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By L'Oreal Thompson and Patricia McNamara (GL Mag.) PowerPoint designed by Mercedes Kidon
You Will Find……
• • • • • • • • • • • • • Title And Authors Page…………….. Slide #1 Contents (You Will Find……)……… Slide #2 Intro……………………………………….. Slide #3 Decisions, Decisions………………… Slide #4 • Test The Waters • Get Certified Get The Gig, Girl Friend……………. Slide #5 • Deal Or No Deal Meet The Smiths……………………… Slide #6 • House Rules • Win Over The Kids In 60 Secs Or Less Let The Games Begin……………….. Slide #7 • An Active Babysitter Is An Awesome Babysitter • Mary Poppins Has Nothin’ On You Just Say “No”………………………….. Slide #8 Beat The Bedtime Blues…………… Slide #9 Now What……………………………….. Slide #10 Boredom Busters…………………….. Slide #11 What To Do When……………………. Slide #12 Survival Secrets……………………… Slide #13
• Babysitting isn’t for babies! Think you have what it takes to join the club? Here’s how to be a superstar sitter! • Dirty diapers. Hours of playing make-believe. Hyperactive kids. And, at the end of the night, a sweet stash of cash. Cha-ching! We’ve got the scoop on how to be the best-and busiest-sitter on the block.
• It takes a certain gal to get this job done (if the thought of screaming children and late hours has you running for the hills, reconsider). Babysitting isn’t just work-it’s a relationship. As one super sitter puts it, “I love to watch the babies grow up. I’ve seen a set of twins learn to sit up, crawl, stand, walk, and eat real food. It’s an amazing experience!” But before you decide to embark on this journey, here are things to think about. Test The Waters………… Babysitting is a big deal! You’re not only responsible for the rugrats’ health and safety, but also their happiness. If you have a younger bro or sis, you’re ahead of the game. But for those who’ve never sat for sibs, ease your way in by being a mother’s helper. It’s less pressure because an adult is home, but you still learn how to care for precious cargo. BONUS: You’ll gain a possible future client or a reference. Get Certified............ Families want the best of the best. Get an official Certification-there’s no better way to establish yourself as a pro. We recommend the American Red Cross Babysitter’s Training Course, an interactive class that gives you tips on everything from the interview to first aid. It’ll cost you up to $65, but c’mon. That’s chump change considering your qualifications are bound to earn a higher rate and greater clientele. To find a chapter near you, log on to redcross.org.
Get The Gig, Girl Friend
• You’re ready. Now what? You need customers! Word-of-mouth is a good bet. Let relatives, neighbors, church members, even teachers know you’re open for business. Next, throw together a brief resume with your background. Since you don’t have a mile-long list of past jobs, focus on any experience that prepares you for babysitting (“As the older sister of triplets, I can handle a small load of little ones”), accomplishments that showcase responsibility (“I headed up the fifth-grade can drive”) and any interests you have that might make you seem like someone the kids would have fun with (“I’m an expert at making friendship bracelets”). Finally, list three trustworthy references to back you up. Deal Or No Deal............ You’ve put yourself out there and got the call. Congrats! But before you agree to anything, know what you’re getting into. Have a chat with the family to get the basics-how many kids, their ages, when they need you. Oh, and just how much moolah should you charge? Babysitting is a business, so be reasonable-without selling yourself short. On average, babysitters charge from $5 to $7 an hour. This amount can, and probably will change depending on where you live, and what is considered ‘cheap’ and ‘expensive’. But that rate can vary depending on how many kids and what is expected of you. In fact, 49% of girls don’t charge the same for every family and every job. Many even add an extra buck or two an hour for each additional kid or extra household chores. Ask around to get a consensus for what the going rate is, then take it from there.
Meet The Smiths
• Before a first gig, arrive about 15 minutes early. Rest assured, the folks will spell out the essentials, but be prepped with a list of questions or concerns. Have a pen and pad to jot down the necessary contact numbers-both cells, their destinations, a backup person (like a grandparent or friendly neighbor). Ask for detailed info about the children’s allergies or special needs. And last but not least, be sure you know where you know where emergency stuff is stored (flashlights, fire extinguishers, first-aid kits, etc.). House Rules………… Every family is different, so what works for the Joneses might be the complete opposite at the Smiths. Have a clear understanding of rules and routines for nap time, snacks, and TV. Keep in mind you, too, have rules. The family is welcoming you into their home, so this is not a place to put your feet up or treat the fridge like an all-you-can-eat buffet. If the parents feel you were discourteous, you run the risk of losing your job, so what’s the point? Win Over The Kids In 60 Secs Or Less………… Get a house tour from your toughest customers-the kids. Have them point out everything from their bedrooms to their fave hiding spots. Take it from one good sitter, “It’s a great way to learn about the kids and the house at the same time. You can find out where they are most comfortable, where their toys are, and where they aren’t allowed to be.”
Let The Games Begin
• The parents just pulled away. You’re in charge! Remain confident, knowing you’re gonna rock it. No matter what, always keep an eye on the kids. This girl learned the hard way: “One time, a boy I was babysitting got hurt so I went to get him some ice. I was gone for two minutes, and the other child fell down the stairs when I left the room. It may not seem like anything could happen in that time, but it can.” So true! An Active Babysitter Is An Awesome Babysitter………… Hello, you’re not getting paid to lounge around. These kids want you to be fun! Be imaginative and creative, and let your inner child crawl out. One babysitting pro says, “Make the kids want you to come back. Just because the parents aren’t there to see doesn’t mean you shouldn’t put your best foot forward. Kids aren’t stupid and won’t hesitate to tell their parents if you’re a slacker.” Mary Poppins Has Nothin’ On You………… Show up with a bag of tricks to prevent the dreaded “I’m bored!” cry (see hints at the end). Have a stash of coloring books and crayons, or build a blanket fort. For older kids, bring a board game.
Just Say “No”
• Sure, you want the kids to like you, but there will come a point in every babysitter’s career where she will have to say that dreaded two-letter word, “No.” Face it-since you’re not their parent, some kids are going to try to pull a fast one on you. You’ve been prepped and know the rules, so stick to them! The kids might cry or flash puppy-dog eyes, but firmly hold your ground. Look at it this way, if you’re a pushover, they’ll keep trying, but if you stay firm and calm, you’ll get the point across that this chica means business. It’ll earn their respect. The kids are still misbehaving? Try the gold-star system. For every time a kid listens or does something good, give him a sticker and let him know he gets a surprise if he scores three of them. It could be a small toy you brought, a piece pf candy, or even an extra bedtime story. Bribery? Maybe. But it works.
Beat The Bedtime Blues
• At least an hour before bedtime, avoid activities, like hide-and-seek, that might get the little ones all wound up. Watching more than one kid? Turn it into a game, advises sitter Zoey: “I tell the older one to set a good example and get ready for bed. Then I tell his sis to show him how good she listens and copy him. It works every time.” And don’t forget to have them brush their teeth and go to the bathroom.
• What to do when the kids are snoozing and the parents aren’t due for a few? Time for a little bonus work. Straighten up the living room, load the dishwasher, and put toys away. When everything is tidied up, whip out your homework book or catch up on a good read. And as comfy as that couch may be, don’t drift off. Stay alert. Just because the kids are sleeping doesn’t mean you can take a trip to la-la land. When the folks roll in, give a full report. Talk about the fun stuff you did, praise good behavior, and express enthusiasm to sit again. Happy parents equal satisfied customers. A job well done!
• Bust The Boredom………… You’ve watched Spongebob so many times you’re starting to feel like you’re living under water? Try these games. It’s a guaranteed great time for everyone! • Puppet Babies (ages 2 to 4)….. C’mon, who doesn’t love puppets? Kids go crazy for them. Snag some old socks from your drawer, then decorate them with fabric markers and googly eyes. Ask the kids to help you put on a show. • Chalk Full O’ Fun (ages 4 to 6)….. Hopscotch is a total classic. Bring along some colorful sidewalk chalk, then head outside with the kids to hold your own tourney. The parents will love seeing the artwork when they return, and it washes away with rain or a hose. • Do-It-Yourself (ages 4 to 6)….. Art class is a fave for many kids, so why not bring the crafts to them? Do simple stuff like popsicle-stick frames, or help them make Mother’s or Father’s Day cards that will knock the parents over with glee. Older kids always dig this and can help little ones with glue and scissors. • House Hunting (ages 7 to 10) Need a way to keep been-there/done-that kids out of trouble and away from the TV trance? Organize a scavenger hunt! Have the kids sit in the living room, while you scope out unique stuff in different rooms. Divide the kids into teams, and have them search for items using cryptic clues. Give them a time limit (about a half our should do it) to find the goods-and whoever discovers the most wins a prize!
What To Do When…..
• Two kids start fighting either with words or fists…….. Separate the two kids and let them cool off. A good rule is one minute of time-out for each year of the child’s age. Tell them that fighting is not OK, and round two lands them back in time-out. • Someone unexpected knocks at the door……….. DO NOT open the door. It doesn’t matter why the person is there, tell him to come back at a later date. Call the parents to tell them about this, and don’t hesitate to call your folks or 911. • Something expensive or important gets broken, ripped, stained, etc……. Clean up any mess before the kids get hurt, and when the parents return, tell them the truth, and offer to repay them. Chances are, they will let it go for now. And clearing the problem with honesty and asking for forgiveness shows signs of maturity. • It’s getting very late, and the parents haven’t returned yet……….. It’s entirely possible that they could have lost track of time. Give their cell, or even the restaurant a call. If they don’t answer, call your parent or another trusted adult to wait with you at the house until they return. • You and the little girl are playing with her dolls, when out of nowhere, she says, “Where do babies come from?”…………………. This is always the one question that parents and sitters dread answering. And is best left to the professionals, aka, Mom and Dad. The best reply would be, “That’s a great question, but we should wait until Mommy and Daddy come home to help us figure it out.
• • • • • • #1………. Dirty diaper? Rub Vicks Vaporub under your nose to block out the smell, then double-bag it! #2………. Kid won’t sleep ‘cuz “monsters are in the closet”? Mix water with glitter in a spray bottle. Instant monster spray, one squirt and they’re gone! #3………. Grape juice spilled on the carpet? Act fast. Mix vinegar, water, and dish soap and work into the spot with a cloth. #4………. Babies love dangling earrings. Unless you want them tugging at your ears all night, better leave them at home. #5………. Save happy meal toys as prizes and toys for the kids. #6………. Not everything goes smoothly, but if you have a good time, the kids will be begging to see you again!
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