If you want to make some extra cash, babysitting might be the fastest way to put money in your pocket. Chances are there are plenty of families on your street who can use your services, and you can also babysit for family friends and relatives. But while babysitting can be fun, it has its challenges. Here are seven survival tips for babysitting.
1. Skip the Party Clothes
You're babysitting, not going to a party. For that matter, forget wearing your most fashionable attire and wear your most comfortable play clothes. For the next 2 to 3 hours you'll be running around, jumping up-and-down and having a bunch of little kids crawling all over you. So you'll need to be as comfortable as possible.
2. Go Old-school
To keep your little clients entertained, you'll need to think of fun games. Play some of their favorites, but also introduce them to games you played as a child. These might include classic favorites, such as red light, green light, eye spy or dodge ball. You can also bring some older classics stashed in your closet, such as Candyland or Simon.
3. Prepare a Kid Kit
Depending on how often you babysit, prepare a kid kit full of books, fun worksheets, DVDs or CD's with classic kid song. It might be a long night and children get bored quickly. For that matter, you'll need to plan ahead and make sure you have enough tricks to keep your clients happy.
4. Watch Your Blood Sugar
Some parents stock the refrigerator and cupboards, and give their babysitters permission to help themselves to any snacks. But there are no guarantees. Since it's going to be a lot of jumping and running around, you need to keep your blood sugar and energy up. So, make sure you eat before leaving home, and pack a few snacks to avoid getting hungry. Bring enough snacks to share with your little ones, as long as it's okay with their parents.
5. Know Your Limits
If you're trying to earn money, you might take as many babysitting jobs as possible. But it's important to know your limits. For example, if you only have experience watching two children at a time, you might skip taking a job with a family that has four, five or more children. This might be more than you can handle, and you might become overwhelmed.
6. Outsmart Your Clients
I'm surprised by the number of small children who still fall for this trick. But if you find you need a little quiet time, play a little game where you reward the child who can stay quiet the longest. It doesn't have to be a big reward, it can be as small as a peppermint candy. Don't expect the kids to be quiet for a long time, but at least you can get a few minutes of peace and quiet.
7. Stick to the Rules
Sure, you want to have fun with your little clients, but it's important to stick with the rules of the house. For example, the parents may request no sweets after a certain time to avoid hyperactivity. Additionally, you'll want to respect bedtimes set by the parents.
If you're too young to work, babysitting a few hours each week can put extra cash in your pocket, but the job might be harder than you think. With these survival tips you can get through each job with ease. What are other babysitting tips?