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Since it is your child or children that will be left in the care of your potential new babysitter, shouldn't they also have say in who is hired? If your children are of speaking age, it might be a good idea to have them present when you research a babysitting service, or at least for part of the interview process. Your role when the kids are present is to observe the interaction between the caregiver and child.
Does your normally outgoing child find that person frightening or intimidating? Do they get along together? Is the new babysitter willing to be playful and friendly with the child or do you imagine him or her just plopping the little one down in front of the TV? If your child is slightly older, he or she might enjoy getting to ask their prospective caregiver a few questions themselves. Let your son or daughter ask them as many questions as they need to in order to feel comfortable with this person. If your child smiles right away and is open to this new friend, they are probably well-intentioned. Ask the candidate what she would do in a situation when your child is behaving well and when he or she is misbehaving and show your approval or disapproval of her response. This way your child will see them as both a friend and an authority figure. The look on your child's face should give extra points to the applicant, or take away a few. Your child's opinion of their babysitter matters, and the child will be more likely to cooperate with the babysitter when you are gone if they played a role in the hiring process.
|Sheri Ann Richerson|