Youth Babysitter Application and Guidelines 101
By Tracy Lamperti,
Psychotherapist, Educator, Consultant
Babysitting Safety Series
Formal Application and Guidelines
· Is it really necessary?
· A sure bet that no one will babysit for your children if they have to fill it out?....
These are the reasons that I believe it is the right decision to follow a standard of an application like this, and why I have created it.
#1 Your child’s safety is top priority. You need to know that the babysitter you choose is serious about their responsibility. Their willingness to take the time to fill out the application is a sign of their seriousness.
#2 It contains questions that helps the parent really think about what they expect from the babysitter.
#3 It contains questions that helps the babysitter really think about what they have to offer and what skills they might want to improve to be the best babysitter they can be.
#4 It sets a precedent that you, the parent, are paying attention and that you want the best for your child, and that you value a good babysitter.
#5 Often, “mother’s helper” or “babysitter” is the first “work” experience for a preteen or teenager. It sends them a message that they are important and that their job is real and serious and that it is a steppingstone to future jobs.
#6 I work with teenagers often in my psychotherapy. Not only can most of them not sign their name in cursive, but they have never filled out a job application and think that a resume is something that adults have, if they even know what a resume is. If we want the next generation to take their jobs, careers, families and any other responsibility seriously, we have to begin teaching them early. TEENAGERS WHO HAVE A SENSE OF PURPOSE AND BELONGING ENGAGE IN MUCH FEWER AT-RISK BEHAVIORS. And obviously, they are contributors to our community.
#7 If you have started the babysitting position on a serious note, you can fine tune with the babysitter what you are looking for and if issues arise, you can return to your agreement to clarify or dismiss the babysitter.
#8 Even if you know the youth and their family, all of these factors are true and will benefit you, your child and the babysitter.
#9 Some might say, some of the questions are “private” or none of the parent’s business. That is absolutely correct. The application is completely voluntary and if the potential babysitter or the potential babysitter’s parent does not want you to have the information, so be it. You can wish them well. There is no equivalent “CORI” for youth, so all you can do is ask the youth if they have been involved with the police. If they don’t want to tell you, well then…..And if the youth has visited the principal once or repetitively, a youth taking responsibility for their behavior will be willing to tell you about it and to share with you the things they have learned from the experience. They may in fact make the BEST babysitter. And if they are not willing to share it with you, well then….I guess they haven’t learned much from their mistakes. There is nothing wrong with asking teenagers to take responsibility.
#10 If the youth has no experiences and cannot identify strengths they might have with children, they may make a wonderful mother’s helper to start, in which case, you have an excellent opportunity to mentor a young person!
Other topics that will be covered in the Babysitter series:
· Adult Babysitters 101
· Safety Info to Leave with the Babysitter
· Should you check the criminal record of a potential adult babysitter?
· Signs of an awesome babysitter!
· Signs that it’s not going well.
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