Babysitting Skills

By Alyssa Seufert

Intro

Have you ever wanted to babysit? Before you just go out and start, you need to learn a few things. You need to know Preparation, The Parent-Babysitter Talk, Food, Entertainment, Bedtime and No Kids Up. You need to read this article before you even think about it, or you just might let the child run (or for babies crawl) right out the open door.

Preparation

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Some supplies you could bring.

Supplies

Supplies are an important part of babysitting because the children are used to (and board) the toys and games they already have. You might also want to bring some food that you can just warm up and eat incase the children have already had dinner, or they are having something you don’t like. You can bring toys that you don’t play with anymore too. You might have dolls, trucks, cars, stuffed animals, electronics and more just sitting at home. You could bring those. If the children are athletic and/or there is a trail near their house you can bring a bike or scooter, a helmet, a phone, good shoes and water bottles. Depending on the age of the child depends on the toys you bring for them to play with. If you are babysitting infants (0-1) you won't need to bring anything because they don’t use toys. For toddlers (1-3) bring something that has colorful buttons and make a lot of noise. For ages 4-11 bring a game that will allow all people to play the game. Look in Board Games for more ideas.

Talking to Your Parents

Make sure to talk to your parents before babysitting to determine details about your job. You will want to find out how you will get home, or if you can call them in an emergencies. You will want to ask them what they think you should bring to the children. Remember that your parents have done this before, so ask them anything you are unsure about. Don’t Guess! Never guess what to do, ask for help and make sure you have everything solved and sorted out with your parents before you leave the house, or your parents might not be able to help in a bad situation.

Talk to Your Employers

Before you go, make sure to talk to the parents about the important details. You want to know how much you are getting payed. You also want to ask if the children have any medical issues such as asthma, allergies, autism, diabetes and more. If you happen to forget to ask before the job, remember, it’s never too late. You also want to ask about any emergencies phone numbers. If the family has pets you may want to ask about the pets. Some pets may have seizures, are aggressive, or have other medical problems. You want to make sure you know before there is a problem.

Parent-Babysitter Talk

Rules

When you get there, make sure to discuss details about rules the children are expected to follow. You might have had different rules when you were a child. Rules can do with TV watching, or sugar/candy amounts over a certain amount of time. Every parent does their parenting differently, and you want to make sure that you don’t let the kids break their parents rules. Even if the rules sound funny to you like no soda products, that doesn’t mean they aren’t important. You need to get a good idea of what the children need to do. In some houses children don’t break the rules their parents assign, but in some houses, kids always want to be rebellious and break the rules. Do the parents have any Expectations?

Expectations

When babysitting, you may find out different parents may have different expectations of their children. Make sure you know what these different expectations are. Some parents expect their children to know when to do things. They may expect their children to feed the pets, care for their younger siblings, take showers, brush and put up their hair and brush their teeth all before they watch TV. They might also expect their children to always have good manners. If the children’s parents can expect these things of their children, you can too. The parents most likely know the kids better than you do.


Times

You will want to know when the parents will be leaving and arriving so that you can have everything you will need ready, like knowing when to have your own things prepared to leave and go to your house. Before they leave, make sure to ask about bedtimes too. Some different children have different bedtimes, so depending on the different ages of the children. The children might also have a limited amount of time that they can do things on electronics, so you want to know how long that they can be on the internet. It may differ between different parents.

Food

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Some easy foods you could make.

Easy to Prepare

Some foods are very hard to make, chose some type of food that you can measure to your skill. A few different things are chicken pot pie, soups, frozen pizzas, cold sandwiches and grilled cheese sandwiches. There is also the option of breakfast like biscuits, omelets, eggs, toast, etc. There are many things you can do with just a few easy steps.

Made Ready

Some foods come ready to eat, so if you aren’t gifted in the kitchen, make those. There are lunchables as an option. An easy thing you can do is ‘make’ spaghettios.

Making Spaghettios:

  1. Find a can opener.

  2. Place the can opener over the edge of the spaghettios can.

  3. If electric, turn on; If hand cranked, began cranking handle.

  4. Guide through the edge of the can.

  5. If desired, pour into bowl.

Allergies

Some children have allergies, so don’t be caught in such a horrible situation as throat swelling. Children can be allergic to nearly anything. They can be allergic to peanuts, tree nuts, eggs, flour, sugar, etc. Children's allergies can differ from just a few sneezes and a runny nose, to their throat swelling up so much making it hard for the child to breath. If the children do have a serious allergic reaction, don’t wait, take the child directly to an emergency room. You will also want to call your parents, and the child’s parents for help. Do Not Wait! You need to go straight to the emergency room.


Entertainment

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Don't let kids get to stuck to devices like these!

TV

Most kids will just want to lay back and watch TV. It’s okay to watch for a little while, but don’t let them just sit on front of the toob all the time you are there, get the children to be active. Make sure the children don’t sit close to the TV too. Sitting too close to it could damage eyesight. Remember that TV is bad for children and that you could get the children to be athletic. You could get the kids to do some sports like soccer, basketball, baseball or softball in the front yard. You could also play board games or card games. There are many things to do, but don’t let the kids just sit in front of the TV!


Board or Card Games

Sometimes parents don’t just let kids watch TV for as long as they want, so find something else for them to do like board or card games. There are many different board games, and why list them out when kids like them all. There are also card games. One rare card game is golf.

You Play Golf By:

  1. Take 1 full deck of cards and shuffle them.

  2. Give each person 4 cards face down.

  3. Put the cards in a rectangular shape.

  4. One person calls “Golf”

  5. Each person looks at the bottom 2 cards.

  6. The first person will trade 1 of their cards for a card on the discard pile (the cards left over after everyone gets a card).

  7. This continues until someone knocks because they think that their cards add up to the last amount

  8. Queens, Kings, Jacks, Jokers= 12 points

Every numbered card is worth that number

Ace=1

  1. Each player adds up their cards.

  2. The player with the least points in the end win.


Electonics

Square eyes are not good on children, so don’t let the laptop turn your charge’s eyes rectangles! Children think that their lives are on their phones, and quite frankly you might think that too. Well you need to prove everyone (including you) wrong! Your life isn’t in 2D your life is in 4D! Go outside and have some fun, peel yourself away from the phone. Get some ideas from the sections of TV and Board Games. There are many things in these sections that you could do.

Bedtime

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Get kids in beds like this on time.

Enforcement

When it’s bedtime, it’s bedtime. Stay strong and make sure the kids are aware of this. The kids may say something to the effect of “Nooooooooo!” or “I don’t want to go to bed!” Tell them that sadly, it isn't their choice, it is their parents choice and their parents said they need to go to bed at that time. Show some authority towards the subject. Be brave, be strong, and remember… You’re in charge tonight!


Nighttime Procedures

There are many things for kids to do before they get to bed. Some kids need to do things like brush their teeth, not watch TV for a certain amount of time before, brush and put up hair and many more things. If the kids refuse to do these things tell them that they should sit in their bed for the next 15 minutes which is the time they could have gotten their chores done. This is just one of the punishments you could give to make sure the children understand that they need to be more responsible towards their babysitters.

Nightlights

Some kids may sleep with nightlights, and they are terrified without one. Make sure to ask if they leave any lights on at night in case the child/children need to get to the restroom or another area in the house. You need to be careful to ask and make sure for the children's sake. If they do get scared in the middle of the night, you could offer to turn on a light to make sure that they know that everything is alright.


Fears

Some kids may think that now that mom and dad aren’t home, there are monsters or clowns or wolves hiding everywhere possible, and without their parents there might not be anyone to protect their imagination from running wild. Make sure the children have a good, caring babysitter who is patient and explains to them gently that the monsters they see are just regular things or shadows. Once they see that the things are really things that they see every day, they may not be so scared.


No Kids Up

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Get home on a street like this one.

What to Do

When the kids are asleep, think of something fun (but not noisy) for you to do. If you have some device, you could play on that. Or watch TV, or even play a one person game. You could arrange important days on your calendar. You could also eat any food that you might have brought to eat. Again, make sure what ever you do it won't wake up sleeping children that you have to get back to bed after. That would be a real pain to do, and take forever.

Food

If you are still hungry after the kids are asleep, (if the parents are okay with you doing it) you can grab some food that the parents have. You may have also have brought your own food to heat up. Whatever you do, make sure it is quiet enough the kids won’t hear it. You will also need to prepare for Getting Home afterwards. There are many things that you could eat, but remember, never leave the house, even just for a moment.

Getting Home

After your day, when the parents arrive home you will want to know how you are going to get home, or you’re going to regret it. If you are in walking distance and it isn’t snowing so deep you can’t get home, you can just take the easy way and walk. If you can drive, yay you, you just need to drive yourself home. You can also take the bus or the subway.


Did you learn everything you needed to to babysit? If you still need help go to your local store and buy/rent a book on the amazing world of babysitting skills. Now you are ready to begin babysitting children of your choice, and go get some cash for your hard work. Have fun and babysit every child on this side of the Earth.

Glossary

  1. Asthma- A respiratory condition marked by spasms in the bronchi of the lungs, causing difficulty breathing. It usually results from an allergic reaction or other forms of hypersensitivity.

  2. Allergies- A damage immune response by the body to a substance, especially pollen, fur, a particular food, or dust, to which it has become hypersensitive.

  3. Autism- A mental condition, present from early childhood, characterized by difficulty in communicating and forming relationships with other people and in using language and abstract concepts.

  4. Diabetes- A metabolic disease in which the body’s inability to produce any or enough insulin causes elevated levels of glucose in the blood.

  5. Seizure- A sudden attack of illness, especially a stroke or an epileptic fit.: "the patient had a seizure".

  6. Aggressive- Ready or likely to attack or confront; characterized by or resulting from aggression.: "he's very uncooperative and aggressive" "aggressive behavior".

  7. Rebellious- Showing a desire to resist authority, control, or convention.: "young people with a rebellious streak".

  8. Expectations- A strong belief that something will happen or be the case in the future.: "reality had not lived up to expectations" "an expectation that the government will provide the resources" "he drilled his men in expectation of a Prussian advance".

  9. Manners- A person’s outward bearing or way of behaving toward others.: "his arrogance and pompous manner" "a shy and diffident manner".

  10. Situation- 1.A set of circumstances in which one finds oneself; a state of affairs.: "the situation between her and Jake had come to a head" "the political situation in Russia".

2.The location and surroundings of a place.: "the situation of the town is pleasant".

  1. Authority-the power or right to give orders, make decisions, and enforce obedience.: "he had absolute authority over his subordinates" "positions of authority" "they acted under the authority of the UN Security Council" "a rebellion against those in authority".

  2. Terrified- Cause to feel extreme fear.: "the thought terrifies me" "he is terrified of spiders" "she was terrified he would drop her" "the terrifying events of the past few weeks".

  3. Subway- An underground electric railroad.