You may disagree, but babysitting is among the most tiring jobs one can take. Babysitting is more than just keeping a watch on a child; it is about catering to the child’s every need, exercising discipline, and imparting healthy influence among many other things. Thus, babysitting is not for the impatient ones.
There is no gainsaying that the freelance community has accommodated interests of nearly every business there can possibly be. So, quite expectedly, there are many persons who engage in full-time freelance babysitting business and earn their livelihood.
In order to become well-established as a freelance babysitter, you should put to use certain tips and tricks which offer a comparative advantage against other babysitters. We have compiled 10 of those tips which, if adequately observed, can be of great assistance.
1. Analyse Yourself Before Babysitting
Whenever you decide to launch your babysitting career, you must invest sufficient time in determining what you can give as a babysitter.
The point here is simple and relevant: everyone one of us can only offer so much. We have limitations such as time constraints, compatibility levels, income requirements, etc and, thus, you must ascertain them beforehand.
Only after you have thoroughly assessed yourself should you approach the parents and convey your intentions. Explain everything to parents to ensure that they fully grasp what you can offer.
2. Understand What The Parents Need
It is not just about you, but also about parents who have more often than not varying needs. Every time you take up a job, you must talk out with parents and let them tell you what they are expecting.
As noted earlier, babysitting is not just watching over a kid. It entails a number of other tasks which must be given due consideration. You will get a fair idea of what those tasks are when you have an extensive conversation with parents.
Ask parents a number of questions to gather what they are expecting: how the child behaves; his food habits; whether there are discipline issues; any bad habits; hobbies of the child, etc. Register the information you receive and carry out your duties by keeping them in mind.
Do not be presumptuous and take actions which are otherwise unnecessary. Always consult parents before taking any material decision about the child.
3. Education Qualifications Can Play A Vital Role
Many countries do not have any regulations or training institutes on babysitting, but where there are, you must adhere to them to land yourself on a job.
Regardless of any regulations or training institutes, you can enroll in many online babysitting courses. For example, there is an online babysitting course run by the American Red Cross which you can find here.
While certification is not usually required, possessing it can give a boost to your income potential which is, of course, a desirable outcome for everyone.
4. Patience Is The Key To Babysitting
In the introductory paragraph, we noted that babysitting is not for the impatient, and nothing could be truer.
Managing a child could be a hectic task. If the child is docile, you might not face many difficulties in watching over him. But, any encounter with a mischievous or otherwise excited child could mean more attention and more patience.
You will come across a variety of children during your babysitting career, and most of the time you will be at your wits’ end—but such is the life of a babysitter.
Patience can keep you moving. Accept the fact that you cannot forever tame the child into discipline, shut him down, or assert your rule. Children are curious fellows and learning new things in life. Their antics will not cease soon so it is better you cope with those antics as long as they are not harmful.
5. Keep A Watch All The Time
Throughout babysitting hours, you cannot be lax with your responsibility. Remember that someone has reposed trust in you and expects you to offer your best services possible. Thus, keeping a watch on the child is a task you must not compromise with.
Stay close to the child wherever you both are. For example, if you are looking after a toddler who has just started crawling, mind his movements and take note of and remove pointy objects which might hurt him.
One tip that can really take you a long way ahead: keep aside your gadgets and focus on the child. Reportedly, many babysitters do not pay adequate attention to children because they are occupied with cell phones or laptops.
6. Learn Tricks Of Entertainment
Awkward will be your situation if you do not actively indulge with the child. You must be prepared with a few entertaining tricks which can keep occupied the child for a substantial period of time.
We have a few recommendations for you: imitate superheroes, play doll games, read out from comic or storybooks, sketch, and others. Ask the child what he likes and if there is anything you can do about it, do it.
7. Be Prepared For Emergencies
You can be absolutely careful, but emergencies do not see circumstances—they just happen. So, it is advised that you remain prepared for the worst.
Save emergency contacts of everyone who can offer assistance during exigencies such as child’s family, relatives, neighbors, police, and hospital. You should learn certain emergency procedures such as giving First Aid or CPR.
8. Be A Good Influence
Children are highly sensitive to their surroundings, as they tend to get easily influenced by people and their words and actions. It is, therefore, highly advised that you behave properly and avoid being a bad influence on the child.
Stay organized, talk politely, teach the child about values and goodness, and whatever else you can do to groom him. If you behave sulkily or rudely, the child might try imitating you which is, of course, not good.
9. Show Affection
Children, like us, are most uncomfortable with strangers. They might not behave normally in your presence, and thus, it is essential that you establish a rapport with the child.
By showing care and affection, you can win the trust of children and even contain their mischievous antics, if any. Talk to them happily, show them that you are interested in their lives, and respond to their queries with enthusiasm.
10. Learn From Every Job
Whether you have been babysitting for years or have just started, you can never be perfect. We are mere mortals with flawed constitutions, and hence, there is ample scope to learn more.
Babysitting is more of a psychological experience that lets you handle a child’s psychology—which is not as simple as it sounds. You get to learn from the child, his parents, and the surroundings in which you babysit.
Remember the experience and improve yourself.
A babysitter holds enormous responsibilities which must be taken care of with the utmost care and diligence. If a freelance babysitter is observant of the aforementioned tips, we believe that there is success ahead. However, we would like to clarify that the list is not exhaustive and subject to improvements provided our readers give their suggestions on it.
Aside from the comments, we would also like our readers to share this article and let the world read about freelance babysitting and how it should be handled.