Babysitting Tips for Beginners
If you’ve just completed a Safe Sitter® course and need some help getting a jump start with your new business, these tips will do the trick!
- Before you take on your first solo job, help another babysitter. Being a beginning babysitter is easier if you can tag along on your first couple jobs with someone who is more experienced. For example, tag along with an older sibling or a good friend before going off to babysit on your own. It will help you become familiar and actively engaged in the process. If it’s your first job for the family, ask if you can arrive early to give the children time to warm up to you. This will help you feel more comfortable and give you the opportunity to ask the parents questions before they leave.
- Have fun ideas planned but still ask the children what they want to do. Don’t force them to sit down and complete all four puzzles you brought with you, but also do not come empty-handed and let them watch TV for hours. The best babysitters are the ones who engage and play with the children. (Check out our advice for new babysitters on connecting with kids.)
- Don’t be afraid to ask questions. You should always record contact information, babysitting information, and any other essential notes on your Important Information Note Pad. But if you are having a small dilemma and your notes don’t help, like for example how many cups of food to feed the dog or where the parents left the house keys, just give your employer a quick call or send a text.
- Stay in control of the children. Remind them that you are following the parent’s rules. Be firm and try giving choices or making a game of what you want them to do. Remind them of the consequences for breaking the rules. Remember, children who are out if control or unhappy may harm themselves and others.
- Stay in control of yourself! You need to be patient and control your temper when you’re taking care of young children. Always use a pleasant but firm tone of voice.
- Always have your Safe Sitter® Student Handbook. It is the best tool to carry with you to babysitting jobs. You can use the Safe Sitter ® First Aid chart or check out the Safe Sitter® Behavior Aid Chart as references.
It might seem like a lot to remember but following these tips will guarantee a successful start to your babysitting business. It’s important to be professional but also to have fun!
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