What do great babysitters all share in common? What are the qualities and habits that allow for a successful babysitting, both to the benefit of the children, their families and, of course, the babysitters’? After dwelling upon it, we came up with 10 great babysitter qualities- it would be our pleasure if you would like to add any others.
1. They love children.
You must have heard what they say that “Do what you love and you won’t have to spend a day working”! Well, maybe it goes without saying, but especially for this special kind of work, to love it is a prerequisite! Children must mean the world to you and working around them should be a fulfilling experience! If this is not the case, don’t even bother…
2. They stick to the family rules.
To stick to the family routine you must first have a clear view of what it embraces. Don’t feel awkward to ask and ask again about the family program, the space it leaves to flexibility and last minutes changes and the rules that can’ t be broken. Even though you may feel the need to take initiatives and bring some “you” in this routine, the advice is to avoid, at least in the beginning. When trust between you and the family is not an issue, you can go ahead and make some suggestions!
3. They have a sense of humor.
Humor is liberating not only for babysitters to get through the overwhelming days of child care but for the kids too who have an eye for genuine humor! Not only can it break the ice and bring babysitters and children closer, but it can also contribute to enhancing a child’s brainpower, creativity and, most importantly, emotional intelligence.
4. They listen.
When it comes to taking care of children and being there everyday next to their needs, joys and fears, listening is a key quality since it enables empathy. Actually, to be able to listen to another, especially if that other is a kid with all the limitations in expressing himself and putting things clear, requires a natural talent. If you don’t share it, make sure you win it over practice.
5. They are patient.
Let’s not make babysitting sound like an advertisement where everything works, everybody smiles, all the time and at the end of the day nobody is tired, let alone worn out! There are times that babysitting is so overwhelming and demanding, tasks pile up, the kids seem to be uncooperative and distractions happen all the time to sabotage the program. The answer to all that mess is pure… patience! A virtue of critical importance when babysitting is concerned- actually when every kind of human activity is concerned!
6. They are organized.
How can you set rules and follow schedules if you are not organized yourself? Children learn from what you do and not form what you say. There is no point in trying to “sell” them the need to do things in an ordered manner if what they get from their babysitter is a disorganized attitude with confused principles.
7. They are interested in their personal growth.
Being a babysitter doesn’t mean you have to leave every other opportunity for personal growth behind! A strong personality with active interests works as an inspiration for the children and gives them strong incentives to pursue their interests, too. But, above all, a babysitter who favors constant learning and renewal is a happy person. And happiness is the garden where human potential thrives.
8. They learn how to say no.
Being able to say no when you have outreached your personal limits is actually a very healthy reaction. If a behavior made you feel insulted, or something asked went far beyond your job description, don’t hesitate to put your limits. In any other case, toxic feelings built up, irritability and nervousness turns up… uninvited whereas passive aggressive behavior will eventually become your middle name.
9. Get good sleep.
The importance of a good night sleep cannot be emphasized enough! Overall, maintaining healthy habits is crucial not only for setting an example to the children but also for empowering yourselves to cope more efficiently with the challenging -yet so rewarding- job of babysitting.
10. They maintain a positive attitude.
Positive attitude is a key element to every healthy personality. Especially to babysitters, it helps not only to resolve peacefully any conflict that may arise but, mainly, to find hidden meanings in little everyday moments, to feel grateful for the way you live and to want to share that gratefulness with the children.