How to be a Great Babysitter
Being a babysitter means taking on big responsibilities. When it comes to ensuring the safety and well being of other people’s children, you must always do your best. Here is a list of “do’s” that will help you be the best babysitter in the neighborhood.
Do be prepared
Take a lesson from the Boy Scouts and be prepared. Sign up for babysitter training or certification classes in your area that will help you be ready for any emergency. Sitters need to know basic first aid, CPR, and how to help a choking infant or child.
Do be safe
Safety first! Make sure you are educated on home safety, such as choking hazards and poison control. Use common sense when crossing the street or on the playground. Before you accept a job, be confident that you can handle the number of children, the ages of the children, and the required length of time for the job. You should also feel safe with the family, the home, and the neighborhood.
Do watch the children at all times
One of the most important rules of being a great babysitter is to watch the children at all times. Remember, you are in control — not the child. Tell them to stay where you can see them, and set limits and boundaries for activities if necessary. This will help prevent poor behavior, and will help children feel more secure in their parents’ absence.
Do listen to the parents
Always arrive early for a job to allow time with the parent for instructions. Tour the home with the parent, taking note of the location of the children’s rooms, phones, any security system, first aid supplies, and emergency evacuation routes. Take note of eating, bedtime and bathroom routines of the child or children. Ask about house rules for television, video games, and phone use. Include a discussion about rules for discipline, snacks and meals.
Do keep the house safe
Always keep doors and windows locked, as well as any security system engaged. Ask the parents for a lesson on how to use the security system. Never open the door to strangers. If you plan to leave the home to visit the park or store, make sure you have keys and know how to lock and unlock the doors.
Do have phone numbers
In case of an emergency, make sure you have phone numbers for the parents and another adult who can be available immediately if needed. Either write them down or enter them in your cell phone for quick access. Ask the parents for the Poison Center phone number and be prepared to call 911 for emergency services.
Do have fun!
Working with children can be extremely rewarding. Have fun, be silly and enjoy seeing the world through the eyes of a child again! But, children need structure and an adult that makes them feel safe and secure. If you follow these “do’s,” you will not only be a great babysitter, you will build a lasting relationship with the family and the child.