Going on a date, getting some well-deserved alone time, or hanging out with friends is much more enjoyable when you know your children are in good hands.
Even though we know it is healthy to have time away from our kids, we often are clutching onto them for dear life instead of entrusting them to others. As parents, we have this all-consuming need to keep them safe and healthy.
Parenthood has morphed into an individualist sport. What happened to the saying, “It takes a village?” Finding a babysitter to take some “me time” or have a date night is essential.
Of course, when you hire a babysitter, you want to make sure they are qualified, able, and willing to go above and beyond for your kids. Nurturing, strong, loving, stern, intellectual, safe; these are all qualities you need to fill when you find a babysitter.
Rest assured, that perfect sitter can be found. You need only be informed, be diligent, and ask for help.
What Is Your Definition of the Perfect Sitter?
Before you even start your search, you want to make sure you know exactly what it is you are looking for. After all, you will be putting your most prized possessions in their care.
Make a checklist of specific attributes and qualities you want to find in a babysitter. This will work in your favor as a kind of guideline when you are conducting interviews, speaking over the phone, or watching them interact with your children.
Do you want them to know CPR? What about transportation? Will you want a sitter who knows how to cook? Do they get down and play with kids? These are all questions you should ask yourself when you are looking for a sitter.
You might want to hire a babysitter that has a child development background. Or you might feel comfortable hiring someone who has no formal education in it, but bonds well with your kids.
Whatever you decide you want your criteria to be, having your “perfect babysitter” definition will allow remembering what it is you want to see in a babysitter.
Talk to Family and Fellow Parents
When you are looking for a responsible, trustworthy person to babysit, chances are your family or fellow parent friends will have someone in mind. No one knows the value of a good babysitter better than a fellow parent.
Those who have been parents before us can always impart wisdom, advice, and help; they will have experience sifting out who did a fantastic job with kids and who had talents better suited elsewhere.
If you are part of a moms group or a dads group, you can always spread the word that way in hopes that someone there will have some leads for you. And even if they do not know of any sitters available, they might offer to help babysit for you every so often. That’s what friends are for, to help each other in need.
Finding a babysitter that has a reference from someone you know and trust can help ease your worry a bit. If you trust that your friends are always looking out for their child’s best interests (just like you), then you might feel at greater peace with who they recommend.
Teens Make Great Babysitters
Nowadays, many teenagers are looking forward to babysitting as a way to make money, get experience, and have references for future work.
Many people have friends or family that are teenagers but are trustworthy and looking to babysit. That is how many kids got their fun, sweet, and caring babysitter.
There are now also a lot of CPR classes one can take specifically to get ready for babysitting as well as first-aid courses. Many teenagers opt to take classes like these to prepare themselves for babysitting jobs.
Finding A Babysitter Online
Rest assured that you can find some great, caring individuals on the internet as well.
Now that you have guidelines to what you want the perfect sitter to be like, do not be afraid to search for them online. Websites like Care.com, Sittercity.com, and Urbansitter.com can help you find the right sitter for your family.
You can type in what experience, hours, days, and qualities you are looking for, and it will filter your search to only those sitters who fit that criteria. These professionals are verified, and most have CPR and First Aid Skills.
Interviewing…Bring The Kids
When you interview someone for a babysitting position, it is essential that you bring your kids to the interview, and ALWAYS trust your instincts.
First off, it is vital that if it is not someone you already know that you meet in a neutral, public location so if the interview turns out less than favorable, they do not have any access to personal information, like where you live.
Secondly, always bring your kids to the interview. I know, you might be asking, “but why? I need a quiet and calm environment to assess this individual.”
Yes, while calm and quiet would be great, as a babysitter, they might not always get that out of your kids. It is crucial to see how they would do in any scenario.
Having your kids in tow allows you to see how the person acts with your kids. Do they seem to get along? Does he/she show an interest in them? Having them meet during an interview instead of the first time you hire them helps to build familiarity and rapport between your kids and them.
And as kids have no filter, when the interview is over, you can have an honest and candid conversation with your kids about whether they liked them and if he or she is the right fit for your family.
If there is something you do not like from the onset, trust your instincts, and do not pursue that lead further. If it doesn’t feel right, don’t force it. A perfect sitter will come soon enough.
It Will All Be Worth It
While interviewing and scouring for the perfect babysitter can be tiresome work, it will be worth it in the end when you see your kids light up as they see their babysitter come in and when your date-nights become worry-free.