Long Term Babysitter Tips

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Can I find a babysitter in my neighborhood?

Neighborly Behavior

It is never a bad idea to get to know your neighbors better. There are numerous benefits to building relationships with those who live closest to you. If your community has a Home Owners Association, you can take advantage of the gathering members at meetings to learn more about parents in the area. Take a few minutes to interview those parents and find out who they use to watch their kids in their absence. These nearby neighbors themselves may be a good option for you if you need to switch babysitting services or merge babysitting services for a date night with your loved one. If one neighbor has only one child, you may be able to share their sitter and share the cost with them if you find that sitter and the ages of your children compatible. Your neighbors may be up to watching your kids for a night every once in a while as long as you agree to do the same for them.

When is it appropriate to terminate a full time babysitter?

Terminating a Full Time Babysitter

A full time babysitter is a big part of a family's life. Terminating this relationship is not something that should be taken lightly. However, there are some issues that are deal breakers, and are grounds for termination. Failing to dismiss an unfit full time sitter is equal to abusing your family. If any of the following occur, action should be considered:

  • The sitter strikes your child.
  • The sitter leaves your child/children alone for any reason, for any length of time.
  • The sitter demeans your child, or calls him or her names.
  • Vulgarity. Verbal or otherwise.
  • Your child makes an accusation that the sitter has touched him or said inappropriate things.
  • The full time babysitter is caught stealing or lying.
  • The sitter is constantly allowing your children to break your household rules without consequence.
If the relationship is terminated, you must address the issue directly with your children. Listen to their fears, hurt and anger. If your children have serious difficulty accepting the change after two or three weeks, seek the assistance of a counselor. This is an issue that should not be ignored.

How can parents help each other out to babysit?

Mommy or Daddy Night Out

All parents need a break every once and a while, including from each other. If you have been wanting to take a class once a week or just enjoy meeting a friend for coffee but your current lifestyle does not allow it, tag team your partner and fit it in your "me" time. Designate one night a week, every two weeks or once a month for the activity you truly miss doing since becoming a parent.

The trick is to make it a special time for those staying at home as well. If it's Daddy who is staying with the kids, make it a special Daddy day by having him do something with the kids that he does not normally do. Take the kids to the zoo or the movies, or even to the park. If the kids miss Mom, have them discuss how much Dad misses Mom as well. If it is Mom at home, do something unique with the kids in Dad's absence. As long as the kids feel like it is special time with the other parent, they will behave well and even look forward to it. The parent getting time off will appreciate coming home to a happy family instead of feeling guilty about having left the kids for a few hours. This can be a situation that can work out for all involved.

How can my friends and I organize a list of babysitters?

Babysitter Master List Tea Party

Once you have achieved a certain age in life, you will find that your list of friends has been narrowed down to those with similar lifestyles. If you have a busy family life, your single friends tend to slowly drift away or find themselves eventually with a family too. Friends of a feather flock together, and can become a precious resource for babysitting questions and advice.

Throw a tea party for all your parent friends. As a group, brainstorm a list of babysitters you have used in the past or present under two categories: recommended and not recommended. Each person should provide the name and number of all babysitters they have used recently and place their names under one of these two categories. By the time the list has made its rounds around the room, there should be ten or more names on the list. Regardless of whether your babysitters were written in on the positive or negative side of the list, be prepared to justify your recommendation. Most times your friends will agree with you after hearing your explanation. After all is said, done, and cleaned up, you should create a master list of those babysitters and their contact information, leaving them in the agreed-upon categories and print or email copies to each of your participating friends. Within one afternoon you and your friends will have found a way to avoid looking up a babysitter for quite a while, as well as dodging those who do not fit your needs.

Can I count on family for long-term babysitting?

Summertime Live-in Babysitter

Many families these days are spread out a few cities, sometimes even a few countries, apart. This is inconvenient around the holiday season, but can work out well for you in the summer when looking for a full-time babysitter. If you have teenage nieces or nephews, even cousins that live in another city or state, they might enjoy the opportunity to spend the summer with your family while getting to know your town at the same time. This arrangement would not be the typical live-in nanny one but one where the nanny truly is a member of the family.

On off time, your vehicle should be available for use with your permission of course, so that this sitter has the chance to go and have some fun on their own without the kids. You can offer pay as an incentive or use room and board as pay along with free excursions of their choice on the weekends. You can sign them up for classes or sports so that they are given every chance to see the benefits of helping you out such as taking a vacation together. This would be an excellent way to extend a helping hand to someone you love that needs a start on their college funds.

Where should I meet the babysitter I wish to interview?

Interview in a Public Place

When you are conducting an interview with a prospective babysitter, it would be the safest option to meet them in a public place. If the babysitting candidate is someone you know already or is a contact from a friend that you trust, your home will serve just as well. However, when it comes to strangers, take extra caution to not put your family into a possibly dangerous situation.

If you are alone with your children and do happen to invite someone to interview that secretly holds dishonorable intentions, you have given to them very important pieces of personal information. You have given them your address and let them see your home as well as told them about your children. That person has possibly met your children as well. Until you have had the chance to do a little research on this babysitter-to-be, meeting at a public place is safe grounds. In a public place you can also take note of the job candidate's body language around others and in public places. You will ask your questions and they will answer, however their body language will take on a different tone when surrounded by people. Do you find this person pleasant and sociable? Are they introverted and antisocial? Do they become irritated with others easily? You can find out the answers to these questions before letting them in your front door.

Can I bring my babysitter from overseas?

Nannies from Far Away

For many people the option of having a full-time babysitter, or nanny, seems the best way to go. Those who have the money and space in their home to provide room and board to a nanny will find that going through a hiring service is the easy way to go. Still others assume that hiring a nanny from abroad will save them a great deal of money.

What most do not realize, though, is that to legally bring a nanny from another country is complicated. A family who wishes to legally hire and bring over a foreign nanny must first get a "certificate of labor." A certificate of labor can only be obtained by applying directly for one from the U.S. Department of Labor. You must prove your need for the employee and that you need the skills of the person from abroad instead of an American in order to get the job done. Contact the US Department of Labor for specific application instructions. Once you have your certificate you must apply for the candidate of your choice as their sponsor through the USCIS Department. You will be applying for the J-1 visa for exchange aliens. This process can take several months and will cost you a few hundred dollars. If you are sure this is the route for you, go to the US Department of Immigration and Citizenship Services at www.uscis.gov to find out more.

Can I use my childbirth preparation classes to find a babysitter?

Ask around at Childbirth Preparation Class

Most new parents-to-be make the choice to attend childbirth preparation classes before the arrival of their new bundle of joy. These classes are the perfect place to network and get the scoop from other parents about their babysitting choices and connections. You will most likely find that many people are just as lost as you are in the process and do not know how to proceed. Yet there is always a well-prepared couple or two who has it all worked out.

Find this couple by asking around during a break in the class. They will be happy to take you down their path to babysitter bliss. You can also ask the nurse conducting the class as they likely have interns who would like to make extra money through babysitting. Give out your contact information and gather that of the other couples so that these mothers and fathers can get in touch with you if they find the right sitter. If you find the right one first, you can let them know with a friendly email as well. There may be some mothers in the class who are not planning on returning to work for at least a few months after giving birth and would enjoy the opportunity to earn some extra cash while staying at home and caring for their own child as well as yours. You never know until you ask.

Can my OBGYN's office give me some help and support in finding a babysitter?

Ask the OBGYN

The first time you went to see the OBGYN when you found out you were pregnant you probably felt bombarded with information. You were given magazines about your changing body, your new responsibility and a packet for your hospital. You were told so many things that it was impossible to remember all of it. However, you most likely never thought to ask your OBGYN about babysitting options.

Like most community resource centers, your OBGYN probably has a bulletin board of ads and flyers related to babies. If you scan it regularly over your nine month journey, you will find ads for a babysitter or two. If you have a close relationship with your doctor you can ask them how they found their first babysitter for their own children. There are so many doctors and nurses that you would have to get a few good leads. If you are not finding enough information from the doctor and staff, ask the other moms in the waiting room how they went about finding their sitter or if they have someone they can recommend.

Can I use my baby shower as an opportunity to find a babysitter?

Baby Shower Game: Get Me a Babysitter

Expecting your first child can bring about so many questions and issues that you have never faced before. You have probably never needed to find a babysitter much less thought about the responsibility that sitter will hold in their arms when they watch your baby for the first time. This is where good friends and an opportune situation come in handy.

At many baby showers, attendees play the "Advice Game." In this game, participants write down a piece of advice on a small piece of paper anonymously and place it in a basket. When all have contributed their piece of advice, the mother-to-be has the chance to read them to share with all. Instead of asking for general advice which you may have already read up on, you can ask for babysitter recommendations or advice. In a room of about twenty friends and family members, twenty pieces of babysitter-hunting advice or contact information should give you a spectacular start in your search. Also, since your baby will not be arriving just yet either, you will have time to calmly and thoroughly investigate and interview the recommended candidates.

How can I find a student babysitter?

Summer Jobs for College Students

Many high school students today no longer use their summer break to go on long, leisurely family vacations. Many use their time off to earn extra money for college. Instead of working at a fast food restaurant or parking cars, some, especially those interested in going into the field of education, the experience of babysitting long-term over the summer will not only be a more clean job but will contribute to their future resumes. If considering college candidates, most colleges have a Career Counseling Center available for student use. Try contacting the college's Career Counseling Center and offer your contact information for students pursuing degrees in related fields to earn extra money over the summer. You will hopefully be contacted by a few ambitious students with a great future ahead of them.

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