Have your tween help with younger siblings. This may seem obvious. But it can become a habit for some parents to do all the work. Don't forget to let your tween pitch in. Feeding the baby, changing diapers, preparing simple food for toddlers, helping a sibling tie their shoes, and playing with a younger sibling all tie in to the lesson. Leave your tween 'in charge' when you are fulfilling another task, such as cleaning the kitchen. Of course, you'll still need to supervise. But this helps them learn how to care for younger children. Let them know you trust them so that they are confident in their choices and actions. You can observe without making it obvious.
Enroll your tween in a babysitting class. The Red Cross and other organizations offer babysitting classes for tweens and teens. These can usually be taken on the weekend or in the summer. Some classes will be more extensive than others. So do your research and choose the one that best fits your tween. The enrollment fee is generally low and your tween can become certified in CPR and learn other important child safety tips. In addition to what is learned at home, this type of class helps ensure all bases are covered. Even if your tween never ends up babysitting, CPR is an important technique to know in many situations. The child care lessons will come in handy around the tween's own siblings or later in life if the tween has kids.
Teach your tween household safety and first aid. The babysitting classes mentioned above will likely teach some important household safety tips. But there are also safety tips geared toward each individual's home. Your tween needs to know where all the windows and doors are and which would be a good escape route in an emergency. Are there any sealed windows or doors? Let your tween know. Is there a dangerous area, such as steep basement stairs? Is there a safe place (like a hidden room) your tween can hide in if there's ever an intruder? If not, come up with a safety plan. There should be a safety plan for every scenario you can think of: fire, break-in, injury, flood, and more.
Provide babysitting scenarios for your tween. You can be the child and allow your tween to take care of you. Then, reverse roles and let your tween be the small child. This hands-on lesson can help make it easier to prepare your tween for babysitting. Be sure to use a variety of scenarios and age ranges to test your tween's skills. Another thing that helps is to allow your tween to observe live scenarios. Ask them what the parent should do and see if their solution was a good one. If the parent did something other than what they suggested, ask them if they think the parent a good choice or not and why.
The main keys to preparing a tween for babysitting are variety, practice, safety, and consistency. Follow these four points and you'll tween will be ready to babysit in no time.
by Lyn Lomasi, Staff Writer
Career preparation begins early and it should start in the home. One of the most common jobs for tweens is babysitting. Chances are your tween either has siblings or knows someone in or outside the family with smaller children. Tweens are, of course, too young to babysit without supervision. But they are at the perfect age to learn some of the basics. Preparing tweens for babysitting is a simple and necessary part of growing up. Doing so teaches them both career and life skills.
by Lyn Lomasi, Staff Writer
In order for tweens to be ready to start their first job as teens, they need practice. But without actually being able to work, how can they get that practice? As a parent, there are a variety of ways I help to cultivate career skills in my tweens. From household responsibilities, to volunteering, playing games, and more, get proactive in developing your tween's career skills today. They may not be thrilled with some of these ideas at first. But in time they will grow to love them and thank you in the future.
Get tweens involved in activities and clubs.
This is a simple way to teach your tween the teamwork it takes to succeed in their future career. It also can teach organizational and leadership skills. Recreational sports, dance, drama, band, choir, science, and other educational clubs and activities are available in most areas. Check with your child's school or homeschool group first. If the programs don't exist there, private organizations and churches often offer many activities.
Volunteer programs can help encourage and enhance career skills.
From helping the elderly, to feeding the homeless, caring for animals, and more, tweens can get involved in many volunteer programs. Call around to various organizations in your area to see who needs help. Remember to ask about age requirements. Not all organizations or opportunities are available to minors. Some also may require that an adult volunteer along with the tween. This can actually be good, as it gives you and your child some rewarding time together. Teaching kids to volunteer not only gives them valuable career experience, but also helps encourage compassion.
Let them take charge of certain things at home.
Responsibility starts at home. Chores and other household tasks teach your child important career skills that can be used throughout life. I like to treat my kids as team members and let them help in certain household decisions. Although this is not a job, it does help kids prepare for making choices in life, which strongly applies to career-related skills. Deciphering choices that lead to certain outcomes is a much-desired trait in the workforce, as is the ability to be part of a collaborative team. Being a 'mommy's helper' and watching over younger siblings and even pets is one way tweens can take charge. Just be sure they know the rules and also have proper supervision.
Family field trips geared toward interest can help cultivate skills.
No matter what your child is interested in doing as a career, there is always a related destination. Even if your child changes career thoughts often, it's still possible. For instance, if your tween wants to be a firefighter, visit the local firehouse. Some cities even have firefighter museums. If your child wants to work with animals, visit local shelters, zoos, and wildlife reserves. The main idea is to enrich your child's life with various activities and destinations that may enhance her career choice. Even if your tween changes her mind about career directions, the field trips will still add to overall experience.
Educational books and other media are useful.
Surround your child with opportunities to read books related to his career and life interests. If books are easy to access, even kids who do not prefer to read will eventually start picking them up. Also offer a variety of educational computer games, movies, and TV shows to show from. While it's not a good idea for a child to watch TV or play on the computer all day long, in moderation, these things can be good. When a child enjoys doing something, it can be easier for the knowledge to sink in, which is always a good thing.
*I originally publised this via Yahoo Contributor Network
by Lyn Lomasi, Staff Writer
Babysitting is a fee many parents will be faced with, but how high is too high? Are nannies, childcare facilities, and babysitters charging too much these days? To answer that question, I looked into my own personal experience, not only as a mother, but as an experienced nanny. Here are the conclusions I came to and why. Some may agree and some may not.
Children are a parent's responsibility - However, sometimes parents have other responsibilities that must be taken care of, such as employment, that do not allow for our children to be in our presence. Sometimes parents just want to have fun without the kids. Whatever the case may be, responsibility of the children needs to be delegated to someone else (the nanny, babysitter, or childcare or daycare facility) for a period of time that a parent will not be present.
You get what you pay for - A parent knows how hard it is to care for children, so why should we expect someone to want to care for our children in the proper manner, without compensating that person to do so? Good childcare often comes with a price. Ever heard the old saying "You get what you pay for"? It applies very well to the service you should expect from your babysitter or nanny. babysitting fees might be high, compared to what you’d like to pay. But there’s generally a reason for that.
But that nanny is cheaper! - If you hire two nannies to watch four kids on two separate days for the same number of hours and pay one of them two dollars per hour and the other eleven dollars per hour, which one do you think is going to work the hardest and want to come back? Of course, it would most likely be the one who got paid eleven dollars per hour. This is not always going to be the case, as some people will be a good nurturer and hard worker regardless. But it is definitely something to consider. Someone who is only being paid two dollars per hour to watch four children might watch the children well, but do you think that person will want to go the extra mile? Probably not. They might even just plop the children in front of Disney Channel the entire time because the money is not worth the effort of organizing activities, cleaning up messes, and doing other things.
You asked for this, the care provider is doing a difficult job - Aside from that, remember that caring for children is hard work. Any parent knows that. We may act like it's easy in front of family and friends, but in all reality, it is the hardest job in the world. You have to constantly make sure everything is clean and neat, while at the same time making sure that everyone is fed, changed (or uses the potty), and happy. You have to find time to play with, and possibly teach, the children while still keeping things in order and tending to the occasional bump, fall, pants wetting, tantrum, or more. While it is fun and rewarding, it is still hard. This aspect should not be forgotten, in regards to paying your sitter.
Your children deserve quality over risky business - Furthermore, these are your children. They deserve quality care, which is sometimes not given when the pay is too low. Children are not capable of caring for themselves, thus the reason for the nanny. Most parents care deeply for their children, so why would a parent put their child's life at risk just to save a buck? Yes, I said their life, because if a sitter is charging a lower rate, that sitter may not have any first aid training, which is vital when caring for children.
Rates will vary depending on the area you live in, so use your best judgment to decide what's fair. Just remember not to short your nanny because she might just fall short on caring for your children properly.
*I originally published a version of this via Yahoo Contributor Network
Lyn Lomasi's Founder & Community Manager of Write W.A.V.E. Media, which spotlights writers for existing work, as well as encourages expression while earning. Along with her amazing business & life partner, Richard Rowell, Lyn manages a freelance writer team.
She’s your content superhero to the rescue! Lyn's been writing web content for years & rescuing civilians from boring text since the age of three. SEO, custom content, web design, & other content nightmares are her dream come true!
Lyn formerly acted as Community Manager & Advocate at Yahoo! Contributor Network, where she assisted writers with community, editing, technical, & other issues. Her work’s featured all over the web. From parenting, energy usage, pets, homelessness, to reducing waste & more, Lyn’s committed to saving the Earth as a whole.
For the self-made momtrepreneur, sustainability is a way of life and a labor of love. She’s raising her kids and pets in Colorado.
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Richard Rowell is a freelance blogger and creative writer who writes on a wide array of topics including marketing, positive thinking, writing advice, and more.
He is a staff writer and co-owner of the Write W.A.V.E. Media Network, contributing to various sites in the network, such as Article Writer for Hire, Life Successfully, and Write W.A.V.E. Media itself.
Today, Richard focuses on producing high-quality content to help clients become thought leaders in their respective fields. He is also happy to coach anyone who wants to become a better writer, and is open to help anyone critique, edit and proof their work.
He loves cats, music, and giraffes.
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