How to Survive as a Babysitter

Many young adults and teenagers turn to babysitting to earn money. It can be a nerve-racking experience to babysit for the first time.

Children’s safety is the most important thing to their parents, so finding someone trustworthy to watch them for a night can be very difficult. Babysitting can be a demanding task for teenagers. Despite the endless possibilities that can happen while babysitting, there are a few key tips to keep in mind that will make the experience go smoothly.

You hear a knock at the door as you watch the kids, and you head over to open it, but the person at the door evokes creepy vibes. Well, to begin with, the very first problem with this situation is that you never answer the door. We want to ensure everyone’s safety and prevent anything bad from happening while the parents are away for the night. To be better prepared for a situation like this, make sure the blinds are closed and people can’t see into the house. Additionally, make sure that you and the children are not in direct line with the door; this will prevent people from seeing you or the kids. 

Next, it’s been a long night, and it’s finally time for the kids to go to sleep. The kids start to get fussy and won’t listen when you tell them “it’s time to get ready for bed.” There are multiple ways to communicate that it is time to go to bed. Establishing a bedtime is one way to achieve this. Make sure they know at that time it’s time to go to bed. This is something to do right when you get there,  so there is no confusion about it. Alternatively, you could make it a race. If you are watching multiple children, you could see whose bedtime preparation is the fastest. This way, they will see it as a game and will be more inclined to do it. Also a common line said by children is “ well my mom always lets me do this when she is home.” Do not be fooled by this line. Stand firm is what you are saying, you do not for sure know if this is true so assume it is not. 

Lastly, you are playing outside with the kids, and one of them falls and scrapes their knee while running after a ball. They start crying and calling for their mom, but at this point, you have no idea what to do or how to calm the child down. Keeping an open line of communication could be a great option. If something isn’t going as expected, it’s okay to call the parents. Calling the parents may also calm them down and take their minds off their pain. When a parent’s child is crying, they will appreciate that you are sensitive to their needs. This may be especially useful if you are a first-time babysitter. Another common  scenario while babysitting multiple children could be the kids getting into fights with their siblings. This is a tough thing to handle, just make sure there is not any physical touching or fighting happening with the kids. The easiest thing to do would be to sit them down and have them talk about what is happening. That way you get to hear both sides of what is going on.

Say the child breaks their arm or something serious like this, you should always have 911 ready to call in a serious situation. After calling 911, call the parents to make sure they know what is going on. This is something that can be very scary, but always remain calm and everything will be fine. 

Despite all the stress that babysitting can bring, following these simple rules will actually make it easier. Kids think that the rules are no longer applicable when they are separated from their parents, as a result, they will start to test your patience and push you beyond your limits. Consistently uncooperative behavior can lead to one horrifying night, but standing your ground will make you an amazing babysitter. 

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Isabelle Benson

Hello, my name is Isabelle Benson. I am an elementary education major at Stephens College. I play volleyball as well.

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