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There are few things more important than ensuring that your children are cared for by a compassionate, devoted babysitter when you must be away from the house. Even when you hire a trusted babysitter, there is always a possibility that you will learn about serious issues with the babysitter that must be effectively and quickly addressed. If you need to have a difficult conversation with your babysitter, let these steps based on tips we’ve heard from parents guide you through this stressful experience.

Gather Supporting Evidence

Regardless of the situation that you have become aware of, you should have fact-based evidence to support your concerns. The conversation must focus on what needs to be done about the problem. However, when you are claiming assumptions that are not fact-based, the conversation can easily turn into a debate about what happened and if your concerns are founded. When you present evidence, your conversation can be more productive.

Create a Private, Quiet Environment

Difficult conversations can be heated, and they may involve sensitive topics. You and your babysitter may communicate more openly and honestly when you converse in a quiet environment that is free of interruptions. The important element of privacy gives your babysitter the opportunity to communicate concerns that they may not want other people to know about. However, meeting in a neutral, public environment may be a better idea for some conversations.

Determine Your Desired Outcome

Depending on the circumstances, you may need to fire your babysitter. Perhaps you need the babysitter to provide you with his or her side of an event before you can determine how you should proceed. Before starting a difficult conversation with your child’s caregiver, determine what your goals are for the conversation. By doing so, you can tailor your approach based on the desired outcome.

Clearly State Your Case

Choose the right time to have a conversation. In some cases, you may feel inclined to broach the subject before or after the babysitter’s next scheduled time with your children. An alternative is to schedule a meeting with your babysitter. Avoid skirting around the subject. Take a deep breath, and begin stating your facts. Present evidence, if applicable.

Engage Active Listening Skills

Unless the purpose of your conversation is to simply accuse the babysitter and to state that legal action will be taken, you may need your babysitter to explain his or her actions. Perhaps you need your babysitter to adjust the care that is provided to fit your parenting style. In these and many other situations, allow your babysitter time to ask questions and to express concerns or objections. There may be specific reasons why he or she has acted or failed to act in a specific way. By taking the time to thoroughly understand the other side of the issue, you can more effectively reach a resolution.

When you hire a trusted babysitter such as the ones available on UrbanSitter, many issues that may lead to the need for a difficult conversation can be avoided. However, issues can still crop up periodically that require a delicate touch. These steps can help you to prepare for a tough yet productive conversation.

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