Did you read last week’s babysitting disaster blog? Read here. To prevent it happening to you, here are 10 questions to ask yourself before asking a family member or friend to babysit.
Whether you have a cousin, mum, family friend or nephew available to babysit, you need to ask yourself these 10 questions before asking them to care for your kids …
1: Can you trust them? You may be able to trust them with your house, but can you trust them with the well-being, care and safety of your children?
Will they be able to make the right decisions if there is an emergency? Would they know what to do if a child seriously cut themselves or choked on something? Have they done any first aid training?
** If the answers are no, or you feel unsure, important to read on, to avoid putting your children at risk because you hadn’t thought of these situations…
2: Are they reliable? Are you sure they will arrive on time and stay until whatever time you need?
Alternatively, if they get a better offer will they decline and stay committed to babysitting for you? You need to feel assured that you have a committed babysitter so you will not be stressing at the last minute trying to find a replacement.
3: Who’s doing the travelling?
Will the babysitter be caring for them in their own home and do you need to take the children to their address? If so, is there home safe, will any other adults be in there home that your children will be exposed to? Will the babysitter expect you to pay for her travel time (petrol). You may also need to supply food and snacks. And is there a deadline to collect them afterwards. Be very clear with the arrangements.
4: Do they know what to do? Are they experienced with your children’s ages?
When you find a nappy on backwards, and the 3-year-old in the cot, you have found out too late that they are not experienced. Look at the ages of your children and recognise the skills needed of a babysitter. There are many young women aged between 16 – 23 that have never had to deal with a dirty nappy, and some adults do not have the patience for a 2yo melt down.
5: Will they interact with the children?
Is the babysitter just going to ‘be there’, or will they actively interact with the children? Will they spend their time watching television, play on their phones or social media and leave the children to their own devices or will they engage with them, play games, chat, and read stories to your children? (did you read last week’s funny blog?)
6: How will your children cope?
As much as you may trust your babysitter, do your children feel safe with them? Do the children don’t like them – it is always a good idea to ask your children how they feel.
7: Will your routines and rules be followed?
If you don’t allow cool drink, excessive ‘screen’ time on their devices and you have a set bedtime. How will you feel when you hear they drank coke and went to bed late, not to mention that you will have to deal with the consequent behaviours? Is it worth the anxiety? Will your babysitter understand your rules and guidelines, and follow them?
8: Will the babysitter act appropriately in front of your children?
Do you want your children learning the words to inappropriate music, be watching M rated movies, overhearing babysitter phone conversations with friends, or will the babysitter invite their friends over? Does your babysitter understand what is considered appropriate with the ages of the children you have?
9: What is the real cost? It may be cheaper financially to have a friend or family member babysit, but sometimes it pays to book a reputable, screened and professional babysitter through an agency.
Is reciprocation expected, will you have to listen to the passing remarks over the next few visits, will you be judged or feel like you owe them? Will you feel guilty that you are overusing the same people too often? Is it worth it?
10: How will you feel when out?
We all need to go out and can be anxious about leaving our children with anyone at all, but there is a difference between that parent nervousness, and a concerning gut feeling. Does something not feel right with the babysitter you have in mind? Will you listen to that inner voice?
Your children are precious. Your time out is very important. If you can confidently answer all the above questions with the family member or friend, you have in mind to babysit then ask them to babysit. Otherwise, there are alternative options available such as a reputable creche, day-care and babysitting agencies where the needs of your children are put first, and your children are in safe hands.
If you would like to book a babysitter through a very reputable agency, then Cherished Cherubs is your go to agency. Book online at: https://www.cherishedcherubs.com.au/