A nanny or babysitter is not just someone that feeds the kids or takes them to and from school.
The time a babysitter spends with our children certainly counts as part of their education, as they learn predominantly by imitation. Of course parents are the ones playing the leading role in their education but a babysitter can’t overlook the fact that they are also part of it. This is the reason why we want to stress the importance of positive reinforcement as part of the everyday education.
Experts agree that positive reinforcement has a bigger and better impact on children’s conduct rather than negation and punishment. Stressing what the child does well leads to more of this conduct while stressing what the child does wrong also leads to more of this conduct. The reason for this is that our brain does not distinguish between negative and positive instructions, so if you tell your son: “Don’t throw your food to the floor”, his brain only records “food to the floor”, so you just get the opposite reaction(more food in the floor). Instead you can say: “Keep the food in the plate so that you can finish it before playing with Pipa”.
Moreover, when we focus on what they are doing wrong, their self-steam suffers, and we are creating a negative self-awareness. On the other hand, over praising and over approving is not recommended, so finding the right balance can be a tricky one. Just use your common sense and be careful with the language you use as LANGUAGE creates REALITY.
Babysitters should be conscious at all times on the way in which they communicate with the children, use positive reinforcement to get more of the good conduct and be clear on misbehaviors and not put up with it. Starting from respecting the children, believing in their freedom to “be” and setting clear boundaries for conducts and habits can be good guidelines to set the way to go.
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