Be Sure to Ask These Questions Before Hiring Your Next Babysitter
Choosing a babysitter for your child is one the most important tasks for parents. Not only do you want to know that your child is in the best possible hands, but you also want to know that are capable of handling situations during a crisis. You will also want to ask questions to get a feel for the potential candidate as they will be around your children often and will likely leave impressions that can influence your child – both good and bad.
Before interviewing a potential babysitter to watch over your children, it’s a good idea to come up with a list of questions to ask. While general questions are always a good place to start, delving a bit deeper into your babysitters mind gives you perspective on how they will handle certain situations. Of course, some questions may not be needed for your personal situation, but many of these are great questions to ask or, at the very least, keep in mind.
Below is a list of common questions that you should ask any potential babysitter. Now if your child has a disability, certain needs or specific expectations you may need to alter the questions a bit. The questions below, and what to look out for, are a guideline to help you find the perfect babysitter for your precious children.
- Do you have any first aid training or a CPR certificate? While this is by no means necessary, a babysitter that possess this type of training will know how to respond in times of crisis. Not only will this provide you with ease of mind, it will also show you that this babysitter is serious about their work. Now if they don’t have any training, it’s a good idea to ask if they know how to perform the Heimlich Maneuver or CPR. Ask if they have had to deal with a medical crisis in the past. And lastly, be sure they know how to clean up minor scrapes, burns and other scenarios that are common with young children.
- Do you have any health problems that may affect your ability to babysit? This question may seem a bit out-of-the-box, but it’s quite alright to ask any potential babysitter about their health. Your potential babysitter may be allergic to animals, have asthma, can’t move around quickly, ect. You need to know any potential problems that will limit their babysitting abilities. This question also allows you to decide whether or not their ability may give them an excuse to leave or not show up because of said health issues.
- Do you have transportation? This question is not a deal breaker, but it is a good question to ask. If you need a babysitter to show up while you’re at work, a babysitter without transportation may not be able to. By knowing what to expect you can prevent miscommunication and know exactly when you can contact the babysitter.
- What activities will you do with the child/children? This question is great because it gives you the opportunity to understand your potential babysitter. If the babysitter doesn’t know what activities he or she will do with your child, you can always suggest some. However, choosing a babysitter that wants to be active with your child is best. It’s also a great idea to ask possible activities because you want to know that the activities will be educational, fun and safe.
- What age range of children are you comfortable watching? If you didn’t specify the ages of your children before interviewing your potential babysitter, this question is very important. You want to know that your babysitter will be comfortable with your children. You also want to know that your babysitter will know what to do with your children. For instance, babies are more time consuming but don’t require as much play. This question will let you, and your babysitter, know that a great relationship will form between the two of you and your children.
- How does he/she discipline children? We all know that children act out at some point, especially with babysitters. By asking how he or she will discipline your children you can get a better idea of who you are dealing with. It’s also a good idea to ask a potential babysitter how they have dealt with disciplining children in the past. You want a babysitter to discipline a child the same way you do, and for the same reasons, so your child understands the rules and maintains consistency. For example; if you put your child in time-out with no TV for seven minutes, you want to know that your babysitter will do the same. You also want to know that they won’t hit or spank your child, even if you do on occasion.
These questions are really just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to interviewing a potential babysitter. It doesn’t matter if you are choosing a well respected teenager from the neighborhood or a professional, you want to know you can trust your child in their hands. It may also be a good idea to ask a few other open-ended questions so you can get a true feel for any potential babysitter. Aside from asking these questions and more, you should also ask for a list of references. By asking many questions and spending time with your potential babysitter, you can ensure that you can trust them inside your home and, most importantly, the life of your children.