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How to be the best baby-sitter around

Credit: Kidsday staff artist / Maggie Flaherty, Merrick

Whenever I go to my aunt’s house and I’m alone with my cousins Hayden (3 years old) and Reese (2), I’m mostly responsible for them. I love spending time with them, but I also like making a buck or two.

With summer just around the corner, there might be a lot of chances for baby-sitting. Here are some tips to help you do it responsibly:

  • Don't do what you want to do; always try to do what the kids want to do (unless it’s something they shouldn’t, like a toddler wanting to climb the stairs).
  • If you know that they like something and they’re fussing, give it to them (if their parents are OK with it).
  • When they’re eating, never rush them. Make sure they’re done chewing that last piece.
  • Don’t take your anger or frustration out on them.
  • Do not let them out of your sight. When you can’t see them, something might get chaotic very quickly.
  • Make sure you have a list of important people (parents, neighbors and emergency contacts).
  • Make sure the baby monitor is fully charged and the sound is turned all the way on.
  • Stay off your phone and concentrate on the kids you are watching.

Valentina Gatti and Bonnie Hersch’s sixth-grade class, Wantagh Middle School

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