Booking a babysitter/childminder on Helpers.ie for the first time is no small feat. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry and you’ll snap at your partner/boyfriend/husband. You’ll eventually decide on the right candidate based on irrational criteria that you vow to never share with anyone else. Here are the top qualities you will find in a great babysitter / childminder
Just like falling in love, there is no rhyme or reason to choosing the perfect babysitter / childminder, beyond a clean garda clearance and experience with kids. Trust me when I say that you won’t find these top qualities on a babysitter’s/childminder’s resume so you will have to experience these yourself in order to find out whether the babysitter / childminder you hired for the baby is the right fit to reply on when you need a perfect date night out.
You will be looking for certain qualities in your babysitter / childminder. Some of these qualities include:
It’s important for children to get along with their babysitter / childminder. Kathleen Clarke, a solicitor from Tallaght, Dublin24, has found that her twin boys always got along best with sitters who were also boys and who would play the games they liked to play; especially hide and seek and pillow fights. Any game that involved a lot of movement was a winner with her kids, therefore she made sure she found very active and energetic sitters.
“Kids want their babysitters / childminder to be creative and talkative extroverts who will relate to their level of play and do fun activities,” says John Bell, aka Daddy Johnny from Cork and a father of four. Having a sitter who just sits and texts on her phone should get a quick thumbs down from kids as well as parents.
It’s no secret that kids love to play. So a sitter who is willing to play how your kids want to play is a must. Kids like people who aren’t afraid to be silly. “Without a doubt my son loves it when a babysitter / childminder plays with him, is relaxed and willing to do any task (even silly ones),” says Orla from Clonee, Dublin15.
Kids also like set routines. Even if they don’t realize it, they thrive in a predictable environment. Kids “want a babysitter / childminder who isn’t afraid to set boundaries and work within the routine already developed within their household,” says Nichola.
Kids have a lot of energy. To keep them entertained, a babysitter/childminder needs to be really creative. “Being able to think of new and innovative ideas is especially imperative for toddlers with short attention spans,” says Nichola. “Keeping them engaged on one task can be nearly impossible at times, so having a babysitter / childminder that can think on her feet is a must.” Children will look forward to seeing someone who always brings new ideas for activities and games.
Nice & Kind:
“Of course kids want to feel like the person who is taking care of them actually likes them and is happy to spend the day with them,” says Nichola. This one should be a no-brainer because we parents obviously want someone who is nice and kind to our kids, too.
Smart & Intelligent:
Whether they admit it or not, kids like to be challenged. And they also like to be able to ask an adult a question and actually receive an answer. “Babysitters / childminder should be smart, intelligent and educated therefore he/she should be able to keep up with your child’s questions and curious nature,” says Nichola. It makes for more lively discussions and more engagement for your child.
Trustworthy & Responsible:
“All children, regardless of their age, want a babysitter / childminder who makes them feel safe,” says Patricia Keegan, this is absolutely essential. They need to feel like they can trust the babysitter/childminder and his/her judgment.
Being a “quick thinker” is an essential quality a babysitter/childminder should have, adds Nichola. “Kids want to feel safe, whether at home or at the park, so a babysitter/childminder should be confident and focused.”
Last, but certainly not least, kids want a babysitter/childminder who is fun to be around! The best babysitters “have kids smiling ear to ear while they’re doing something productive yet fun,” says Nichola, “and to be honest that’s all my kids want.” And she’s quick to add that, “to be quite frank, as a parent I want that for my kids, too!”
Surprisingly, there’s a lot of overlap in what parents and kids look for in a babysitter / childminder. And where there are differences, it’s all about finding a happy middle ground. A good babysitter / childminder is someone who considers both sides, who not only meets parents criteria, but also matches what the kids want in a caregiver!
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