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Thursday, 04 September 2014 00:00

10 questions to ask yourself before asking a family member or friend to babysit Featured

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Did you read last week’s babysitting disaster blog? To prevent it happening to you, here are 10 questions to ask yourself before asking a family member or friend to babysit.

Whether you have a cousin, mum, family friend or nephew available to babysit, you need to ask yourself these 10 questions before asking them to care for your kids .....

Can you trust them? You may be able to trust them with your house, but can you trust them with the safety of your children?

Will they will be able to make the right decisions if there is an emergency? Would they know what to do if a  child seriously cut themselves or choked on something? Have they done any first aid training?

** If the answers are no, don’t even bother reading on, you can’t put your children at this type of risk.

Are they reliable? Are you sure they will arrive on time and stay until whatever time you need? 

Alternatively, if they get a better offer will they decline and stay committed to babysitting for you? You need to feel assured that you have a babysitter and won’t be stressing at the last minute trying to find someone else.

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Who’s doing the travelling?

Do you need to take the children to the babysitter? If so you will need to allow time and pack for their time there. You may also need to supply the food. And is there a deadline to collect them afterwards.

If the babysitter is coming to you do you need to collect them and drop them home again afterwards? Do they have a specific time they need to finish by?

Do they know what to do? Are they experienced with your children’s ages?

When you find a nappy on backwards, and the 3 year old in the cot, you have found out too late that they are not experienced. Look at the ages of your children and recognise the skills needed of a babysitter. There are many 16 year olds that have never had to deal with a dirty nappy, and some adults don’t have the patience for a 2yo melt down.

Will they interact with the children?

Is the babysitter just going to ‘be there’, or will they actively interact with the children? Will they spend their time watching television the whole time or will they play games, chat, and read stories to your children? (did you read last week’s funny blog?)

How will your children cope? Do your children know and like the babysitter?

As much as you may trust your babysitter, if the children don’t like them and you are making them be with the babysitter, what message does that give your children?

Will your routines and rules be followed?

If you don’t allow cool drink, and have a set bed time, how will you feel when you hear they drank coke and went to bed late, not to mention that you will have to deal with the consequent behaviours? Is it worth the anxiety? Will your babysitter understand your rules and guidelines, and follow them?

Will the babysitter act appropriately in front of your children?

Do you want your children learning the words to inappropriate music, be watching M rated movies, overhearing babysitter phone conversations with friends, or will the babysitter invite their friends over? Does your babysitter understand what is considered appropriate with the ages of the children you have?

What’s the cost? It may be cheaper financially to have a friend or family member babysit, but there are sometimes other costs.

Is reciprocation expected, will you have to listen to the passing remarks over the next few visits, will you be judged or feel like you owe them? Will you feel guilty that you are overusing the same people too often? Is it worth it?

How will you be feeling when out?

We all need to go out and can be anxious about leaving our children with anyone at all, but there is a difference between that parent nervousness, and a concerning gut feeling. Does something not feel right with this particular babysitter you are thinking of asking. Will you listen to that inner voice?

Your children are precious. Your time out is very important. If you can confidently answer all the above questions with the family member or friend you have in mind to babysit then ask them to babysit. Otherwise, there are alternative options available such as reputable creche’s, daycares and babysitting agencies where the needs of your children are put first and your children are in safe hands.

In Perth contact Suze or Bianca at Cherished Cherubs Babysitting, or in Melbourne contact Natasha at Caring for Melbourne.

Read 955 times Last modified on Tuesday, 19 May 2020 06:43

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From the initial quote and booking to the baby sitting service, Cherished Cherubs have been outstanding all the way through!! It gave us complete peace of mind knowing our son was well looked after. - Christina, 3/3/20

We had Riana look after our 1.5 year old son for a few hours while we went out for dinner. From the moment she walked in the door both my son and daughter were obsessed with her. - Michelle, 31/8/20

Our babysitter Erica was fantastic, she went above and beyond to make our little people feel safe and happy. Strongly recommend her to others and will use again in the future. - Dale, 19/10/20

My children felt at ease with Ema straight away. She read them stories and settled them into bed. Booking and communication process was very straightforward and easy to use. Highly recommend - Hannah, 1/12/20