Finding a sitter? Hard. Finding a sitter you love, even tougher. Tammy Gold feels your pain. Even as a licensed psychotherapist with years of training, she, too, felt overwhelmed when she became a parent and had to hire someone to watch her daughter for the first time.
In fact, it made such an impact on Tammy that she became a parent coach to offer the emotional hand-holding she wished she’d had. Now a mom of three, she has a book out: Secrets of the Nanny Whisperer: A Practical Guide for Finding and Achieving the Gold Standard of Care for Your Child.
In an exclusive to The Stir, Tammy shared what parents need to look for in a caregiver (hint: there’s something more important than experience), the question you should always ask their former employer, and how to set your sitter (and kids) up for success.
Do take the time to find a good sitter. “Ninety percent of the human brain grows by the age of 3, so the people who spend a great deal of time with children have a huge impact on them,” explains Gold. “If there’s a sitter who is feeding and changing the child but on her phone, distracted, and not interacting, she’s not fostering the brain growth process.” For instance, a preschool-aged child needs a caregiver who’s willing to let them explore. “If the caregiver doesn’t want to paint because it’s too dirty or doesn’t want to go to the park because it takes too much time, that nanny isn’t meeting the developmental needs of the child,” Gold says. “Every day, so much happens to children socially, educationally, and emotionally. Parents need to find caregivers who can stimulate and nurture these areas.”