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House Rules


Parents probably have a few rules that apply to you, so respect that. First comes food. Unless the parents have specified that the fridge is free game, assume it’s off limits.  Eating before a babysitting gig is a good idea, since you might be running around for hours unable to catch a bite. If you’re worried you’ll starve, pack your own snacks (bring enough to share with the kids).

As for the phone, stay off of it. (Oh, and steer clear of the computer, too). Not only will you blabbing to your BFF distract you, it might prevent the parents from getting through. Ask if you should pick up and take messages, or leave it alone unless you see that it’s the parents on the caller ID. Never invite friends or BFs over. You’re conducting business, not throwing a bash.

Every family is different, so what works for the Joneses might be the complete opposite at the Smiths. Have a clear understanding of rules and routines for nap time, snacks and TV. Keep in mind you, too, have rules. The family is welcoming you into their home, so this is not a place to put your feet up or treat their fridge like an all-you-can-eat buffet. If the parents feel you were discourteous, you run the risk of losing your job, so what’s the point?

POSTED ON 9/16/2009 12:00:00 AM


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