Friday, June 23, 2006
The teens in our house love to babysit and I love for them to babysit. Usually babysitting is seen as a benefit for the parents of small children and a financial benefit for the teen, but I believe that the biggest benefit of babysitting is for the parents of teens. No..... not because it gets them out of the house....... here are a few of the benefits from my perspective:
*teens are always glad to come home after a babysitting job... in fact they come home saying things like..." wow I am sooo glad to be home Mom" ...or "omg that food looks so good mom"
*teens reassure me that it will be years before they have kids..."kids are sooo much work Mom"
*teens come home with questions about interactions with the parents and their young charges... "Do you think that is the best way to handle it Mom?"
*they see how other families live, how they interact, their values, their strengths and their weaknesses.
*they see how parents treat their spouses, their children, and their babysitters and they take it all in... and dream of how they will treat their spouse, their children and their babysitters.
* they learn how to be quick thinkers and problem solvers... how to get that shy child to interact or how to get that spirited child to comply with her mother's rules.
*they learn that work is hard, mistakes are made, but rewards are great.
One of the moms told my teens this week that her kiddos watch everything that the babysitters say and do... which is true... it is also true that the teens see and hear everything that happens in the families they care for .
Babysitting has been a treasure chest of life lessons for my teens and I.