3 Things to Look for in a Babysitter

Sometimes when you are busy, when you are short on help, when there just aren't any other options available to you there is a temptation to just let anyone who is available babysit your kids.

Unfortunately this is not the greatest idea. According to the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency in the United States 4 percent of the reported crimes committed against children in the form of neglect, assault or sexual abuse are committed by babysitter. This is why it is so important to really be able to assess the character and then predict the behavior of anyone that you hire to look after your child!

Lots of the time we assume that a friend or relative is the best choice to look after our kids. This is not always true unless the candidate has demonstrated to you that he or she is –
1. Mature
2. Responsible
3. Capable

As you know 'liking the person', familiarity with the person and even age may have nothing to do with this. Some of the most likeable people in the world don't like kids or may do you 'the favor' of looking after your kids because he or she feels obligated.

Furthermore familiarity with a person does not always mean that they are familiar with how to look kids or the basics of First Aid. In fact, if you really think about it, some of the people we are most familiar with in our lives, especially family members, tend to lean towards the dysfunctional side (but we love them anyway!)

Also, 'being responsible' does not necessarily come with age. There are lots of sixty year old out there that are much more thoughtless and reckless than the sixteen year old down the street.

Then there is the issue of capability. If you have a toddler going through the 'terrible twos' you do not want to have someone frail or nervous looking after your kid. You want someone who knows how to dry tears, bribe a kid out of it or give him or her Time-Out. You want someone skilled with children and someone who is able to 'make the call' about whether or not to take a trip to emergency if your child is hurt.
In a nutshell, you want an individual who is mature, responsible and capable because anyone who fulfills those three criteria is going to be someone that you can trust when you are not at home!