Almost every teenage girl's first job is babysitting. It's a great start and creates character that also pays well, enough to keep you happy. However, not everyone likes kids or can handle remaining calm when things get chaotic. This job definitely takes skill and patience. I'm the type that automatically goes into Barney mode when I'm around children. Although I look ridiculous most days I know the kids love me for it. I wouldn't be who I am if I wasn't a full-time sitter. It has made me patient, responsible and tenacious. I've grown to be more sensitive and capable of not only being their sitter but a friend, and that's important to make our time together more enjoyable. Babysitting has always been a breeze for me, but here are tips that I have learned along the way.
The hardest part about babysitting is being authoritative. I don't mean yelling and screaming at them but being stern so they know who is in charge and understand between right and wrong. It's necessary to be a mentor in this way because these kids look up to you. If they make a mistake, walk them through it on how it could of been done differently for next time. You need to enforce the rules and respect the parents' wishes and run things the way they would.
Babysitting isn't as easy as it seems. You need skill and confidence to take on a day with children. Even when it comes to something as little as negotiating arguments over toys or games. Stay cool headed when a child is injured or crying no matter how stressful these times may be. Having real life challenges where your skills are put to the test helps make the best decisions when you're on the job.
Parents appreciate all the little things. Helping kids with homework and teaching them shows you are concerned about their performance in school. Fixing issues with the kid's teammates, friends, or peers show you are compassionate about their feelings. I also can't stress enough how important it is to put their wants and needs before yours. You may not want to play that game or watch that movie, but you do it anyway. The plus side to this is seeing how happy they are doing their favorite activities with you.
The best part about babysitting is seeing the glow in their face when they see you. Its a good feeling when kids get attached to you and have full interest in what you have in mind for the day with them. They love you like an older sibling and make you feel like a part of the family. Watching them grow and change is bittersweet. You don't realize how fast kids grow up until you're watching their every move, but one day you realize they won't need you and you won't always be their babysitter. If I could, I would stay in my teenage years and babysit forever because I cherish these little kids that change my life.