please don't sit on the baby. It's generally frowned upon by most parents, at least in our society. Luckily, I have more sense than a loaf of bread, and kinda know what I'm doing. Being the oldest of five kids really helps bring out the sitter in you. I've been tending other people's children for...about 4 years now, since I was around twelve. (It doesn't sound very long when I type it out, but boy-howdy does it feel like a long time ago.) Anyways, while babysitting, there are certain things one...picks up. Things that benefit you, and get you jobs, and things that absolutely...do not. And now, without furthur ado, I present...
A Babysitter's Dos and Don'ts
...straighten up after the kids. It doesn't do any good to play with them for hours, and then leave the mess for the parents. You'd probably be labeled, "bad news". Even if you don't clean up after yourself at home, it's always much more exciting when you have a different house to clean. Just don't poke around their personal belongings...too much.
...wear something casual, but not too casual. A first impression is very important when tending, and let's just say that certain outfits do nothing to help you. At least with the babysitting gig.
...bring movies with you, or treats/toys from home. This is fun for the kids, since they're used to whatever they always have. It mixes it up for them, a bit of novelty. It's also good for you, the sitter, because you can bring your favorite treats. No-brainer.
...do the dishes. It's a brilliant little tool to get extra dough, especially if you get the dishwasher running, or finish up right when the parents walk in the door. "Oh, hi! Just finishing up the dishes from dinner, the kids were in bed hours ago..." *snaps rubber glove*.
...ask the parents when they'll be home, but don't sound anxious for them to get home early. You are there to help, not to rush. Knowing when they'll be home gives you a good idea of how much time you have to get jobs done, like the dishes. It also helps you calculate your cash...ca-CHING.
...remember that you are the adult-figure for the evening. The parents are trusting you with their precious kidlets, and that's a little intimidating. As big as it might seem, it's really quite simple, as long as you follow...
...THE LIST OF BABYSITTER DON'TS.
...don't sit on the baby. (See earlier in this post.)
...don't eat food that isn't open already. It doesn't look very good if you open the hidden bag of chocolate in the pantry, and leave it almost empty. If it's an open bag of potato chips, hey, that's fair game. But also keep in mind that this is their food. Don't empty the cupboard, Hubbard.
...don't fall asleep. I'm guilty of this one...it's slightly embarrassing to be sound asleep on their couch when they walk in the door, especially if the baby's crying upstairs. Hey, it was late! Doesn't matter the hour: stay awake. Wash dishes if you're bored! (See earlier in this post.)
...don't text. It's rude. Play with the kiddies! You are getting paid for spending time with the chidren, not for sitting on your behind texting Suzy about Johnny. Same goes for the computer.
...don't stress! If the kids are acting crazy, be firm with them. Don't disipline them harshly, but let them know you mean business. But don't forget to be fun, too! You're not a parent, you're the cool babysitter.
Ladies and gents, there ya have it. VeryUsefulTips from the Babysittin' Babe herself. *applause*