In high school, where money is crucial, many teenagers’ lifestyles force them to take desperate measures in order fill their bank accounts. When jobs are scarce due to the economy, some brave souls resort to one of the toughest jobs: babysitting.
Don’t do anything you wouldn’t want the parents to know.
Most children idolize their parents and are quick to fill them in on every one of their many adventures. So even if the kids promise that they won’t tell mommy how they got to stay up two hours late or that they ate two bowls of ice cream when they were only ”s’posed” to have one, it’ll probably be the first thing that the parents hear about in the morning. One Raleigh mother confirms, “First thing I do the next morning is ask my kids if they had fun and what they did all night… and they tell me EVERY detail. So I know if they were ignored because the sitter was texting all night long or told them they didn’t have to eat dinner and gave them cookies instead… they tell all”
Know Basic Life Saving Techniques
“If they know CPR it’s a huge plus—just in case,” said the same mother. Sometimes life-saving techniques are actually needed. All the techniques that are taught in the Red Cross babysitting classes are taught for a purpose. Kids love finger foods, so grapes, popcorn, and carrots are all extremely choke worthy.
Put down the phone.
The parents are paying to have someone play with their kids, not sit in the same room as the kids while on the phone. Playing with the kids and helping them to feel more comfortable without their parents is something every good sitter should do, and it’s hard to do so when typing a text or making a call.
Don’t be afraid to ask questions
There really is no such thing as a dumb question. What time the kids are supposed to be in bed, what the kids are allowed to watch on TV and what should and shouldn’t be eaten are all examples of crucial information that parents can just forget to mention. Asking the parents questions on iffy topics shows the parents that you’re responsible and that you want to follow the rules of the house, both of which are traits that all parents look for in a good babysitter.
Only take on jobs you can handle.
It’s hard to turn down a pleading parent, but it’s important to not bite off more than you can chew. If you lack experience with children, offering to sit for three toddlers and their new puppy is probably not the best idea. When new at sitting, try to babysit for elementary school children who don’t cry when their mommy leaves or require multiple diaper changes.
Do not keep the kids up too late.
It’s a well known fact that letting the kids stay up past bedtime automatically gets you on their good side, but parents will appreciate it if you are stern with the kids and get them into bed at a reasonable hour. A Raleigh mom confirms: “If I ask for the children to be in bed at a specific time, I expect them to be in bed in at least a half hour of that time. Don’t keep them up any later unless you want to come back tomorrow and deal with their grumpy selves when their running on no sleep.”
Katy has been on staff since her sophomore year, starting as a staff writer. With hard work and diligence, she earned a junior editor position and ultimately became Editor-in-Chief her senior year. She will pursue a degree in journalism in college.