Be the Best Babysitter

Lauren Holinger, Staff Writer

There are certain things that every good babysitter knows to do and does when caring for children.

If you are looking to start babysitting or wish to know some of the most important things to do when caring for children, here are the top nine tips for taking care of young children.

  1. The child’s safety is the first and most important thing you need to monitor when you are caring for a child. Make sure that the child is in your sight at all times, and he/she is not doing anything that poses a threat to their physical safety (climbing a railing and handling flames are two examples). Also, in the event that a child does get injured, know where to find medical items in the house, such as bandages or antibacterial spray. If the injury is more serious, contact emergency services first, and then call the parent or guardian of the child.
  2. Respect the Parent/ Guardian’s Rules/ Wishes. Remember that it is not your child you are caring for, and if the parent or guardian of the child gives you specific rules to follow, you should follow those rules. It is not up to you to set the rules of the house that the child should follow, enforce rules given to you. Keeping the child on a set schedule doing the things he/ she is familiar with makes it easier for the child to cope when their parent or guardian is away.
  3. Respect the House. Act as a guest in the house you are working in; it is not your own home. Keep things clean and orderly, and clean up any messes you make. Encourage the child to clean up any messes he/ she makes. Do not snoop.
  4. Be Accountable. A babysitter someone will continue to hire is one that is accountable. Be on time, and let the parents know ahead of time what your schedule is and when you are available to babysit. Respond quickly and appropriately to calls or texts and let them know when you are unavailable as soon as possible.
  5. Know the Child’s Needs. Knowing the child’s medical and emotional needs is very important in caring for the child properly. If the child has allergies, avoid giving them those certain foods, or exposing them to their allergens. If the child is sick and needs medication, keep track of time and when you should give the child their medicine.
  6. Be Friendly. Be someone the child and the family of the child genuinely like. Be friendly, and get to know the people you are working with. Cooperate with the family and child if they give you a hard time. A positive attitude goes a long way.
  7. Be Patient. Control your temper and don’t lose it immediately if things don’t go your way while caring for the child. Creating a fuss will only cause the child to act out more. Remember to stay calm in difficult situations.
  8. You Can Say No. You have the power to say no to the child. Do not let the child walk all over you, you are the authority in the house and when the child asks permission for something, or does something against the rules, you are allowed to say no to them. Saying yes to everything is not always a good idea.
  9. Build a Relationship With the Child. Be personable. Be someone the child wants to be around, it will make the experience a lot better for both the child and you. Building a relationship with a child you babysit or care for often allows the child to be comfortable around you.