December 4, 2009, Newsletter Issue #8: Two-Way Parent Approval

Tip of the Week

We're all guilty of putting our best face forward when applying for a job ... and sometimes of neglecting to mention little details that might jeopardize our chances of getting it. The same can be said for a teenage babysitter. However, the parents of that teenager are more likely to give you an honest perspective on their child's ability to take care of another child.

Before putting your child in the hands of another minor, talk over the responsibility with the prospective babysitter’s own parents. Get the scoop straight from the people that have known that person their whole life. It would be even better if the parent-to-parent interview could take place at the teenager's home. You do not need to see what luxuries their family can afford but rather how they keep up with what they have. Does their home look kid-friendly? Is it organized? Is it clean? This is especially important if your child is to be watched in the babysitter’s home. Even if your child stays on your property, this home visit will provide a sneak peak into their lifestyle. This will let you know what you will come back to after a night of this babysitter being in charge.

Regardless of what you see, remember to be courteous, whether or not what you see pleases you or scares you away. And always ask your interview questions with a positive twist.

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