Sitter etiquette and gifts - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 8 Old 09-07-2010, 09:38 PM - Thread Starter
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Ok so I'm not sure if we should say something to our sitter or not.

Right now we have a sitter come once a week for 1.5-3 hours to watch DD for us, she started about 2 months ago. She cooks dinner for the two of them, cleans up their messes and then they play, read etc. no TV. Our sitter is in her mid 20's with great referrals - she wonderful she fits us so well and our DD loves her. We pay her $10/hr but tend to round up some (like tonight she was at our house for 1.5 hrs, we gave her $20 - but the round up isn't always that high.)

Lately (the last two weeks) our sitter has brought gift(s) for DD - silly bands last week and this week silly bands and a tea set. I don't think the the silly bands are the brand name ones (hence the spelling) and the tea set was $5.

DH and I aren't sure is we should say anything to discourage weekly gifts. DD already loves the sitter and doesn't need gifts for that, not that that is why we think she is bring them - they are just for fun. DH and I just don't want our sitter to feel she has to bring them and we feel bad that she is spending money on our daughter while we are paying for her to watch our DD - Does that make sense?

Anyone else have this experience? any suggestions? Do we just leave it alone?


Wife to DH Chris, Momma to :Caitlin Mae (4-28-07)
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#2 of 8 Old 09-07-2010, 09:46 PM
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If it makes you really uncomfortable just say something like, "You know you don't have to do that..." and see how she reacts. Maybe suggest she put her money toward a special game or book set that she bring with her each time?

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#3 of 8 Old 09-07-2010, 09:53 PM
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I'd let it go. If you never gave her any impression that she should be buying your dd gifts then she is chosing to do so on her own.
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#4 of 8 Old 09-07-2010, 10:46 PM
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I'd let it go. Sometime when I babysat as a teen I would buy the kids presents. I never felt I had to I just really liked the kids and wanted to get them something I thought they would like. It was fun and thanks to the babysitting gig I had the money to do it.
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#5 of 8 Old 09-08-2010, 11:48 AM
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Many of our sitters have brought occassional gifts. I think sometimes its fun for them to buy something "childish" again. And everyone loves to watch someone get a gift and to make that person happy.

My only concern would be if it went past two times in a row, then I might say something just so your child doesn't come to expect it. Maybe "I know that you love buying X gifts and she really loves getting them. I'm worried that she will come to expect it though, so maybe its not a good idea to do it every time?"

And, of course, your child should be saying thank you and maybe even making a thank you picture or something.
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#6 of 8 Old 09-08-2010, 06:26 PM
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I'm a sitter/nanny (full time though, not just occasionally) and I get things for the kiddos I watch all the time. When I watched a family with a 2 & 4 year old, I would bring over arts & craft projects, books to read, take them to Target to pick out a toy from the dollar spot, take them to go get slushies from 7-11... all kinds of stuff like that. With the baby I watch now, I bring over board books I find cheap at thrift stores or garage sales, and I even bought my own Beco because it makes my job easier! lol. But I would never expect the parents to reimburse me for these things or anything, I bring things because they are fun and frankly it's more fun to shop for kids than myself half the time! I would talk to your DD and make sure she doesn't expect things, and of course you could tell your sitter that you really appreciate the gifts but that you don't want her to feel like she *has* to bring your DD things. I'm guessing she just likes your DD, likes to buy things for kids, so she figures it's no big deal.
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#7 of 8 Old 09-08-2010, 06:36 PM
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both of the things she brought over are fun things for them to do together and really cheap. Would you feel differently if she was bringing over a cake mix and frosting to make cup cakes? or a coloring book and crayons. because both of those would cost more than a pack of silly bands. Even the tea set could have provided enough fun to carry them the whole evening and if it makes her job easy it is worth the money to her.

Also I love buying little kids things my kids have are too big for and as a teen I would have loved to have a good reason to buy a few stickers or silly bands. nothing i needed for myself but even now as a mom, I enjoy picking those sorts of things out and finding ones that will make my kids squeal with delight. So much fun. Let the sitter have her fun.

The truest answer to violence is love. The truest answer to death is life. The only prevention for violence is for the heart to have no violence within it.  We cannot prevent evil through any system devised by mankind. But we can grapple with evil and defeat it, but only with love—real love.

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#8 of 8 Old 09-09-2010, 08:26 PM
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As a mom of teenagers who babysit, I agree w/ everyone else. With kids they commonly babysit, they enjoy bringing small gifts that make the kids happy and gives them something in common or to play with. Your kid must be fun to be with .

Homeschooling mom to four kids, ages 18, 18, 10, and 6. 

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