Is it Awkward Discussing Problems With Your Boss? Did You See This Segment on Today?

How to survive awkward conversations with your babysitter

Did you see this segment on the TODAY show? Career coach Debra Shigley and Parents magazine’s Chandra Turner discuss how to deal with situations that may come up with  a babysitter or childcare provider.

They ask questions like, “If your friend is looking for a nanny and asks if she can borrow your nanny for a little while and asks for your nanny’s phone number for extra babysitting should you give it to them?” They suggest not to in case the caregiver ends up liking the friend more.

“What do you do when your nanny asks for a raise and you can’t afford it?” The experts recommend being honest and offering extra days off and other perks.

They ask the going hourly rate for babysitters and the experts recommend visiting sittercity for the going rate.  They answer, $10 to $18 per hour.

The experts say, “99% of babysitter issues can be solved with a written agreement.” Plus, they recommend that parents shouldn’t micromanage or expect their caregiver to be perfect.

When it comes to the people we trust to watch our children, some conversations have a way of getting …. awkward. Fast.

Say your babysitter isn’t getting your kid to eat his veggies like you want him to. How do you communicate with her without coming off as a micro-managing momster?

What if your nanny shows up late a lot — but she’s otherwise so great, you don’t want to upset her by complaining about her tardiness?

Or, what do you do when a friend asks for your baby-sitter’s phone number — but you’re afraid if you give it to her, your babysitter will end up being her babysitter, and you’ll be out of luck.

The truth is, the relationship you have with your child’s caregiver is unlike any other employer-employee relationship. An episode of 30 Rock last season brilliantly dynamic when executive Jack Donaghy (Alec Baldwin), who considers himself a master negotiator, finds himself totally at the mercy of his child’s nanny. Most (good) bosses want their employees to be happy — but when you’re dealing with someone who takes care of your child, you really, really want them to be happy.

Debra Shigley, author of the “Go-Getter Girl’s Guide,” and Chandra Turner, executive editor of Parents magazine, joined TODAY this morning to talk about how to navigate your way through these tricky conversations with nannies and babysitters.

In general, honesty is the best policy. If you talk openly and honestly with your child’s caregiver, you can work out most issues. Setting out expectations up front goes a long way. Of course, sometimes a little subterfuge is OK — like when you think your friend wants to poach your best babsitter. Try stalling, “forgetting” about her request, or giving her the number of your backup, Debra Shigley told TODAY in an earlier interview: “Keep your friends close — and your babysitter closer! It’s every woman for herself when it comes to reliable childcare, and all is fair in love and daycare!”


  1. I just hate that they always lump sitters and nannies together. They never even mentioned au pairs. The questions asked are good and the answers ok when you view the video clip. It's true that the nanny is going to work for the nicer mom and the one that pays the most. I disagree about checking out sittercity for going rates. Online nanny websites ALWAYS under pay because they don't take into account the experience and education of many very great professional nannies.Best advice of all was they said not to micromanage your nanny. I know many friends that leave jobs because of that.

  2. Their advice is ok. Just wish they would include caregivers in the discussion rather than just talking about them.

  3. Parents just need to choose their words wisely and don't micromanage. That's the best advice in segment, to not complain and micromanage. Being a nanny is hard enough withou criticism. Seriously some parents criticize and complain too much and that's why nannies leave jobs. It is hard to take criticism at this job.

  4. As a nanny and babysitter, I would find it difficult to work for a parent who hoarded me from potentially picking up side babysitting positions when they didn't need me. If they aren't going to pay to retain me. Yes, I have had employers worried about me being poached, but they have always said to me, if some one makes an offer on you, please let us know if you would consider it so we can counter offer. I am fair and realistic, and do look at big pictures. If my intial employers are good people and try their best, I am loyal. These employers have in turn mentioned me to friends and neighbors The more families I get to know the better it is to have that network in case something happens when bosses don't need me to work for them anymore.I also wish they had spoken to reputable nanny agents to get our industry's spin on it all.

  5. I agree! I'm an employer, I know my employees could try and get a job at another business at any time- I just make sure they're loyal to me by treating them well, being honest and interested in them as people and their careers, and thanking them when thanks is due! It's not that hard to keep a good person. It's time to start treating nannies as the professionals they are- how embarrassing for that woman to not even think a contract is normal! And 100% agree they should have had a nanny in this conversation- let's stop being scared and start communicating properly!

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