Babysitting is a great way for a teen to earn a little extra cash, especially around the summer when kids are out of school and parents are working. Babysitting also requires a great amount of responsibility, and there are a few things you need to be aware of before you start babysitting.
The following are some babysitting tips for teen babysitters. These will not only help you to be a great sitter (ensuring you get called back for more jobs), but a safe sitter as well.
Know contact information
It’s crucial that you have the contact information for the parents before they leave the house. This includes not only cell numbers, but the phone number of the place they will be for the evening. It’s best to know the number of where they will be located so they can still be contacted quickly in case their phone doesn’t get reception, runs out of batteries, and so forth. In addition, make sure you know to call 911 in the event of an emergency. It would also be a good idea to know the number for poison control.
Some parents will be more strict than others when it comes to bedtimes, snacks, TV, etc. However, it’s important to follow the parents’ rules about these kinds of things. So if they tell you to put the kids to bed at eight, make sure you do so instead of letting them stay up and play until right before their parents get home. Also, make sure you follow eating instructions as well; some kids may have allergies or food intolerances, and you will need to be aware of these.
Know what to do in an emergency
Make sure you know where the parents keep the first aid kit in the event of a little emergency, like a skinned knee or bee sting. It’s also important that you know CPR and what to do if a child is choking. Not only will parents be more willing to hire you, but knowing CPR can mean the difference between life and death for a child who chokes or stops breathing.
Have fun activities planned for the kids
This is especially true for young children. You can keep them entertained (and prevent them from crying for their parents) by giving them plenty of attention. Play games with them, or take them outside to play if the weather is nice. DVDs and reading stories are also a good way to keep the kids busy.
Never leave the children alone
It’s amazing how quickly even small children can get into things or take off. For that reason, you should never leave kids in your care alone, even for a second. Check on them often after they’ve gone to bed to make sure things are in order.
Remember that babysitting is a job
When you are hired as a babysitter, your job is to take care of the kids you are being paid to watch. This means you shouldn’t be watching TV, chatting on the phone, playing on the computer, or doing homework (unless the kids are in bed and you can still hear them, and the parents said it’s alright.) Don’t invite friends over, even if the kids are in bed.
Keeping these tips in mind will help ensure that you will be a safe, fun sitter both the kids and parents will be happy to have back.