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Thursday, July 10, 2014

Babysitting Tips

This summer, I almost feel like I have two jobs - one is lifeguarding, the other is babysitting.

In the past several years, my neighborhood has evolved into a bunch of young families. This means young parents with young kids, and those young parents want to go out. A lot. Fortunately for me, this translates into a ton of babysitting opportunities. Over the years, I've really enjoyed babysitting for a handful of families. It's really cool to watch their kids grow up and then remember how they used to be.

Anyways, I know that I have a pretty solid teenage audience, and that means that babysitting is definitely an option for you.

Landing the job
One of the tougher parts of babysitting is finding an available family. It's a little awkward to just run around your area and say "Hi, I'm Victoria, and I babysit!" but, you have to do a version of that. One of the first places to start is social media. I saw several of my classmates post on Facebook "If you need a babysitter this summer, please contact me! I would love to help out!" If you're CPR certified be sure to mention that.

Another option is to talk to your teachers. I bet that you can find at least one teacher who has kids of babysitting age, and since you feel comfortable with them, taking care of their kids shouldn't be too bad.

When you get there
If it's your first night babysitting a new family, it's going to be a big test. You have to please both parents and kids, and sometimes that's really tough to do. The key is to make sure you have a set of questions to ask the parents before they leave - things like allergies, bedtime, appropriate snacks, diaper/pull-up situation (if applicable), bedtime routine, what is and isn't allowed on TV, etc. Besides the fact that you actually do need this information, it will make you look prepared and eager to do a good job.

When the parents leave
Alright. Now, here is the big test. Most kids will test you to see how much they can get away with. They might try and sneak a big dessert or not brush their teeth, or something that you know they know better than to do. The key is to be involved with them all night. No, seriously. If they're playing outside, get off your phone and go play with them. If it's movie night, watch the movie with them. The more involved you are, the more likely the kids are to realize that they aren't going to get away with anything, and by spending more time with them you can get to know them better and vice versa.

After bed
If you got them to bed on time, congratulations. That's an accomplishment in itself. Anyways, once they're down, go clean. No parent wants to come home to a messy house. If there are dishes in the sink, do them. If you feel comfortable folding a load of laundry, do it. Load or unload the dishwasher. Be sure to just straighten up a little. If the pillow on the couch got rumpled, fluff it back, or re-fold the blanket that the kids got out. Once you do all of that, bring something to do. If you can watch TV without waking up the kids, go for it. Sometimes I can't do that, so I'll bring my laptop and do homework.

When the parents come home
Give them a brief update. Let them know that Susie ate all her vegetables and Sarah was helpful with cleaning up her toys. If you had disciplinary issues, mention that to them, but also be sure to mention how you handled it. For example, if Susie threw her doll at Sarah, Susie would be in time out and would need to apologize to Sarah. Just let them know that something happened and that you didn't sit idly by.

Pay day
This part can get a little awkward. Some parents prefer to choose the rate that they'll pay you, and some will ask you what you charge per hour. If you are asked to tell them your rate, have it prepared beforehand. When choosing a number, think about what other sitters in your area are charging, and then consider how many kids you are watching.

If you feel slighted in any way, or if you feel that you've been underpaid, address the issue the next time you watch them. You could say, "I'm so sorry that I forgot to mention this last time, but my rate is $__ an hour." Be casual and polite, and you'll be fine.

Another tip is to not look at/count the money until you get home. It's just not in good taste to do so.

Hopefully you can expand or start up your own babysitting business soon!

PS - I learned how to change a diaper using this video. So helpful!

 xx, Victoria

1 comment:

  1. You are absolutely right. written very well.. here are some Tips to Get babysitting job.
    Tips to get babysitter summer jobs


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xx, Victoria