Babysitter Blues: How to Fix Bad Sitter Behavior

The babysitter lets the kids watch TV all night.

What to do: Give her a warning

Spell out viewing time -- and which programs are okay -- before you leave for the evening, suggests Ann Douglas, author of Choosing Childcare for Dummies. You might say, "Molly may watch one 30-minute Dora video after dinner, but that's it. Then she'd love to play dress-up before it's time to take a bath, read stories, and go to bed." Be specific about forbidden shows: "He's dying to watch The Simpsons, but we've told him he's too young." Some moms find it helpful to explain why too much screen time is a bad thing. "We had one sitter who plopped Edward down in front of the set for the whole evening," recalls Jennie Dunham, a mother of two in North Salem, New York. "So I told her Edward acts aggressively when he watches too much TV. She understood and found other activities for them to do together."

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