Babysitting an unruly child
It is not always easy to take care of an unruly child while babysitting. This can be especially challenging when the child takes advantage of the absence of their parents in order to test your nerves and boundaries. Here are some tips for how you can best deal with unruly children and make babysitting a difficult child go as smoothly as possible!
1. Ask parents how they usually handle this behavior
It is important not to disturb the child in their environment. Thus, your way of supervising a child during a babysitting should not completely differ from that of the parents, otherwise you risk changing the environment even more. Talk to parents about it , do not hesitate to ask them how best to manage specific situations, it's for the sake of their child!
2. Scolding or shouting back will not change things
Nothing is worse than losing your control and acting excessively with a difficult child, it will lead to nothing and will probably worsen the situation. Instead, take time with the child to try to calm them down, understand what they are upset about, and try to find a solution.
3. Do not give in to every request
Children are smart, it's not new, and some can quickly realize how they can get what they want. If you give in to their every whim, even if they do not seem worth your while, they may realize that they can ask, demand, and throw a tantrum in order to get whatever they want. If you plan ahead to not accommodate a child’s every request, this can help create a baseline where they don’t expect to get everything they want and have less of an incentive to throw a fit in order to get their wishes.
4. Learn to be patient and caring
Patience is a required characteristic for success in child care and as a babysitter or caregiver you are the adult and therefore the person in charge of keeping calm. In no case should you show that the behavior of the child gets on your nerves or makes you exasperated. Do not get carried away, stay calm, take a deep breath, and talk with the child.
5. Try to focus their attention on something else
Boredom or lack of attention can be a reason why children act unruly. To avoid this, find activities that match, interest, and amuse them. It's up to you to be creative and come up with the best solution for your situation! (For a little bit of inspiration, you can check out some ideas for activities in our Community Resources).
6. Finally, reward the child if they behaved well
Yes, this last technique works for sure! But we must use it effectively and not use it systematically ... If you think that there is a real improvement in the behavior of the child, you can reward him by taking him to his favorite place, offering him a treat, playing his favorite game, etc.