Chances are, the majority of us have babysat at least once in our lives. It always seems like a pretty awesome gig. Many teenagers and college students would rather babysit than take other types of jobs, and it's a nice way to make some money while hanging out with kids. What could be wrong with that?! Sure, we had to deal with some tantrums and low moments sometimes, but the money tended to make up for that. Some people only babysit their younger siblings (and might not get paid for that) but most of us have some experience under our belts.
Of course, once folks older and parents themselves, they see things from another perspective, since they're in the habit of hiring babysitters. They realize that they need to make sure that they hire someone that they can rely on and who will take great care of their sweet kids. They can't hire just anyone, and we have a long list of things that are necessary when hiring. It goes both ways, though, and parents need to be aware of anything that they're doing that might not make the babysitter want to stick around. Babysitting has to be great for both parties.
Here are 10 things that will make the babysitter quit, along with 10 things that they should be doing.
First, here are 10 things that will make the babysitter quit...
20 Parents Definitely Shouldn't Expect Babysitters To Clean The House
If parents expect babysitters to clean the house, that could definitely make the babysitter quit. After all, it's your house, not the babysitters'. This seems like way too much to ask. As a babysitter told Today.com, she doesn't like "When people leave their dinner in the sink for me to clean up and expect me to take care of their pets."
If we think back to our own babysitting days, we start to see that this isn't the best idea. Would we want to clean the bathroom or kitchen, or the kids' rooms? No way. We wanted to play games with the children and put them to bed at the proper time without any drama.
19 Having The Babysitter Come Over Even When The Kiddos Have The Flu Or A Cold
According to Mommyish, babysitters will also be upset if parents have them come over even when the kids are sick with the flu or a cold.
Sure, you might think that this isn't a big deal and that it's okay because you trust your babysitter. They're loyal and the kids love them and they're going to take great care of your little one. That all may be true, but the problem is that they could give your babysitter their cold or flu, and that just doesn't seem very nice or fair. This is something that could make your beloved babysitter quit, which would be too bad if your kids enjoy hanging out with them.
18 The House Isn't Super Safe
Most parents child-proof their house and know that this is a super important thing to do. You might even do this before you even give birth. It's on your list of things to do, like buying furniture for the baby's room and coming up with some cool baby names.
According to Fatherly, some people don't child-proof which means that the house wouldn't actually be safe. As the website says about one babysitter, "Lauren, 32, remembers one parent telling her that they 'didn’t like the way child-proofing made the apartment look.'" It's definitely smart to make sure that the house is safe so your babysitter is comfortable in the environment (and so they don't quit).
17 You Don't Explain What You're Going To Pay The Babysitter
According to Today.com, babysitters aren't pleased when parents don't explain what they're going to pay them.
This definitely makes sense since everyone likes when money is perfectly explained and no one has to feel strange or like they're talking about something that they shouldn't be. It's not ideal for parents to come home after a night out and the babysitter (who is in high school or college, most likely) has to ask about the payment. Your babysitter will stick around if you always explain the money that you're paying them. If not, they'll probably find a family who will tell them this.
16 You Don't Come Home When You Say You Will
Today.com also says that babysitters don't like when parents don't come home when they say they will. As a babysitter said in an interview with the publication, “I might want to go home and go to sleep, or maybe I’m meeting up with my friends afterwards. I have a life too.”
This is a really good point and it might not be something that parents even think about. After all, you don't get a ton of time away from your kids, and while of course you love them so much, you also like date nights. You can't help but think, what's another half hour? But it's actually a big thing and this could make the babysitter quit.
15 The Kids Sit Staring At Screens
When you hire a babysitter, do your little ones sit staring at screens the whole time? This isn't the best scenario since, number one, they're not playing or doing something that is better for them, and number two, the babysitter will literally have nothing to do.
According to Cafe Mom, a babysitter said, "I wish that one of my families knew how spoiled their kids were. It isn't even fun to babysit them because they don't know how to play. They just know how to use all their smartphones and iPads. I'm 17 and I don't have a phone as nice as their 10-year-old has."
14 If You Don't Actually Go Out When You Hire A Babysitter
The babysitter is most likely going to quit if the parents don't actually go out when they hire them. As The Odyssey Online says, "You can't speak and act how you normally would around the kids when the parents aren't home. You act sillier and funnier when there are no parents to watch you, but when they're home, you just feel weird and have to be quiet."
This isn't the greatest idea since the babysitter won't like it and you're not going to even get a date night out of the whole deal. If you want your babysitter to stick around and keep coming over, then definitely leave the house when you hire them.
13 You Shouldn't Say Negative Things About Your Partner Or Family To The Babysitter
Reader's Digest says that parents will often say negative things about their partner or family to the babysitters... and that's just plain weird, right?!
The babysitter might quit if this is something that keeps happening. Imagine how you would feel if you were a high school or college student who was babysitting for a family and you experienced this. You would feel strange and awkward. As a babysitter told Reader's Digest, "I’m not sure why you feel so comfortable confiding in me, but to tell you the truth, it makes me uncomfortable. Moms are always complaining about how their husbands never do anything around the house, how they spend too much money, and worse."
12 Telling The Babysitter To Definitely Go Outside (Even In Bad Weather)
Mommyish says that it's not a good idea for parents to tell the babysitter that they definitely have to go outside with the little ones... even in bad weather. The website put it perfectly: "If you want your kid’s claim to fame to be surviving a lightning strike, perhaps you should work on this goal together and leave the help out of it."
This is another thing that would make the babysitter quit. It's confusing that some parents ask for this since they probably wouldn't want to head outside in those types of conditions. It's one thing if it's flawless July weather, but otherwise? Definitely let the babysitter stay home.
11 Moms Haven't Told The Sitter How They Expect Any Bad Behavior To Be Handled
Do parents want to have to chat with the babysitter about what to do when the kid misbehaves? That would probably be a "no" (or even a "no way"). It's not the most fun conversation to have... but it's really crucial for parents to sit down with the babysitter that they have hired and talk about this.
As Fatherly says, "Claire, 24, remembers when she asked a parent about discipline techniques and the parent responded 'Don’t worry about that. They’re a good kid.'"
Babysitters are going to feel like they have no idea what to do, and it's going to be tough for them to come back.
And here are 10 things they should be doing...
10 The Babysitter Should Definitely Be Aware Of Safety Rules (Including First Aid)
Of all the things that the babysitter should be doing, being aware of safety rules is definitely high up there on the list. Care.com talks about how babysitters need to know about "child safety" and "good hygiene and bathroom hygiene" for kiddos.
Moms can think about these things when meeting with babysitters and deciding who will be a great fit for the family. If the babysitter seems uncomfortable about taking toddlers to the bathroom, for example, it's not going to work out because this is really important.
Babysitters should also know first aid and what to do when something goes wrong.
9 They Should Also Create A Schedule And Plan
According to Healthline, babysitters should create a schedule and plan. This is a good way to figure out if you've hired the best babysitter that you possibly could.
After all, who would you rather have taking care of your kiddos in your house: someone who has a schedule to stick to and knows exactly what will happen... or someone who wants to wing it and see how it goes? You want your kids to have a lot of fun and also forget that mom and dad are away, so this is pretty crucial. It's smart to talk to the babysitter about this once they come over.
8 They Should Always Put Kids To Sleep At The Proper Moment
Meaningful Mama says that babysitters always need to put the kids to sleep at the proper moment. This mom explains, "Make sure there is enough time for pajamas, teeth brushing, books, prayer, etc. If you struggle with getting kids to bed (you would if you were at my house, sorry about that…) then make sure to ask the parents if they have any tips, tricks or bribes to help."
Of all the things that a babysitter should always do, this seems like it should be the highest of priorities, right? If the kids are still up and super wired when parents get home, it's going to be frustrating.
7 They Focus On The Children No Matter What (And Make Sure They're Having A Good Time)
When it comes to the things that babysitters should always do, focusing on the children and making sure that they're having a good time is at the top of the list as well. As We Have Kids explains, "A great sitter plays with the children instead of watching the children playing!" The website continues, "A good sitter will be attentive to the children. A great sitter will be involved with the children."
Focusing on the children means, of course, not spacing out or taking them to the park and then talking to the other moms or sitters there instead of watching them. Babysitters need to get right in there.
6 Babysitters Should Always Talk To The Parents Beforehand And Recap The Evening Once The Parents Are Home
There are two things that babysitters should always do: talk to the parents both at the start of the evening and once the parents return home.
Healthline says, "When you’re babysitting, don't feel like you have to figure out everything on your own. Always reach out to the parents if you have any questions or face any issues." It would be totally fine to even text or email the mom and dad of the kids you're looking after a few days before the babysitting job, just to make sure that you feel comfortable.
It's a great idea to recap the evening and tell the parents what happened. They want to know everything, so no detail will be too small.
5 Babysitters Always Need To Make Sure Kids Take A Bath Before Bed If They Were Super Messy
What To Expect says that babysitters should make sure that kids take a bath if they get really messy. This seems like something that a babysitter should do at any point, but particularly if they've been playing outdoors (and if muck and mud were involved).
Babysitters should think about what a typical evening routine would be like for the child if their parents were home: they would play, maybe read a book, take a bath, and go to sleep. It makes sense for babysitters to re-create this routine and make sure that the kids are being taken care of properly.
4 The Babysitter Should Definitely Provide Healthy Snacks And Meals At The Right Time
Many experts agree that babysitters should be giving kids healthy snacks and meals (and at the right times) instead of junk food. While sometimes parents will leave some money to order a pizza (which is a really nice treat for the kids), that's the exception. Otherwise, parents will want the babysitter to provide healthier food and they're going to mention this before.
Moms know that when little ones don't eat healthy snacks or a proper dinner they're going to get hyper or start crying or act really tired. It's in the babysitter's best interest to provide healthy food since this will make the evening better... plus, of course, it's good for kids to eat well.
3 They Need To Make It An Enjoyable Experience For The Kiddos
Meaningful Mama mentions that babysitters should have an imagination and make it an enjoyable experience for the kids: "You are closer to those years than we are as parents. I am sure your imaginations and ability to play are much better. Think like a kid. Be goofy. Make it fun."
Babysitters should make a point of doing this every time they have a babysitting job. It's going to be so much better for both them and the kids, and it's going to make parents so happy to know that they found a babysitter they can count on. After all, the kids will have such a great time they will definitely tell their mom and dad all about.
2 They Should Focus On The Kid And Not Social Media Or Texting
Babysitters also need to focus on the children that they're looking after instead of social media and texting. As What To Expect says, it's only okay for babysitters to know where their phone is for safety reasons: "Of course, you want the sitter to have her cell turned on so you can reach her."
This is especially crucial to think about considering how many hours many people spend texting people and looking through social media every day. Babysitters should definitely hang with the kids, not their phones, right? Parents can for sure talk to the babysitter about this before the evening begins.
1 Every Babysitter Needs To Be Aware Of What Kids That Age Like To Do
As Care.com says, babysitters need to be aware of what children like to do, depending on their ages. The website continues, "How you interact with and care for a child can be dependent on age. An infant, a toddler, a preschooler and an elementary-aged child will each communicate differently and have different needs."
If a babysitter doesn't really know about this and seems to want every kid in the household to do the same thing, that's something that parents should be aware of and talk to them about.
As long as babysitters stick to doing these 10 things (and parents avoid the 10 things that will make a babysitter quit), it seems like it'll be a great experience for the whole family.
Sources: Today.com, Mommyish.com, Fatherly.com, Thestir.cafemom.com, Theodysseyonline.com, Rd.com, Care.com, Healthline.com, Whattoexpect.com, Meaningfulmama.com, Wehavekids.com