Thursday, November 5, 2015

A Babysitter's Guide Pt.2: Siblings

For some people a night babysitting your siblings can be torture. And while it can be exhausting at times, it is one of my favorite things to do. Me and my 3 younger siblings have made countless memories and fun times while being home alone (and all of them have been following the rules.:) All of the tips from part 1 most definitely apply, but there are a few things that are specific to just watching siblings.

  • Everyone pitches in// This one is so important when you're home alone with your siblings. They can make huge messes and don't always want to respect you when you ask them to clean up a bit. Most of the time my siblings are willing to help out if I ask nicely and give everyone a job. If this is something you struggle with a lot then it might be helpful for your parents to assign everyone jobs before they leave. Another tactic that works almost 100% of the time is offering a treat. Ex. If everyone does their chore then we can watch a movie, have some popcorn, eat brownies, etc. Make sure you do it fairly! You don't want one sibling doing all the work or you delegate so much that you don't do anything. Make sure the chores are given fairly. For example I can't expect my 4 year old sister to load the dishwasher, but I can ask her to bring in all the cups and forks from the table, etc. Never use jobs to take advantage of your siblings- just encourage everyone to pitch in and you will have a lot more time for fun, plus you will be in a much better mood!
  • Plan some fun things// This one is super important too. Sometimes a calm night might be best, but usually it will be a lot more fun if you plan something. Watching a movie, playing a game outside, having a picnic, or doing a craft are always big hits in our family.
  • Think of who you are babysitting// This can be hard when you're not related to them, but it is super easy when you're babysitting family! There are few people you know better than your siblings, use it to your advantage! I know my younger sister loves to ride her bike, play outside, play uno before bed, have a small snacks, jump on the trampoline, pick what we play, and watch disney shows. By scheduling some of these things in  and really playing them up it can make her night. 
  • Movies are fun// I'm not a huge supporter of TV all the time, but having a movie night + popcorn is a great way to spend a little time together and it feels like a huge treat (especially to younger siblings.)
  • A little less supervision is okay sometimes// Especially when your siblings are older, they may want a little more space and time by their selves. Make sure they're safe, but let them have some space when they need it. 
  • Fights// They are your siblings and you love them to death, but a fight is bound to happen at some point when you are home alone. Just try to keep your cool as a babysitter and leave the situation if appropriate. Your sibling has probably just had a rough day or is feeling tired so try being kind. The key is to stay calm and not get emotionally involved. I know it is extremely difficult but do your best! 
  • Quality time// You are stuck at home alone so you may as well have a good time right? Especially when it is just me and 1 other sibling then it is a lot more laid back and fun. I try to let them pick the activity and just roll with it.I know I have said this several times, but just make them feel special! It makes such a difference and can really strengthen  your relationship with them! It makes my brother (11) super happy when I treat him like an adult, spend time with him, and let him stay up a little later (with permission from our parents of course:). 
I know that siblings can be a pain, but I also know that they can be your best friends. I love getting to spend time with my siblings and I love the close relationships it helps us form! Babysititng siblings can be the worst night of your week or the best- it's up to you!

I suggest choosing the best:)

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