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Babysitter problems (long. . . )

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Is your usual sitter a teen, an adult from a service, other parents, etc? If time permits, you could do a quick interview ahead of time a few days prior and verbally tell them the things in your letter. This also allows you to see their expression when those things are told. You can also have a trial sitting with you in the house in a different room or just a fly on the wall.

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We're very lucky that we have a great network of sitters that we use all the time. At least once a week we try to have a "date night" which usually starts after the kids are in bed (they're young so they still have a 7:30 bed time).


We've had some success with our PANDAS son and babysitters even during the worst of exacerbations with this philosophy:


When the babysitters are over - the only rules enforced are no hurting each other and no breaking things (intentionally of course.)


If they want to start another game without picking up the one they just finished playing with - that's okay! (Normally that's a standing rule in our house) They know that they will have to help clean up when mommy or daddy get home, but when the babysitter is there - it's Good Time Charlie! (This is a great test for us to see how engaging our babysitter is being - the more my house looks like Santa's sleigh just crashed, we know the babysitter did more than just let them veg out in front of the TV all night!)


If they want to have a snack eventhough they didn't make a "happy plate" and eat ALL of their dinner - that's fine too!!


Bedtime - whenever the sitter says it's time to go (but we usually give a maximum time) But we remind them - if they're good, she'll let them stay up late, if not, it's bedtime as usual. There's only been a handful of times they've given problems at bedtime (and it's more often my non-PANDAS daughter!!)


We've found that by relaxing rules that would normally be a big deal in our house when the babysitter comes gets the kids excited for the babysitter (which helps with the speration anxiety!) and prevents alot of the rages and meltdowns because like your son, a lot of our OCD happens during clean up or mealtimes.


This was sort of our philosophy pre-PANDAS, that babysitter time should be fun time, and it's worked very well to manage his symptoms even now. If we know he's been having a touchy day and we have a sitter for an event we can't get out of (a wedding for example), we might give him a dose of Motrin before we leave as a precaution.


If you use a babysitter everyday after school, this might not be an option. But it's worked for us for the weekend/evening occasions.


Most of our babysitters are teenagers, but we've explained PANDAS to them and made them aware of the issues. As a matter of fact, we took one of them to Mexico with us in 09 (pre-dx) when my son was at his worst. He would rage in the room for hours and bit me so badly that I had a bruise on my stomach for the whole trip (great for the bikini!!). If you want a tip to breeze through customs quickly - bring raging PANDAS kid - they'll push you right through!!! :lol:

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I think the letter sounds great...We are lucky to have the same sitter since my 6 yr old was a baby. SHe lived through the PANDAS onset and months of ###### afterward. Didn't realize how lucky I am to have her until I read your letter. SHe's great at noticing tics and such and giving me a report of the day when I arrive. My daughter is even more compliant with her taking meds (the ritual doesn't take nearly as long).


I think your letter gives a great layman's explanation. Hopefully this sitter will get on the same page.

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Bless you for being able to leave your kid with a sitter. Don't feel bad about it. I'm glad things are still going well for y'all. :)


It's a good letter. You might want to have them note any other strange behavior they see, since he may show certain things to a sitter that he wouldn't show to Mommy. I'd add a bonus too, because they are likely earning their money. ;)

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