Monday, July 12, 2010


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5 Tips For Being An Awesome Babysitter

By Vanessa Van Petten, author and creator of, a parenting blog written by kids.  She also is the founder of the Radical Parenting Babysitter Certification course.

Babysitting can be an awesome way to make extra money or even as a full time career if you love working with kids and families.  Whether you are babysitting or you are a parent wanting to give your new babysitter some tips, here are some of our favorite pieces of advice for being an awesome babysitter:

1. Have a stock of babysitter games
You never know when you are going to be in a house with no TV, while it's raining outside and a shortage of snacks.  Always have a notebook full of games you can play anywhere.  This can be word games for older kids, coloring games for younger kids or get-to-know-you icebreakers for those awkward first moments.

2. Be prepared
Make sure you know the family's basic emergency numbers, the number for poison control and a back-up adult you can call.  You never know when you might need a little extra help and it is better to be safe than sorry!

3. Know how to make fun snacks and basic kid recipes
I cannot tell you how many times I went over to a family's house and the mom wanted me to whip up Mac and Cheese, pasta or rice and veggies.  Make sure to watch some videos on boiling pasta, cooking rice and heating up certain foods. Hungry kids mean irritable kids!

4. Consider getting a babysitter certification!
A babysitter certification is a course for babysitters. Ours is four parts and we cover hundreds of topics that babysitters deal with on the job and provide answers, activities and programs for them. (See full list of lessons below). In the course babysitters go through a workbook, textbook and complete homework lessons before taking the final exam.

Once certified, you can use our programs, recommendations and referrals to build their business. Many parents have also signed their babysitters up for the program as a refresher on ideas, safety tips and activities for their kids.

5. Practice
Offer to babysit neighbors or cousins for free until you get less nervous about being alone and feel like you can handle all kinds of situations.
We hope these tips have helped! Be sure to check out our
Babysitter certification course, we also offer a bunch of free tips!
Vanessa Van Petten
Author: "You're Grounded!"
Twitter: @vvanpetten
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