Screen Sitters Best Practices
Welcome! We are very excited to have you & your child join the Screen Stars community!
Quick reminder--we will do everything we can to entertain your child for the full session, but we cannot replicate some aspects of in-person care. Therefore, we have to ask that you remain at least within earshot for safety reasons.
To make this the best possible experience for your child and maximize your own time to work/relax/read/cook, we put together a few tips & tricks.
Schedule an introductory session
Some children (and you know yours best) can benefit from a transition period. If possible, have a 30-minute introductory session where the parent is also present. Everyone hangs out and plays together. If things are going well in the first 10 mins, you can leave the room for a while setting your provider up for success by saying something like, “OK, I have to go to the other room for a little bit and Nick wanted to read you a story/draw/talk about dinosaurs with you.”
Help us get to know your child
As part of your session booking process, you will be asked to fill out a basic child information form. This will provide the sitter with points of connection to ensure your child is happy and engaged.
Tips for introducing Screen Stars to your child
Of course so much depends on your child’s age and personality, so these are just a few guidelines we’ve heard work for other parents.
1. Tell your child they’ll be meeting a new friend.
2. Suggest a few things the child can talk about:
Be sure to mention that the new friend already knows a few of the child’s interests, circling back to the child interests you shared during session booking. E.g. “Sasha already knows how much you love dinosaurs. You can talk to her about that!”
Consider adding other topics based on mood or events in the child’s life that day E.g. “Grandma taught you a new song today. I’m sure Mars will want to hear it!” or “Would you like to show Carly the rainbow unicorn drawing you did/the math problem you solved?”
3. Especially for older children, some parents make choosing a sitter an activity they share with the child.
4. Tell the child you expect the session will be fun for them and to tell you afterwards how they enjoyed it.
Sometimes additional ideas are helpful
The basic child information form you fill out during booking should provide the sitter with a great starting point. The sitter will plan activities around the interests you mention for your child, or think of creative new ideas that they think your child would enjoy. However, if you feel your child would like something more specific that day or they’re in the mood for a certain activity, that’s great information you can mention to the sitter at the beginning of the session.
Find a quiet spot for your child to be during the session
If possible, have them in a separate room, or in the part of a shared room they can have to themselves.
Will there be other things happening at home during the session that could be distracting?
If so, a set of headphones can be a big help both for your child & the sitter.