Parenting Tips: Is Your Teen Ready to Babysit?By Child Safety Specialist May 15, 2012 | 11:00 AMPosted in: Family, Child Safety
May 12th is National Babysitter’s Day – I must admit, I didn’t even know this was a recognized day until this year. In the past, I always worried about whether my babysitter was caring for my child appropriately but now that I’m the mother of a ‘tween who will soon be old enough to babysit, I’m considering her personal safety.
Before allowing your teen to become a babysitter, here is this babysitting guide with the top basic questions to ask her and yourself.
How responsible is she? – How often have you left her home alone? Has she followed all of your rules? Has she had friends over when she wasn’t supposed to? Before allowing her to babysit for someone, be sure she understands what to do in the event of an emergency – power outage, fire, break-in, injury or illness, even an over-flowing toilet.
Can she handle a toddler or baby? – The American Red Cross offers babysitting classes for kids between the ages of 11 – 15 years old. This will teach her basic babysitting skills as well as how to handle emergencies and injuries. You can go online to the American Red Cross site to find babysitting classes in your area and also download various babysitting resources to help.
Do you know the family? – Who is she babysitting for? Do they have children who are well-behaved or little monsters that will torment your daughter? Is your teenager mature enough to handle tantrums, meltdowns and everything in between? Suggest that she start out as a mother’s helper so that she can see how the mom handles situations. How well do you know the family? If you daughter doesn’t drive, how will she be getting home at the end of the evening? Be sure to remind her that if they seem drunk she should call you and not accept a ride home from them.
Remind her to get the lay of the land – Before the parents leave, make sure they show your daughter where the fire extinguisher and First Aid kit is kept as well as a flashlight. Ask the family to show her where the circuit breakers are in case there is a power outage or a breaker gets tripped. Are there emergency numbers posted at their home? Have your daughter ask which neighbor is the contact in case she needs to evacuate the home or needs help.
Babysitter & Nanny Do’s and Don’ts
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Safety Job Training For Your Babysitter
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