Is Your Child Ready To Be A Babysitter?

By Danielle Wirsansky on June 9, 2021

Though it is often taken lightly, babysitting is a serious job. A babysitter fulfills an important role. They watch over babies and small children, feeding, changing, washing them as well as keeping them safe from harm. You would not trust just anybody to watch your children. This means you also have to consider the qualifications of your own child and decide if you think they are ready to be a babysitter or not.

Would you feel safe having your child babysit for you? Does your child have all of the qualifications you would look for in a babysitter? What qualifications should you even look for in a babysitter? SafeSitter lists four criteria by which you can determine if a child is ready to be a babysitter: safety skills, child care skills, first aid and rescue skills, and life and business skills. Read on for some tips and lots of questions to ask yourself to help you determine if your child is ready to be a babysitter or not.

Photo by Lina Kivaka from Pexels

Safety Skills

Safety skills can be varied, but you want to know that your child will be not only comfortable but confident in specific situations. When they are babysitting, they have to take care not only of themselves but of others too. You want to make sure they can be in control of a situation and keep everyone safe and sound.

Consider these questions: Is your child comfortable staying home alone, to begin with? Or are they uncomfortable with the dark? Can they handle themselves in at-home emergency situations, like if the power goes out, if it storms, if a stranger comes to the door? Have you taught your child what to do in these situations? And if not, can you teach them and have them handle it confidently? You never want to put your child into a situation that they are not equipped to handle.

Child Care Skills

The next criteria you need to consider before allowing your child to babysit is your child’s child care skills. Do they like other people? Do they even like children? Can they not only get along with younger kids but lead them and have them follow their example? Can they read body language and understand how to communicate with smaller children, or how to set boundaries? How will they react in a stressful situation?

Can your child keep a cool head? Are they patient or impatient? If your child has a short fuse and loses their cool or flies off the handle easily, babysitting might not be the best fit for them. They have to be able to stay cool, calm, and confident when leading smaller children.

First Aid & Rescue Skills

You must then consider what your child might do in an actual emergency situation. What would your child do if the child they were babysitting were to choke? What if they had an allergic reaction? What if they had a seizure? Is your child prepared to handle any of these three common emergency situations? Do they know how to clear an airway, do the Heimlich maneuver, or give CPR? Does your child know how to administer an epi-pen? Does your child feel comfortable being able to call first responders in an emergency situation, or know how to?

To really help prepare your child, you should make sure they are CPR certified. This training will help ground them in the reality that an emergency situation could arise, how serious it is if it does, and how to handle themselves and the child they are babysitting too. And consider: would you want someone watching your own children that did not know what to do in these situations? If the answer is no, then make sure your child can meet those same standards.

Life and Business Skills

Even if your child’s gig is just babysitting, a job is a job after all, and what is a babysitter but a freelance employee with their own business? As a babysitter, your child is running their own business. They market themselves, build skills, land clients, and charge for their time to make income.

This means you need to make sure your child can be a savvy business person too. Your child needs to be able to protect themselves and their business, otherwise, they may not really be ready to be a babysitter. Can they listen to the instructions they are given by the parents of the children they watch, and then follow them? Can your child advocate for themselves—for the situations they are put in when babysitting? They need to be able to speak up for themselves in regard to hours, pay, working conditions, and more. Does your child even feel comfortable speaking to adults? If not, you may have your own answer.

Photo by cottonbro from Pexels

Being a babysitter is serious business so carefully regard your child before allowing them to take on these kinds of gigs. Make sure your child is ready for that kind of responsibility and that they are as prepared as possible for you to send them off into the world of babysitting.

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