Parents usually have a hard time trying to decide if their child is ready to baby sit. Many teenagers like to baby sit as a way to earn a little extra spending money. It is a great way for your child to learn responsibility, work ethic and be rewarded for hard work. As a parent it is our job to worry about our children, but we also need to give them room to become independent and grow. Whatever age you decide it is appropriate to let them start babysitting you need to be sure they are qualified. No matter how mature your teenager is watching another child can be challenging, many do not realize how much. Here are a few ways parents can prepare their teen for babysitting.
1) CPR and Basic First Aid Classes – One best way to prepare your teen is to attend a first aid and CPR class with them. Knowing basic first aid and life saving CPR is essential, this is important for teenagers and adults both to know. You can find classes at your local YMCA, here in Houston our offers first aid classes for $35.00 and CPR for $55.00. If your family is YMCA members you get these vital classes at a discount. If you do not have a local YMCA near your home check with your closet hospital, they will be able to help you find some classes. These skills are something we hope we never have to use but it is important to be prepared.
2) Practice Watching Siblings or Relatives– Many teenagers who do not have brothers and sisters do not realize how hard babysitting can be. The next tip on how to prepare them are a dry run. Have your teen get some experience watching siblings, or other relatives. There is nothing like on the job training. They will get the opportunity to experience some of the things that might come up while babysitting. It will help them be less nervous and more confident in their ability to handle situations on their own.
3) Have A Safety Plan– Whether your teen is babysitting next door or across town you want to be sure they always have a safety plan in mind. Before they start to baby sit you need to sit down with them and prepare a safety plan. They always need to be aware of fire safety tips what to do if one occurs. Have emergency numbers on hand, even poison control, and know what to do if strangers are near the home. A cell phone is essential if there were a storm or something You do not want to scare your teenager but make sure they are aware of dangers and have some plan in place to handle emergencies. Having a safety plan will help them stay calm if any problems arise.
4) Make A Babysitting Bag – The biggest challenges your teenager will come across when they baby sit is keeping the children occupied and happy so they will not get into mischief. A babysitting survival bag can help them keep their sanity. Depending on the ages of the child or children they will baby sit the bag can be filled with different items. You and your teenager can put in items like: books, card games, crayons, coloring books, bubbles and other inexpensive dollar store toys and treats. They will have a time or two when the children are driving them bananas and pulling a surprise out of their babysitting bag will help. Once you answer the question, is my child ready to baby sit, these simple tips to prepare your teenager it will make their job much easier and more fun for everyone.