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OTHER ITA SITES:
Choosing a Safe Babysitter
You want to go out - just Mommy and Daddy. That's perfectly normal, but you can't find a family member that is available to care for your children. So you decide to hire a babysitter. Hiring a babysitter can be one of the most important choices you have to make for your children.
There are a couple of steps that should be followed before hiring a babysitter. You first and most importantly never hire a sitter just because they seem nice. Some of the nicest people turn out to be serial killers! Don't get a potential babysitter the benefit of the doubt. Child predators come in every age, size, and gender.
You should always ask for references and be sure to check them out! Call to see if the references are credible and accurate. Sometimes, references are just friends and family members. You, as a parent, want previous babysitting jobs as references.
Just like an employer in an office building, your next step is an interview. Speak to the potential sitter. Have a nice conversation and include your child! See how the child feels about the sitter. Do you and your child feel comfortable with this person? Do they appear friendly and genuinely caring? Finally, you should ask your children about the sitter. Don't force a sitter on your child. Your child should be happy with the person.
Once you've hired someone you and your child can agree on, make sure to go over the rules, such as no smoking in front of the child or in the home if you desire. Make sure to tell them to limit phone usage and no visitors. It's your child they're supposed to look after. Make sure to go over bed time, T.V. and other rules. Stress these rules.
If you're planning to use a babysitter long-term, make sure to check for signs of abuse, just to be on the safe side. Has your child had a change in behavior recently? Does your child show signs of fear or distress when you mention the babysitter? Have your child's eating habits changed? Are there bruises or cuts or other injuries that you can't explain? If so, you should confront the sitter immediately! If necessary, you should call your local law enforcement agency.
The person who keeps your child should care for your child as if they were an extra parent. They should love and respect the child, and care for them as if they were their own. Use care when selecting a sitter, and make sure it's a choice you can all agree with!
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