This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of LG. All opinions are 100% mine.
“Always keep a regular date night”. Such a simple, well-meaning suggestion that was given to me countless times as I got ready for my wedding. Little did those sweet friends and family members know, “regular date night” is anything but regular with three kids, one of which struggles with some severe anxiety. How can we possibly leave our child to go to the grocery store, let alone dinner and a movie? Well, never having alone time ever clearly isn’t a solution, so we started perfecting our routine to help with the peace of mind for us and our kids! I know what it’s like to be scared to leave my child with a babysitter and it isn’t a feeling anyone should have to feel. That’s why today, I’ve partnered with LG to share practical tips that will bring both you and your anxious child peace of mind next time you need to leave your anxious child with a babysitter.
* This post may contain affiliate links for your convenience. Click here for my full disclosure. I know that it’s never easy to leave anxious kids at home, especially if that anxious kid is also explosive and can have big and extreme meltdowns stemming from their anxiety. Suddenly, their anxiety turns into anxiety for you. When you do finally get a moment to step out of the house without your child, your mind is still stuck at home… what if the babysitter misreads one of his cues? Or what if your son can’t recognize his emotions are getting out of control? What if he start to melt down and the babysitter doesn’t know what to do?
But I promise, mama, with these 7 tips, you can leave your anxious (and explosive) kids with a babysitter without causing undue stress and anxiety for you, the babysitter, or your kids!
7 Clever Tips to Give You Peace of Mind When You Have to Leave Your Anxious Child with a Babysitter
Do a Trial Run (Or Several)
I cannot stress enough the importance of doing a trial run before you leave for an extended period of time. If the first time you’re leaving your intense child with a babysitter is when you’re headed out to dinner and a movie with your husband, there’s bound to be trouble. Start slow. Have your babysitter come over while you’re home, but upstairs or otherwise occupied. Once everyone is comfortable with that, take a walk around the neighborhood. Then take a trip to the grocery store. Slowly work up to longer outings at your child’s pace, and everyone will have an easier time.
Do a Night-Time Check in Before Bed
Whenever you’re going to be out when the kids go to bed, you can check in on them at bedtime for some comfort during their bedtime routine. Of course, put this in the schedule so that your kids (and the babysitter!) know to expect it. We love using the LG Smart Security system because the ADT Canopy mobile app allows us to check in real-time with the kids via the video security monitor’s 5-megapixel camera that captures the whole room. There’s even a two-way radio communication option, so we can hear and talk to the kids for a few minutes before they head to bed. It helps the kids (and us) feel connected and safe every time that we get to check in while we’re out.
Have a Safe Place/Calm Down Space Ready
This is a good idea to have even when you’re home, but it becomes even more important when you have a babysitter. Find a place in your house that your child can go when they start getting overwhelmed. Fill it with their favorite sensory calm down tools. Help your child know how to recognize when their emotions are getting out of control and practice going to the safe space often before the sitter gets there.
Use Check Sheets/Visual Schedules to Keep the Routine
Visual schedules or checklists can be extremely helpful for intense kids. Their worlds seem safer and more comforting when they know what to expect. Sometimes it can be really difficult for a babysitter to come into a new house and follow the routine, so having a schedule can help her out too! Go through the schedule with your child several times before you leave and show your babysitter how she can walk through the schedule with your child if they start to get anxious.
Leave Behind a Memento or Reminder
The reminder or comfort object can vary wildly from child to child. Some will love carrying around a family photo or a small felt heart to remember that even when Mom and Dad are gone, we’re all still a family. Some kids like to have a “transition object” or a seemingly unrelated toy that they keep with them through transitions like Mom and Dad leaving and returning. Whether that toy is a lego mini figure or a stuffed animal, it can bring your child comfort while their world is changing around them.
Give Them a Schedule so They Know When you Will Return
In the schedule or checklist that you prepare for the babysitter, include when you will be coming home. If they know that they’ll play outside, have a snack, play with legos, eat dinner, and then you’ll be home to tuck them into bed, it will be a lot easier for them to work through their schedule. This will help your babysitter too when she’s asked “when will Mom be home” fifteen times! We love these simple routine cards to print and hang while we are gone.
Let Them Know How to Reach You if There is a Problem
Of course your babysitter will always know how to reach you in an emergency, but talking through this with your child can really help their anxiety. Talk about all of the ways that the babysitter can get ahold of you, your spouse, and maybe even other emergency contacts before you leave. It will give your child peace of mind that even if there’s an emergency, there’s still a plan. Plus it will give you peace of mind that the babysitter really does have all of the contacts she needs and knows who to call when.
With LG’s new plug and play security monitor system, we can see what’s happening in our home with super sharp HD video, all from our mobile app wherever we are. We can also check in on the house when the whole family is out and about. With its home health monitoring, we can check that the house stays at the right temperature, and we can use the LG Smart Security device as a central hub for all of our other home devices that can control lights, thermostats, and more through other smart devices such as the GE Smart Plug! Not to mention, you can subscribe for extra monitoring and protection from ADT Canopy™ on a month-to-month basis without any long-term contracts. As a mom with little kids, I know that I always feel safer knowing our home is protected and we can connect with our kids at any time via the convenient mobile app. If you’d like to get your own LG Smart Security wireless camera, you can find it here!