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Unwritten Rules of Babysitting
January 31, 2018
You’ve been left in charge of your younger siblings or your nieces and nephews. You’ve got experience with kids. It’s only natural that you take the next step. It’s only natural that you take the next step – taking care of someone else’s kids for a few hours. It’s easy when it’s family. You know what they expect. You have an idea of their rules and how their kids behave. There are a few steps you can take to give you the same level of comfort when caring for someone else’s children.
Ask for a list of emergency contacts.
If you want to have a friend over, get permission first. Make sure the parents know who else will be in the house.
Be on time. Showing up late is disrespectful. You want to put your best foot forward, so be cognizant of the time.
Keep YOUR parents in the loop. Make sure they know where you will be and when you expect to be home.
Ask the parents things unique to their children. It’s easier to entertain a child if you know what games they like to play, activities they enjoy, etc.
Let the parents know how things went when they get back. Honest feedback will make your job easier the next time.
Set a reasonable and fair fee for yourself. Talk to your friends who babysit. What do they charge? Does it change based on the number of kids you are watching? Oftentimes, it is at least a little negotiable.
Know the rules. Are the kids required to be in bed at 8pm on a school night? Then they shouldn’t stay up until 8:30pm without their parents’ permission. If the child says they can, make sure you hear it from Mom or Dad before you believe it.
Be friendly. Be a young professional. Smile and shake their hands, even the kids. Showing your happy, friendly, confident nature will do a lot to put the parents at ease.
Last but not least, enjoy yourself! This is more than likely your first job. You are earning some of your own money. Plus, showing responsibility to your parents will only mean they will become more and more comfortable with giving you more freedom. You will both appreciate it.
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