Raising North Dakota: Babysitting Class

There is a lot to consider when it comes to prepare your child to take on the responsibility of babysitting.
In this week’s Raising North Dakota, I’ll tell you about a class that can help you and your child feel better about taking on this very important roll.
Are you ready for your child to be the “adult,” watching over other kids?
Maybe you’re not quite sure if they’re ready.
Well, a babysitting class may just be in the cards to help ease your mind.

13 year old Andi Nelson took the “My First Business: Babysitting” course and learned all the basic skills to feel good about taking on the role of babysitting.
“It gives you a lot of confidence and helps you understand and gives you a reminder that you are the leader and responsible for the house and kids,” said Andi Nelson, babysitter.
Parent Resource Coordinator Liz Larson says the course helps to build kids confidence in many ways.
“The youth that have taken it have great feedback, they enjoy a lot, and it builds their confidence knowing they can handle problems, and that goes beyond babysitting role, but just any kind of role,” said Larson.
According to Larson, the course is designed to prepare kids how to respond in a number of situations, teaching them what to do if something happens in the absence of an adult.
It also teaches them the basics of making a bottle, diapering, discipline and more.
The biggest challenge for Andi?
“To keep the kids entertained, definitely, because it’s really a challenge, they want to do one thing then they want to go to next, and it’s better if you say ‘lets do this’ and you have things planned out, it’s really helped me,” Nelson stated.
So how DO you know when your child is ready to take on the responsibility of babysitting?
Larson says, “There’s no magic age. It really depends on their maturity level. You don’t want to start with baby, that high intensity need, or multiple kids.”
Larson says it can be difficult for a kid to enforce the rules, and babysitting a sibling, which is where many kids start, can be even more of a challenge.
But the babysitting class offers many great tools.
“He’s my brother and I don’t want to get mad, I just have to take a deep breath, stay calm and maybe try to talk to him and get him to sit down and listen to me and try my best,” said Nelson.
 “You really have to step up and be rule follower,” said Larson. “It’s hard to want to be their friend and also be the one to put the rules down and make sure they stay safe.”

“My first Business: Babysitting,” is offered by the NDSU Extension in Morton County.
Contact the NDSU Extension office in your county for family and youth programs near you.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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