Besides the cable, and the cookies, you need to know how to hire, trust, and train a babysitter with your children. Here’s how to do that without losing your mind.
Where Does He Or She Come From?
Always check your sitter’s references and perform a background check. Maybe there was a point in time when this wasn’t necessary or as important. Today, it’s a foregone conclusion. You don’t want to risk your child’s safety with someone who is a criminal or has a criminal background.
But, aside from the background check, what other qualifications does the person have? Are the families the sitter has cared for in the past similar to yours? Did he or she have similar responsibilities as what you’d be asking?
What experience does the sitter have with children that are the same age as yours? Knowing the answers to these questions will help you determine whether it’s a good fit.
What To Ask During The Interview Process
You should prepare a list of interview questions for the sitter. And, while we all have standard interviewing questions pertaining to availability, experience, age, and so on, don’t forget more specific questions that pertain to your unique household and circumstances.
For example, if your children enjoy baseball, and they have organized games at school several times a month, plus practice, can your sitter accommodate their schedule? What if the children have special needs pertaining to medication or special routines? Is the sitter qualified to dispense medicine and can she care for them in the way they need?
Do you need anything special from the sitter? For example, would you need someone to cook your meals before you get home from work?
How To Evaluate The Time Needed For Paid Sitting
If you know your child needs more time after school for academic help or because he or she plays a sport, you might be able to take advantage of free sit time. School coaches often act as sitters because they are supervising children during practice sessions and games.
This is time that you don’t have to pay a sitter outside of school. If your child is getting academic help after school, arrange a time with the teacher so that you know that your child will be looked after until a specified time. Many teachers love spending extra time with their students after school.
The Kid Test
The “kid test” is when your sitter interacts with your children and you see how they react to the sitter. A good babysitter won’t second-guess you or herself if you ask for a trial run. Find out if you like her sitting-parenting style.
Evaluate her teaching skills, playfulness, and how she disciplines. How do the children connect with the sitter during both good times and bad? This is the person who will be spending a lot of time with your kids so that interaction is important.
Having The Right Environment For The Sitter
If your children watch a lot of T.V., or you need to upgrade your Internet connection see if Time Warner Cable Internet service is available in your area so that the sitter has an easier time watching the kids.
If you have more outdoorsy children, maybe buying everyone a pass to the local ski resort, or buying hiking gear for everyone, makes more sense. In other words, give the sitter the right tools to do the job. Don’t expect the sitter to pay for the children’s expenses. Remember, these are your children. You are paying the sitter to watch over them and take care of them, not replace you entirely.
Trust Your Instincts
Sometimes, something seems off and you can’t place your finger on it. Maybe the sitter has a remarkable resume, the right references, and the children seem to love her, but something’s wrong. Did she just hit your children or was that a “love tap?” Or, what it an accidental brush with the back of her hand?
You don’t want to enter into a sitting arrangement if you have any doubts. You can always interview more candidates. You only get one child. So, if you have any doubts, even if you can’t logically explain them, it might make sense to pass and move on to the next potential sitter.
At the very least, take some notes, discuss it with your spouse or a trusted friend, sleep on it and spend time really thinking about whether this is the right person.