Hiring a babysitter for child care is rarely as simple as it seems, and things can get even more complicated when technology's involved. With the prevalence of social media, particularly amongst the younger generation, it's really important to set boundaries. Something that your babysitter considers fine and normal, like tagging their location during a play date or uploading pictures of your child to their feed could fill you with horror.
Set clear boundaries around social media from the start to prevent any misunderstandings. Use the questions below as a handy starting point to help establish your own rules.
1. Can your babysitter take/share pictures of your children?
How would you feel if your teen babysitter took a picture of your toddler and then uploaded it for all the world to see? The answer might vary according to your circumstances. If your babysitter is a family member and wants to upload pictures to private accounts, perhaps you're fine with that. On the other hand, if you don't know your babysitter well, you might not want them taking pictures of your children at all. A good compromise can be to allow the babysitter to take photos and then send them to you to approve sharing as you see fit. That way you won't miss out on any adorable moments while you're at work, but your child's privacy isn't compromised.
2. Are your children allowed social media access?
With many toddlers now more tech-savvy than some adults, it's a good time to start thinking about their access to social media. Are you happy for them to scroll through social media sites? Should they be supervised or unsupervised? Are you happy for older kids to have their own accounts? Setting these boundaries is really important, and it's important to let them know what's what. Older kids could easily claim that you're fine with their social media use, and many babysitters won't think to check.
3. How well does your babysitter protect their privacy on social media?
Is your babysitter a bit of a social media junkie? How do you feel about them sharing updates while on the job? Sharing updates with too much detail can easily pose a security risk for your babysitter and your children. For example, a sitter who posts about a stressful morning looking after a toddler then tags their location in a local park is unwittingly giving up lots of information which could be used in a malicious way. Set strict rules about check-ins, updates relating to their childcare duties, and photographs that reveal their location.
Social media can pose a risk to their children when used incorrectly by babysitters. Set clear rules from the start to keep everyone safe.