Monday, October 24, 2011

7 Reasons Kids Have Crushes on Their Babysitters

Many parents have watched with amusement and bemusement as their son or daughter has developed a crush on a babysitter. Depending on the child’s age, this doesn’t necessarily have to, have anything to do with sex, or even gender, though it may for older children. Very young children can develop crushes on caregivers regardless of gender, based on a number of different things. Here are 7 reasons that these crushes may happen.

  1. Attention. When a babysitter is on duty, the children in her care are generally receiving her full attention. That is, after all, what she is being paid for. And, if she genuinely likes kids and enjoys her babysitting duties, it is only natural that the attention she is giving has the potential to create strong feelings toward her in the child. This is especially true for an only child, or for a child that is set apart from other siblings by an age gap or reserved character.
  2. Special Food/Treats. Babysitters cook or bake “special recipes” for lunches and snacks. Or they might bring special treats with them. These meals and treats always seemed tastier and sweeter than the “everyday” meals and snacks, because they’re generally kid focused, rather than adult type meals.
  3. Activities. Babysitters are fun! Whenever the weather allowed, one of our babysitters would take the kids to the nearby public swimming pool. When the weather did not allow that, she was always coming up with new games and special activities. I recall more than once when one of the kids expressed disappointment that I had a day off, because it meant she wouldn’t be coming over.
  4. Special Places. Especially for daytime sitters and nannies, it’s often the case that kids are taken to cool places by babysitters. There is a young woman who stops in at my favorite coffee shop on a regular basis, often with her babysitting charges in tow. Every time they stop in on their way to the library or a park, or just to run errands, the shop manager treats them to special drinks, and talks to them as if they matter. It’s obvious that they love that she brings them there and other places that they don’t experience with their parents.
  5. Energy. Quite often a childhood crush can come down to something as simple as energy level. I recall a conversation with my youngest when he was about 7. He told me that he wanted our babysitter, Lisa, to come over more often, even if I was home. When I asked him why, he said; “She never makes me be quiet so that she can take a nap, like you do.”
  6. Exotic. Okay, we’ve avoided the subject through most of this list, but here it is. For older children, sometimes it is about the first stirrings of hormones. The babysitter may be the first female close companion outside of Mom or Grandma that is actually shaped like a woman, and she may even be only a few years older than the child.
  7. Emotional Experimentation. As kids begin to sneak up on adolescence, it is normal for them to be experimenting with adult-type emotions. A crush on a babysitter may very well be an early practice run for an older child to practice and begin to figure out what strong emotions feel like.

In general, these sorts of crushes on babysitters should not be an issue of strong concern for a parent. They are a normal part of growing up for most kids, and most kids will move on from them and will start having crushes on other kids nearer their own ages as they mature.

What? You didn’t think that crushes would end after the babysitter years, did you?

Taken From Babysitting Jobs

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