You’ve already learned a little about how to be prepared and keep the children safe. Now let’s talk about keeping someone else safe: YOU!
It’s easy to think, “I’ll babysit for anyone that wants to pay me!” Money is a big motivation for most babysitters. ☺ But, there are a few things to keep in mind, in order to make sure that the babysitting experience is a good one for you, as well as the kids you’ll be watching.
- Especially in the beginning, babysit for people you already know. It doesn’t have to be someone you’ve known your whole life, but your first few jobs should be for families you — and your parents — trust. Make a list of people who might be good candidates for your beginning appointments: neighbors, families from your church or other activities, etc. You might even want to offer to watch the children at your house for the first time or two: that way, your parents can help you learn the ropes of babysitting and will be there if something doesn’t go as planned.
- When you’re ready to expand your potential babysitting jobs, maybe by putting up flyers or even by registering for a babysitter website, always get your parents’ input! You may have to have their permission to create an account for an online babysitter site, and you’ll always want them to be involved in deciding whether or not a new “client” is appropriate for you.
- Make sure to find out the details of a job before you agree to babysit. Good questions to ask include:
*How will I get to and from your house?
*What time will you need me?
*How many kids will I be watching?
*Do you have a pool, pets, or anything else I need to be aware of?
*What kinds of things will you need me to do while I’m there?
- Have a cell phone with you for every babysitting job. Many families don’t have landline phones anymore, and you’ll want to make sure you have a way to call 911 — or your parents! — if there’s no phone available at the family’s home. If there’s anything that seems not quite right about the situation, you’ll be able to get help.