Babysitting--What To Do When the Kid is Crying His/Her Head Off

I babysit almost everyday since I have a sibling who's only four years old and both my parents go to work. For those of you who have babysat at least once, you know how scary it can get when the kid starts bawling or screaming or just throwing a tantrum. It fills you with panic and ugh. How do you control an uncontrollable kid?

For those times when the kid just won't freaking LISTEN!, here are the top three things I do to stop my brother from screaming for the mom that won't come home for another two hours.

Plan A: Turn on the TV

Most of the time, this works. Sometimes, it doesn't. Ask the little kid (if he or she is capable of comprehension) whether he or she wants to watch TV. Turn on their favorite show for around three minutes and if the child calms down, yay! If not, booooo. Time to move on to plan B.

Plan B: Get the kid's favorite toy out

My brother looooves to play with blocks, so when he's crying, I drag him over to where the blocks are and ask him whether he wants to play with them. On some kids, this works really well. On my brother? Not so much. He's one stubborn kid. If, like me, you're stuck with a stubborn one...

Plan C: Play by yourself

Seriously. Get that toy the kid loves, or any toy in fact, ignore the kid, and play with it! Go overboard and think you're having the most fun ever! Yay! Soon enough, the kid will start watching you and slowly, he or she will most probably join you in the fun. This works really well in my experience.

If you summarize the three plans, what everything comes down to is: you need to distract the kid. End of story.

On top of all these plans, keep one thing in mind: do NOT ever mention les parents. That'll start the child off again and no, you don't want that. The one time you can mention les parents is when the kid asks where they are. Then you answer with something along the lines of: "They are at work, but they'll be back very soon."

I hope these tips help you the next time you go off to babysit. I know how hard it is to look after a kid, so good luck to you. You'll need it.

-Barista Mia-

Image: Bridget Coila