Babysitting: Do’s and Don’t

You Are The Best For The Job!

  1. Share on Social Media
    Your clients’ kids may be the cutest little creatures you’ve ever seen, but think twice before snapping a photograph, posting photos to your newsfeed or even checking in or mentioning where you’re babysitting. Don’t break parents’ trust by taking their privacy away. Ask them what’s allowed before you share anything. Discuss these 9 Social Media Rules.And definitely don’t send the parents photos of their baby playing with fireworks or sitting in a boiling saucepan!
  2. Speak No Evil — Stream No Evil
    “Feel free to watch a movie or use the computer.” This statement is pretty standard for babysitters to hear as parents head out the door, but Suzy’s nap is not the best time to catch up on The Walking Dead. As child care providers, we all know just how observant kids can be. The last thing you want is a call questioning Suzy’s nightmares, or foul language to come out of her mouth. From music to video games to television — even on the privacy of your tablet or smartphone — keep it PG (or even G!) at all times. Little eyes and ears are always watching!
  3. Relinquish Authority
    “Well, Daddy lets me” Whether it’s an extended bedtime, that extra cookie or wearing mommy’s lipstick, remember that you’re the boss and need to enforce rules. It may be true that the child is allowed to eat cookies in bed, but, when in doubt, follow your gut and stand firm. It’s better to say “no” and check in when your employer returns than explain why there are cookie crumbs all over the bed. Parents need to know you are confident and capable of caring for their children.An easy way to avoid this: confirm all house rules with the parents before they leave.
  4. Stray from Home
    Unless you’ve received the “okay” from the parents, under no circumstances should you take the children out of the house. Parents expect to know that their little one is safe at home with a trusted supervisor. Even an unapproved walk to the park might give way to raised eyebrows. “Okay” all potential plans with the parents before they take off.
  5. Enforce New Discipline
    Temper tantrums, shouting and hitting — oh my. Part of being a great babysitter is effectively implementing discipline and consistency is key. Your form of discipline may be effective, but can also be somewhat shocking to the children. When your client needs to call a sitter again, they may feel uneasy if their child protests, “I dont like him/her, they made me sit in the corner.”It may feel awkward, but talk with the parents about how to handle issues that come up while they’re gone. Learn how to create a discipline plan.
  6. Host Visitors
    No matter how benevolent your bestie, friendly your father or sweet your significant other, don’t let anyone else in the house. Remember what’s at stake: your job. You wouldn’t want a stranger in your house or eating your porridge, right? Magnify that anxiety by a couple of million and you get a taste of what a parent may feel when exposing their children to strangers.And you probably shouldn’t throw a party at the house while the parents are out, like one nanny did.
  7. Let Your Attention Wander
    YoGabba YoGabba may capture your attention, but don’t let your focus ever stray from the children. It takes one wandering eye, private phone call or catnap for tragedy to strike. Never leave a child unsupervised.
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