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The Babysitting Workshop

Since I haven't been asked to run a babysitter's workshop since I had children and I have much to say on the subject, I thought I would provide my expertise and insight here for all the world' s benefit (at least the 3 or 4 people who read my blog). I guess what it really comes down to is, I have an opinion and since no one asks me for it, I am writing it here because I can, so pthhbbpt (that's me blowing a raspberry).

If a babysitter wants to be assured of never getting another babysitting job anywhere in the neighborhood (parents talk), follow these simple suggestions:

Top 14 dos to prevent future jobs

1. Do let children talk you into doing chemistry experiments in the kitchen. Just trust me on this, the children will make it sound so educational and fun !

2. Be sure to bounce the family pet gerbil on the trampoline. They love to have their brains rattled!

3. When allowing the children to eat in their rooms (even though they know it is against the rules), and someone spills popcorn on the floor, be sure to tell them the best solution is to brush it all under the bed.

4. Be sure to take the kids to the park without mentioning the idea to the parents so that when they call and call and call to check on things they are absolutely frantic when no one answers.

5. If a child falls and is injured, especially if blood and swelling are involved, be sure to leave the house as quickly as possible without telling the parents.

6. Please, leave the leftover pizza sitting on the counter and food on the plates for the parents to clean up when they get home 5 hours later.

7. Be sure to lock yourself and the kids out of the house half way through the movie the parents have gone to.

8. When the parents come home, be sure to have all the lights in the house turned off so everything looks deserted and they will find you texting in the dark.

9. Do not change the baby's diaper so that the parents can have the joy of being awakened to a shivering cold screaming child and spend the next hour changing pajamas and sheets and quieting a hysterical child.

10. Be sure to take the children to your house so your mother can watch them for you, making the parents question if you are actually capable of babysitting.

11. Let the kids play video games for 5 hours straight so you don't have to interact with them.

12. Always have something better to do so that you are never available when someone calls you to babysit.

13. Let them stay up until the parents get home even if their bedtime was 2 hours earlier, that way they will be cheerful and happy for school the next morning! Parents love to end their evening by putting tired, wound up kids to bed.

14. Please disregard the dinner choices the parents provided and just feed the kids hot dogs, graham crackers, and candy. This will make it easier for them to fall asleep.

All of these have happened at our house with the exception of #2 which happened to a neighbor. A couple of these occurred with the same babysitter. We wanted to give her the benefit of the doubt and another chance. It just didn't seem to work out. Most of these babysitters were not called again. If they were, it was an emergency and we could find no one else.

We have had some wonderful babysitters too! Girls that have not only rinsed the dishes but either emptied the dishwasher and reloaded it or washed the dishes by hand. They have brought games, toys and treats for the kids. The kids ask the next morning when we will be having them come again. They are girls that know how to say no to potential problems and redirect kids' attention to another appropriate, fun activity. We have come close to perfection with a couple of babysitters. The problem is, they are in such demand, we can rarely get them. It is so nice to come home to peacefully sleeping kids, a straightened house, and a calm babysitter.

I am not expecting perfection. My basic hopes and dreams in hiring a babysitter are as follows:

1. The safety and well being of the children must come first. This, however, does not mean let them do whatever makes them happy. Family rules and common sense must be observed.

2. I would like to return to a house that is in at least as good a shape as I left it. For example, no food left out, toys basically picked up, etc. I expect that the kids would be asked to help with this too.

3. Do what needs to be done. If a diaper needs changing, change it. If someone spills, clean it up. If someone gets hurt, take care of the injury (depending on the severity).

4. Pay attention to the children. You are there for them, not to text or call your friend, read a book, watch t.v. etc. I don't mind if you do these things after the children are in bed.

5. Under no circumstances should you have someone else at my house with you without my approval.

6. Listen and follow my instructions for meals, bedtime, etc. If you have questions or need clarification, ask. If something comes up, don't be afraid to call.

7. Above all, show common sense!!

We had a babysitter who babysat for us for many years. She knew our kids, was interested in what they were doing, and we considered her an extended part of our family. She would even babysit for us when she came home from college. She is married now and we miss her very much.

What advice do you have for babysitting?


Guest Post by Brooke of The Brudcrew

photo courtesy google images

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