Monday, May 28, 2012

Don't Sit on the Baby by Halley Bondy

Babysitting and bagging groceries are the only jobs in our small, quasi-rural community for teens (unless you're one of the couple very lucky ones I hire as my assistants!) and I'm always looking for books that will encourage teens to DO things - including building skills like babysitting.

We've got a couple babysitting handbooks already; some aimed at younger teens, some general, comprehensive ones that include everything up to the kitchen sink (along with 25 games to play with the kitchen sink). So why buy another babysitting for teens book?

The beauty of this little volume is that it's comprehensive while still being a quick guide. The three sections, Babysitting Breakdown, Essential Skills, and Business Basics, cover everything from child development to getting sick to how much to charge and they do it all in only 127 pages. This is the perfect quick guide to hand to a teen interested in getting a babysitting business going or needing an immediate refresher before they start babysitting in a couple hours.

The book begins with a quick rundown on basic types of babysitting and what different ages will need. It's also honest about the difficulties and potential gross factors, but also about the rewards and good experiences. Essential skills helps teens get organized, know what to ask parents, deal with emergencies, discipline problems, and health issues. The business section talks about finding, keeping, or quitting jobs as well as acting professionally and babysitting as a business.

This book is geared more towards older teens and nanny-type babysitting - dealing with illness, taking kids to after school events, helping with homework, long-term babysitting, etc. rather than just taking care of kids while the parents have an evening out. The tone is also more sophisticated and the style seems geared towards an older audience (in the legal section one of the things it says not to do which would endanger children is "show up intoxicated") so this will probably be most appreciated by older teens who want to babysit as a regular business.

Verdict: While younger kids will probably be better off with one of the more casual, babysitting for a couple hours in the evening and getting started guides like American Girl's guide, Don't sit on the baby is an excellent book for older teens looking to babysit as a regular business. I'd recommend purchasing this title to meet the needs of older teens and more serious babysitters along with Heidi Murkoff's What to expect baby-sitter's handbook for additional information. Recommended.

ISBN: 9780982732236; Published May 2012 by Zest Books; Review copy provided by publisher; Purchased for the library


Perogyo said...

This looks great. I did a lot of babysitting as a teen, and that experience really helped when I had my own kids. Babysitting does not exist in Japan, or at least not by teens, it's usually the realm of the grandmother only. I'd like to pass this around and see what my teen neighbours think of it!

Jennifer said...

It's written by a woman who did a lot of babysitting/nanny work in New York, so it's much more professional/business oriented than most babysitting books. Maybe if your teen neighbors approached it from that standpoint there would be interest? Maybe they could babysit occasionally for the grandmas!

Unknown said...

Great review! And love the new site design :)