Babysitting 101

Junior Reporter Carys Thompson Offers a Crash Course in Babysitting

By CARYS THOMPSON | Junior Reporter

Ah, babysitting! The rite of passage to any young adult’s first commission.

But does everyone have what it takes to watch someone else’s child? Some are eager for the responsibilities and honor it holds, while others are just trying to earn some extra pocket money.

I have just started the babysitting business and am not entirely familiar with challenges that come along with it. This is my advice to any teen who wishes to know the secrets to babysitting.

The first rule is simple: Don’t be afraid to say no. These parents have hired you for a reason. You’re there to prove that you can be trusted with their child, even though it may feel weird to discipline a child.

If the parents give you rules for the child to follow, don’t be afraid to enforce them. There are always bad outcomes to sneakiness.

I recently have experienced an example of this method. I was watching two kids who both generally aren’t that big a challenge. Their parents told me that they both were not allowed television. I calmly and kindly enforced this rule, without sounding like the Grinch.

The second rule helps give you a good impression: ask. You might know absolutely nothing about this child you’re sitting for, so, you want to be prepared.

Ask the parents anything. No candy before lunch? Allergic to yogurt? Not allowed in Mom and Dad’s bedroom? All questions are suitable to ask. As you get more accustomed to the family, you’ll know how to take control when a situation arises.

Lastly, commit. If you say you’re going to be at the house at a particular time, be there. You should never back down on your commitment. I’m not saying you have to be at this family’s beck and call, but you should keep your promises that you make.

Babysitting is an honor and a job that helps you start your bank account a little earlier than usual. Being a babysitter is excellent fun, and I thoroughly encourage everyone to try it at some point in their life.