Babysitters and Child Care
Searching for and Choosing Babysitters and Child Care
- Finding a high-quality babysitter and child-care provider is critical. Sometimes it can take a long time to find someone you’re comfortable with. Take the time. Talk to other parents for recommendations. Do research.
- When you do find someone you’re interested in, ask questions. Find out the person’s philosophy of child rearing and handling discipline issues. Make sure you agree on what matters most.
- Make sure you find a babysitter and child-care provider that your child loves as much as you do. When everyone’s happy, it makes a big difference.
Babysitting and Child-Care Discipline
- Ask about how the person handles discipline issues. Ideally, you want to find someone who is consistent and also caring.
- Work with the person so that both of you are giving your child consistent messages about behavior. Everyone will do better if your child knows to behave the same way at home and at a child-care center.
- Check with other parents who know the caregiver about how he acts when stressed or upset. Most people will say they’re good at handling stress, but the people around them usually have a more accurate perception.
- When you disagree with a caregiver’s methods, address your concern kindly but honestly. Try to reach a mutual understanding about discipline that will work well for everyone.
When Your Teen Becomes a Babysitter
- Make sure your teen takes a babysitting certification class before becoming a babysitter. Just because your teen enjoys young children doesn’t mean that he is prepared to care for them.
- Provide support and backup to your teen babysitter. Encourage her to call you if she encounters situations she isn’t sure how to handle. Sometimes an adult needs to intervene or consult to ensure the safety of a child.
- Be clear to your teen that he is taking a big responsibility in becoming a babysitter. Yes, it’s a job that pays, but it’s also the responsibility of caring for and ensuring the safety of young children.
- Equip your teen with emergency numbers (in addition to yours). Hopefully she will never need these numbers, but it’s better to have them and not need them than the other way around.
- Encourage your teen to go prepared. Have him research games, activities, and crafts that the child may enjoy doing. Some teen babysitters create a babysitting bag full of fun things to do.