Tuesday, May 22, 2007
Parent to Parent: Choosing a babysitter
It's a stressful thing for parents -- leaving your kids with a babysitter or nanny -- especially for the first time. In today's Parent to Parent, Dr. Valerie shares tips on how to avoid the babysitter blues.
WSVN -- Babysitters give parents a much-needed break, but picking the right one for your child can be difficult.
Dr. Valerie Goode: "Because you're bringing a stranger into your home to sit with the people in your life you love the most."
Seven's parenting expert Dr. Valerie Goode says when it's time to choose a babysitter, do your homework.
Get referrals from friends and family. When you find someone, spend time with them in your house with your kids. Your goal is to build a relationship with them.
Dr. Valerie: "You're going to know them far better than if you just call an agency and say, 'Would you send over somebody you think is a responsible person.'"
You should establish a set of rules: How to discipline your child, what to feed them and when, bed and homework times, and go over them with the babysitter or nanny.
Also, post a list of emergency contacts -- including your own phone number and address.
Dr. Valerie: "That may sound ridiculous because the babysitter got there, but, when somebody is nervous, they don't always remember what the phone number is, or they don't remember what the address is."
And to gauge how the babysitter is doing, ask your kids.
Danielle Cerimelli: "When your little kids wiggle, and their little feet go, and they can't even speak yet, and they're happy to see someone, then it's working out well. Obviously, the 3-year-old can certainly tell you."
And, once you know all is well, you can enjoy a stress-free night off.
Lynn Martinez: "Dr. Valerie also recommends you find a babysitter that is trained in first aid and CPR."
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