How to become a perfect babysitter? 10 “verified” tips

How to become a perfect babysitter? If you have recently started working as a babysitter, here is the advice of an expert babysitter for you. Tips and small “tricks of the trade” to create a good relationship with children and parents.

How to be appreciated by parents? How to win the affection and respect of children? If you have recently started working as a babysitter, in our blog you will find many tips on how to find an inexperienced babysitting job and what to do on your first day as a babysitter . But to know that “something more” that you only learn with experience, we asked a very experienced babysitter for some special advice.

Who is our “counselor” babysitter? Her name is Mariaelena, she has taught for years in a nursery school in the center of Rome, organizes and manages a very popular summer camp, has worked as a babysitter for over twenty years and is the mother of two girls. Working with children has always been her passion and she has managed to turn it into a job.

The perfect babysitter? Smiling

Mariaelena, what then is the first tip for becoming a perfect babysitter? ” The first tip is to smile. If you are a babysitter you have to smile a lot. When I work I always manage to leave my problems, anger, worries at home and show myself smiling to the children. Sometimes it’s not easy, but you have to do it. The time to be a child does not last long, and children have the right to have fun, to feel safe and to experience the beauty of life. The perfect babysitter must be able to convey serenity to the child, and to do that you have to smile “.

Play, play, play

Well, so working with a smile is the first tip. And the second? “ Play, play, play a lot. The babysitter is not a caretaker or supervisor, she must also be a playmate. Even if you are the babysitter of two brothers and the children can play alone, you still have to play with them, propose new games, have fun with them. Playing with the children in our care is part of our job, a big part. Parents come home late and often do not have the energy to play, we babysitters are there for the children, and we have to play “.

 Any advice on games? “ It depends on the child, the babysitter has to try to figure out which game is suitable. Let him choose the game to play, but also propose new games. I always try to make them work with their hands, different types of jobs to exercise creativity and manual skills. This takes some preparation: you have to think about the chore to do and prepare the material. A little more work, but that makes a difference “. In our Babysitting Guide you will find many ideas for games suitable for different ages: games for 1-2 year olds , activities and games for 3-5 year olds and for the first years of elementary school, many games to play at home for children of 6-7 years . 

The perfect babysitter reassures mom

So play and smile, to create a good relationship with the children. But the babysitting job is also made up of the relationship with the parents, which is another important aspect. In over twenty years of work you have met dozens of families and of course every family, every mother is different. But what is the common rule in all cases? Is there a trick to gaining mom’s trust? “ I try first of all to reassure parents, put them at ease by making them understand that I am there to enforce their rules and that I understand and respect what is important to them. Even the little things, like drying your hair well after swimming, having an apple eaten as a snack . Mom must feel that I listen to her carefully and follow hersinstructions for the babysitter . I would say that this is the first and fundamental step to build a relationship of trust between me and the mother “.

At home “on tiptoe”

Reassure the parent, listen carefully and do what he asks. What other golden rule works for building a good relationship with parents? “ The trust and respect between the family and the babysitter are built over time. But even the little things help. For example, showing parents that their spaces and privacy are respected. At first with each new family I ask which rooms I can play with the child, if there are objects they don’t want me to touch. I avoid going into the parents’ bedroom, I don’t move objects, I don’t eat the food in the house. I ask first to show me where the toys, food, clothes are, so as not to have to open all the furniture or drawers. In short, I try to enter the house on tiptoe, direspect the privacy of the family and not to be an intrusive presence “.

You’re good? Then say it

Have you ever felt that your work was not appreciated? “ I am convinced that when you do your work with love and joy, the parent and the child notice and appreciate you. But sometimes it is useful to point out that you are good. For example, if I found a way to get fish to eat, or I taught her to put on socks, or if the girl played all afternoon without ever asking to turn on the TV, I tell her mother. So he can evaluate my work and my skills . “

Be respected by children

Let’s go back to the relationship between our perfect babysitter and children. How do you do if children don’t respect you? If you can’t get yourself heard? It happens that the child does not listen to the babysitter , and when you are at the first work experience it is not easy. How do you behave in these cases? “ What I learned is that the relationship with children depends a lot on that with parents: if the parents respect the babysitter and trust her, the children will respect her too. A bit like what happens at school with teachers. If the mother and the babysitter are allies, the child knows that when the mother is not there she has to obey the babysitter and usually does, so it is important to build a good relationship with the parents . 

However, the children always try to get the babysitter to break the rules… “ Yes, sure! They swear that their mother makes them eat three chocolate snacks or that she makes them play ball at home. But to be respected it is important to make the child understand that the same rules apply with you as with parents. Softly, but firmly. With older children, around the age of 9 – 10, it sometimes dawned on me that they didn’t recognize my authority. As if they thought “you are just the babysitter, you are not my mother .” Also in this case I have always resolved firmly, but gently: “I’m the babysitter, of course, but when mom isn’t around you have to do what I say”. “

Do the right thing, not the easiest

So a perfect babysitter is kindly but firmly respected. Is there a risk of trying to please the child in order to see him happy and thus make the parents happy? “ Of course, every babysitter wants the child in their care to be happy, because that means a good job is being done. And if the child is happy, the parents are happy and the babysitter continues to work. But the pleasure of time spent together must be built by doing a good job, not buying the children with chocolate eggs or small gifts or indulging their every request. This is a shortcut that doesn’t pay off in the long run ”. So summing it up in one word? “Do the right thing not the easiest. A common example? If the child wants to play instead of doing homework , don’t be afraid to come to a conflict with him. Respect for an important rule is at stake. “

Play “let’s get it right”

Well, you’ve already given us some great tips for novice babysitters. Is there any other little attention that can make a good babysitter a perfect babysitter in the eyes of parents? “ Many small things make the difference, but a rule that always applies is to simplify life for the parent who returns home: the child already in his pajamas, the dishes already in the dishwasher, the dirty clothes in the basket, the teeth already washed. And above all, put the bedroom in order . It can be done, if it becomes a game to play together. I have a basket made in the box with the constructions, or I put a timer on and they try to put a part of the room back in place before it sounds. In general, even a very messy bedroom can be put in place in 10 minutes“. 

The perfect babysitter tells the day

“ Another piece of advice I would give to an inexperienced babysitter is to tell the parent what you did with the baby. You may have been playing all afternoon, but if you don’t tell it, Mom can’t know and she can’t appreciate your work. Then tell about the games you played together, what the child did in the park, if he met any friends, what he ate, if you noticed different behaviors than usual. In this way you also create an alliance with the mother, who will feel more included in your relationship with the baby. ”If you want to know more, you can read our post on the babysitter’s end-of-day report.

Reward the child, stimulate him with praise

What can be one last piece of advice to create a good atmosphere, a happy “child – parent – babysitter” relationship? “ Stimulating children with praise and rewarding them in front of the parent is an approach that works. You can propose to the child to make a nice picture for mom, or to pick some flowers, which you will then show her when she gets back. So mom will feel included in your time with the baby and the praised baby. He tells the positive things of the day: «Today Francesco was really good, he built a very high tower, he made a beautiful drawing, he left the park without crying». Every day you may be able to find a reason to gratify the child ”.