Here's the sitch: The kids are all tucked into bed but there's still two hours 'till the parents pull back into the driveway. You've never been to their house before and you're a li'l uncomfy 'cause it's dark, quiet AND there aren't many neighbors around. You feel scared for no reason, you jump at every noise and...you kinda wanna cry!
Sound familiar? Don't worry babe, we've got some ways to help ya fight the fright!
1. Easy on the overreactions, sistah!
When you're in a strange house all alone it can be easy to jump to conclusions and convince yourself that you're hearing a super scary robber outside. Instead of freaking out, take a deep breath and THINK the situation through. You're new to the house, so it makes perfect sense that you're gonna be a li'l nervous.
Once the parents leave make sure all the doors and windows are locked and curtains and shades are pulled down. When the kids are asleep just try your best to stay occupied.
2. Next-door security
If the parents don't already do this, make sure they leave a number of a neighbor they know well and trust before they head out for the night. It's unlikely that you'll need to call them but just having some digits you can dial will make you feel tons better.
If you hear a weird noise or see something suspicious you can give the peeps next door a call and see if they know what's up. Also, if the neighbors know you're sitting they'll probably be more alert.
3. Have Mom and Dad on stand-by
As always, tell your parents when you'll be sitting and make sure they have the address and phone number of the house. Let them know what time the kids go to bed and say you'll give them a ring then.
You'll feel way more comfy knowing your parents are keeping an ear out for you. Come up with a system, like calling them every half hour or so after the kiddies are asleep.
4. Tune in...to tune out
Turn on the TV. Make sure the volume isn't up too loud...(wouldn't wanna wake the sleeping kiddies!). Put the tube on to to keep you occupied. Even if you wanna catch up on some reading, have the TV on low as background noise.
It's easy to jump at every creek 'n' crack when you're all alone. So, distract yourself with a movie (not a scary one of course!). Whether you're laughing it up at a comedy or swept away in a romantic film, you'll be waaay less likely to hear and (over-think!) the bumps in the night.
5. Call one of your chicas
Once you're sure the kids are asleep (quietly check on them just t make sure!) give one of your gals a call. Listening to Lauren talk about her super crush on Tom will be way relaxing...and maybe even get you giggling. This is even better if you have a pal who is also babysitting that night.
Make sure you're still around where the kids can find you if they wake up from a scary dream. Keep an ear out for any probs the babes might have...and go upstairs to check up on them every once in a while.
If you're unsure or your gut is really telling you something might be wrong don't hesitate to call a neighbor, your clients, your parents or even 911. In most cases, don't sweat it, chica. Everything will be fine. So, take a deep breath and be confident, babe.
TELL US NOW! Blog it out, babysitting babes. How do you fight the fright when you're babysitting all-alone? Tell us your tried 'n' true tactics for beating the empty-house blues RIGHT HERE!
BY KATIE SHUTT ON 4/4/2009 7:00:00 AM
POSTED IN babysit, be a pro babysitter, babysitting 101