5 Things Not To Do on Social Media While Babysitting
Babysitter

5 Things Not To Do on Social Media While Babysitting

by Martha Scully

Technology has changed babysitting, much like it has changed everything else in our lives. In the past, sitters would come to your home, play with the kids, give them a meal, get them ready for bed and then watch TV until you came home.

Today is a different story. With video games, smartphones, tablets, computers, and social media, there are countless potential distractions and ways to interact online. As a sitter, you need to be clear on what is and is not okay when watching kids.

We get it – you are watching the cutest kids and you want to share this cuteness with your friends and family, and maybe even capture a moment for their parents while they are out. But, before you take a photo or share anything, you need to be clear about what’s allowed and more importantly, what is not allowed.

Is it okay for you to go on the internet with the kids around? Do you have to wait until they go to bed? Are the parents okay with you going on social media? What are you allowed to post about? What should you not post about on social media?

The tricky part about using social media when babysitting is that every parent has a slightly different view and rules for how social media can be used in their household.

Babysitting Should Be Treated Just Like Any Other Job

Before getting into the social media don’ts while babysitting, it’s important to mention that you need to treat babysitting like any other job. If you are babysitting you should be engaging the children that you are caring for and not your friends and followers on social media. The children will model what you are doing and if they see that you are on your device they will do them same. Remember children look up to adults. Many studies have shown that children who use devices too much can cause behaviour issue. You have been hired to do a job. Anything on social media can wait.


5 Social Media Don’ts While Babysitting

When dealing with other people’s children, even if they are close friends or family members, it’s always better to err on the side of caution and avoid a potential issue. The following is a list of social media dont’s while babysitting:

1. Posting photos or videos of the kids

This is a huge cause for concern for many parents. There are lots of parents who don’t post photos or videos of their kids on social media for a variety of reasons. So, don’t be the first.

Even if you take a photo or video of the kids with your phone while babysitting, wait until the parents get home and ask their permission to post it. Some will be okay with it; others won’t. Some will allow you to post it without tagging people or locations, or adding the names of the kids.

Never assume it’s okay to post a photo of the kids on any of your social media accounts.

2. Letting the kids play on your profiles

Many families have a social media policy for their children. Therefore, it’s important to refrain from allowing the kids to use your phone or other devices to access your social media. You never know what may come across your feed, and the last thing you want is for them to see something inappropriate for their age.

3. Leaving your location setting on

Leaving your location setting on your phone is also a major no-no when babysitting. Many social media sites will mention your location when you post content online. Even if you are posting content that is totally safe and appropriate, it’s important to not share information about where you are sitting.

Never mention specific information about where you are babysitting or the home where you are watching the kids. Don’t mention the street or even the neighborhood where you are sitting.

4. Naming names

While it’s common for sitters to update their social media status with something like, “babysitting tonight,” avoid naming the children in the post.

Also, refrain from mentioning the parents’ names or tagging them in the post unless you have already received permission.

5. Complain about the kids or parents

Perhaps most important, never complain about the kids or the parents on social media. Again, you never know who is watching, and complaining about the kids acting up, the parents’ rules, or talking about things in their home online can land you in a lot of hot water. If the parents find out, it will not only put your position in jeopardy and risk not getting called for babysitting jobs in the future, you also risk turning off other potential families and hurting your chances of getting other babysitting gigs.

Be Proactive – Talk with Parents About Social Media

To prevent any of the above from occurring and to make sure you are very clear about what you can and cannot do on social media when it comes to the kids, talk with the parents beforehand. Have an open and honest conversation about social media rules. This way you can ensure that you are on the same page.

Conclusion

While social media is commonplace today, it is not commonplace in all homes. Many parents are wary about allowing their kids to use social media or posting anything about them online. As a babysitter, your role, first and foremost, is to watch the kids. Make this your priority, and before posting anything online, make sure you are clear about the house rules for social media use.


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About the Author
Martha Scully
Martha is the founder of CanadianNanny.ca. Martha has been featured as a Child Care Expert in hundreds of publications across Canada including The Globe and Mail, CBC, Today's Parent and The National Post, She lives in British Columbia with her husband and two daughters.