If you are like most parents, making sure that your children are well cared for is one of your number one priorities. You might wish that you or a close family member could take care of your children at all times, but this isn’t really feasible in a lot of situations. Whether you need to hire someone to care for your children while you go to work during the day, go to school or take care of other responsibilities, or even if you simply want to hire a babysitter so that you can get a break and spend time with your significant other or other loved ones, it is important for you to make sure that the babysitter that you choose will take good care of your children.
Although it can be difficult to truly know how someone will act around your children and whether or not someone is responsible, regardless of what you do, taking some precautions and keeping a few things in mind when choosing a babysitter can help ensure that you end up with a responsible individual who you can trust around your little ones. Therefore, you should remember these key points before hiring a babysitter to take care of your children.
There are a lot of young teenagers out there who are constantly looking for babysitting jobs, and you might be thinking about hiring one of these young individuals to keep an eye on your children. Although there are a lot of teenagers out there who have babysitting experience or who have younger siblings and other family members that they take care of, you should exercise caution when hiring younger teenagers to keep an eye on your kids. Many teenagers are very mature for their ages, but you can only expect a young teen to handle certain situations in certain ways because they don’t always have the age, experience or maturity to handle emergency situations. Therefore, you might feel more comfortable leaving your little ones with older teenagers, college-age individuals or adults. Although you might have to pay one of these individuals a little more in order to watch your kids, it will be worth it in the long run because you will probably feel more comfortable and confident with leaving your child with the person.
Experience Does Count
It can seem easy to take care of children, but parents and those who have been around a lot of kids know that you can never really anticipate everything that is going to happen while you are taking care of little ones. Therefore, you shouldn’t let someone babysit your children simply because they seem mature and nice or just because it is someone that you know or like. Instead, you should look for someone who has real-life experience with children.
There are a few ways to find out how much experience your potential babysitter has around kids. If he or she has children, you can ask him or her to bring the kids along for the interview; then, you can see if the children seem as if they are properly cared for and you can determine how the babysitter interacts around children. Just because someone doesn’t have kids doesn’t mean that they won’t do well with your children, however; you can always ask for references if the individual says that he or she has babysat extensively in the past. Teenagers and college-age children who have younger siblings may also have the experience that is necessary in order to take care of your kids, but you might want to allow him or her to do so under supervision or for a short period of time at first to ensure that your kids are in good hands.
Age Doesn’t Equal Maturity
Although it typically isn’t a good idea to hire very young teens to babysit your kids, you shouldn’t look at age alone. Age doesn’t equal maturity, so an older teen that you might have talked to about working for you as a babysitter might not be as mature as a younger teenager who has a lot of experience in taking care of children. You can often gauge how mature someone is by talking to them, but you might have to do a little more scoping in order to ensure that a person has the maturity that is required in order to take good care of your kids.
References Are Important
It is best to hire a babysitter who has plenty of good recommendations. Ask for phone numbers of people who they have worked for in the past or others who know about their experience around children before hiring someone. Don’t be embarrassed to ask for a resume; you would want to see some sort of employment information before you trusted someone with your business, so you should certainly take your time choosing someone who will take care of your kids.
Consider Asking Someone You Know
The truth is that you might never feel as comfortable leaving your children with a stranger as you would with someone that you or someone who you love knows personally. Therefore, you might want to consider asking people in your social circle before putting an advertisement out that you are looking for a babysitter. A close friend or family member who is out of work might jump at the opportunity to look after your kids while you are at work, or someone from your church or a coworker might have a close friend or teenager who would be right for the job. Although you certainly don’t have to go with someone who you know personally in order to get a good babysitter for your children, you should at least consider talking to people who you know first.
You never know when something could happen to your kids. A simple accident while playing could become a catastrophe rather quickly or your child could suddenly fall sick while you aren’t around. Since you never know when these things will happen, it is important for you to find a babysitter who will know how to handle medical emergencies if they happen to occur. There are first aid classes available in most cities and towns for very low prices, so consider looking for a babysitter who has taken or who is willing to take one of these classes. In fact, it might even be worth it for you to pay for a potential babysitter to attend first aid and CPR classes so that you will know that your little ones will be safe in the event that they get injured or fall ill.
Look for Good Hygiene
Although a dirty babysitter might be able to care for children just as well as a clean one, you should consider looking for someone who takes good care of themselves. If your babysitter can’t manage to brush his or her hair in the morning, he or she might not be able to take good care of your child either. This doesn’t mean that you should look for someone who is dressed up; someone who is more worried about his or her appearance than taking care of the kids might present a problem. However, you should look for someone who is modestly dressed but who shows signs of good hygiene.
Make Sure Your Kids Feel Comfortable
Even if someone looks good on paper, he or she won’t really work out if your kids don’t get along with him or her. Therefore, you should make sure that your potential babysitter communicates and spends a little time with your kids before you leave them alone. Although it is normal to expect your kids to show a bit of apprehension or nervousness about being left with someone other than you and your family and friends, you should pick someone who you think will be a good match for your family.
Make Sure That He or She Follows the Rules
As a parent, you surely have rules set in place that you expect to be followed. For instance, you probably want your children to go to bed at a certain time and behave a certain way while they are indoors or out in public. It is important that your children are expected to follow these rules when you aren’t home; otherwise, they could get confused, their schedules could get messed up and they might start thinking that they don’t have to follow household rules. Therefore, you should find a babysitter who will enforce all of your family rules when you aren’t around, even if it means putting your children in time out or otherwise making them experience consequences for their actions.
Along with finding a babysitter who will make sure that your children will follow the rules, you should also find someone who you can trust to follow the rules that you have set into place for him or her. For instance, you might not want your babysitter to have friends over while they are babysitting, and you might have rules about the babysitter watching too much television or sitting on the couch and not paying attention to your children. It is important for you to express these rules to your babysitter; once you have, it is perfectly reasonable for you to expect him or her to follow your rules.
If you have carefully talked to and interviewed multiple babysitters and kept the above things in mind, you will be far more likely to end up with a mature and responsible babysitter who you can trust to take good care of your children and respect your home. However, you can never be too careful when it comes to a babysitter; not only are you trusting him or her with your children, but you are also trusting the individual in your home around your most precious and personal belongings. Therefore, you shouldn’t let your guard down until you are absolutely positive that you can trust your babysitter completely.
Therefore, you should consider checking in on the babysitter unexpectedly. Coming home an hour before you are supposed to or popping in on your lunch break can be a good way to find out how your babysitter is treating your children and your home. Don’t make the mistake of showing up on your lunch break every day; by keeping things random, you can catch your babysitter off guard and ensure that things are as they should be at your home at all times.
Installing a nanny cam is also a great way to keep an eye on your babysitter. Some people think that installing a nanny cam is going a bit overboard, but you can never be too careful. Fortunately, nanny cameras aren’t as expensive as they once were, and you can actually find a great nanny cam that takes wonderful footage for a low price if you are willing to shop around. For best results, look for a small unit that will be easily hidden; you can also look for a unit that is disguised as another household item, such as an alarm clock. Also, make sure the unit is wireless for best results; it will be easier to install and conceal if you do.
You can place your nanny cam in a room where your babysitter and children will be spending a lot of time, or you can place several cameras around your home if you want to be truly cautious. You can set it up where you can monitor the footage from your laptop or smartphone while you are away, or you can watch the footage when you get home. If you see any kind of behavior that makes you uncomfortable, such as poor or negligent treatment toward your children, mistreating your personal belongings or other types or behavior, you can address it or find another babysitter right away without too much damage being done.