Babysitting Guidelines

7 Important Questions Every Babysitter
Should Ask Themselves

Here are some babysitting guidelines for the prospective babysitter in the form of seven important questions every would-be babysitter should ask of themselves prior to embarking on a babysitting career.

babysitting guidelines

Babysitting as a business definitely has all the right qualities to fit a preteen (and teen) and help with preteen and teen money management.

It can be a great way to earn an income. It doesn't require any money to get started and uses skills the mature preteen or teen probably already has - especially if he or she has younger siblings.

But before you encourage your daughter or son to jump into their first job as a babysitter, you'll want to make sure this is a good fit for them. Here are some key questions that you should encourage your teen or preteen to consider:

  • Do you enjoy being around kids? If the answer to this isn't "yes", you need to move on to a different money-making area. It really is that important. Kids (and their parents) can usually tell (and quickly) whether you like them, and it can make all the difference in how well the job goes.
  • Are you responsible? Being responsible is a key part of being a babysitter. You are in charge for the children you are watching - and their parents have put a great deal of trust in you.
  • Are you mature? Can you handle an emergency? Although unlikely, an emergency can always happen while you are babysitting. You must be able to handle the situation, which is a combination of knowing what to do as well as being able to actually do it. This doesn't always come with age - although it helps.
  • Are you informed or educated about children? You will need to be able to take care of kids' basic needs as well as being a good play partner. You will need to know the basics about feeding, diapering (or using the bathroom depending on age), dressing and bathing. Even if you don't need each of these skills for each job, they are key skills that a qualified babysitter should have.
  • Are you flexible? Every child and family is different. You will need to be flexible to their routines and needs. If there are things that make you uncomfortable, you may need to reconsider working with that family.
  • Do you have good manners? You will most likely be caring for the children in their home, not yours. It important that you respect the family's privacy by not viewing rooms or areas that are not necessary for your job (like the parent's bedroom or closets).
  • Are you organized and self-confident? Children can tell if you're not sure of yourself and will act accordingly (maybe not to your advantage!). Be prepared. Get the necessary emergency information. Have a plan for what you and the kids will be doing that follows the house rules of the family.