10 Training Tips for Aspiring Babysitters
Working as a babysitter has been the first job opportunity for countless teens for decades. If you’re considering pursuing a job as a babysitter, but are unsure where to begin, there’s a few training tips that can help prepare you.
So what does one do to prepare for the task of caring for a family’s little ones?
- Learn to Change Diapers – Changing diapers comes with the turf of watching young children and is one of those jobs that you need hands-on experience for to get the technique down. Practice makes perfect, so look for opportunities to help care for siblings, nieces and nephews.
- Take on Chores – Doing household chores may seem unrelated to babysitting, but it actually contributes two essential ingredients to forming a good future sitter. For starters, it gets you in the habit of taking responsibility for a task and making sure it’s done on schedule. Secondly, it’s a valuable asset when sitting in someone else’s home.
- Practice Being on Time – Reliability is the most important quality a babysitter can have. Making sure that you are where you’re supposed to be, when you’re supposed to be there matters just as much as anything else you can do to prepare for babysitting.
- Limit Phone Use When With Friends– Your attention needs to be on the job when you’re babysitting, not on keeping current with your friends, which means keeping your cell phone use to a minimum. When you’re with the kids, like with your friends, they deserve your undivided attention.
- Be Active – Anyone planning to work as a sitter would do well to spend some time learning how to keep kids busy. Play time and entertainment are your two biggest weapons in the war on boredom, which is the father of chaos.
- Learn to Prepare Basic Meals – You probably won’t have to prepare traditional sit-down meals in your babysitting jobs, but you might need to feed toddlers or prepare some snacks for the older kids. Knowing your way around a kitchen, learning how to run a dishwasher, and being able to discern what are (or aren’t) healthy choices for the kids are all very useful skills.
- Practice Multi-tasking – You may be sitting for multiple children, or you may need to read to a toddler while holding a baby. In any case, the skill of multitasking is one that you’ll frequently find yourself needing when watching children, and sitters need to be able to make the best use of their time and stay focused on their responsibilities.
- Familiarize Yourself with Bedtime Stories – If you don’t know a few by heart, you may need some practice either memorizing a couple or reading some to children. Kids love bedtime stories and they can be a sitter’s best friend when putting them down for the night.
- Practice Problem Solving – You could actually work with someone on this tip using hypothetical scenarios. Have one of your parents suggest a particular situation, and then formulate a plan and describe a course of action to take should the situation come to fruition. This is an excellent training method.
- First Aid/CPR – First aid and CPR training is useful for a fledgling sitter. Learn how to treat burns, cuts and stings and how to do CPR. You can find a local training program through your local Red Cross. The Red Cross even has training available for aspiring babysitters to learn the basics needed for the job. You can get more information on the Red Cross babysitter training here.
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