Archive for November, 2009

My Adventures In Babysitting

November 30th, 2009 by admin

Maybe I should call it “my horror stories in babysitting” but for the ten years that I babysat, I have run into many mishaps but there was one particular disaster tale that I could not have predicted. For the first few years, everything was ok. I mean, I experienced the typical tantrums and hissy fits–nothing a little talk and time-out couldn’t fix. Then my adventures in babysitting turned ugly.

Somewhere in my career I found myself living in Italy and employed by a pasta empire magnate. They had a five year old daughter who need babysitter help on those many nights that they had to be at galas and events. She played an innocent angel when her parents were around but she was, in short, a demon child. 

On the first day, she disobeyed everything I told her. At one point, I had to plead for her to eat and instead she took the plate of spaghetti, slowly walked around to where I was and dropped it all over my lap. It was deliberate and vindictive. For the next couple of months, every time I would try to tell her parents, they wouldn’t listen or believe me. Because they were still paying me an outrageous sum, I figured that I would stay for a little bit more.

Finally, my foreign adventures in babysitting came to an abrupt stop when the girl’s grandmother came to visit. All three of us were in the car with the limousine driver when the girl started to hit me and call me names. Then she said very matter-of-factly that I should have never been born and that she would prefer for me to die. All that pent up frustration somehow manifested itself in my hand as I felt it–almost involuntarily slapping her hard across the face. Her grandmother saw what I did and as her granddaughter was making ungodly noises in the back seat, she made the driver stop immediately. She literally kicked me out onto the street.

Five days later, the girl’s parents slapped a lawsuit against me. Luckily, I won and was rewarded enough money to backpack around Europe for a year. I guess my adventures in babysitting weren’t so bad afterall.  A slight increase in my babysitting wages.

How to Get Recommendations as a Babysitter

November 28th, 2009 by admin

As a veteran babysitter, I have had several jobs in the business. I have been told that I am very effective at doing what I do and I have heard from some that I should even start a business training other babysitters. Although I have yet to do that, I will include in this blog several tips and pointers on being a  successful babysitter and ultimately, how to get recommendations.

-Be respectful — This is the most important tip to any kind of relationship. No matter how tough the child is, you cannot bend your morals. You can be firm when you need to but never be mean or abusive in any way. You are the older one and it is your responsibility to set a good example.

-Be prepared–I like to bring with me a bag of “goodies” which include little games and treats for when the child I’m caring for is being good. Also bring with you a first aid kit in case they don’t have one in the house and the child gets hurt.

-Be on time–Babysitting is just like any job where you have to arrive in a timely manner. Being there when you’re scheduled to reminds the parents that you are a responsible figure and that you care about doing a good job. Conversely, if you arrive late, they won’t have the confidence in you as a babysitter and may even refuse to hire you again. 

-Follow the rules–Ok, so it may be an indoctrinated natural tendency to go against what parents say but when they are not your own and actually your employers, it may be prudent to do what they say. When the parents of the child you’re looking after wants them to get to bed at a certain time, try to stay faithful to that limit. Guidelines will change depending on the parent because they all have their own concerns and priorities.

If you adhere to most of these babysitting tips then you will no doubt get a positive recommendation from your employers. If you have done everything that you can and they still don’t give you a referral, it’s ok. You will get many more chances.

Safe Cooking Tips

November 21st, 2009 by admin

 

Babysitting Games To Entertain Toddlers

November 19th, 2009 by admin

I am going to babysit a 2-year old little boy this week. It will be somewhat of a challenge because I have never actually taken care of children younger than four and my expertise is generally geared towards children who are in elementary school. Kids who are school-aged generally have the ability to speak and therefore communicate their desires and discontent relatively clearly. The younger they get, the harder it is to convey their feelings. In fact, I am told that two-year olds often act out because they are so frustrated with not being able to make people understand what they are trying to get across. Recently, I researched valuable ways to keep young children on their toes with excitement.

An important part of my baby sitting methodology is using educational and fun babysitting games. When they are being irritable and inconsolable, the easiest solution would be to place them in front of a television. However, because their parents usually have rules against this and because it‘s a pretty vapid activity, I prefer to engage them in more interactive babysitting games.

Because two-year olds are still forming their cognitive skills, playing something like a board game would be near impossible. Since tots like to put everything they see in their mouths, the game pieces would end up being choking hazards. I read up about some online games that would be both educational and interactive babysitting games. A site like kiddio.org provides caretakers with a ton of virtual activities for toddlers and preschoolers. You can have them sit on your lap or on a tall chair while you lead them through all the colorful shapes and movements. Another way to entertain toddlers is by playing simple games. They absolutely love make-believe and role-playing time because they get to pretend to be their favorite heroes. This kind of babysitting game is probably most interactive so don’t be surprised if you have to chase a little king around the house for an hour. At least you’ll be working off some calories!

Getting a Certificate From Red Cross Babysitting

November 15th, 2009 by admin

To be a trusted professional babysitter, it’s always wise to get the proper credentials. If you’re sixteen and watching your baby brother then you probably wouldn’t have to go through rigorous training but it’s important to know the basics. For me, I knew I had to get an official certificate that says that I’m trained at Red Cross Babysitting. These past two weeks, I underwent an intensive course to prepare me  for the responsibilities of being an effective babysitter.

The class is designed for anyone looking to be a trained babysitter–that includes anyone from teenagers to older people who want to know modern techniques on caring for their grandchildren. The first day was just an orientation and introductory period. There were about twenty people in my class so it was relatively small and intimate. I was able to talk to other babysitters about their experiences and share valuable tips and advice.

At this Red Cross Babysitting course, they teach you both physical and theoretical skills. There are hands-on activities where you can experience lessons directly. You will be trained in CPR administration by practicing on a dummy and  you will also learn first-aid know-how. Afterwards, you will also be taught things like how to provide the children with nutritious snacks and how to react to an unruly child.

At the end of my two-week course, I felt much more well-equipped for the babysitting industry. As proven by my shiny certificate, I knew I had graduated with a world of new knowledge and practical skills.