Hiring A Caretaker And Possibility Of Child Neglect

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There are many forms of abuse that a child may experience in his lifetime.  Not everyone knows but child neglect is a form of abuse. According to Marie Hartwell-Walker, “Children who are constantly ignored, rejected, threatened, or belittled grow up without the inner resources that everyone needs to cope with difficult times.” Many parents spend most of their time working in the office or managing their business. Because of this, they barely have enough time to care for their children. This is the primary reason why some parents prefer to hire someone to watch over the kids when they are busy.


Are Many Families Doing It?

The practice of hiring a nanny, babysitter or house help is common in many households. A lot of families feel comfortable employing someone to help them with all the chores at home. However, this can be problematic if what is involved is a toddler or a child in tender years. Take note that the younger the child is, the more difficult it becomes for other people to deal with him. As such, the practice of hiring another to care for your little one may lead to child neglect.


What Should You Do?

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The question now is: Should you also do it?

The answer to the question posed above depends on the attending circumstances of each case. If the child involved is still below two years old, then the recommended thing to do is to avoid allowing other people to care for him. Do not worry because there is an exception to this. If a close member of your family is available, like the child’s grandparents, then you can leave it to them.

On the other hand, for a kid who is more than six years old, hiring a caretaker may be a good idea. At such age, the kid can already know how to handle situations wherein someone other than their parents is caring for him. At the same time, he already can determine what is right and wrong. As such, the kid will be able to inform you if something is wrong with his caretaker.


What Are The Risks?

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Unfortunately, this kind of arrangement does not work for many people too. Some hired nannies or babysitters end up abusing the child subjected to his care. This is dangerous for a parent like you because the possibility of severe neglect that the caretaker may commit over your kid is quite high.

These are some of the horror stories that some parents have encountered with their former caretakers:

    The babysitter left the child alone at his house without notifying the parents. When the mother came home, she was surprised to find the child crying for hours already.

    A nanny abused the child physically. Since the kid would not listen to her instructions, she expressed her frustration by being violent to the young one. A study by Martin Teicher, MD, PhD concluded, That child abuse (physical, verbal, and sexual) affects brain activity and may be the cause of certain behaviors.”

    The caretaker did not feed the child for lunch and dinner, while the parents were away for the weekend.


Indeed, hiring someone to care for your loved one can be challenging on your part. It is necessary to find someone whom you can trust. Do not leave your kid without someone who may abuse her. Take note that when it comes to this kind of arrangement, child neglect is a high possibility. Psychologist Susanne Babbel MFT, PhD mentioned, But the hidden danger of child neglect – the one that may not be apparent for many years but which can stick with a person for their lifetime – is the risk of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder that can affect them psychologically and emotionally in the long-term.”