It takes a lot of work, ingenuity, and care to be a good babysitter, and take it from someone who had to babysit all their baby cousins for free; this is in no way a simple task. When people say it takes a village to take care of kids, they aren’t capping because taking care of kids; especially the younger ones, is not a walk in the park. You need to be firm yet loving when talking to them and set some ground rules to show them who is in charge and have to entertain them and know what to do and who to call in case of an emergency. Kids are little rockets and can get hurt easily, so your head should be on your shoulders if you want to be a good babysitter. So, without further ado, let’s learn some of the skills you need to have as a babysitter.
Have an open line of communication
You don’t have to figure everything on your own, if there is something that you really need, you can give the parents a call, and they will help you out, now don’t call them every 5 minutes because they are paying you to look after the kids and calling them too much is a sign that you don’t know what you are doing. Before the parents leave the child with you, ask them all the questions that you may have, and they’ll help you out. The question can be as simple as where do you keep your toilet paper or as tricky as to how do I calm him down when he is crying. This is a sign that you are building trust with the parents and are doing your best to keep their children safe.
This is the name of the game; as a babysitter, you should be ahead of the curve and should keep the house as clean as possible or rather as clean as the parent had it when they left. Kids work well under a specific routine and structure, so tell them that they can watch TV uptill what time and at what time they should be in bed; this avoids any future tantrums. As a babysitter, you are supposed to follow the schedule that the parents gave you; if you are told that the kids should be in bed by 8 pm, then be sure they are tucked in in bed by 8 pm. You should also plan out your own schedule, have a playtime for them, and have a specific time when you feed them (unless they are starving). Also, it is your job to look after the kids, so try being social with them and ask them about their day and how life is treating them.
Watch TV with them or even try playing board games with them. This is not a hostage situation, and you should make the most out of this particular situation. As a good babysitter, you should engage with your kids’ activities and show interest in whatever they are doing; it is the best way to bond with them and for them to listen to you without throwing fits. Ask the parents the ground rules about playtime, whether TV is allowed or not, and what type of games the kids can play. The best thing you can do is go to a park and play archaeologist with the kids, let them dig in the sand, and have fun. Let them have fun and be part of the activity. If you’ve taken them outside, be sure to give them a bath after you’ve gotten home because you don’t want them to get dirt inside.
Taking care of children isn’t a walk in the park, and they demand your full attention, so don’t let anyone look down on you if you earn a living looking after children. Sound off in the comments section below and tell us if you have ever babysat someone before and how it was.