As a busy mom, there are many things to juggle when it comes to looking after your son. One of the most stressful aspects is finding – and keeping – a reliable in-home caregiver. It can be hard to know when you’ve found the right person for the job until it’s too late.
If you’re in the process of interviewing potential caregivers for your son and have noticed some signs that their attitude may be less than desirable, it’s important to take steps to improve the situation before it becomes worse. Favoring a proactive approach means you can head off any issues before they become out of hand.
To do this, it’s important to establish clear boundaries with your potential caregiver before they even begin working with your son. When they arrive, discuss expectations in detail. Make sure they understand how you want them to interact with your child, what type of discipline strategies can/can’t be used, and how often they need to update you on their progress. You will also want to ensure they are properly trained in any safety or medical protocols that need to be followed in case of an emergency.
You’ll also want to set expectations regarding the caregiver’s overall attitude. Talk to them about being gentle and kind when interacting with your son, and emphasize the importance of cheerful demeanor. Explain that you understand stress and exhaustion can happen (especially considering the unique demands of the job) but reiterate that this attitude cannot influence how your son is treated at any time. If you have these conversations early on, it can help keep your caregiver’s attitude in check and set a positive tone for their time with your son.
One of the best ways to tell if a caregiver’s attitude is slipping is by asking your son directly. If he seems hesitant around the caregiver or is suddenly spending more time alone rather than with them, it could signal a problem. Older children may also be able to communicate via text if they feel uncomfortable talking face to face.
After hearing him out, give your caregiver a chance to speak up and explain themselves. It may not be intentional or malicious in any way - they could be tired or overwhelmed - so it’s important to give them an opportunity to explain themselves. If they genuinely seem apologetic, then you can use the issue as a learning experience and talk together about how both of you can work together to make sure similar incidents don’t happen in the future.
It’s important for all caregivers to understand that their role is to be loving, supportive, and have a positive approach when interacting with your son. As parents, we must always be willing to intervene when any sort of attitude adjustment is needed to make sure our children are being treated with kindness and respect.