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Benefits of Letting Your Kids Spend Summer With A Caregiver

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Benefits of Letting Your Kids Spend Summer With A Caregiver

Summer is synonymous with bright days, frozen desserts, and an opportunity to unwind. However, for numerous parents, it can also be a demanding period. With schools on hiatus, the responsibility of engaging kids throughout the day rests solely on parental shoulders. This poses a predicament for working parents during the summer—how do you occupy your children while you’re at work? Stay-at-home parents, on the other hand, may feel inundated by the constant need for entertainment.

Many households opt for summer camps or caregivers to alleviate the pressure (although the financial aspect of this childcare is a separate discussion.) Nonetheless, the choice to delegate childcare during the summer often evokes a sense of guilt. If it’s feasible, should we not desire to adjust our schedules during summer to spend more time with our children? Is that not what responsible parents do? Will our children not benefit from it? Feeling remorseful about hiring a babysitter or alternative childcare in the summer is a prevalent sentiment, yet it’s one that warrants examination. The truth is, selecting a caregiver while your kids are on break from school can actually be advantageous for both kids and parents.

Caregivers serve as significant figures for children

During my own childhood at the age of 10, I had a teenage caregiver named Sarah who quickly became my favorite. She exuded sophistication, and each time she visited, I would engage her in role-playing “high school,” where I pretended to have a locker and attend football games with friends, mirroring her experiences.

There were instances when I confided in Sarah about conflicts with friends or my crush on a boy—matters I was less inclined to discuss with my parents. She played a crucial role in my life; not exactly a friend, but also not an adult like my parents and teachers. Instead, she embodied more of a mentoring role or a cool older sister figure who supported me through the challenges of my tween years—an influence I only came to appreciate later in life.

They assist in unveiling new facets of your children

Recently, two neighboring girls took charge of entertaining my sons, aged 7 and 3. They arrived with a box packed with games and crafts, and upon my return, my eldest was engrossed in sewing a button onto a piece of fabric, declaring his love for sewing. Given that I don’t even own a sewing kit, the thought of handing him a needle and thread never crossed my mind. Yet now, we’re crafting a shirt for his beloved stuffed animal—and he’s fully invested.

It fosters comfort in your children’s interactions with new individuals

Engaging with different caregivers and encountering diverse caregiving methods can instill adaptability and social flexibility in children. Fortunately, my kids have surpassed the phase of separation anxiety. Once I assure them that the new person is trustworthy, they readily establish a rapport with them and promptly transition to having enjoyable experiences. This adaptability can be attributed, at least in part, to the variety of babysitters they’ve had over the years.

Caregivers engage in activities with your children that you wouldn’t typically undertake

I’ve come to terms with the fact that I’m not exactly the quintessential “fun mom.” For instance, while I appreciate the idea of baking with my kids, the reality challenges my Type A inclinations. (“That’s too much flour…too much—oh my goodness, let me handle this.”) There are numerous activities I avoid with my kids, like playing in the sandpit or participating in water balloon contests.

Fortunately, babysitters embrace these activities. For instance, one of the teenage sitters we have in rotation is an adept LEGO builder. I return home to find him immersed in constructing elaborate LEGO cities with towering structures that rival our city skyline. Patience for such tasks eludes me, but witnessing the joy it brings my kids always leaves me appreciative that he’s part of their lives. Another reason why I harbor no guilt about hiring a babysitter.

Fostering independence in your children

When I’m present, my kids suddenly seem to forget how to brush their teeth or locate their socks. (Hint: the socks have always been in the sock drawer.) They default to requesting my assistance for everything. Yet, with a caregiver in the equation, a transformation unfolds. They eagerly exhibit their independence, dressing themselves with pride, and even mastering the art of tying shoelaces. In these instances, I’m reminded of how resilient and competent children can be when afforded the chance to step out from under the safety net of parental presence.

Time apart contributes positively to your relationship with your child

Society occasionally conveys the notion that being a commendable parent involves being glued to our kids’ sides every waking moment. However, it’s often the intervals spent apart that enhance our parenting skills. Taking a breather isn’t just about catching our breath—it’s about nurturing ourselves and reconnecting with our identities beyond parenthood, be it regarding our career, hobbies, or quality time with partners or friends.

For me, those respites serve as a reset button. Whether delving into a project of passion, catching up with friends, or simply indulging in much-needed self-care, that time away rejuvenates me and readies me to confront whatever chaos my kids have brewed up. Interestingly, upon reuniting, I not only relish seeing them but also exhibit enhanced patience, attentiveness, and overall improved parenting skills. It’s as though our bond receives a boost, and our emotional reserves get replenished.

With the summer approaching, it’s natural to grapple with guilty feelings about engaging a babysitter or another individual to care for our children. Instead of succumbing to guilt, why not consider that kids, under the caregiver’s guidance, aren’t simply engaging in games or crafts? They’re broadening their horizons, uncovering new interests, and assimilating essential life skills with confidence. So, embrace that break and witness how your bond with your child flourishes through each escapade—regardless of its scale.

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