HOW DO HANDLE A BABYSITTER WHO MOCKED MY CHILD?

DEAR DALI MAMA:

I work full-time and came home early one day and overheard the babysitter mocking my son while she was on the phone to her friend. My son was watching TV in the same room and perhaps did not hear her, but I am concerned nevertheless. What do you advise?

–Working Mom (Canada)

DEAR WORKING MOM:

Find a different babysitter and screen all applicants very carefully. Whether your son heard the babysitter or not, he does not need someone taking care of him who is making fun of him for any reason. Even if he did not hear her or catch what she/he said, he is being exposed to negative and invalidating energy. Also, you might want to also have a conversation with your sitter about how much television and what kind of television your child can watch. You may want to pick a caregiver who will not park your son in front of the TV all day as a substitute for engaging dialogue or cognitive stimulation or simply a caring presence.

Once you find a babysitter, keep tabs on the sitter to ensure your son is getting the kind of care that you need. You might even want to pop in unexpectedly one day and also regularly ask your son open and neutral, non-leading questions such as “What did you do today?” or “How do you feel about your new sitter?” to get a feel for whether he is getting adequate attention and intellectual stimulation and whether he feels comfortable with the new sitter and if not, why.

Wishing you and your son the best.

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