Raising children

How to raise a child – do parents and caregivers agree about this question?

Questions we should ask

Do parents and child caregivers have similar attitudes about childrearing? What are the most important things that parents and babysitters should agree upon? We will try to answer these questions in order to help you make your child feel happy and cared for.

In modern civilization it is not a rare phenomenon for parents to share their childrearing responsibilities with professional caregivers – nannies and babysitters. Some researches show that parents and professional caregivers differ in their attitudes about childcare issues and some show they agree about them. So, who is right? Let’s find out more.

Important things to know…

Two things are important for child’s well-being. First, for children’s development it is crucial that beliefs and attitudes between the parents within the same family are consistent. Second, beliefs and attitudes between different caregivers of the same child should be similar, as much as possible, but not necessarily 100%. Certain percent of disagreement can be encouraging for a child to learn how to establish relations with different types of people and grow heterogeneous social life.

Usually, psychologists use two dimensions to represent attitudes about childcare – control and support. It is important that parents and caregivers have similar attitudes on what level of restriction and sensitivity to a child’s initiative are needed to provide the best environment for growth. The best option is for parents to choose a babysitter because that person will fulfil their needs and expectations, and have as similar as possible attitudes towards raising children as parents do. If parents leave their child every day with a different person a child will not be able to adjust to any of them.

What do studies show?

In one research on a sample of 568 families with children aged from 0 to 6 years, results show that mothers and fathers agree more with each other than with caregivers and that mothers give more support and control than fathers or professional caregivers. The most important finding in that research is that consistency between parents and professional caregivers is related to the children’s well-being. Results suggest that children felt less comfortable when the professional caregiver was less supportive than the mother. So, babysitters should be very sensitive and supportive. The conclusion of this study is that continuity is important for children’s well-being because children don’t have the ability to change perspectives in order to understand different styles of child care.

Which is our conclusion?

Expectedly, parents agree more with each other about child care than with babysitters, which is good news. Strong control from parents and big support and sensitivity from babysitter are two golden coins of childhood.