How to manage babysitting multiple children
Although families nowadays are becoming smaller it is still common for families to have more than one child. These families often seek babysitters to help them take a break from their hectic family life. But how do you take care of multiple children at the same time?
Working as a babysitter is the best job in the world: you manage your hours independently and you have the opportunity to earn money by working for as many hours as you are available.
However, every babysitting job differs. This can be for several reasons: the ages of the child(ren), the personality of the child, the family's rules and more. But, one significant way that babysitting jobs can differ is the number of children you are babysitting.
Naturally, some families have only one child and others have two, three, four, or more! But extra hands in this case means extra care. Babysitting multiple children at once can certainly be a challenge.
Luckily, we're here to help. Here are some tips to help you manage taking care of more than one child at the same time:
1. Prepare activities
Choose activities that allow you to control the situation, such as coloring or reading a book. Particularly, think of activities that are easy to do with a larger group! For example, imagine you're playing checkers with 3 people. Eventually, someone will be left out and probably get bored.. So, plan ahead and prepare great group activities. Even cooking could be an idea: you could create fun shapes with fruit and vegetables.
Most of our DIYs can be great options, as everyone can make their own artistic creation, or work together to make a masterpiece as a team!
2. Clarify with the family ahead of time
Before working as a babysitter it is essential to be aware of the house rules. Here are some tips that are particularly useful when babysitting multiple children at once.
Ask the parents to prepare a possible to do and not-to-do list. Sometimes, children of different ages may be allowed to do different things. It is important that you know this and can clearly follow the family's general rules and structure. Parents may be unhappy to hear if you don't follow their kid-specific rules and structure, and the kids may end up getting frustrated. (As an example, maybe an older sibling is allowed to use scissors, but a younger child in the family isn't because they are too young to safely use them).
Be sure to also ask what the main disputes the children sometimes have. It is normal for siblings to fight, but it is good to be prepared for this. Know what they may argue about and get some tips from the parents about how to diffuse the situation.
3. Divide your attention evenly
Kids (and adults) don't like to feel excluded. So make sure that you don't play favorites and give all of the kids equal attention. Coming up with activities that are easy to do with a large group is a positive way to ensure this.
Some other helpful tips:
If they fight, try to be impartial. Face the situation by taking them aside first, then you can bring them together to try and resolve the quarrel through dialogue.
You may need to spend more time caring for younger children. Try to involve older children. If you are taking care of younger children, they may need more help when it comes to getting dressed, eating, and more. This may naturally cause you to spend more time and attention on them. However, getting older children involved by helping can allow you to keep your attention divided more evenly. At the same time, it can make the older children feel important. Making sure to let them know that you appreciate their help afterwards can build your relationship further and remind them how much you care, whether or not you may be spending more time helping the younger sibling.
4. Don't offer too many extra services
Understand your limits. Caring for multiple children at once can be a challenge enough by itself, prior to doing additional tasks on top of it such as cleaning the house or doing laundry.
Be careful to gauge your level of attention that you need in order to care for the children, after which you can consider offering more services.
This is always something you can discuss further and test out with the parents, but at the end of the day, your top priority is babysitting the children.
Helping with homework generally can be a viable extra task to offer, since it in general keeps at least one child busy. Meanwhile, you can always give other children fun tasks such as these coloring sheets to keep them busy.
5. Negotiate the pay
The amount you are paid varies depending on how many children you need to babysit. Your efforts are doubled even if the amount of time is the same, so it's important to ask for a little more than you usual. If you need help determining the babysitting rate you should ask, take a look at one of our babysitting rate articles!
- Babysitting rate New Zealand
- Babysitting rate Australia
- Babysitting rate Canada
- Babysitting rate Singapore
- Babysitting rate UK
- Babysitting rate Ireland
We hope these tips make your babysitting experience better! Ready to get started looking for a babysitting job, (for one child or multiple children)? Why not sign up and get searching!