12 February 2013

7 Steps to Good Babysitting

I have quite a bit of experience in various forms of babysitting. Not only am I the oldest of seven kids, but I have also volunteered in nursery, children's church, VBS, and Awana programs in a teaching/crowd controlling/game inventing/babysitting capacity. Most recently, Angel and I were charged with babysitting my 6 and 8 year old cousins one evening. I thought I'd share some of my best advice on babysitting so that others can benefit from my vast experience.

How to Be a Good Babysitter

1. Don't actually sit on the babies. They might tell their parents on you and then you probably won't get paid very well.

2. The television is your friend. Best bet? Bring along a movie of your own that the kids you're watching haven't seen a million times. But most kids are still pretty happy to watch a movie they have seen a million times, so don't panic if you don't own any child-friendly movies (I own one for just such special occasions: Toy Story 3)

3. Don't be afraid to push up bedtime a little bit. If the parents say, "Their usual bedtime is around 8," have them start brushing their teeth by 7:15. Don't underestimate the time it takes to get them sleeping before Mom and Dad come home.

4. It's okay to ask if your husband can come over and help you babysit. I know it was always taboo to have your boyfriend over while babysitting other people's kids, but so far, no one seems to mind when I ask if Angel can come along. See? That wedding band does mean something. 

5. Invent games that you can use to your advantage. Some games I've used successfully in the past: Quiet as a Mouse (everyone stays as quiet as possible for as long as possible to see who wins), Still as a Statue (same concept, only no movement allowed), Who Can Pick up the Most Toys, Who Can Put Their Pajamas on the Fastest, etc.

The Sleeping Game: Whoever can most convince me that they are actually asleep, wins. Who do you think is doing a better job?

The game where you sit on the couch and tell the kids to walk from one side of the house to the other side of the house using many different styles of walking: Do lunges, march, tip-toe, walk backwards, crawl like a baby, hop like a frog, hop like a rabbit, roll on the floor, somersault, etc. Angel and I watch them do this for about 30 minutes.

6. Do not forget about the kids you are babysitting. I've never done this, but I've had dreams that Angel and I had babies and we always forget about them and leave them in random places, so not forgetting about the children is a priority to me.

7. If all else fails, do the limbo with them.

How many of you supported your teenage lifestyle with an income from babysitting?

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Moonofsilver said...

I never really baby sit. Sad to say, but small kids make me really nervous for some reason. And I feel anxious and awkward around them. I don't feel this way around my sisters kids--I guess because I see them more and I know them/they know me. But kids bewilder me.

Dara @ Not In Jersey said...

I babysat a lot as a teen!
I also have dreams that I leave the house and forget my baby.

Cate @ Wild Ruffle said...

These are great tips - I may just have to implement some in my own parenting.;)

Veronica Lee Burns said...

hahaha this is great! made me laugh! I babysat for 8 or so years!

Anna said...

This is perfect! I'm babysitting my 2 nieces and nephew tonight. :) I'm going to have to try a couple of these, especially the still as a statue/quiet as a mouse "games!" :)

Danielle said...

I babysat until I could get a different job once I turned 15. Babysitting was NOT my thing. I was so happy to not have to ever do it again!

Brittany Kyte said...

Don't actually sit on the babies?? HAhaha! Love that :)


Unknown said...

I invited my husband over when I was babysitting a couple weeks ago. I felt like such a rule breaker because I had never invited a boy over while I was babysitting before. I'm so naughty. :)

Unknown said...

Great article. And here's a babysitting trick I use. I download audiobooks and play them in the background while we play. It keeps them occupied and calm. There's lots of sites to download them, but I get some for free at this one.

Unknown said...

Great post. Super creative tips - love 'em! You are Angel make fabulous babysitters! :)

I definitely supported my teenage lifestyle by babysitting and nannying. I did it so much that I am now thoroughly done, and refuse to babysit for anyone other than my parents (ended up happening TWICE last week, and made me super, super baby-hungry) or my sister-in-law. Anyone else is out of the question. It seems, though, that past employers are thinking that I'm twice as capable now that I'm married, and are soliciting my help, and that of Husband's. Nope, not going to happen. Not even for money. We'll have our own kids soon enough, and I do not need to tend someone else's children (with the exceptions made above) to prepare.

Unknown said...

Its my dream to be a good babysitter and that's why here provided 7 steps to be a good babysitter will surely be handy for me to lead my carrier as a babysitter. I hope that you will share more effective ways and steps with us about becoming a babysitter. Thanks for now :)

Unknown said...

Love the comment about 'don't sit on babies' and don't forget them... LOL Just an FYI I have found this resource very helpful when it comes to finding a good sitter:

There are many that won't sit on nor forget your children there... :-)