In the digital age, social media is commonplace. It is in virtually everyone’s life each and every day. It is how many communicate, stay up to date on news, and remain entertained.
However, this can pose certain issues when it comes to a babysitter and your child.
Too much focus on social media means less focus on what your babysitter should be focused on – your child. Depending on the age of your child, social media could pose a very real threat to the safety of your child.
If your child’s babysitter is paying attention to the screen on his/her phone instead of the child jumping on the bed, this can be a real issue.
In addition to safety concerns, there are also concerns about what is being posted online by the babysitter.
Are images of your child being posted? Are images of your home address being posted? Are images of your family photos in the background being posted? How about the license plate of one of your vehicles in the driveway being accidentally posted online?
Before you hand over the list of emergency numbers and say your goodbyes for the evening, there are precautions you can take that can help prevent these sorts of situations from happening.
Here are some tips you can use to help prevent any unwanted images from being posted and to help ensure your child’s babysitter’s focus is where it should be.
Tip #1: Discuss your Views on Social Media Use
Before heading out the door to your engagement, have a discussion centered around your views on social media use in your home.
You can explain your worries or concerns about social media use right from the start, then go into what you find and do not find acceptable.
You should bring up points such as:
- Whether or not you find it acceptable for social media to be used at all in your home while babysitting.
- Do you feel comfortable with images of your children being posted on your babysitter’s social media accounts? If so, in what capacity?
- Are you OK with images of your home being posted on the internet? If so, in what capacity? Are there any rooms you’d rather not be posted, such as your children’s bedroom?
- Do you mind if the babysitter uses mobile apps that have location tracking or geotagging?
These are things you should consider bringing up in your discussions with the babysitter.
Tip #2: Lay Down Some Ground Rules
After your discussion, it’s time to lay down some ground rules. I know, I know, you already explained not to have a party and don’t invite anyone over. You already made sure the babysitter had the list of emergency numbers readily available and easily accessible, but what about social media guidelines?
You should make sure you are very clear and concise when it comes to explaining exactly what it is you expect in terms of social media use when you are gone.
- Define clear limitations on social media use.
- Define rules on image posting and geotagging.
- Define rules on mentions.
- Define rules on the use of apps such as Pokémon Go which use location tracking.
By ensuring that you discuss your views, express your expectations, and clearly state the rules beforehand, you can avoid many preventable situations. Just keep in mind that when you talk to the babysitter about these things, don’t forget to provide the reasons why you feel the way you do. Clear discussion can go a long way.