Babysitting is a great first job for many. It can also be a great responsibility for a child who has younger siblings. How do you know when your child is old enough to begin babysitting? Here are seven things to consider.
#1. What is your state’s law?
Whether you think your child is ready or not, every state has a law for a minimum age in which children can be left home alone, or in the care of other children. Look into your state’s laws before you continue on.
#2. Does Your Child Follow Directions?
How is your child when you give them directions? Do they follow all of them, some of them, or none of them? If your child is incapable of following directions that you set, they certainly will not be able to follow another parents rules and directions.
#3. Can Your Child Sit Through a First Aid Class?
Before babysitting, it is essential that children go through a babysitters basics or first aid class. These classes are important so that your child will know what to do in case of emergencies. Does your child have the patience and willingness to sit through one of these classes?
#4. Is Your Child Interested in Babysitting?
When you ask your child how they feel about babysitting a younger sibling, or neighbor, how do they respond? If your child is more interested in playing with their own toys, chances are it is a bit too early to consider a babysitting job.
#5. Is Your Child Responsible?
Babysitting comes with loads of responsibilities. Not only will your child be responsible for themselves, but they will also be responsible for another child. If your child makes good choices for themselves, chances are they will be able to make good choices when it comes to someone else.
#6. Can Your Child Deal With Stressful Situations?
A crying baby can be incredibly stressful for even adults. How would your child deal with a younger child who throws fits when they are not getting their way? If your child does well under stressful situations, that is a good sign that they may be ready to babysit.
#7. Has Your Child Had Practice?
Does your child ever help you with younger siblings while you are busy tending to other tasks? Have they ever helped out with a neighbor’s or friend’s child while the parent was still home? If your child has experienced caring for a little one, while the parent was still home, it is likely that they may be old enough to handle babysitting on their own for a short time.
Whether it’s the first job as a mother’s helper, or an official babysitting and nannying job, we believe it’s imperative to have the necessary skills to do the job well. That’s why you’ll find a category dedicated to childcare in the Skill Trek curriculum. We cover everything from how to warm a bottle to changing diapers to entertaining a baby and keep him or her safe.