Babysitting is a lot like going on a road trip. Before setting off, you’ll make a plan and prepare. You’ll know when you’re starting and when you can expect to end for the day. You’ll incorporate fun activities to stave off boredom and make stops for snacks and meals. You'll also need to prepare for when things don’t go as planned. The goal, of course, is that at the end of the road trip and the babysitting job, everyone involved will enthusiastically say, “Let’s do that again!” In order to make that a reality, you’ll need to plan, prepare for the unexpected, and reflect on the experience to make the next time even better.
If you were planning a road trip you’d pull up a map and identify all of the things you’ll encounter along the way. Similarly, when planning to babysit you’ll need to get the big picture view of the babysitting job by communicating with the parents.
Before the parents leave (the hand-off) you’ll discuss important details like when the kids should be fed, what time is nap time or bedtime, and the activities that are off-limits.
Preparing for the Unexpected
Just as you’d want to know how to change a flat tire and have emergency snacks packed in case of a detour, before babysitting you’ll need to prepare for the unexpected, like who to call in an emergency and how to help a child through a tantrum.
Multiple activity ideas
Know how to calm an upset child
Reflect so your next experience will be even better
After leaving the family’s home, take some time to reflect on your experience. Ask yourself: Did I enjoy babysitting for this family? Did I get along well with the kids? Did I feel comfortable in the home? Did the parents pay me the right amount? Did I feel safe with the arrangement of getting to the house and getting home?
By planning well, preparing for the unexpected, and reflecting on the experience when it’s over, you will begin to fine-tune how you approach babysitting.
Like a road trip, babysitting can be unpredictable. Despite your best efforts, things can still go sideways. By investing in babysitting classes like BabysitPro, you’ll learn how to handle these unexpected situations with confidence. Your confidence will grow with every tantrum you console and every flat tire you fix.
Looking for more babysitting best practices? BabysitPro provides courses and resources for current and aspiring babysitters like you. Start learning today!