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Tell us about your favorite babysitting experience -- whether you were the "baby" or the "sitter"!

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Babysitting: Tips For Doing A Great Job

From Stormie
I've been babysitting since I was 12. When my little sister was born, I helped out around the house and did little things for my parents, like making bottles and just keeping an eye on the baby while they got a little sleep or worked around the house. I wasn't allowed to sit for other people until I was 14. Personally I wouldn't have wanted to be

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home alone with other people's kids when I was younger than that. For a lot of people, babysitting is just fun with little kids, but it's really a big responsibility to look after other people's children. If anything were to happen, I know I wouldn't have been mature or responsible enough to take the necessary actions if (God forbid!) something had gone wrong. Because my sister is the perfect age to babysit for, it helped that all of her friends parents' saw how responsible I was with her. More recently I have started babysitting for our neighbors and then it just kind of took off from there. I've now become the neighborhood babysitter and I work about once a week now.

From Joel
I began babysitting at age 14 when both my parents and I felt like it was the right time because I was mature enough to handle the responsibility. The first time I babysat, it was for my neighbor who had an 8-year-old child. It was the perfect first time to baby sit because my parents were next door, so if anything went wrong I could call them for help, and also since it was during the day I could just play games with the kid the whole time and not have to worry about the kid falling asleep. For the first babysitting time for anyone, I recommend it being during the day just because it is light out and things seem to be a lot easier for you and the kid you are babysitting. After a few times when you get comfortable, then you can babysit at night. Also when you are ready to babysit, try to babysit a kid of the same gender as you because the kid is more comfortable with you and who knows, you might have something in common. Good luck with babysitting!

From Lauren
I've been babysitting since 5th grade. My parents wouldn't let me babysit alone at first, so I started out watching my neighbor's baby while she did chores or took naps. This worked out well because she had some time off, and I got some experience. After that, I started babysitting other kids around the neighborhood. I made sure my parents always had the address of where I was going and the phone numbers I needed.

Make sure you decide how you're getting to the house before and after the babysitting job. Also, when the parents come home, they may have been drinking. If you're uncomfortable for any reason about getting into the car with the kids' parents, call your own. Make a secret conversational keyword between you. For example, "Mom, has Aunt Susie come to visit yet?" could mean "Mom, can you come and pick me up?"

The biggest emergency I dealt with happened the summer before 10th grade. The girl I was babysitting threw up all over! I learned an important lesson about babysitting: for those few hours, you're the parent. You can't walk away. You have a responsibility, no matter how gross it is. You can't call the parents and request that they come home; you have to clean it up. Make sure that before you start babysitting, you're willing to deal with the responsibilities that come with it.

Babysitting Dilemmas: You Make The Call!


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