I’ve done an awful lot of babysitting in my day. From watching my sister day in and day out for years to staying with the neighbour’s boy an entire summer to tucking in my professor’s twins, I’ve seen a lot. In the process, I’ve learned just as much.
- Pleasing the kids is just as important as (if not even more than) pleasing the parents.
Sure, the parents will be handing you the cash and will probably make the decision as to whether you’ll return. But do you know what’s likely the number one deciding factor in that decision? How much the kids want you to return.
- Listen to everybody.
Parents have rules. Kids have requests. Honour both.
- While listening, observe.
At my most recent gig, I noticed the differences between the two twins, reminiscent of my sister and I: the bookworm and the rebel. From there, I could treat them accordingly and make our games fair. They seemed to approve.
- Always have a story to tell.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard “Tell me a story!” Sometimes it’s followed by questions: “Have you ever broken a bone?” “Have you ever gotten in trouble?” If you haven’t done what they ask, you’d better have a follow up.
Whatever you do, you can have just as much fun as the kids! 🙂