Babysitting is like a criminal correctional centre and you’re the guard on duty and the kid is the detainee doing hard time.
Be prepared for some challenging times.
1. Do not befriend the detainee. Sure it seems like a good idea at first to make friends and paly with lego together, have some fun to make the time pass. But be warned; the detainee will think of you as a friend, not an authorative figure. They will want to play all of the time, won’t listen and disobey orders, and be disrespectful of personal space.
2. Have clear protocols in place from the warden. If the detainee misbehaves, you must know the correct response to the situation and the appropriate punishment; inspection for contraband or even the extreme, solitary.
3. Do not retaliate with violence, if detainee becomes uncontrollable, put the centre on lockdown and call the riot squad.
4. Riot squad and warden contact details must be on fridge. Along with the dietary requirements of the detainee and any medical conditions listed.
5. Ensure all exits are secured. Every door leading to freedom should be locked, the same for every gate. Keep all keys on your persons at all times.
Yes, I’m making fun of babysitting, but comparing it to jail is rather apt. Trust me, sometimes it feels like you’re the one doing hard time. The kids will be screaming, won’t listen and think you’re playing around when you’re telling them to stop doing something they shouldn’t be doing, and you have to resist the urge of just walking out and not coming back again.
Then there will be the kids that you love to bits and you go and be silly together, and they might not listen but that’s okay because they’re good kids really. Those are the ones I go back for every time.
Babysitting will teach you many things about yourself and life;
1. You have to have “that” voice. “That” voice is the scary voice that comes out as a warning, that if what you’ve asked hasn’t been done, then there’s going to be trouble. A very good voice to use when at work.
2. Be in the moment and have fun. Who cares if you’re the only adult on the play equipment? The parents standing back on the edge are missing out because they don’t want to be getting dirty or getting the weird looks from the other adults. You’re having fun and will be the cool grown-up.
3. And be appreciative of the fact you’re childless. You get to go home where there isn’t lego on the floor, no-one is screaming nonsense, and you can do what you like.
4. Or you can be disappointed in your life because everyone else has a child and you don’t and this is the catalyst for you to go out and get pregnant. Your life. Learn what you need to about raising kids and go off and do it.