The feeling of violation and intrusion that comes with having something stolen from your home by someone that you’ve entrusted with the safety and well-being of your children is a difficult one to deal with; and then trying to find a way to handle the situation on top of that can be an overwhelming challenge in itself. These ten tips might make the situation easier to deal with in the unfortunate event of it arising.
- Make Absolutely Sure They’re the Guilty Party – Before doing anything, it’s imperative to make sure that your babysitter is, without a shadow of doubt, the guilty party. Accusations of stealing can severely damage a childcare provider’s reputation, which is inexcusable if they’re innocent.
- Have An Open, One-On-One Discussion – For those people who are comfortable having a potentially-tense conversation, a frank discussion about your suspicions might be the best possible first step. This could give your babysitter the chance to confess and offer an explanation; it can also afford them the much-deserved opportunity to defend their innocence, if necessary.
- Opt to Avoid the Confrontation – Parents who are more reserved or shy may not be thrilled with the idea of a confrontation that has the potential to become explosive. If you do choose not to address the issue, you should keep your suspicions to yourself unless they’re absolutely proven. Making an accusation without affording the sitter a chance to explain simply isn’t fair.
- Take Their Age Into Consideration – When you’re trying to decide the best course of action, it might help to take the sitter’s age into consideration. A teenage girl who impulsively took something of little value might simply need a strong talking-to, whereas an older sitter should have better impulse control; the age of the sitter should affect the severity of your actions.
- Decide Whether You’re Pressing Charges – If the stolen object(s) are of great value, or have the potential to cause problems in the wrong hands, it’s probably best to file a police report. If enough evidence exists for an arrest, the police will know after an investigation. This can take the entire matter out of your hands, but might be overkill for something small and inconsequential.
- Speak to A Parent or Guardian (If Age-Appropriate) – While having a conversation with the parents of a thirty-year-old may be a bit silly, talking to the parents or guardians of a teenager that you’ve caught stealing is very important. If you’re choosing not to file charges then the consequences should be left in the hands of your sitter’s parents.
- Take the Nature of the Stolen Item into Consideration – A small or inexpensive item stolen is still a violation, but probably doesn’t warrant police involvement. However, if the items stolen are prescription drugs, firearms or other potentially dangerous objects, they should be reported immediately. In the case of prescription drugs, it might be necessary to discuss the possibility of addiction with your sitter or their parents.
- Determine If Your Kids’ Need to Know – If your children are older and have an idea of what happened then it’s best to explain the situation to them simply and plainly in order to allow them to process it without the weight of gossip or sensationalism. Younger, oblivious children probably don’t need to know much, if anything, about the situation.
- Quietly Warn Friends or Neighbors – Once again, this step should only be taken if you’re certain that your babysitter is responsible for items being stolen; however, protecting unsuspecting friends and neighbors from sitters with a penchant for larceny is probably a good idea.
- Take Steps to Ensure That It Never Happens Again – Expensive items left lying carelessly about or prescription drugs with street value are an invitation, even for kids that are mostly well behaved. Stowing valuables out of sight and keeping pills in out-of-the-way places are the best way to prevent a repeat occurrence.
This is a situation that no parent anticipates dealing with, but unfortunately it does happen. Considering the possibility before it happens and preparing for it will help you avoid an emotional reaction and allow you to approach the situation in a more reasoned manner.Taken From Babysitting Jobs