold kids accountable when they make a mistake or get into trouble
For The Balanced Parent—The “Nanny McPhee”
The Nanny McPhee type offers the best of both worlds when it comes to parenting. Like its namesake, this babysitter type instills discipline and obedience in kids but enforces rules in a way that does not come across as harsh or suffocating. They will reprimand when needed, offer compliments when they are due, and encourage kids to make their own decisions.
Similar to the supervisor, the Nanny McPhee type has most likely worked in childcare for a long time. They have had plenty of practice in dealing with kids (and parents) of various personalities. In many cases, they are also experts in using positive discipline strategies, like praise and reward systems.
The Nanny McPhee type will invest time in preventing behavioral problems before they even arise. You can expect them to keep the household in order by carefully explaining your rules to your kids. They will make it clear that the adults are in charge, but will always take your children’s opinions into account, validate their feelings, and give them some level of independence.
This babysitter type is ideal for those who prefer a more balanced parenting approach and are looking to:
- Have a babysitter who serves as a partner in nurturing their kids
- Provide their little ones with freedom while still instilling discipline
- Cultivate a cooperative environment where kids can be independent thinkers
- Reinforce kids’ emotional and psychological growth
For The Easy-Going Folks—The “Invisible Eye”
The Invisible Eye acts like an older sibling to your kids. They take a lenient approach to babysit, mostly providing visual supervision instead of imposing hard rules or being hands-on with their day-to-day activities.
The Invisible Eye usually has the qualifications to care for your kid, but might not bring years of experience to the table. They might be students who babysit for extra income or childcare professionals who are new to the industry and have yet to build their own babysitting style.
Parents can expect the Invisible Eye type to keep their kids company and make sure they are safe. These sitters might be reluctant to impose extra rules on your little ones, but you always can count on them to step in when your kids need help.
The Invisible Eye makes a good fit for those with a more laidback parenting type. They are often the first choice of parents who:
- Simply want someone to watch their kids
- Have minimal demands and rules
- Are comfortable with letting their kids discover their own path in life
- Want babysitters who can be more of a friend than a chaperone to their kids
For The Always-on-the-Go Parent—The “Mary Poppins”
No parent should have to worry about choosing between their career and their kids. This is where the Mary Poppins type steps in. This type of babysitter has extensive field experience and can be trusted to hold down the fort when your own work responsibilities get overwhelming.
The Mary Poppins type takes initiative, making use of their expertise to build a solid babysitting plan for your kids. They take it upon themselves to come up with activities, plan meals for them and set rules to follow. They also keep you updated throughout, so you always know how your kids are doing—no matter how hectic your own day gets.
The Mary Poppins type is ideal for parents who work long hours or are often pulled to tend to other obligations. This type of sitter can help those who:
- Have extremely busy schedules
- Want someone who can be hands-on in helping them raise their kids
- Need a professional who can create a healthy, nurturing environment for their kids
Find the Perfect Babysitter with Nanno
Parenting has never been easy, but the fast pace of the modern world just seems to make it harder. You have to juggle career, family life, maintaining a household, caring for kids, your personal life and mental health, and so much more. A reliable babysitter or nanny can help alleviate at least a little bit of that stress.
However, not all babysitters are made equal. On paper, many might have the experience and credentials to watch over your little ones, but that doesn’t guarantee that they are the right fit for your family. So, before hiring, it is important to determine if your sitter is qualified and matches your parenting type.
This vetting can turn into an intense, arduous process—something that many parents simply don’t have time for. Rather than take a chance on an unknown sitter, why not try Nanno? Nanno is a babysitter and nanny app that helps parents find truly on-demand childcare help. With a network of sitters scattered across the entire US, you’re sure to find someone nearby who fits your needs. And with a rigorous four-step vetting process, you can rest assured that anyone you hire is more than qualified!
Sign up for Nanno today to find your perfect babysitter!