During the pandemic, did you ever find yourself part of the growing ‘Sittervising’ trend, where you had to leave your child at the playground while you juggled back-to-back Zoom meetings? If you did, you’re not alone and it’s important to understand what parents should know about this increasingly common practice of the “Sittervising Trend.”
You are officially given permission to stop beating yourself up. A movement on social media known as “sittervising” is really urging parents to keep letting their kids play alone. The term “sittervising,” popularized by Instagram user @busytoddler (aka Susie Allison, M.Ed. ), does not advocate for parents to abandon their children. However, it does encourage unstructured, unsupervised playtime.
“There is no need to monitor a child’s every move as they play, nor should you feel obligated to join in every time. Allison stated in the caption of a July 1 post, “You can supervise kids from a seated position.”
The word has been widely discussed and praised on many social media platforms.
One user wrote, “I feel like any parent who went to a work-from-home situation during the pandemic with littles learned to sittervise whether they wanted to or not.”
“I just adore this. Indeed,” echoed a third user.
A mother who uses Instagram shared how sitter vising has helped her autistic kid. “My 3.5-year-old daughter has autism spectrum disorder and is nonverbal. Sittervising may be the only play she will sometimes engage in. She’s happy because I let her be herself. Someone wrote, “When she wants me to join…she will let me know.”
Truth be told, this idea isn’t exactly ground-breaking. The Montessori approach promotes children’s autonomy by emphasizing the need for free, unstructured play. What exactly are the supposed advantages? One benefit is that it provides a vacation from social interaction.
Children require unsupervised playtime. Adults require time apart from children to refuel,” Allison added in another piece.
Some people on social media even think it can help kids in the long run.
One TikToker named Angeline, who goes by the handle @treksandbudgets, remarked, “Learning how to play by yourself and be independent is a valuable life skill.”
Keeping quiet might be challenging when you want to engage in conversation and encourage your kid. However, Allison cautions against doing so. “Play is hard work,” Allison said in another update. A child’s mind is in overdrive when they’re having fun. And we disturb that concentration when we go in and ask, “What are you playing?” or remark, “Look how great you’re doing!”
She recommends holding off till the child is done playing on their own. If you see your child struggling with anything, like stacking cups in the correct order, you may feel tempted to help. However, supporters of the Montessori approach argue that letting a child work things out on their own is an effective way to teach them to solve problems.
Feel like giving it a shot? Allison’s page is full of inspiration, yet not everything of it requires a monthly toy subscription. Her sittersupervising duties include:
- A sink equipped with tear-free soap, sponges, a bucket of water, and plastic toys.
- A sensory activity included an ice cube and some water.
- Mist sprayers.
Allison notes that sitters must still pay attention to the child’s health and safety, but this varies by age. Safe sittervising practices include locking up medicines and covering electrical outlets, among other child-proofing measures.
Meaningful articles you might like: How to Teach a Willful Adolescent to Be More Independent, Paying a Babysitter – How Much Is Reasonable?, What Exactly is Sittervising?