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How to Become a Better Babysitter

Updated on November 13, 2012
Become a better babysitter
Become a better babysitter

You can be a great babysitter

If you want to be a great babysitter, there are some qualities that you must have or improve upon. To babysit someone's child or children is a great responsibility and it should not be something you just want to do for the money. Making money is nice, but caring for someone's child is a great responsibility to have. If anything happens to the child, you will need to know what to do and or at least know how to get help.

You should be a trustworthy person. A parent needs to know they can trust you. If they tell you that the children are to be in the bed at 9:30pm, put the kids in the bed at that time. If they say not to give their kids certain foods to eat, you should always listen to what the parent says, even if you are pressured by the kids. Trustworthy people do not steal, lie or cheat. Trustworthy people do not inappropriately touch those for whom they care for. When a parent knows they can trust you, other people will find out that you are trustworthy and that could lead to you getting more babysitting jobs.

You will want to Get CPR training. If a child has an emergency like choking or falling, you need to know what to do so that you do not freak out.

If you are between the ages of 11 to 15, take the American Red Cross training course for babysitters. If you are older than that, read books on babysitting and take the time to learn more about children and understanding them.

Keep your eyes on those you are babysitting at all times. I know this sounds hard, but you have to supervise kids at all times. Accidents can happen so fast and many kids have been injured or killed because someone left them unsupervised. This is not the time for you to be texting the entire time you babysit or talking on your cell phone. You are to be attentive to the kids and supervise them especially if they are little children.

Never ever discipline anyones children. Never, ever lose your cool. I don't care what the child does, if it is not your child, you do not discipline them. Don't scream at them, hit them, curse at them or do anything that could put you in trouble with their parents or the law. If you are having a bad day, this is not the day to babysit. Yes, some kids can get out of line, but if a child becomes too unruly for you, you should call the parent right away and have them talk to them.

Make sure before the parents leave you have all necessary information from them to take care of their children. Get a list of all medications if there are any, and know how to give them and how often. If a child has a medical condition, the parent should explain to you how to help the child if they should get sick. Make sure you have every number you can get from the parent and to notify the parent to be sure to answer any calls or text you send. Get the name of where the parent is going especially if they are going out of state. Most parents will call to check on their child. Be sure you answer the calls and let the parent know how their child is doing.

Don't just watch the kid, join in on the fun. Have some safe toys and games for kids to play with at your home. Invest in some family type board games, books and videos for kids. Not everyone can afford a Playstation or Wii, but if you can, this will help with babysitting time. Give the kid quality time while you have them in your possession and you may win a friend for life.

Be careful what you say around a child of any age. Even if you think a child is playing and not paying you any attention, they really are. They are forever listening to anything that is said. Do not repeat confidential information around them because they will remember what you said and will tell it.

Never leave anyone that you are supposed to be caring for in someone else's care without their parents permission even if it is just for 10 minutes. Don't ask you neighbor you have known for awhile to babysit while you run to the corner store. Take the children with you if the parent gives you permission. No one is to care for that child other than you. Children can be hurt, and abused so quickly and you do not want to have to live with the fact that someone you were suppose to care for was hurt because you did not do your job.

I hope some of these tips have helped you. Great babysitters get noticed. If you are a great babysitter, you may be able to make that into a career and become a child care provider, day care owner or an adult companion. Do your best, get some training and have fun with those you care for and you just might become the best babysitter on the block.

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  • Shadystar profile image

    Shadystar 5 years ago from Oregon

    But the thing with teacher's sending home notes is most of the time teachers are just informing the parents of what happened and that usually has to do with if they also need to have a parent teacher confrence or to warn them that they got or will get detention or could possibly be suspended. And, of course, that only works for kids who are schoolaged; because children over 5 are old enough to connect pass behavior with a punishment after a few hours. In my origional point I was mostly refering to younger children (under 4 or 5) who have not yet developed the ability to connect old behavior with a punishment a few years later. Most of the parents I babysit for (usually have younger children) let me know what type of dicipline they use and what they are comfortable with me doing if their child acts up.

    I have, in the past, babysat a 9 year old before and her mother would act like she was going to take care of her behavior and never did and her daughter would always act up and break the rules (in my house!)- she once even told me she knows she can get away with things with her mom. She acted up alot and I think it was because she wanted attention (even if it was negative) and I got 'burned out' very quickly because I kept thinking her mom would take care of it. Some times the reason kids act up is because they don't get enough disipline at home so they need someone to enforce rules and consequences. I think that if a parent wasn't comfortable with me using some type of non-abuse dicipline to help the child learn that is their behavior is not okay when they do it (espesually if it puts them or someone else in danger), I would not watch their child.

  • blessed365 profile image

    Vicky C. 5 years ago from New England

    Shadystar I understand what you are saying and you make a valid point. Most parents today would rather discipline their own children. I would never let kids run wild while I am babysitting, so I show them how I expect them to behave when I take care of them. What I do not want to do is put my hands on them to harm them. If a child is acting up, I will let their parents know and I will also let the child know because the parent needs to understand what it is their child needs to work on. If I know a parent is going to be too hard on a kid, I won't tell them, and I will put them on a time out or take a toy from them for some time. Usually a child will act better if I inform them their parent will be notified, but if the child has no respect for the parent either, it won't matter. Teachers still send home notes and still notify parents of the behavior of the child, so if the child has to deal with some stress, it may teach them to not do the same behavior that got them in trouble in the first place.

  • Shadystar profile image

    Shadystar 5 years ago from Oregon

    I disagree with the "don't discipline" thing. Discipline isn't always about punishment. Discipline (also refered to as guidence) is about teacing children to self-regulate and what behavior is acceptable and not acceptable. For discipline to work it has to be applied at the time of the insedent- a young child cannot make a connection between getting a time out at 5pm for something they did at noon. And studies have shown that it is actually worse for the children to wait until the parent comes home to handle with disipline because the child will be so affraid of the concequences that they will be freaking themselves out and that stress isn't good for them. Besides when a parent comes home after a long day of work the last thing they want to here is that they have to discipline their child for something that happened when they were gone. They don't want to always be the bad guy, they like to have fun with their children too. Also if you let them get away with everything they will walk all over you; most parents understand that- at least the ones that you want to babysit for.

    There are other types of discipline besides corporal punishment or shaming. It depends on the behavior and the age of the child but some forms of guidence include: ignoring, redirecting/distracting, talking, verbal warnings, loss of privilages, and as a last resort separation- also known as "time out" or a "break".