If you thought babysitting 9 year olds was hard, try babysitting teenagers! They are usually rebellious, opinionated, defiant and most of all hard to control, which is normal given their age and the changes they are going through.
Now, many parents already struggle when dealing with teenagers so the tricky part is learning how to “babysit” teenagers with the least possible conflicts or resistance. This is why for today’s post I will be sharing with you essential tips for babysitting teenagers that I hope will work for you.
Understand Why You Are Needed
Many teenagers are usually capable of being left alone without supervision. This is why you need to ask the parents why you are needed so you can understand your responsibilities and limitations.
Talk to the Teen Directly
Be sure to keep an open communication channel with the teen and let him/her know that you are willing to listen to their opinion about you being there and any concerns they might have regarding your presence.
Understand the Effort Required
Running around after a toddler or playing catch with a 9 year old require physical effort. However, you need to understand that babysitting a teen requires emotional effort and could be draining if a power struggle arises. Whenever possible, try to gain the teen’s trust and avoid unnecessary conflict.
Be Friendly but Firm
When babysitting teenagers, you need to be able to establish a balance between being friendly and asserting authority. Learn from the parents what rules can be bent and those that cannot be under any circumstances and explain to the teen that you are only doing your job by upholding their parents’ wishes.
Try to keep Them Engaged
Give teens their space but also try to get them engaged. Stay tuned to what is going on around the house and try to be present where the teen is. Also, make sure you hear from them about their hobbies and interests and try to get involved when possible.
Let the Parents Guide You
When you need an example to follow, let the parents be your guide. Learn the parents’ preferred way of doing things and have a back up plan in mind (make sure it is approved by the parents beforehand).
Finally, do not despair; understand that sometimes things might not go your way or as planned and that’s ok. Learn from your experience and try to build on it. Don’t give up!