But even though it’s a lot of work, it can be rewarding. Think about it. Parents are trusting you with their child and that’s major.
You have to take this seriously because there’s very little room for error. The last thing you want to have to tell the parents is that something went wrong while they were away.
Since you’re being offered the opportunity to babysit, it’s best not to screw things up.
So how do you make sure you’re doing the right things? How can you assure yourself that everything will go as smooth as possible? Well, here are 5 tips on babysitting that will help you out.
1. Follow the Parents Rules
Any decent parent will lay out a few rules before they leave you alone with their child. It’s best that you follow every rule on their list. Doing so will show them how responsible you are because you can follow directions.
Deviating from the list will ensure that you don’t get another babysitting job from any parent because word of mouth is powerful. All it takes is one parent to say something negative about you and it’s possible you’ll never get another babysitting gig again.
Although it can be mighty tempting to veer off the rule list, don’t do it. It’s not worth the consequences; even more so… your job.
2. Be on High Alert at All Times
One minute a kid can be standing right next to you, you turn around for just a sec and when you look back, they’re gone. It’s really that easy to lose them.
Be sure you keep a tab on them at all times. Know where they are and what they’re doing. You should be around them for the majority of the time that you’re there anyway.
Try not to play games like hide and seek unless you’re really familiar with the home. The kid probably knows their home inside and out and can hide in imaginable places.
You may start to panic when you can’t find them after a while, especially when they don’t answer when you call them. It’s all fun and games for them, but it can be nerve wrecking for you.
3. Don’t Let Anyone In
Okay. This one may or may not be on the rule list. But if the parents don’t okay anyone to be in their home, then don’t let them in.
For one, it can be dangerous. There are some demented people out here in the world and you don’t want to take any chances. We live in a world now where people are going to homes, pretending to be part of a company so that you’ll let them in.
As a matter of fact, don’t even go to the door if it’s not necessary. I don’t mean to scare you, but it’s real out here. You’d rather be safe than sorry.
Whomever is at that door isn’t there for you. So if it’s that important, then they should give the parents a call. If the parents don’t specify who to let in or not, ask them.
It’s always a good idea to ask questions. This shows the parents that you’re serious about your job and are taking their child’s safety into consideration.
4. Find a Balance
The last thing you want to do is walk into the home like you own the place once the parents leave. Kids can sniff out a mean babysitter in a minute and you don’t want to be that way.
You should find a balance while being with the child. Be stern when you have to be but not rude. If the child isn’t listening, find a way to get them to do what you’re asking without screaming or yelling.
Kids aren’t going to like it when they have to go to bed, take a bath, or brush their teeth. Most of them fight their parents to the end about that. But it’s your job to make sure it gets done.
Be the type of babysitter who’s fun but yet the type who can crack the whip when need be.
5. Teach and Have Fun
Yes, babysitting is just that… babysitting. However, it’s more than just about watching the child and keeping them out of harms way. You must also interact with them.
Before the parents leave, ask them if their child has any games. I’m sure any parent with a child does. Pick a few and play it with them. If you don’t have any fun games, make up one of your own.
It’s always a goo idea to teach them something along the way as well. My hubby is a gamer, so whenever I babysit, the kids like to always play the PlayStation 3.
I’m not a huge fan of them always playing it, so I tend to sit the six year old down and I’ll teach him his numbers in Spanish. I thought it would bore him, but he likes it.
So of course you don’t have to do that (if you don’t know Spanish) but there are plenty of other things you can teach them. Ask what they’re learning in school and pick up from there.
So not only are you having fun with them, but they’re learning something as well. Think about how proud their parents will be when they come home and learn that their child has just learned something new. Can you say brownie points?