Does Your Babysitter "Love" Your Toddler?



jealous of babysitter

Photo by MattisMommy08

I'm in the process of trying to get a regular babysitter for my daughter. I've never left her with anyone but my parents and the idea of leaving her with a "stranger" makes me anxious for a lot of reasons. I want my little girl to be well-cared for and safe, but like a lot of moms, I'm afraid she'll end up liking her babysitter more than me. It never really occurred to me that it would be bad for the babysitter to love her back. Is it wrong if the babysitter "loves" my child?

Amy Jo at Philly Moms thinks so. Her two kids are in nursery school/day care twice a week, and Amy Jo was a little uncomfortable when she heard one of the teacher's aids tell Amy Jo's daughter that she loved her.

Amy Jo says she's protecting her kids from insincerity. "My oldest is only three and change, and I doubt he understands the difference between how his parents love him and how his teachers "love" him. I would hate for him to suffer any kind of hurt over this confusion."

Jeanne Sager over at Strollerderby disagrees. Her babysitter tells her daughter she loves her and kisses her every day when Sager picks her up, and Sager isn't bothered by that one bit. She writes, "I chose my sitter based on a number of factors—but number one was how she related to kids. I believe she loves my daughter. Not the kind of all-consuming love that I have for her, but a love that makes her take the kind of care of her that I'd want someone to take while I can't be with her."

As for me, I think it would be great if my babysitter loves my daughter. I want her to adore her and care for her and teach her and have fun with her and do all the things I would do. There's just one thing, of course: I don't want my daughter to love her back.

How about you? Do you feel comfortable with a non-relative babysitter telling your toddler that she loves him?

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Willy... Willywonka06

hmmm interesting. I have worked with children for many years. I also have been doing childcare in my home for the past two years. I would not worry about your child liking the sitter more then you because...well it's impossible! two completely different bonds or whatever you want to call it. I have hugged the children I call them sweetie or pumpkin saying I love you isn't a bad thing but at the same time I don't think it's professional...unless it's a very close friend or family JMO but that would not stop me from sending my child to someone I liked too.

cafemama cafemama

The fact that my babysitter loves my son is what makes it possible for me to leave him with her every day and not worry. It gives me confidence that she will always keep his best interests at heart. I think kids know even when babies the difference between their parents and others and feel a different kind of affection for their parents. So, no harm in them having more love in their lives.

FXmomTo3 FXmomTo3

hmmm  I never really gave it much consideration...I've never had someone else tell my children they loved them...they have told ME they love my children and I believe it is genuine...and I feel, REALLY FEEL like the people that watch my children really do have a love for my children....buut, I do think I would take a couple steps back if I heard them TELL my children they loved them...I think that's a little "weird"....   but I couldn't leave my kids with someone who didn't have some kind of love for my kids...and this has to be a huge concern for me because my children have Autism and Fragile-X Syndrome, have VERY high needs and experience extreme behaviours and reactions....If someone else loves my child, well then I am happy!!!

Brees... Brees3Teens

Well my kids have never had a nanny or babysitter. However I did. From the age of 2 until I was 13. No, I wasn't like the kid on T.V who went through 10 nannies a week, out of my whole nannyhood I had 3 nannies, one got very sick & could no longer take care of me, one had to move & the other one I had from age 5 to 13. My mother however, was like the mothers on T.V. & so was my Father. They really never had enough time for me so I was always with my nanny & I really did like her more than my parents. No, I didn't love her but I would have chose to hang out with her rather than my parents. I didn't think that then, because I always wanted what I didn't have, so I wanted to hang out with my parents because I couldn't but I knew that I always had more fun with my nanny. And I remember one time when I got really mad at my mom & tolf her that I wish she was my mother & I loved her more. This was not in fact true, but I did love her. I mean she was like a best friend. So if a kid says they love a nanny, they love her like a friend I think & that might be the same for the nanny. But thats just IMO

Aemelia Aemelia

I do love the kids I watch over time.  Not right away but if I watch them for a long time I do love them.  I love the kids I watch currently.  I have been babysitting for the same family for 2.5 years now.  I see them nearly everyday but only for 2 hours.  It is like a playdate for my own daughter who is the same age as the youngest child I watch.

I would not instigate saying I love you to a child that isn't mine though.  If they said I love you I would say it back.

NanaT... NanaT70808

While I understand the dilemma of choosing the right babysitter to care for your child, I don't understand at all why you would not want to expand your child's world of love to include that person.  Just because a child "loves" their sitter, it does not have to mean they don't love you, or that they love you less.  Having love for another person is not a bad thing.

eeyor... eeyoreplus4

I have worked with many children over the last 20 years & can tell you that I loved almost every single one. Some just drove me bonkers LOL. But by saying I loved them, I meant that I would take care of them as if they were my own (but by the rules their parents set forth), I would protect them in any way that was needed (I have actually had to do that at the center where I worked), that it hurt me for them to hurt, that I wanted to help them grow into wonderful adults. Having said that, I also loved many of those children's parents. There is a connection between people who care for children & I wouldn't have it any other way. My ring bearer & my flower girl were two of the children I cared for. I haven't had them in my "professional" care for almost 3 years now because they have gone on to school, but their families & I have become friends and we often get together socially.

I don't see me ever putting any of my children in the care of someone who couldn't or wouldn't love them because I want my children to always be surrounded by love.


Charl... Charlies_mommy

I don't use a babysitter because I am afriad they'd love my children the wrong way.

elly25 elly25

I'm a nanny to a 3 1/2 year old.I've been taking care of him since he was 10 months old.I have grown attached to him and his family.I do love him very much.I don't over step my boundaries and I would never EVER hurt him or any other child in any way.I don't let him call me mom.I let him call me by my name or he calls me thia(aunt in Portuguese.You pronounce it as tia).If there's not some form of love around your child then why would the person taking care of them want to keep them safe or look out for them?

catho... catholicmamamia

We do not use babysitting/childcare. Our children are mostly with me.. I am a full time, stay at home mom. On the odd occasion that I have a doctor/dentist appointment and need someone to mind the children their Godmother loves to have them visit.. and of course, SHE loves them!

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