Part of being a teenager is finding ways to earn money, whether that’s cleaning the garage, mowing lawns, or other odd and end jobs one can pick up. For me it was babysitting. My love for children started in 7th grade when I began helping as a teacher’s aide. I would help the students with reading and spelling. But the one thing that fueled my passion to teach was seeing the children’s eyes light up when they learned something new for the first time. It was amazing.
So when I was a teenager I wanted to be the best sitter I could be so I began learning how to do just that. I looked for books on babysitting and found “The Babysitters handbook” by Elizabeth James and Carol Barkin. In this book there was so much information from creative ideas to first aide. There was also spaces where I could record important information about the child such as health issues, phone numbers I would need, likes, dislikes, bedtimes, and it was all in one place so I wouldn’t have to go in search of it.
Another place I found was the Red Cross where I could learn C.P.R. and get certified in case I ever needed it.
Now with the skills in place I now began my search for babysitting jobs. I don’t remember how I found this job babysitting but it would be a job that would change my life and passion forever.
The mothers name was Julie and her daughter who was in preschool was Carrie. Julie would need someone to pick up her daughter after school and watch her until she was able to pick her up after work. Since my bus stop was just down the road from Carrie’s school, I found it quite convenient.
It didn’t take me long to learn this little girls moods as well as her likes and dislikes. Knowing this helped greatly when I would watch her. After all, I wanted to be the best I could be and for that I needed to also be creative. After all, if the little girl wasn’t happy and comfortable being with me her mother wouldn’t either.
We often played games, read stories, and watch cartoons, but the one thing that made the difference was when I began helping her with her homework after school. I knew to hold Carrie’s interest I would need to be creative. I knew her mom would be upset and focus on the problems she got wrong in math, so I focused on what she had gotten correct. Then we would go over the problems she got wrong so she wouldn’t make the same mistakes the next day.
We used pieces from puzzles I had or other objects around the house so Carrie could see how they added up to get the correct answers. I would know if what I was doing helped when I saw her happy and smiling face the next day when she couldn’t wait to see me and hug me. Because of my care and commitment to this little girl and her mom I was able to add something that was invaluable to both Julie and her daughter. Often on the weekends Julie would invite me to spend the weekend with them thus giving my parents a weekend to themselves. Julie and Carrie were so comfortable with me when Julie was transferred I was asked to move with them and become a full time nanny. After my parents were sure I would be able to finish high school I was allowed to move with them.
Two webpages that will help you with training are