How to Interview a Nanny for Your ToddlerBabble Editors
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1: Will you answer your cell phone?
Every parent knows you only have to be distracted for a minute before your child has unrolled 10 rolls of toilet paper and smeared snot all over the wall. Hearing how your sitter handles everyday distractions, like her cell phone, will help you decide whether she will be focused enough to watch your hoodlum.
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2: Do you know CPR?
Knowing CPR, when to call poison control, when to call the hospital, and when to kiss it and make it all better are essential skills for anyone watching a child. CPR training gives your sitter the confidence to handle herself in an emergency and gives you the confidence to know that your child is safe in her hands.
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3: What are your hobbies?
Dont discount the importance of personality. Does your sitter like to scrapbook? Skydive? Or does she spend her time running marathons? Having insight into your sitters hobbies will give you a peek into how she spends her free time and help you ascertain whether she is a good match for your family.
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4: How will you handle going to the bathroom?
Nothing is certain but death, taxes, and potty breaks. What will your sitter do with your two-year-old when she has to pee? Eileen Wolter always asks her sitters this question. She explains, [This is] one of my biggest obstacles as a mom, and I have two rather intrusive and mischievous kids who you seemingly can't leave alone for two seconds [What to do during potty breaks] is a real and somewhat-unforeseen issue.
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5: Walk me through a diaper change
Any sitter with experience will know the basics: wipe front to back, wash hands, never leave baby unattended on the changing table. This question will help you find out if your sitter-to-be can handle the nitty-gritty basics of poo and pee in a calm, confident, and hygienic manner.
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6: Have you driven with kids in the car?
If your sitter has a license, its important to know if she can handle your kids in the car. Great follow-up questions to ask would be: Have you been in an accident? What are your rules on seatbelts? What would you do if your kid was throwing a temper tantrum in the backseat?
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7: What activities or games might you play?
Susan Robinson of Cultural Care Au Pair recommends that all her clients ask this question of their potential sitters. She explains: We encourage families to ask this question to get a sense of the level of experience the [sitter] has had with toddlers. Essentially, you are looking for a variety of activities (indoor, outdoor, educational, energetic, quiet), age appropriateness, the [sitters] level of creativity, and how good of a personality fit the candidate will be for the child and the family.
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8: What will you do when my child misbehaves?
Kids know a sitter is fresh meat, and they like to push the boundaries while mom and dad are away. Hearing how your sitter will address behavioral issues is important to understanding if she is a good fit for your family. This is also a good way to see how your sitter views her role in your house. Does she see herself as a parent? Or is she a mentor and a guide?
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9: Describe the best/worst child you ever baby-sat
Laurie Becker, the founder of Socratic Parenting LLC., recommends asking your potential sitter about her experiences watching children. Not only will you gain insight into her babysitting experience, but you can suss out her attitudes toward children and what her values are. Does shethink an inquisitive child is bad or does she value your childs independence?
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10: Do you do drugs?
This question may seem too obvious of a no-no to ask someone, but Melissa Halas-Liang has actually had someone answer yes. If you dont feel comfortable being so forthright, ask your sitter her opinion on drugs and alcohol. Even if you trust that your sitter wont do drugs or drink around your children, you want to make sure she wont expose them to behaviors they arent ready to process.
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