Knowing how to choose a babysitter is crucial for parents to be able to go out, relax, have fun for an evening without worrying about what’s going on back at home. You want the security of knowing your little angels are being well taken care of. The way to remove any doubts or lingering unease is to follow these 7 tips on how to choose a babysitter.
1. What do You Want?
The crux of the matter of how to choose a babysitter is knowing what you actually want your babysitter to do, and what skills they need to do these things. All parents have different ideas about what they want from their babysitter. Some are more comfortable having an older person look after their little bundles of joy, while for others, the age of the sitter is not a priority, and they may consider First Aid and CPR knowledge as being more important. As a guideline, write down a list of your expectations and then use it as a checklist when you are interviewing/hiring.
2. Personal Recommendations
Ask friends with children of a similar age to yours whom they use! It is usually better if you can use someone that comes well recommended and reliable, rather than to employ an unknown stranger. Finding someone living in your area is always the easiest if you have to take them back home after your evening out. Maybe you are able to find somebody through your church or your workplace. This could immediately make you feel more secure and more willing to leave your children in their care.
3. Use the Internet
Should you not be able to find a babysitter in your community, then use the Internet and look online. You will find that there are sites specifically for parents looking for babysitters and they give you options of reading the reviews of babysitters from the clients that have used them previously. You can establish a great deal about a babysitter online, but there is nothing to compare with a personal interview. It is very important for your babysitter to interact well with both you and your children.
4. Invite the Intended Babysitter Home Prior to Your Decision to Use Them
You can employ lots of ways to choose a babysitter but seeing the reactions of both your children and the intended babysitter when they meet is an important consideration. Also, remember, first impressions count a lot. There is absolutely nothing wrong in trusting your gut instincts when it comes to your kids. If something doesn’t feel right, choose someone else.
5. Hear Your Children’s Opinion of the Intended Babysitter, if They Are Old Enough
When thinking about how to choose a sitter, listen to what your children think. If they like the intended sitter, the situation will be easier all round. They are more likely to build a rapport/relationship with someone they like. You will be happier when you’re out, knowing your kids are in a comfortable situation with the sitter who is looking after them.
6. How to Choose a Babysitter from the Applicants
Once you have chosen a suitable applicant, do get references. Two is ideal, but if your choice has no previous experience and therefore no references, you have to compensate by being more stringent in your interview process. Explore all the avenues to ensure their suitability to be left in charge of your precious kids.
7. Let Your Babysitter Feedback Any Concerns That They Have
Open dialogue is an important part of the process to choose a babysitter. Encourage your applicant to ask any questions about your children, your home, your expectations and your family rules. Ensure you have someone who will follow your behavior and discipline (not as in punishment) requirements rather than undermine them.
Choosing a babysitter is not something to go at half-heartedly. You’ll not rest easy unless you know you have left your children in the care of someone you trust and can rely on. Have you any babysitting stories to share?