A babysitter is responsible for the safety and supervision of children in their care. A good teen babysitter needs to know how to take care of different situations that may arise, including emergencies, and stay calm under pressure. Be prepared ahead of time by following these tips.
How to be a good babysitter – Advice for Teens
Most parents look for a new babysitter when they want to enjoy a date night together. If they don’t have any family members to lean on, then odds are they will begin to interview potential sitters to find the one that best suits their needs. Some families might request background checks while others just want to make sure the teens are capable of following house rules. Either way, it’s best to remain prepared.
Before you start watching someone’s kids, be sure to ask them the following questions:
- What responsibilities do they expect of you?
- How many children do they have?
- How young are their children?
- Do any of their children have special needs?
- Do they require CPR training?
- Do their children have any favorite toys you should know about?
- Will there be an older sibling you will also be responsible for?
- Are there any food allergies?
- Can the kids eat junk food or dessert after dinner?
- What is their policy on screen time?
- Who are the emergency contacts you need to know?
If you get through this list of careful questions, then you can decide if you are a good fit for this job.
A Babysitter’s Checklist
If you want to make sure that you are providing the best environment for your client, here are a few things to consider that can provide added benefits to your family. This babysitter checklist is something that you can turn to over and over again which includes important details about your role.
Childproof the babysitting area
The first thing you have to do is check your environment. You need to take into account that if there are any harmful objects near the areas where you will be watching your little friend, then you should either move them out of reach or put plastic covers on them. This could include outlets, cabinets with potentially dangerous cleaning supplies inside, sharp table corners etc.
Know Your Limits
Are you too young to be watching a child in diapers? Then don’t force it. It might sound like a fun idea, but remember that babysitting is a huge responsibility and one that shouldn’t be taken lightly.
Even if someone asks you on short notice, never feel guilted into a job if you don’t feel 100% safe. The best babysitters know their boundaries and communicate openly with the parents hiring them.
Be a good role model
Parents want their children to be around someone who is going to set a good example for them – even when they’re not around. This means that you should always behave in a respectful manner, both inside and outside of the babysitting gig.
Stay away from drinking alcohol or smoking cigarettes while on the job, and definitely don’t use profanity in front of the kids. You should also be aware of your body language; sitting or slouching sends the wrong message. This will earn you major points with the parents.
Anything can happen while babysitting. Your child can start to run a fever or a stranger can ring the doorbell out of nowhere. That’s why it’s important to have a game plan for any potential emergency. This includes having a list of contacts to call if something comes up, as well as knowing how to deal with common health issues (like fever or diarrhea).
Stay Calm Under Pressure
Kids are unpredictable, which means that there’s always a chance that something will go wrong while you’re watching them. It’s important to stay calm and handle the situation in a rational manner.
Get CPR Certified
The next step you can take on your babysitting journey is to get CPR certified. It will give you a lot of peace of mind. Most CPR courses only require a few hours of your time, and they’re offered in most communities. Check your local schools or libraries for more information.
Qualities Of A Good Babysitter
- Leaves a clean home at the end of the day
- Isn’t afraid to communicate concerns throughout the night
- Advocate for safety
- Local community member
- Has taken a babysitting course
- Knows how to have a good time with kids
- Availble last minute
- Plays nicely with younger kids
- Respects the rules of the house
- Has a few years of experience
- Knows first aid
Teen Babysitting Advice
Whether you’re working for one family or ten families, always remember that you’re part of a team. The parents aren’t just looking for someone to watch their children – they need another adult who’s willing to pitch in and help out as needed. Be pleasant and helpful at all times, and don’t think of yourself above dish-washing duty.
Babysitting is a great first job and can typically earn teens above minimum hourly wage rates without having to deal with retail issues or long hours behind a register. If you do a good job, word of mouth can really keep you busy and put extra money in your pocket every weekend!
Limit TV time and ice cream, work on your CPR certification, take care of the kids as best as you can, and come up with fun ideas to occupy their time. This will guarantee a phone call back for more work in no time.