Date night sounds great… that is, until you’re trying to get out the door with a screaming toddler clinging to your knees. Setting your babysitter up for success is a triple win: happier kids, happier sitter, and you get the break you deserve! If your kids could use some convincing, here are a few tips that we’ve found to work:
Safety is your first priority, but fun can’t be far behind if the goal is to get your kids on board. A responsible college babysitter is the sweet spot, as far as we’re concerned: high energy, fun, but also more responsible than your typical high schooler. We started QuadJobs with the mission of helping busy parents reach all the terrific college students available for babysitting right in their own community. Then we added performance reviews, so parents could see if the student had done a great job for other local families. Babysitting remains our #1 job.
Prep your kids.
Let your kids know a few fun facts about their babysitter (“Lauren plays lacrosse, like you, and she’s going to show you some moves in the backyard.) Talk about what they can expect while you’re gone. If you really want to go the extra mile, hire the sitter to come over and do something fun for a few hours while you’re home.
Prep the sitter.
Write down any info the babysitter will need for your evening out and be specific. You can also fill her in on the dynamics of different personalities in your family. Will one kid likely push the limits of bedtime? Let her know what to expect and give advice on how to deal with the challenges that often pop up.
Add some perks.
It never hurts to sweeten the deal! Favorites include: Ordering take-out, watching a special show, or simply extending bedtime by 30 minutes. Maybe a babysitter always means the kids get to make ice cream sundaes. Think about what makes most sense for your family.
Set up a fun project.
Bust out the play dough, the manicure kit, the arts and crafts, or the sports gear – and let the kids enjoy a special activity while you’re out. A babysitter who doesn’t know your family well can benefit from specific ideas about what your kids will love doing.
Ask for feedback.
Check in with your kids the next day to see how the evening went. What did they do that was fun? Maybe there’s something you can address to help things run more smoothly next time.
It may seem like a lot of effort when all you want is a night out – but creating good vibes on the babysitter front will pay off.
QuadJobs is an online platform connecting college and graduate students to local jobs. From Saturday night babysitting to moving a couch to helping a local business during a busy time, students find flexible jobs that fit into whatever free time they have. By streamlining the employment connection between campus and community, QuadJobs unlocks jobs particularly well-suited for students’ busy, often changing schedules. The platform tracks every job a student takes and gathers performance reviews. Small jobs matter—they help a student network, earn income, and build a track record of work experience. Local employers can hire with efficiency and confidence.