People will often ask you, “How well do you really know your babysitter?” The answer, unfortunately, is often that you don’t know as much about this person as you should. Too many people hire babysitters without doing their research. The babysitter you hire is responsible for the safety and well-being of your kids, so it’s worth a little extra time to make sure you hire the right person. Part of a babysitter’s job is also to play with your child, keep them entertained and happy, and not just stick them in front of the television – so character traits matter as well.
Finding The Right Babysitter
Someone might look good on paper, or they even be a neighbor’s daughter who you think you can trust. No matter what, you must look into this person and remember what qualities you are looking for in an ideal, trustworthy babysitter. As you begin the process of hiring a babysitter, it’s important to first write down the character traits, attributes and requirements you have of this person. Once you have this list clear in your mind, it’ll be easier to hire the right person.
It’s crucial to check at least 3 references (and hopefully the candidate has enough experience babysitting, that they have at least 3 babysitting references.) You must check references, even if this babysitter came highly recommended from your best friend. When you call references, find out how the candidate interacts with children, what activities they engage in, and how they left the parent’s home. Ideally, you want a babysitter whose references say that she always went the extra mile to do some laundry or some cleaning, left the home clean, and was respectful of their home as well. You’ll also want to find out if they were on time and reliable, or if they were often late or cancelled a lot. Most importantly, you’ll want to hear great feedback about how they cared for the children, how attentive they were, and how trustworthy they were.
Safe Driving Record
During the hiring process, it’s appropriate to ask for your potential new babysitter’s driving record. If this person will be driving your children around, to and from school, it’s not enough that the car has a good car seat. You also want to ensure your babysitter is a safe driver. Reckless driving attorneys will tell you how common DUIs are, and how common reckless driving behavior is in general. Weiland Upton Attorneys at Law remind us, “Some of the most common types of reckless driving are reckless speeding, failure to maintain control of a vehicle, and driving under the influence.” The last thing you want is a reckless driver behind the wheel with your children in the car, so check out their driving record.
Energetic, Not Lazy
A lazy babysitter will probably stick your kids in front of the TV so that they can text or scroll through Instagram on their phone without interruption. Your ideal babysitter is someone who will take the kids outside to play (with a watchful eye, of course!) and come up with unique and dynamic games to play at home. These babysitters are the ones that understand this is a job they’re being paid for, and they’re not being paid to sit on the sofa and neglect your child. You can test out their energy with a few trial babysitting shifts, leaving the activities up to the babysitter, and ask your kids what they did. Did they just watch movies? Or, you can try a more direct approach and tell your babysitter you’d like her to take the kids outside to the park, and find out from your kids if she did so.
Do you know how many babysitters secretly dislike children, only do the shift for the money, and actually get annoyed by the children they babysit for? How are they going to be loving and caring towards your children, if they are annoyed by children? You ideally want to hire someone who loves kids, and genuinely enjoys spending time with children. Chances are, if a person doesn’t genuinely enjoy caring for children or playing with children, they don’t really want to be your babysitter.
Connects With Your Kid
During the first or second interview, introduce the babysitter to your kid. Watch them interact with your kid and take notice of whether or not your child is taking a liking to them or not. Then, take notice of how they seem to be connecting with your child. Some other things to look for are a friendly and smiling face around your child, playfulness, a sense of humor, engagement (ie. Asking your child questions) and a good energy.