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Old 05-21-2014, 04:57 PM   #1
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Default Bad babysitter

I've been babysitting for years, and I've always been told that I'm a great babysitter. I started out by babysitting for family and close friends, but they spread my name around like wildfire. I currently have 3 steady jobs (for three families), and they all have 2 or more kids.
Anyway. I never understood why people thought I was a great babysitter, but here's some of the things parents have told me: "You really understand kids" "It's like you have a connection with them" "You have a gift" "You pay attention to my kids and play with them" "My kids just love you" "You can tell that you're passionate about them"
They all think I have some connection with kids and that I love kids. But the truth is, I absolutely hate kids. I hate playing with kids, I hate dealing with their messes, I hate breaking up fights, I hate that they always think they're right and you can't reason with them. I can't stand it. It's like they think that as soon as I come over, I'm there to play with them until I leave (which is usually around 7 hours), probably because that's what I used to do. (If you love kids that great. I've just been babysitting for years and I'm quite sick of it)
Pretty much, if I stopped playing with the kids and made it clear I was only there to make sure they were fed and stayed safe, would I be a bad babysitter? Would I lose all my jobs? I need these jobs for the money, but if I have to play barbies or webkinz on the floor for two hours straight again I'm going to go insane.
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First of all, I don't see why the age I started babysitting was edited out. I started babysitting when I was 13. When I was, 13. Meaning I'm not 13 anymore. I won't (and didn't) say how long ago it was, but it was years ago. Anyway, I know some people suggested quitting, but I can't. I have bills I need to pay and this is my only job. Last week while I was babysitting I gave it a try to see how the kids would react - I told them that even though I love them, I have no interest in playing things like barbies and I will only play with them if it's something that interests me as well. They understood, so we jumped on the trampoline and had a water gun fight instead.
So thanks for the advice guys, it all turned out well.

Last edited by cocotruper; 06-02-2014 at 12:08 PM.. Reason: no ages - if I put the age I got my first pet will that get edited out too? :P
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Old 05-21-2014, 05:58 PM   #2
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Default Re: Bad babysitter

You're not bad, you just need a break. Even parents need a break. I doubt that you really hate the kids. I think that you just need to get some time to yourself and with people that are your age for awhile. Trust me, even parents who love their kids need breaks sometimes.
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Old 05-21-2014, 06:11 PM   #3
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Default Re: Bad babysitter

In my personal opinion you don't really owe them anything. I mean like, your feelings and your well-being matter more than playing barbies to make a kid happy.

I think that the whole concept of a babysitter is to make sure they're alright, not like personally play with them.

So it's up to you to decide, really. Maybe try out just being there to watch once, and see how it works.

Good luck~
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Old 05-21-2014, 08:42 PM   #4
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Default Re: Bad babysitter

I completely understand all of that. I am a baby sitter and have been forever. I don't like kids and dealing with temper tantrums , messes and having to fight with them to clean it up and then breaking your own personal things( I watch kids at my home). It is not an easy job like what most people think not only you have to deal with kids you also have to deal with parents. I don't think you would be a bad baby sitter if you don't want to play with them all the time. The little one I watch I don't always play with her, she'll go do her own thing most of the time. . I do though have activities form her to do like coloring, painting , crafts etc. . To keep her busy. But I donut you'll lose any of your jobs not unless the parents are really really strict( I have had one before) on you playing with them.
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Old 05-21-2014, 10:36 PM   #5
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Default Re: Bad babysitter

As a person who is certified in Red Cross in Babysitting without any experience (besides volunteering at summer camps), I'd say that it's not really your responsibility. As a babysitter, you are there to keep them safe and fed.

However: a kid is more likely to ask for you again, and a parent would recommend you if you did interact with the kids. If you just watched TV the whole time and did not interact with the kids much, I think that there'd be a lesser likelihood of you being asked back, or for longer periods of time, or for more jobs. Interaction with the kids is probably of importance to the parents, and if you just did the minimum, you might get more one-time jobs.

It's totally understandable that you feel this way I have to warn you that it's important to keep a balance. If you were a kid who thought your babysitter was no fun, would you ask for them again?

You don't have to play with them for the entire period. I would set up some activities like colouring, playing with dolls, cars, that you could offer to the kids. It keeps them occupied, and it's easier to take care of them .
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Old 05-22-2014, 03:06 PM   #6
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Default Re: Bad babysitter

I think it depends on how strict the parents are, like forcing you to do certain things with them. Seems stressful to be doing that for that long, plus school if you're still in school or college. I would tell them how you feel cause it seems like you need a little break for awhile. Because if I had that much to do, I'd go insane too. But your feelings to count, so I'd just tell them. and maybe it won't be as bad as you think it might be.
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Old 05-22-2014, 05:56 PM   #7
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Default Re: Bad babysitter

All you really owe to the parents of these children is to keep them safe and fed like you said. However, the fact that you do play with the kids and keep them occupied is probably why they like you so much and think you're really great with them.

Don't feel obligated to do anything you can't handle. You're allowed to take breaks and be selfish and take care of yourself, so don't push yourself too much.
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Old 06-01-2014, 07:38 AM   #8
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Default Re: Bad babysitter

If you really didn't like it, you could decide to stop baby sitting. I feel like you love the kids themselves, just not everything they do. I'm sure they have done SOMETHING nice to you, and if you look at it that way, you might want to keep babysitting. But you didn't say you wanted to quit, so... Let's just say you stopped playing with them. 'Mommy, she didn't want to play with me' will probably be one of the things that come out of the kids' mouths. I think if you give them something to be busy with like a puzzle or blocks if their younger, maybe a book or tablet or rainbow loom or something if they're older. I hope all goes well! I'm not a fan of little kids, either. One started hanging around my waist and now her nickname is belt. xD I'm still around them, though, and to push my limits I'm going to be a crew leader for VBS. Once again, best of luck!
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Old 06-01-2014, 08:17 AM   #9
 
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Default Re: Bad babysitter

It's okay to feel worn out! I use to babysit for hours for one parent, and it ended up being a full summer job one year. It's quite a bit of work, but you may be able to plan your day out to help you feel less stressed? One thing I like to do is bring a special book to read during some quiet time, and a time-chart for the day to help kids plan out what we are doing. If you have them help set-up your day, they will know what to expect, what they will be doing, chores to help with, when quiet time is, etc. etc.

Playing with them for an hour or two is great, but it can get really overwhelming and tiring. Maybe have one read you the book (if they are able to), or plan the day to have some quiet time while you make dinner/snacks/whatever (they can read, or if the parents are OK with it--watch some TV/movies). Just be sure to keep nearby and an eye on what they are doing.....

Don't give up! I think you can work out somethings to allow yourself to continue doing this, but make it a little more enjoyable.
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