Babysitting Tips 101 – Part 1

Note: I wrote this post awhile back, but never got around to publishing it on the site. Nevertheless, I feel bad for totally neglecting this blog, so hopefully I will get back into the cycle of posting soon! Also, I decided to split my Babysitting Tips 101 into different parts, so look for Part 2 coming soon!

First of all, a little background: I know that there are plenty of sites out there already offering lots of tips and advice on this topic, I just figured I’d add my own two cents to the mix as somebody who has babysat for several years now and have decided to offer some of my own wisdom…most I wish someone had told me before I had entered the world of sitting.

Tip #1: Figure out if you want/are able to babysit!

This may seem obvious, but you’d be surprised by the number of people who just don’t. Babysitting is not just about making some money – although making money is definitely a benefit of babysitting, it really shouldn’t be the deciding factor. You should babysit because you genuinely want to help take care of and connect with kids. Once you’ve decided that you definitely want to sit – and feel comfortable doing so, keeping in mind that you need to be comfortable being home alone and have full responsibility of kids – you’ll have to start thinking about whether or not babysitting is a realistic option.

Tip #2: Are you old enough?

This is a common question people ask when they begin to sit, so that’s why there’s a whole tip for it.🙂 I started babysitting when I was 13 – but I have two younger siblings and had babysat for free for my parents several times before that. This can be a difficult question to figure out because there is no set age: most of the time it comes down to how responsible and mature you are. I would say that around 11 or 12 is an ok time to be a mother’s helper (Somebody who babysits for kids while the mother/father is still in the house, they usually get paid about half of the amount a regular babysitter would) and 13+ an ok time to “really” babysit on your own. Generally most parents want to hire somebody at least in high school, but I did get a few clients the summer going into 8th grade when I started. This is also something you should discuss with your parental units (heh heh) and make sure they’re ok with you sitting, especially if they’re the ones providing transportation. They also might want to set some rules for you – for example, when you can sit, who you can sit for, etc.

Tip #3: Take a First Aid/CPR/Babysitting Course

Yes, these courses usually do cost a little bit of money, but they are definitely worth it, especially if you want to become a serious sitter and want to have good credentials to show parents. (I got an official looking “badge” that had my name written on it and that I was certified in the American Red Cross Babysitter’s Course – which sounds a lot more professional than you might feel after the course…but it looks pretty impressive!) Most of the time they are only one day – the American Red Cross usually hosts the course through YMCA’s, Girl Scout programs, or local community/athletic centers. The course I took was specifically for babysitters, (titled the American Red Cross Babysitting Course) but there are so many First Aid/CPR course out there that it is generally pretty easy to find one in your area – just google the title and your city – that will also impress parents.

And even if you don’t think having “credentials” will help get more clients, it’s still good to take a course like this, as they do give you some good tips on being a babysitter – especially safety related ones. It will make you aware of a lot of different situations you might not have otherwise thought of, as well as give you hands on experience on first aid, rescue breathing, and possibly CPR. My course also went through how to change a diaper, which is always fun.😀 Finally, if you’re still on the fence about sitting, this can be a good course to take so you can help decide if this is something you want to do.

Tip #4: Clients/Jobs!

Getting clients, especially when you start out, can be kind of difficult…but once you get a few “regular” clients who like you, often they will tell their fellow parents about your amazing skills, which is when word of mouth can work in your favor. But getting those original clients can be tough…here are a few tips to help get you started:

  • When I began sitting, I made a mini “business card” with my name, credentials, and contact info. Then, I asked my parents to pass these out to their coworkers and friends who have young children. This is usually my #1 tip for new sitters – use your parents to help get you some jobs. One of my regular clients is a couple who used to work with my parents, and I’ve gotten the most work from them. This tip can really work! It’s also good because you can at least partly trust them if they’re your parent’s friends – it’s a lot safer, than, say, posting your information online (which I would never really recommend, unless it’s through e-mail to contacts you know) or posting your information on a public bulletin board. I see a lot of people who do this, but even if you live in a small town, I still wouldn’t suggest it. It’s not very safe, nor is putting up your phone number or e-mail address for anyone to use to contact you. Stick with people you at least have partial connection to. (For example, friend of a friend)
  • If you have younger siblings, see if you can somehow contact your younger sibling’s friend’s parents. Sometimes your parents can also get ahold of their class list with contact information, and you can always look around and see if they need jobs for their young children.
  • Check with your neighbors – if you live in a big neighborhood, chances are there’s somebody who’s looking for a sitter. Look around and see if they have young children to hand out your card to.

Tip #5 will be coming soon in Part 2 – what did you guys think of this advice style post? Please let me know!!

~Skye

Gossip/Celebrity Magazines: Thoughts?

This is something that I’ve wanted to get my feelings out on for awhile, and even though it doesn’t strictly “fit” into what I originally thought I’d be writing about, I figured, why not?

The main thing about celebrities is that I can never quite get my head around the idea of really caring all that much about somebody you’ll (probably) never meet face to face with or even talk to. When I go the dentist, for example, yes, I do read those gossip magazines, the type that obsesses over celebritie’s every action: every article of clothing, every slight interaction with the opposite sex, even the most mundane things like “going out for a coffee” are noted. Although there’s nothing wrong with this – in fact, I did go through a period of time during my middle school years when I was obsessed with Seventeen magazine – it just seems sort of odd to me, technically speaking, that the human race would even take interest in this kind of entertainment. I know it’s been around for years, and in a sense, rumors and “secrets” are really just an almost natural tempting thing for us people, it still seems..off. Maybe I’m the only person who thinks so, but still. And yet, when you see those big headlines: GETTING DIVORCED!, or PREGNANT?! while waiting to checkout at the Acme, I can’t be the only person who gets that little “thrill” inside as if it was your best friend even though, quite frankly, they’re speaking of somebody who is really a complete and utter stranger.

I think I might be the only teenage girl that hasn’t had a celebrity crush in years (Admittedly, I will probably always think that Leonardo DiCaprio is drop dead gorgeous, but that’s it! I promise!), which sort of surprises me, because I’ve got no problem on crushing on people I know in real life.

One of the good things that comes out of our society’s close attention to the lives of certain individuals is that often times, especially in middle school (And a little bit in high school), it’s much better to gossip about a complete stranger (Aka celebrity) than the person sitting on the other side of the room – not like that kind of stuff doesn’t happen, obviously it does, but more times than once I’ve heard people jumping to talk about the latest “celebrity news” in the middle of math class.

But on the downside, people – especially girls, although I have no doubt in my mind boys go through this too – can get an extremely warped perception of what’s “beautiful” from reading gossip magazines – no doubt spreading crap in their minds without them even knowing it. Because middle school and high school (Although from my personal experience, more so middle school than the latter) can be such a judgmental place, it just breaks my heart to think that middle schoolers are going through the types of things that I did. I used to get so caught up in what was “in” and what was “out” that I would literally spend hours each day trying to figure out what to wear the next day, and even then, I still never felt quite “cool” enough. Sometime towards the end of 7th grade or the beginning of 8th, I realized that I was putting myself through hell, and found some really great friends who had such crazy fashion senses they encouraged me to “branch out, and stop looking like everybody else.” It opened my eyes to lots of different types of styles, and made me more accepting of other people’s kinds of looks. (Around that time I also accepted that I will always have “nerdy” tendencies – and became proud of that fact and had a lot of fun with it!)

So basically, are your thoughts on the matter? What is your opinion on gossip/celebrity magazines? Let me know in the comments!

And finally, I meant to get this post up earlier but had a very busy week so I’m going to have to apologize for that. There are so many tests going on at school right now, but I’ve already got some (hopefully more) exciting post ideas for the near future which I plan to get up here soon. Most of them are more advice-oriented than this one, but keep checking back! Thank you!

~Skye

Hello!

First of all, hi! I don’t know exactly who – if anybody – will be reading this, but hopefully I’ll be able to at least figure out a way to promote my blog a bit to get a few (Or maybe more than a few, you never know) viewers here and there. The first thing I guess I should say is if you’re reading this right now, thanks! – It’s always appreciated to know that I’m not just talking to myself all the time. If you want to, leave me a comment in the box at the bottom of this post with your thoughts, ideas, suggestions, whatever. If you want to, you can even write me a little note about how you found the blog. (Or not.)

So first, a little background…My online alias is Skye. Up until about a few months ago, I thought blogging – and, admittedly, the online world of blogging/vlogging in general (*gasps*) – was a bit ridiculous, and I could never find any good, quality blogs out there I felt interested in reading and spending time on. I did do a little researching, and found a few I thought were decent, but none were enough to really hook me in. Lately I’ve been doing some more Googling, and found a few more blogs – some of which, for one reason or another, just really interest me in some way. To give credit where it’s due, http://www.likeasnowflake.blogspot.com was the main one I really connected with and found interesting. Reading more into blogs has interested me enough that obviously I even wanted to make my own blog, which is why I’m sitting here typing this right now instead of working on my math homework, heh heh.

I’m not quite sure what this blog is going to be about yet, so I’m not going to sit here and say “I’m going to write about ponies”, or whatever, because right now I just don’t know! This is my first time blogging, so I don’t really know what I’m doing yet, but I’ll keep fiddling around with the controls and see what happens. Hopefully I’ll be able to stick with it.

What I can tell you, however, is that I’m a teenage girl, so this blog will probably focus on topics that more or less will relate to the lives of other teenagers/young adults. I’ll probably add some humor/sarcasm to them, because that’s the way I am in real life as well, so that’s probably how I’m going to write on here, too. Don’t take it personally. I also am a bit of a goofball (words from my friends), so don’t be surprised if the blog takes some random, often quirky turns here or there. I like to keep stuff like that interesting. That being said, I’m a thinker, so I really like overanalyzing things, most often, the ridiculous wonders of the social maze, a.k.a. high school.

I’ll probably begin with writing about stuff in a “through the eyes of a teenage girl” perspective, but like I said, expect the unexpected.🙂 I really like giving advice as well as simply sharing my opinion on various things going on the world right now, so be prepared for some of that too. If you have any suggestions for posts, comment below please!

I’m not going to take up too much more of your time here, I’ll write more about myself in the “about” tab I’m planning to put on at the top, but for now, happy blogging!

~Skye