OUTLINE 6: CONCERNS OF THE BABYSITTER

Copyright / Access Information

WELCOME/INTRODUCTIONS

Have participants say their names and one new thing they learned about babysitting during the first five sessions.

GUEST SPEAKER

Introduce Guest Speaker (parent or nursery/kindergarten teacher). Guest will discuss his or her expectations of a babysitter and/or working with children.

ROLE PLAYING

Divide participants into a few groups (2+ depending on the number of people in each situation). Give each group a situation and a few minutes to discuss and plan. Have each group role play their situation. During each role play interject “complications” e.g. child falls and cuts leg, door bell rings, phone call, persistent phone callers, gone for a walk and notice door is open when return, child locks self in bathroom, child throws up, door locks when you go out for a walk, pet gets hit by a car.

HANDOUTS

Distribute and discuss “Characteristics of a Successful Sitter” and “Do’s and Don’ts.”

QUIZ

Distribute blank “Babysitter’s Quiz.” Have participants complete it individually or in small groups. When they have finished, distribute the Babysitters Quiz completed in first session. Each participant should take a few minutes to compare their answers. Ask if anyone would like to share their results/observations or if they have any questions (from the test or in general).

GRADUATION

Distribute 10 copies of “Babysitter’s Checklist” to each participant. Award participation certificates and wallet cards to those who have successfully completed the six weeks and the assignments. Explain make-up procedures for those who need to do so.


CHARACTERISTICS OF A SUCCESSFUL SITTER

Love and Understanding. A successful sitter loves and understands children. Understanding is gained through observation and study. From understanding comes love.

Maturity. Maturity involves qualities of level-headedness, dependability, and “common sense.” Maturity is not determined by age. Some sitters may be more mature at 14 than others are at 16.

Business-like Attitude. The business aspects of the job should be clearly understood. These include time of arrival, length of assignment, expected duties, rate of pay, safe conduct home, privileges, etc. Feel free to ask questions. The sitter should uphold her/his end of the bargain.

Health. Sitters should be in good physical health and mentally and emotionally sound. Don’t report to work with a cold or other disease. Be clean and suitably groomed.

Adaptability. No two households are alike. The sitter must be able to adapt to different situations.

System. Encourage written instructions. Write out message or questions you need to give to parents.

Good Manners and Ethics. Respect the privacy of all homes. Do not repeat conversation. Do not betray confidences or indulge in gossip. Good manners can be expected from the employer, and a sitter should decline further employment from a family that gives unfavorable impressions.

Safety. Be safety conscious and take every precaution to protect the children.

Job Proficiency. Learn the skills of caring for children.


SOME DO’S AND DON’TS FOR BABYSITTERS Do’s Include:

  • Be clear about money matters.
  • Discuss any added duties; remember that all extra chores come second to the care and safety of the children.
  • Be clear about transportation arrangements.
  • If you don’t know or understand, ASK!
  • Know the name, address, and phone number of where the parents are going, and an emergency person.
  • Know when they expect to return.
  • Know if they are expecting any visitors or phone calls.
  • Lock all doors when parent leaves.
  • If night, pull down shades and turn on outside lights.

Don’ts Include:

  • Don’t babysit if you have a cold or infection.
  • Don’t leave the children alone.
  • Don’t explore what does not concern you in the home.
  • Don’t discuss the family or carry tales.
  • Don’t abuse any privileges. . . such as. . . don’t eat the family out of house and home or tie up the phone with personal calls!
  • Never accept a job from a stranger. If you don’t know the person calling, ask who recommended you, then call that person and check it out.
  • Never say you are the babysitter or give your name, address, or phone number when you answer the phone.
  • Never say the parents aren’t home. Say, ” _____ can’t come to the phone. May I take a message?”
  • Don’t let in anyone who comes to the door. Take a message.

 

ROLE PLAY SITUATIONS

These role playing activities are meant to be learning situations. Be encouraging and positive about your members’ participation. Try to help them see what is best for the child. Divide the participants into small groups or ask for volunteers. Give each group one situation. Then interject complications as they role play.

SITUATION 1

Single mother who is at work
One boy, three years old
When you are feeding him his supper, he chokes on a peanut butter sandwich. What do you do?

SITUATION 2

Two parents going to the movies and then for a snack
Two children: one boy, five years old and one boy, six months old
You arrive at 6:30 PM for the first time with this family. The parents are trying to hurry out the door. You need to get more information from them about your responsibilities. What can you do?

SITUATION 3

Single father working at home
One girl, two years old
You are supposed to babysit from 1 to 4 PM and it is a beautiful day. List some things you could do with her. Are there any needs a 2-year-old might have which you need to plan around?

SITUATION 4

Parents gone shopping
Two children: one girl, eight years old and one boy, three years old
You are babysitting from 6 to 10 PM. You do not need to feed them supper, but you do have to bathe them and give them a snack. How would you plan the 4 hours?

SITUATION 5

Parents gone to a neighbor’s house for the evening
Three children: one boy, two years old; one boy, four years old and one girl, six years old
You are scheduled to babysit from 7 to 10 PM. The boys sleep in one room, the girl in another. It is bedtime (8 PM for all). The girl wants one story, the boys another. What do you do?

COMPLICATIONS

Child falls and cuts leg.
Door bell rings.
Phone call while you are bathing child.
Persistent phone caller.
When return from walk, notice the front door is open.
Child locks self in bathroom by accident.
Door locks when you and children go out to play.
Child throws up.
Pet gets hit by car.


ROLE PLAYING – SITUATION 1

SITUATION: A single mother is at work. You are sitting for one boy – 3 years old. When you are feeding him supper, he chokes on a peanut butter sandwich.

WHAT DO YOU DO?


ROLE PLAYING – SITUATION 2

SITUATION: The mother and father are going to the movies, then out for a snack. You are sitting for 2 children: 1 boy – 5 years old and 1 boy – 6 months old. You arrive at 6:30 P.M. for the first time with this family. The parents are trying to get out the door quickly. You want to find out the information you need to care for the children.

WHAT CAN YOU DO?


ROLE PLAYING – SITUATION 3

SITUATION: A single father is working at home. You are sitting for 1 child – a 2-year-old girl. You’re supposed to babysit for 3 hours: 1:00 to 4:00 P.M. It’s a beautiful day outside.

WHAT CAN YOU DO WITH THE CHILD? Are there any special questions you need to ask the father before 1:00 P.M.?


ROLE PLAYING – SITUATION 4

SITUATION: The parents have gone shopping. You are sitting for 2 children: one 8-year-old girl and one 3-year-old girl. You’re babysitting form 6:00 to 10:00 P.M. You don’t need to feed them supper, but you have to bathe them and give them a snack.

HOW WOULD YOU PLAN YOUR 4 HOURS?


ROLE PLAYING – SITUATION 5

SITUATION: The parents have gone to a neighbor’s house for the evening. You are sitting for 3 children: a 2-year-old boy, a 4-year-old boy and a 6-year-old girl. You are babysitting from 7:00 to 10:00 P.M. The boys sleep in one room, the girl in another.

HOW WOULD YOU HANDLE BEDTIME/SNACKS?


BABYSITTER’S RESPONSIBILITIES

This is general information you should be aware of when assuming the responsibilities of a babysitter. This should be cross checked with the “List of Responsibilities” you developed at your first session.

BUSINESS ARRANGEMENTS
Name, address, and phone number of people you are sitting for.
Where they are going, including address and phone number.
Time you are to arrive; when they are to leave and return.
Arrangements to get you home.
The amount of your fee and when you will receive it.
What you may use in the house – radio, tv, food, phone.
Whether you may have friends over while you are sitting.

EMERGENCY NUMBERS
Neighbors.
Police and fire department.
Poison control center.
Family doctor, community health clinics, or other emergency clinics.
Children’s medical health plan card number (if they have one).

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT CHILDREN
Children’s normal routine – including bedtime and bathroom routines.
Things they like to do – read, watch television, outside play, friends.
Children’s habits – special blanket, thumb sucking, etc.
Children’s fears.
What cheers children up.
Foods they like and are allowed to eat.
Any allergies or physical limitations.

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE HOUSE OR APARTMENT
Location of lights, phone, exits, rooms, fuse box, thermostat.
How doors and windows lock and unlock, including bedroom and bathroom doors.
Location of candles, flashlight, matches, batteries.
Location of cleaning supplies and first aid supplies.
House rules.
Responsibility toward any pets.
Location of spare key.


 

RESOURCE IDEAS

In addition to the suggestions included in each of the outlines, there are speakers, materials, training, films, etc. available from a variety of other sources. Some of those sources are listed below.

FIRST AID RESOURCES: American Red Cross – certified courses in First Aid and CPR. Emergency Medical Technicians, Hospitals, School, Nurses, Pediatricians

UMASS COOPERATIVE EXTENSION: 1-800-374-4446. Additional films and videos, speakers, nutrition manuals, certificates and identification cards for those who complete the course.
Child Care 4-H Record – teaches valuable record keeping skills.

LIBRARY SYSTEMS: Films and videos. Examples – “Oh Boy, Babies” – a sixth grade class of boys who learn babysitting skills, “Step Father” – new baby adjustments, “Amy” – overview of responsibilities of babysitting. Books and games or activities for children.

NATIONAL FIRE ASSOCIATION: Flyers – contact your local fire department. Some materials have a small charge. Example: Fire safety tips for babysitters.

CONSUMER PRODUCT SAFETY COMMISSION: 1-800-638-2772. Various booklets and flyers. Example – “For Kids Sake” – toys, “The Super Sitter” – overview of the babysitters’ job.


DOCUMENT USE / COPYRIGHT
National Network for Child Care – NNCC. Part of CYFERNET, the National Extension Service
Children Youth and Family Educational Research Network. Permission is granted to reproduce
these materials in whole or in part for educational purposes only (not for profit beyond the cost of
reproduction) provided that the author and Network receive acknowledgment and this notice is
included:

University of Massachusetts Extension 4-H Youth and Family Development (1996). “Babysitters’ Program.” Amherst, MA. University of Massachusetts Extension.

Any additions or changes to these materials must be pre approved by the author .

AVAILABLE FROM

UMass Cooperative Extension
1-800-374-4446


FORMAT AVAILABLE::In Print – 40 pages
DOCUMENT REVIEW:: Level 2 – University of Massachusetts Extension
ENTRY DATE:: December 1997

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