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10 Signs of a Great Babysitter

How do you know if your family babysitter is great?  Below are the top 10 signs that your babysitter is outstanding.

1.      Your children feel a strong emotional bond with her.  They eagerly anticipate her visits.  They are happy and well rested the next morning.  They ask to see or call her when she is not present.  They want to send her post cards when they are vacationing.

2.      Your babysitter feels a strong emotional bond with your children.  She eagerly anticipates her visits.  She has interests in common with your children (i.e., playing ball in the yard or drawing).  She asks to see or call your children when she is not scheduled to sit with them.  She sends them post cards when she goes on vacation and finds other ways of staying connected with them when she is absent from them.

3.      Your baby sitter is respectful of your time and expectations.  She is consistently punctual.  She asks lots of questions to gain an understanding of what you expect of her.  She chooses her actions based on the expectations that you have set for her.  She respects your role as parent and your right to determine your children’s boundaries and shape your children’s experiences.

4.      Your babysitter is an excellent communicator.  She makes notes if you have a longer list of instructions.  At the end of a sitting, she tells you the highlights (or lowlights, if any) of the sitting.  She speaks easily with you and your children.  If she is asked a tough question (i.e., “Where do babies come from?”), she has an appropriate response that does not cause undue discomfort to any person.

5.      Your babysitter has a positive, happy outlook on life.  She is fun-loving while balancing that with propriety and safety-consciousness.  She is optimistic and can help your children find the bright side of any situation.

6.      Your babysitter is creative.  For example, if the children need to be in bed by 9:00 p.m., and it is currently 8:00 p.m., what parent-friendly fun activities can she dream up that will keep the children happily occupied until they need to get ready for bed?

7.      Your babysitter is calm under pressure.  If one of your children falls and begins crying while another of your children spills milk in the kitchen, she can calmly triage which minor emergency needs to be attended to first and in what manner, decide how she should handle the child with the secondary minor emergency (as that child will likely consider his/her emergency worthy of an immediate response from her as well), and decide in what manner to subsequently address the secondary minor emergency.  She knows when to interrupt your time away by calling you and when she should handle these emergencies on her own and simply report them to you at the end of the sitting.

8.      Your babysitter is tidy.  Your house is just as tidy (or even more so) at the end of the sitting as it was before the sitting began.  If your children make messes while she is sitting, she ensures that the messes are cleaned before you return home.

9.      Your babysitter teaches your children information or skills that you and they value.  For example, did she teach them some basic Spanish words and phrases?

10.   Your children’s lives are enriched, both emotionally and intellectually, by having her in their lives.

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