For any babysitter whether you are just beginning or have done the job for years there is a good chance that at least once in your career, you will have to handle an unhappy or upset child. Knowing how to deal with this kind of situation ahead of time will lend you the grace to handle their distress gracefully, efficiently, and help them feel better in no time at all.
The most effective way to ensure this is to gain the childs trust before their parents even leave the house. By preventing any potential problems beforehand, the fix is easier than it would be trying to solve the problem later on.
Meeting the Child
Here are a few suggestions to lay a secure groundwork when you first meet the children you will be caring for.
* Visit and meet the child at least once, preferably several times, before the time comes that you’ll be needed to babysit. Getting to know you a little first will be key in the child being happier to have you look after them.
* Connect with the child on their level. By playing with and engaging them with questions and conversation, you emphasize that having a relationship with the child is significant to you.
* Make some plans with them in advance, if they are old enough to understand. You might try asking them what their favourite game is, and ask them if you can play it together when you look after them. You could also tell them that you’ll bring some home-made play dough with you to play with and it’s easy to make and costs practically nothing, and most kids get very excited about it. However, if you make promises, make sure you keep them!
* Consider bringing a toy or another fun item with you to give to the child and ask them to look after it until you come over to play again. By creating a special agreement between the two of you, the child establishes a deeper bond with you and will have something extra to look forward to when you visit.
It is incredibly common for children of all ages to become upset when their parents leave. They may melt down at the point of the separation, or they might become upset later on. Either way, you will need to deal with this in a kind and understanding way.
* Being left alone with someone they don’t know well is traumatic to a child at least it is the way that they see it. While it may not seem huge to you, this experience is still quite frightening for them, and it’s important to be aware of how they feel at all times.
* Don’t try to pretend that their sadness isn’t there. Rather than trying to distract them or divert their attention elsewhere, pay close attention to their emotions like you would any other person. You can still suggest something to do together that might make them feel better, but overall, listen to their feelings and dont use it as a way to snap them out of their blue mood.
* Let the child know that you understand. No matter what age they are, children know when you are empathizing with their situation and will feel comforted, as well as important, when they see it matters so much to you.
* Reassure the child that their parent(s) will be home soon and that you promise you will keep them safe until then.