Virtual babysitters…will it work for you?

You can do it solo or grouped. The key is timing & supervision

virtual, babysitter, kids, supervision

A recent piece in by Callie Patteson starts off by noting how a virtual babysitter cannot replace all that a physical and in-person babysitter can do, but still can have great benefits if done correctly.

What is virtual babysitting?

Virtual babysitting is exactly what it sounds like. Instead of a babysitter coming over to watch the kids in-person, they virtually visit via video chat over FaceTime, Zoom or Skype. During the video call, the babysitter can engage the kids by playing virtual games, like I-Spy and 20 Questions, or asking them about their day. The babysitter can also lead them in simple art projects.

“When using video chatting software like Zoom, you also have the option to book a sitter with multiple families. This way they can help kids who are in the same class do their homework, do group craft actives or even encourage them all to do their chores if they are similar."

How to organize virtual babysitting

Specifics raised include ensuring you know where the virtual babysitter will be based out of, to ensure there’s no discomfort involved, and lengths of time for each session. Also make sure you or some other responsible person is in the room as the session goes on… to provide oversight.

“Many parents worry about how much screen time is too much screen time. When scheduling these virtual babysitting sessions, should you count it towards that time?” Patteson concludes. “Other than that, if your child is still doing stimulating activities, like homework, chores or crafts, they should still be able to watch an episode or two of their favorite show later that day.”

Alternatives to virtual babysitting

Think about developing a program for virtual babysitting with other parents. If you are good at art, then that is what you provide. If you are an animated readers, then share your stories. How about exercise or science.

Is it three times a week for an hour? You personally would be responsible for a program once during the week. It doesn’t have to be complicated, but it does require some organization. 

The great thing about this planned group working together, is that it is not always mom organizing the to-do program.

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