It would seem like parents never get a break from their daily activities; whether it is driving kids from and to school, attending their games, helping them with homework, taking care of them when they’re sick, etcetera. But isn’t it nice when we get a little break from all this so we can enjoy ourselves and maybe go out to watch a movie or have a romantic dinner? If you have children it is possible that at one point during your parenting career you may have considered getting the help of a babysitter who can take care of your children while you are out doing the things you like or perhaps due to a family emergency. But how can we make sure that we pick the right babysitter for the job? If you are looking for tips on how to choose the right babysitter, you should know that finding the perfect babysitter is not always a straight-forward process and you may have to try several babysitters before you settle for the right one. There are some things however, that you can look for when choosing the right babysitter for you and your children.
Make referrals count
One of the best things you can do before you pick a babysitter is to ask around for referrals. Try asking other parents at school or your neighbors if they have had a babysitter before and ask what their experience was like. While it might seem easy to just pick the local teenager who charges 5 dollars an hour, there are somethings that we need to consider before deciding and having the opinion of a fellow mom or dad can go a long ways towards our search. This does not mean that you should not give new babysitters a chance, as long as they are willing to follow instructions and they show some degree of responsibility, you can trust they will do a good job and earn that referral from you.
Conduct a job interview
Job interviews are a harsh reality in the job marketplace and babysitters are not exempt from these interviews. Interviews do not have to be extremely formal or even a harsh series of questions, but what we are trying to do is get a feel of what this person is like and how they would react to an emergency. In fact, there are a lot of things you can learn from a person by having a casual, 5-mintue conversation with them. Invite them over for a cup of tea or even call them on the phone for a little bit in order to express your concerns and needs when it comes to the children. Pick out a set of questions that address these needs and determine the type of answers that you are expecting. By investing a bit of time during the interview process we can make sure that we are picking the correct person for the job and this also gives us an opportunity to discard any candidates that we feel are not right for the job.
Evaluate your kids’ needs and strengths
This all boils down to picking a babysitter based on the needs of your children. While it might seem like a good idea to pick a babysitter with the best credentials or the best record, we need to determine how they will get along with our children; picking the stricter babysitter or the one with the most experience does not necessarily mean that you are picking the best person for the job. For example, if one of your children is suffering from a head lice problem, you can ask the potential babysitter if they’d be willing to help children with it while you’re away; this might also be a good time to instruct them on how to apply a natural head lice treatment, like ClearLice and how to follow-up on the treatment if you’ll be away for a long time. This is also a perfect time to evaluate the candidate’s strengths when it comes to your children and their needs, for example; does this person enjoy cooking? Can you rely on your babysitter to drive your children to school if needed? Consider all of the arrangements that they will need to handle depending on how long you’ll be away.
One last thing to consider is the fact that feedback is always important, do not be afraid to speak your mind in regards to how the children behaved or to ask any questions. Feedback from the babysitter is always important as well as it gives us the chance to learn how our children behave when we are not home. If you are able to find the perfect babysitter for your children, make sure to keep her or him around as they are valuable assets that can make our life simpler even if it is only for a few hours.