Read these 10 What Is A Babysitter Tips tips to make your life smarter, better, faster and wiser. Each tip is approved by our Editors and created by expert writers so great we call them Gurus. LifeTips is the place to go when you need to know about Babysitter tips and hundreds of other topics.
One of the worst questions to be asked when applying for a job is "So, how much do you want to get paid?" It is a very precarious situation. If you ask for too little, the parent will think you do not value your work or have too little experience to take on the task. If you ask too much, it can also reflect inexperience; however, most likely it implies a little arrogance.
A babysitter or parent must also decide if they will pay for services by the hour or if they will offer one set price to be covered for an outing. No babysitter, being charged with the safety and well-being of your child, should be paid minimum wage. Pay should be based on the task at hand and experience. A babysitting job over four hours should get a lump sum of money upwards of $50 or more. An hourly rate should be at $10 or more. Gas money should be included. You would not trust your child to just anyone, so your babysitter should get a fair rate for the care of your child.
You as a parent know your child better than anyone in the world. If you are aware that your child has chased off a few babysitters, or tends to be a little on the challenging side, be prepared. A behavioral chart is a great visual way for your child, your babysitter and yourself to keep track of progress and digression of behavior.
With a piece of posterboard, make a grid. Label the days of the week that your child is to be watched by the babysitter. Then for each good behavior you want them to demonstrate, give the sitter a sticker to put on the chart for that day. Once your child has reached a predetermined number of stickers, they should be earning a reward. It can be as simple as ice cream or a trip to the zoo. In order for the chart to take effect, you must be vigilant about its use. If you do not check it when you get home to see how your child did, your child will not care about it either. If your sitter is not on top of adding stickers in the moment your child does well, your child will no longer be motivated by it. Consistency and cooperation can make the difference in worrying when you leave your child with a sitter and coming home to a happy, well-behaved child.
'"Manny," the term popularized by Britney Spears, simply means "male nanny." Some parents, both mothers and fathers, have a mostly unexplained discomfort associated with having an unrelated male caring for their children.
There really are fewer men than women who seek out babysitting jobs. The same can be said for men who seek out positions in education, with the exception of administrative positions. However, this is not due to lack of capacity for caring for children and being an excellent caregiver, nor due to concealing bad intentions toward your child. Many men simply choose other routes in life.
The ones who truly do appreciate children sometimes find themselves discriminated against because of their gender. Do not let this socially-driven uncorroborated fear keep you from considering a male babysitter or nanny. If you happen to meet a candidate that you find trustworthy, knowledgeable, responsible, and is great with your children, make sure he is given a fair chance. With the rising number of households in which the mother is the sole caregiver, your children may enjoy having a positive male figure in their lives.
Just as you would prepare to interview any other job applicant, you should think ahead about what you want to ask those looking to babysit your child. What greater responsibility could there be? Get out your notepad to make a list of everything you want to ask. What are this person's qualifications? What educational background do they have? Do you want someone who is CPR certified? These are your basic questions that should not pose a problem and will likely be apparent on the applicant's resume.
After the initial round of questioning you will want to have some scenarios prepared to ask the candidate about. You want to make sure to include positive and negative situations in your scenarios to see how this person would react. How will they react to your child throwing a temper tantrum? If your child hits, what will they do? What if your child helps clean up after dinner? What if they do something nice to a neighbor's child? What types of rewards and punishments do they usually practice? Make sure that both your style of leadership and guidance and that of the prospective babysitter are compatible before making your decision. You will still want to inform them of your personal preferences on these topics go before the job begins. Lastly, allow for the applicant to ask you questions. Her questions will emphasize what is most important to her.
Television issues can be put aside if you have a parental control device. With this device you can block channels, programs, or times of day that the television can be watched. Kids can try to reprogram it and pull a fast one over on the babysitter, but parental controls will prevail.
In the rarest of cases where the babysitter may be interested in watching inappropriate programs, you may be able to block these as well. Contact your local cable company to set up a parental control option on your television. Keep in mind that your preventative measures are not enough. You should also sit down and discuss your thoughts on what is appropriate for your child to watch with your child and the babysitter ahead of time. Be fair but firm with all involved and hopefully prevention will prevail.
During your interview with your perspective babysitter, throw out a few questions with both good and bad scenarios. What would they do if your child shared their toys? What would they do if your child made sure to always say "please" and "thank you?" Hopefully you will like what you hear.
Just as you wish to maintain your control over disciplinary issues while your sitter is in your place, you should provide the babysitter with a list of options for rewards for good behavior. This is necessary as your babysitter may have different ideas about what makes a good reward than you do. For example, for cleaning their room, you might normally give your child a sticker, a hug, or a trip to the park. The babysitter might have first thought of giving your child ice cream, or allowing him or her to watch TV a little longer. Your child knows your preferences but might not let the babysitter know how you usually run the show. Your sitter has the best of intentions, but might have her own way of doing things.
If you want it done your way, make your pre-approved ideas known. Knowing their good deeds and behavior can still earn them the rewards they are used to receiving with you will make your child more motivated to continue their great behavior. It will make the job easier on your babysitter as well.
Your child may typically be angelic, but all children react to new people -- and babysitters -- in a variety of ways. Sometimes a very passive child may try to bend the rules a bit with a new person, thinking that the unfamiliar face is also unfamiliar with the rules. Parents and babysitters alike can avoid this sticky situation by discussing how discipline should be handled ahead of time. Parents should inform sitters of what requires a punishment and the types of punishment they approve of.
Babysitters should never use means of punishment that the parent has not approved of. If a situation occurs that is more serious than any party expected, the parent should be called immediately for advice. If the parent is unreachable, one of the emergency contacts should be called and informed of the situation. Truth be told, there are few situations in which an immediate disciplinary response is absolutely necessary. If at any point, the babysitter feels overwhelmed, the parent should have a phone handy and be able to respond. After all, both babysitter and parent are part of a team with the child's best interests in mind.
Technology has made the duties of a parent both easier and yet more difficult at the same time. For example, video games were once simple and innocent. Now parents must be wary of which contain objectionable material that they do not want their children exposed to. Other games may not be so offensive to parents, but may take up too much of your child's time, keeping them indoors and away from fresh air and physical exercise.
It would serve as a good preventative measure for parents to leave the sitter with either a list of regulations or have conferenced with them previously on the subject of how long you would like your child to play video games before pulling the plug. Make sure you place regulations on similar activities such as watching television and movies. Also, it would be wise for the babysitter to watch television programs and movies with the child so that they are aware of exactly what the child has been exposed to under their care. No parent wants to be surprised with hearing that their child has watched something they did not approve of when they arrive home. Nor does any babysitter want a surprise confrontation with a parent about the same thing. Sitters should use their best judgement if they were not given any guidelines ahead of time and always pay attention to TV ratings. Parents cannot hold something against a sitter that they did not previously discuss.
Most young children by a few months of age have either adapted to their parents' schedules or have created their own internal timeclock. If something is going on that keeps them from following the structure that gives them comfort and allows them to always know what to expect from their day, they begin to feel insecure and sometimes even act out and misbehave. Children thrive when their minds and bodies cooperate. They need to eat and have their naps, as well as go to bed at the same time every day, or the next day you might notice a difference in their attitudes. Provide consistency and you will encounter fewer behavioral problems. The children you care for will also appreciate your respect of their need for stability and predictability. You will earn their trust and their love.
An inexperienced babysitter or just a lazy one may define babysitting as literally sitting around with a baby somewhere in the local vicinity. It is the parents' job to give the sitter a little more to do with their child than sit. It is a better idea to provide your child's caregiver with a few ideas for activities to entertain them both. If your child enjoys crafts, you can leave some directions and supplies, some books to read about crafts, or a video on the subject of your little one's choice. You want your child to stay busy on productive matters so that they, and the sitter stay out of trouble. Just as you are leaving a list of activity options to keep your child busy, you might also leave a list of what you prefer your child to not do. These types of precautions will leave little guesswork for your sitter thus preventing problems in the long run.
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|