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Do's And Don'ts For Babysitting
Family & Kids
DO: Let child(ren) watch either one movie or two hours of shows.
DON'T: Leave your charge in front of the "electronic babysitter" all day. You are getting paid to take care of the child(ren), act like it.
*some parents do require more or less tv time. Always do what the parent suggests.
DO: Pick an age appropriate game that everyone wants to play. If one child doesn't like the game, it could ruin the experience for everyone.
DON'T: Explain the rules. Chances are they play by house rules. Depending on the age, most children can't understand real rules and play their own. Try to ask the children how to play, and hold them to what they all agree on.
ARTS AND CRAFTS
DO: Get involved. Standing around watching can be uncomfortable for everyone. Get to their level and participate in the same activity. Try to remain observant while still participating. Also, making something with them makes it more special and fun.
DON'T: Be boastful. Odds are you are a better painter than a four year old, but that doesn't mean you should rub it in. Also, don't focus on your own task. Focus on what they are doing.
DO: provide a full balanced meal. If you are not taking care of the child during meal time, just remember children need to eat about every three hours. Even just a snack makes a difference.
DON'T: Offer a choice if they don't get to choose. This is good advice for anything involving kids. For example: don't say "do you want an apple" if they have to eat it. If they can't say no, it will only confuse them.
*Make sure to talk to parents ahead of time. Learn when they normally eat, any allergies, special dietary needs, etc
DO: Go outside everyday. Kids need at least thirty minutes of playing that stimulates gross motor skills (running, swinging, jumping..) Try to incorporate learning opportunities if you can. If it's raining, jumping in puddles is fun.
DON'T: stand around and watch. Seriously, kids like playing with adults. The more you play with them, the more fun you all will have.
DO: wait until everyone is comfortable with you. Parents and kids. Tell the parents your plan before you become too invested. Kids love going to the movies, picnics, mini golfing, really anything that gets them out of the house.
DON'T: spend too much money on them. Also, choose something you actually want to do. You might show resentment, and if you aren't having fun, no one is having fun.
DO: tell parents everything. They are trusting you with their child while they are away, and in return they would like to know what you did with them. Listen to everything they say. If they suggest something specific, they would be very happy if you listened to the suggestion. Don't be afraid to ask questions.
DON'T: bore them. Saying you went for a walk is okay, telling them who put on which shoes is irrelevant. And remember: be friendly, not a friend. When you are being paid, you are a professional.