How to know if your Tween is Ready to Babysit

In today’s trying economic times, parents are forced to say No to their incessantly demanding tweens.   Therefore, many tweens want to earn their own money by babysitting.  Yet when a younger child’s safety is at risk, parents must consider if their tween is responsible enough for the job.

Here are some questions to ask before telling all of your neighbors and friends that your Tween is open for business:

1.  Has your child ever been around younger children?   If your Tween has a younger sibling, he or she may already have skills such as changing diapers, feeding, or potty training.  Observe how your tween is with his younger siblings to see if they are competent babysitters.  If your tween does not have younger siblings, try to get some exposure and observe how well they respond to younger children.

2.   Does your child follow rules at home and school as well as keep up with household chores.  A Tween is ready to take on additional responsibility when he or she is already handling their current load of chores and school requirements.  Tweens who follow house rules will be able to teach younger children to follow simple rules such as washing hands before dinner or picking up toys after playing.

3.  Does your child know how to respond in an emergency?  Tweens will need to know what to do if a child is not breathing or if there is a fire in the house.  The Red Cross offers babysitting classes where Tweens can learn CPR, first aide, and choking prevention techniques.  Tweens should also know local phone numbers to call in case of an emergency, exit routes from the home they are sitting in, and poison control phone numbers.  Parents could take their Tween on a tour of the local fire and police departments to learn more information.

4.  Can your child prepare simple meals?  Tweens should be familiar with the kitchen.  Can your child make a ham or peanut butter jelly sandwich?  Can he or she pour milk into a bowl for cereal?  Be aware of kitchen dangers such as the microwave.  Tweens can cause a fire if they don’t know the basics like aluminum foil does not go in the microwave as well as dishes that are not microwavable.  Parents can help their Tween make a menu of items that he or she is able to prepare and offer the list to parents.  Practice making the items with your Tween.  Items should be kid friendly food like chicken nuggets and macaroni and cheese.

5.  Are you ready to be your Tween’s assistant?  Since Tweens are still learning and growing themselves, they will need a parent on speed dial.  Parents should be willing to aide their Tween by being “on-call” for any questions or crisis that may arise while their Tween is babysitting.

Tweens who are fully prepared for the job will be able to reap a lucrative cash reward for their highly qualified services and parent s may sigh in relief when their tween can pay for all of those gadgets from their own hard earned money.