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How to be the best babysitter ever

Looking for a way to make some extra moolah this school year? Enter: babysitting. 

It sounds simple in theory (how hard can it be to hang out with kids for a few hours, right?), but there are some tips you need to know before joining the IRL Baby-Sitters Club. Luckily, we've got some dos and don'ts to guide you through the world of childcare. 

DO: Ask about allergies

Before you take on the role of guardian angel, make sure to ask the parent about any allergies or medical needs the kids might have. Armed with this info, you'll be better prepared to handle any situation like a pro. Plus, it shows you're responsible and totally on top of your game. Safety check = complete!

DO: Turn babysitting into a game night extravaganza

Forget boring babysitting routines. Elevate the fun factor by introducing awesome games that'll keep the kids entertained and grinning from ear to ear. From treasure hunts to DIY crafts, make every moment count. Trust us, you'll be the babysitter of their dreams!

DO: Use some movie night magic

Transform an ordinary night into an extraordinary movie marathon for the kiddos. Let them pick their favorite flicks, create a cozy fort and don't forget the popcorn. Movie nights are the perfect recipe for a babysitting win-win: entertainment for them and a breather for you.

DO: Have a dance party

Time to turn up the volume and let loose! Crank up the music and let the mini dance floor come alive. Whether it's a silly dance-off or learning the latest TikTok moves, a dance party is guaranteed to get the good vibes rolling. Get ready to boogie the night away!

DON'T: Ask for pay mid-babysitting sesh

We get it, it's important to know your salary. But here's the deal—asking for money can be awkward if not handled right. It's important to have a polite and upfront conversation with the parents about payment expectations *before* you start. Trust us, it'll save you from that uncomfortable dance of dropping hints or directly asking for cash. 

DON'T: Leave the kids unattended

Remember to never leave the kids alone physically *or* mentally. Ofc, the occasional bathroom break is fine when you know they're in a safe or enclosed environment, but the number one rule of babysitting is to be present. That means staying off your phone, being receptive to the children's needs and participating in all activities. 

DON'T: Leave any messes behind 

It can be tough to encourage kids to clean up after themselves when they're having a fab time—it's understandable if some toys are strewn about or if a couple of dishes aren't washed. Try turning the cleanup into a game! Have the children compete to see who can organize their space faster, or assign points to each item. That way, the fun continues and you get things done. If this doesn't work, don't sweat it. Just make sure you put everything back in its place before you leave, as in, after the kids go to bed or just stay an extra couple minutes. 

DON'T: Be afraid to ask questions

Let's say the parents didn't prep you for the AC guy who is supposed to be coming during your stay, but you let him in anyway. That's a major babysitting faux pas. The parents prob wanted to be there while the worker came, and it's not too safe to have unknown people visiting during your job. Instead, pick up the phone and ask! You'll never get in trouble for asking important Q's, and they'd rather have you be in-the-know than in the dark.

DON'T: Invite other people over

Okay, listen up! While it's tempting to turn your babysitting gig into a hangout sesh, this isn't a party. Inviting your besties to someone else's house without permission? Major blunder! Remember, you're job is to care for the kids, not throw a bash. Keep your focus on your job, and save the hangout for your own turf.

Babysitting this fall? Tell us *all* your best tips on Twitter @girlslifemag!

Slider image: @momonatamada


by Kukua Honny and Julia Szymanski | 9/19/2023