Babysitting Tips for Teens

Babysitting is a great way for teenagers to earn a bit of cash. However, with many teenagers offering babysitting services, the competition to get a babysitting assignment is fierce so you need to make yourself standout in order for parents to pick you over everyone else. This obviously makes sense, but how do you go about doing this?

i) Show you are up to the task

Do some training and take some exams, tests or courses. You do not need to be a fully qualified nanny, after all these charge a lot of money and the reason parents look to teenagers is because they are cheap, but it is advisable to take some first aid courses so you can demonstrate you know what to do if there is some kind of emergency.  

ii) Let the world know who you are

Advertising in the best way to drum up a bit of babysitting business. Print an advert that describes who you are, your personal qualities, your experience, your training and your rate per hour. It is also worth including a photograph so parents can see who you are. Once the adverts are printed do a leaflet drop around the local area, knock on doors, visit the local park, visit the local playground etc

iii) Time to meet the family

Arrange to meet the children whilst the parents are there and before you go to babysit them. During this meeting try and befriend them whilst ensuring you treat them as ‘an adult’ and on an equal footing as their parents. Successfully befriending the children will make it much easier when you go and babysit them for the first time.

iv) It’s all about the look

Dress appropriately and act responsibly. Parents want to know their children are in safe hands when they go out, therefore you need to convince the parents that their children will be fine left with you. You need to show the parents you are mature, responsible, authoritative fair, and most importantly worthy of looking after their children. The way in which you dress when going out with your friends and the way you act around them is unlikely to be suitable when meeting the parents of the children you are going to babysit, therefore change your behaviour accordingly. Whilst this may appear discriminatory and maybe it is, but first impressions are everything so ditch the revealing clothing, ditch the black makeup, ditch the facial piercings, cover up those tattoos, leave the cigarettes at home and do as the grown ups do.

v) Follow the rules

Ensure you listen to the children’s parents and follow their rules. If the parents state the children have to be in bed by nine o’clock then ensure they are in bed by nine o’clock. If the parents state the children can have a maximum of two biscuits then only let them have two biscuits. Get the idea? Whilst you may think it is better to ‘spoil’ the children and they may like you more for it the parents will find out if you disobeyed their rules. The children will let it slip sooner or later and the chances are you won’t be asked to babysit again.

vi) Remember it’s all about the kids

Take notice of the children and amuse or entertain them before they go to bed. Going in to the children’s home and blanking them is not going to do you any favours. Play a game with them, cook with them, read with them or do whatever. Just take an interest. By interacting with the children they are more likely to be obedient, more likely to listen to what you say and more likely to go to bed when they should. If you manage to win over the children you are likely to win over the parents, therefore making you the most likely candidate to look babysit the children in the future and earn a bit of cash.

vii) Better off alone

Never invite friends to join you whilst you are babysitting. Firstly your primary role is looking after the children, and to some extent the house, and ensuring everything runs smoothly. You are not there to be paid whilst hanging out with friends and having fun. Secondly, you are in someone else’s home and you need to respect it. No matter how careful you and your friends are if something is going to happen it always does at the worst time and this may be it, so do yourself a favour and look after the children on your own. If you think you are going to get bored then take a book, take a DVD, take your i-pod, take some study material or use the time as alone time to be enjoyed.

Word of mouth is the best form of advertising and you are likely to find that parents talk to other parents and when someone finds a good, reliable and honest babysitter who actually gets on with their children and doesn’t take liberties they are likely to tell their friends who are likely to contact these sorts of people to look after their children. Impress one set of parents and you are likely to see your babysitting business will rapidly grow.