Are you finding that your child is being disrespectful to their babysitter? This can be surprising for many parents, especially when this kind of behavior is uncommon for your child.
This kind of behavior if left unchecked could lead to a habit of disrespecting others in their life. It is best to get this kind of behavior uncontrol early.
There are many reasons your child could be treating their babysitter this way. The first step to remedy this problem is to find out why they are behaving this way towards them. First, we need to diagnose why your child is acting this way then we can discuss possible solutions.
Unlike adults, children rarely have malicious intent when they treat someone poorly. Chances are they have a reason.
Take time and have a conversation with your child about how they feel about their babysitter. If they don’t like them dive into why they may not like them. It can be difficult to get clear reasoning from a child, especially if they are young.
Common Reasons Children may be Disrespectful to Babysitter
Here are some of the most common reasons I’ve found that children are disrespectful to their babysitter.
1. They Miss You
Probably the most common reason a child will treat their nanny badly is that they miss you. Their babysitter is only around when you are gone. This may cause them to have frustration and anxiety.
They might not even know that’s the reason they do it but once the babysitter walks through the door, they know you or your partner are leaving. You may not be able to get a clear answer from them by just asking but there are other things you can consider to see if this is the case.
- Are they disrespectful to others when you’re not around? (grandparents? Friends? Teachers?)
- Are they having the same behavior problems at school?
- Is your child comfortable being without you?
In many cases, the child has separation anxiety and is taking it out on anyone around when their parents leave.
2. Their Babysitter Treats Them Poorly
Good baby sitters are rare. If your child is disrespecting their babysitter, it’s time to take a closer look into how the babysitter treats them. Just like adults children are not going to be open and polite to someone that treats them poorly.
Ask your child in great detail what the average day looks like with their babysitter. Unfortunately, there are more negligent babysitters than you may think. Try to get an insight into what their day looks like.
If you have a camera system in the home (which you should if you don’t know the babysitter well) take a look at it and see what they do on a daily basis.
It may not necessarily be that the babysitter treats them poorly but that the babysitter is a disciplinarian. They could be stricter than you are. If that’s the case, the child to see them as “mean” which will likely lead to disrespect.
3. They are Seeking Attention
Children are known to seek attention, often. There is a strong chance this could be what they are doing by disrespecting their babysitter.
Similar to how a child acts out at school to get the attention of their parents, your child could be acting out with the babysitter to get your attention. Similar to them missing you, this is easily identifiable. Study their behavior in other aspects of their life.
Children that are seeking the attention of their parents will typically act out at school, playdates, and yes with a babysitter.
This sort of behavior is common among children of adults that are career-oriented. When a child is not getting attention naturally, they begin taking negative action to garnish the attention and energy of their parents. In a child’s mind, bad attention is better than no attention.
4. The Babysitter is Letting it Happen
Although it’s easy to start blaming your child for this kind of behavior, in many cases some of the responsibility falls on the babysitter. If the child begins disrespecting the babysitter and the babysitter allows it to happen the child won’t stop.
Children are going to do things they’re not supposed to, being disrespectful to their nanny is one of them. Unless corrected with a stern voice after bad behavior, how can we expect them to stop?
This reminds me of a situation I had with my son when he was 6-years-old. I don’t know where he learned the middle finger but he started doing it all the time. Rather than make it clear that he was not allowed to do that, we spent some time laughing then eventually told him to stop.
Over time he associated using the middle finger with making us laugh. Even though we told him to stop, we allowed it to happen by laughing first.
Ensure you and more importantly, the babysitter is making it clear that when this kind of behavior presents itself to stop it in its tracks with a clear stern tone.
How to Stop Your Child From Disrespecting the Babysitter
Depending on why your child is treating the babysitter this way, the solution will vary. In most cases (other than their babysitter treats them poorly), you need to make it clear that treating others like this is not okay, under any circumstance.
Just because they miss you or are looking for attention does not mean that they can start treating the people around them like that. Be sure that nannies understand that it will be their job to police that behavior when you are not around.
Once you’ve made that clear, you’ll want to spend some more time finding a solution to the root cause that started this behavior in the first place. If you feel your child is participating in this behavior because they are looking for attention, you may need to start spending more time with them.
If you believe that your child is acting this way because the babysitter is letting it happen, then you’ll want to coach the babysitter on how to keep the kid in order or possibly find a new babysitter altogether.
If we continue letting the behavior go on, it will become a habit the child will grow up with.
Final Thoughts – Disrespect Towards Babysitter
There is no good reason to treat someone with disrespect. It is our job to teach our children the fundamentals like respect, honesty, and kindness.
First, identify why your child is disrespectful to their babysitter then formulate a plan to stop this behavior in its tracks. Although it may not feel like a big deal but if this behavior continues your child could develop poor social habits that will follow them for a long time.