1. When you start babysitting, the first time you meet a family or the children, ask to spend some time with the children while the parents are still home.
2. Get down on the child’s level and introduce yourself with a smile. Find something about the child to ask him/her:
“I see you have a pink Dora sticker. Do you like Dora?”
“Your t-shirt says ‘Yellowstone!’ Have you been there?”
3. In front of the children, ask the parents/guardians:
4. Keep your phone in your pocket.
5. Establish that you are in charge while the parents/guardians are away.
6. Err on the side of calling the parents if something makes you uncomfortable or worried.
7. Go ahead and know the route to the nearest hospital—just in case.
8. Make them pick up after themselves.
9. Be creative and have fun!
1. Don't wear nice clothes when sitting small children. When you start babysitting this may seem like a professional thing to do, but wear old clothes!
2. Don't allow children’s friends to come over after the parents are gone.
3. Don't let yourself get locked out. Carry the house key on you. *Watch for children pressing the garage door button and being stuck that way.
4. Don't be too lenient. It is far more important for kids to follow their parents’ rules than to think you’re “cool.”
5. Don't let kids climb all over you.
6. Don't lose sight of the time. (Bedtime can creep up on you, especially when you first start babysitting).
7. Don't feel like you have to bring a bundle of goodies for the children.
8. Don't try to clean the house while the kids are awake. Spend your time with them, picking up as you go, or clean when they go to sleep.
9. Remember, you're just starting out babysitting. Don't be afraid to ask the parents questions in a new situation. They'll appreciate that you want to do a good job.