I saw this and thought it was interesting. I had not thought about this before:
May 30th, 2012
Your babysitter is by and large a reliable and conscientious care giver, someone you can trust to watch your children. She will make sure homework assignments are done when asked; ensure everyone has done their bedtime chores – wash, brush teeth, etc., and knows how to act, and how to reach you in case of an emergency. So why then would she ever need to lie to you about your children? Let’s look at eight reasons why sitters sometimes lie about your child’s behavior:
- Protection – In some instances, it’s just a matter of covering for them so the child can avoid being disciplined for a largely (in their minds) innocent and/or forgivable offense.
- Job security – It may be because she fears being fired if she tells you the truth. Especially if the truth might imply that she hadn’t done an adequate job caring for your child. For instance, she may allow the kid to stay up later than instructed, and then lie to you about when she put the child to bed.
- Money – Some sitters might exaggerate the difficulty they have in caring for your child in order to merit a higher rate of pay. If she makes it sound like your child is more of a handful than he really is, you might feel obliged to give her a raise.
- Shame – Another reason to lie about your child’s behavior might be to avoid embarrassment. She may prefer to keep it to herself if, say, Johnny locked her out of the house when she went out to her car for a moment.
- Boast – If your child really is a handful, she may lie about behavioral progress that he’s (not) making. It would hopefully give you the impression that she too is making progress, doing a better job at her job than she really is.
- Exaggerate – Your sitter may lie about your child’s behavior to one of her friends, if she were trying to get the friend to substitute for her. It would be a lot easier to get someone to babysit for her if she could convince them that the child is an angel.
- Defense – Of course, there’s also the possibility that a sitter might lie about a child’s behavior to another sitter. We all know what it’s like to get together with others in our own profession and trade war stories.
- Promote – A sitter might also lie to another prospective family in order to embellish her resume, so to speak. A family that’s looking for a new babysitter might be more inclined to hire someone who has experience getting children to behave.
These eight reasons are not unreasonable if you think about it. We all tell little white lies, especially about our jobs. As long as the babysitter doesn’t lie about anything major, it is fair to let a few exaggerations slip by. Only when it becomes a bad habit should you bring it up.