My daughter (13 years old) is babysitting for the first time this Sat. for our next door neighbor. I have given her the usual "do's & don't's", i.e. play games with the child, don't spend your time talking to your friends on the phone, and of course the safety issues. (The child is 7) I was wondering if anyone had some other suggestions for her? Thanks!
Marnita from Cumming, GA
Just tell her to enjoy it sensibly and not get the child over excited. The child is probably looking forward to it as much as she is and the adults are the only anxious people.
My boys always loved their babysitters because they played with them. I would suggest that she read to this child because most kids don't get as many stories read to them as they would like. Once a sitter read 22 stories (like Cat in the Hat) to one of my sons, about age 5. It was a marathon!!!!
As a special treat, it seems to me that bubbles would be a really exciting thing to bring along. Bubble sets are really inexpensive at the dollar store, or you daughter might have some already, or you can use dish soap. That would really be a hit with a 7 year old.
Don't forget old card games or board games like Monoply or Go Fish or War. These are great games for kids, and modern parents are often too busy to teach kids these things nowadays.
Have fun. Louise, Nipawin, SK
How wonderful that you are taking such an active role! Tell her to use good communication with the parent and make sure she's not shy to ask questions.
My daughter took her own coloring books or craft items. She even took slice and bake cookies from time to time. Occasionally she'd bring her favorite G-rated DVDs and popcorn. It allowed her to direct some of the activities and the kids loved the surprise.
My oldest child is 13 and she actually babysits while we go out. My middle is 12 and my son is 7. I always make sure that she has her cell phone or house phone next to her the whole night.If needs to contact 911, she will not be nervous if she can not locate the phone. I also have older retired neighbors that are generally home after 8:00pm and she has their numbers programmed in her phone as well, just in case she hears a "noise" or gets nervous. I also make sure she definitely knows NOT to cook or turn any type of burners or toasters on. I leave all "bagged" snacks on the counter.
She may want to take a movie over that the 7 yr old has never watched to wind down at the end of the night. Wish her luck!
Have key phone numbers handy in case something seems amiss she can call in the experienced caregivers. In fact, send her with your cell phone if she does not have one, good to have, esp. if the house power goes out. Having an entire phone book in the phone helps as well.
Let her know not to hesitate to call and ask questions. Have her write down the children's address and place near their phone. In a crisis, she may not recall that new address to pass to those coming to help (caller ID may not be available in all areas from the 911 center and the dispatchers like to have it read to them).
Wait up or get up when she comes home, the proud smile and her first cash earnings will be something not to miss. She will also begin to appreciate what parents do and the weight of the responsibility within a home.
Hi, didn't read any feedbacks but when my 12yr.old granddaughter first baby sat with her 10mo.old sister for "just for a couple hours" I was livid. My GD,doesn't know "CPR". That's my feedback..Keeper in NC.
As a parent, I can tell your daughter that the number one thing when babysitting is to have fun with the child. However, my favorite babysitter always tidied up the house for me when my son was napping or in bed for the night. She even washed dishes! If your daughter takes the time to do a little clean-up, she'll be the number one babysitter on the block!
Thanks everyone; great advice!!
Two important rules:
1. Do not tell any callers that the adults aren't home. Simply say "they can't come to the phone right now, may I take a message?" (not an untruth, they really CAN't come to the phone lol)
2. Do not open the door for anyone, for any reason.
Babysitting is a HUGE RESPONSIBILITY! Please make sure that your daughter is prepared. Check your local Children's Hospital to see if they have Babysitting Classes, First Aid and CPR included.
Check out these links:
Board games always work. For example Candy Land. It actually takes up a while but when you're having fun it goes by so fast.
I'm 13 and I'm baby sitting tonite and I think it is great that everyone would give such good advice, but it all depends on who is baby sitting cause whether it's the first second or third time someone babysits, they need to feel comfortable in the house they are sitting at. It's ok to fell nervous but you have to be comfortable and thats basically all there is to it..
I am also 13 and I know it is hard. My parents were worried just like you. It takes a lot of commitment, but it is better if you actually know the child. Let your child relax tell them maybe that they should take the red cross babysitting class that will help your child not to freak out at anything that happens. Hope that will help.
How do you get a job? I'm looking everywhere but can't find anything!
I just turned 12 and have been babysitting for 2 years. Tomorrow I am babysitting my cousins overnight. My opinion as a child is to keep all the warnings and do's and don't to a minimum or your daughter might get upset or annoyed and block you out.
I am 14 years old and I babysit regularly. My summer has been packed because of my baby sitting schedules. If I could give advice to your daughter I would tell her that a parent always loves it when they come home to a house that is way cleaner than when they left. That would mean hand washing all the dishes that her and the child or children had used along with anything else that might have been in the sink...
If she doesn't know where they go in the cabinets she could just leave them out on a cloth rag. My other advice would be to keep the child busy. A parents just wants to know that they made the right choice in who they left their child with. So if a parent comes home and hears how much fun they had FROM THE CHILDS perspective then the parent is definitely going to be very happy.
Keeping the child busy will also help her because the child won't be so on end. Wear the child out. When the parent comes home they are going to want to relax so if you have kept the child busy all day then when you leave they are going to want to realize too.
The last thing I do before I leave is make sure I have left the parent a note telling them everything we had done that day, also if you and the child had eaten the rest of any certain chips or snacks, so that she could buy more at the store, and not realize that she was out of ships after she came home! Basically just giving her a detailed run through of everything they did that day! Every parent I baby sit for has seemed happy with my job and called me back to baby sit again. I charge $25 a day.
P.S. If you keep the child happy you are bound to have happy parents! Thats how I look at it! So one of the ways I make sure I am keeping my children happy is, bring them a SMALL something everyday! It doesn't have to be much but in the child's eyes it is the world! They are always happy you are coming because they know you have something fun planned, and a little present to go along with it!
If you have something special planned like going to the zoo bring them a small stuffed animal and tell them to guess what we are doing today!
Well, just try to make sure your daughter knows how to handle a child fit. When I was 12 I'm now 13) I had my first sitting job and the child wanted to skateboard in the house (the childs 3) and I said no that he had to take it outside. When he refused and started to skateboard inside the house I said he had to take it outside or I would have to take it away. He started to get on it so I took it away, he threw a screaming and crying fit, so I brought him upstairs sat him on the bed and told him when hes ready to calm down he can come downstairs. Within 6 minutes he came downstairs appologized and gave me a hug :)
There is a great article about finding a good babysitter here (more for parents):
Hey there, I'm sorry if I have a lot of mistakes because I'm french, but I hope you understand me..
Well, I've babysat 2 times. I'm new at this, but what I can say about this job is: it is really fun! And your 13 year old daughter is going to be fine. It is not that hard! Well it depends.. She will LOVE IT! But she needs to keep him/her busy! When he's a little fussy, try to play a board game and make him teach something to you! He will feel better. Well hope it helps you!