Families are all different. All families
need and deserve respect. It is important as a babysitter that you
respect their culture, religion and the way they want you to care
for their child or children. Their beliefs might be different from
yours, and you may have to talk about what you are comfortable with,
and what you can do as a babysitter.
Learn by asking. Talking to the parent
is a good way to find out many things about what the family values,
has difficulty with or wants you to know. This may be as simple
as what kinds of foods are allowed or not allowed, or even what
a child might be taught to say before eating. It might be more complicated,
like saying prayers that you might not know or might be uncomfortable
saying with a child. Ask about restrictions or limitations for television
watching and computer and video games. Find out if a parent feels
uncomfortable about the use of certain words.
Ask the parent:
- Are there any food restrictions for religious or cultural
- Do you want me to help your child say anything before or after
he or she has her meals?
- Are there television shows that are offensive to you and your
family that you do not wish to be shown?
- How do you feel about children using slang words or talking
- Are there certain clothing practices you should know about?
- Are there any restrictions or religious practices that you would
like me to know about?
Learn about the culture of the family. You can also share your own background. You can tell things about
where your family originally came from or what religion your family
believes in. You can talk about how your family feels about cleanliness,
your clothing and how you look. As you share things about yourself,
the parent may then tell you what is or is not important for their
Some families might be very different from
your own. You will want to know how to respond if a child
swears, and then tells you, "My parents let me use those words."
You might have to set your own limits if you are uncomfortable.
You might have to watch your own language and be careful what words
you use. All of these considerations are important when you are
sharing the caring of a child with his or her parent.
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