5 Babysitting Tips: Is Your Tween Ready for the Job?

by Joe Ballarini

So your child wants to be a babysitter? Babysitting is an excellent way for older kids to learn responsibility and a great way for them to make a little bit of spending money.

However, as you can tell from the title of my new book, A Babysitter’s Guide to Monster Hunting, babysitting is no joke. While the word, “sitting” is in the job title, the task requires hard work, a unique set of skills, and a willingness to fight the forces of evil. One must be prepared.

Here are a few tips to get your kids ready to start babysitting. Welcome to the sit!

1) Does your child like little kids?

Kind of a must for the job. If they don’t love the little human raccoons it will be difficult to tolerate them. This job takes empathy and patience. So buckle up and listen to your heart.

2) Play time is not phone time

When the little dude is playing with his toys, this is not a chance to check out and text — or Snap or Facebook Live or whatever the kids are doing these days. A good babysitter is engaged and alert at all times, just in case a Class Three Shadow Monster pops out of the closet and tries to swipe the little tyke.

3) Feeding Time!

It’s tempting when alone in another person’s house to raid their fridge for fun snacks babysitters can’t get at home. But beware! Feeding the kid too much sugar will send them into hyperdrive and exhaust sitters to the point of madness. Candy, potato chips, and high octane sodas are best left on the shelf. Keep it healthy, babysitters.

4) Time Out

Not all kids listen. What a shocker! Now they’ll understand what it’s like to be a parent. Counting down is helpful to get rebellious runts to stop their antics. If they need alone time in their room, make sure to watch them on the monitor in case a Toadie is lurking nearby, waiting for the perfect moment to pounce.

5) Bed Time

The true test of every great babysitter is her/his ability to implement a swift bedtime. But it’s rarely easy. Shift to a gentle, quiet tone of voice. Lights go down low. Read their favorite book and then read it again and then read it again. Just be sure to check under the bed and make sure the windows are locked because you never know what kind of monsters might be lurking in the dark.

What are your best tips for babysitters? Have you ever had a harrowing babysitting experience? Share with us in the comments below!

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