5 tips when babysitting children
You’d be forgiven for thinking that babysitting is easy – especially if you’ve never had kids. You just turn the TV on and put them to bed right? Unfortunately, children – especially infants, don’t share your talents of focus and sitting still.
This means they’re mobile, easily distracted, and looking for entertainment. So, if you’re looking to start babysitting, or simply want to improve your skills, here are our top 5 babysitting tips.
1. Make the most of screen time
If screen time is helpful for parents, it’s a Godsend for babysitters. Whether you think screens are good or bad, you can’t deny that they’re effective. Screentime doesn’t have to be spent watching empty content though.
In fact, there are a number of free kids cartoons on YouTube that children of all ages will love! These cartoons are free, fun, and full of important life lessons. It’s hard to argue with cartoons that teach as much as they entertain.
2. Don’t be afraid to ask questions
Every child is different. The problem is that young children aren’t as good at articulating their needs as we would like. On the flip side, if you ask a toddler what their bedtime is, they’ll probably give you a different answer to what their parents would tell you.
When it comes to children, it’s better to ask a million questions than to guess and get it wrong. So, ask parents as many questions as possible. Write these answers down if you need to and don’t be afraid to ask these questions again.
3. Have a few activities in your back pocket
Having one game or activity planned is simply not enough for toddlers. They may get bored of your games, or simply not be in the mood for them. So, it’s important to have plenty of options up your sleeve and in your back pocket.
4. Learn the rules and stick to them
Whilst it’s tempting to want to be the cool babysitter, this can sometimes make your job harder. Remember at school when a substitute came and chaos reigned? Toddlers can see a similar opportunity when their parents are away.
So, our advice is to learn the rules and stick to them. If there is a bedtime, hold the kids to this bedtime. If there is a rule of no soft drinks, don’t give them soft drinks. You can be relaxed while still maintaining the rules.
5. Ask parents about discipline
You may need to discipline children if they are miss behaving while under your care. Don’t do this using your own methods. Instead, ask the parents how they would discipline their children in given situations.
Consistency is important for young children in all areas of life, including discipline.
Babysitting doesn’t have to be hard. In fact, by following these tips, it will be much easier and more fun for both you and the kids!