Finding a Babysitter

By Renee Martinez, Founder of Raising Boys World

I think finding a babysitter for boys is a challenge. Since most babysitters are female, finding one that has the energy and creativity  to watch boys can be a task. I’m not interested in paying someone to sit on their butt and watch my children like they’re observing animals in the wildlife. I prefer interaction in the form of play and creativity. I want to hear the kids communicating with the sitter, having fun and laughing. Silence is a sure sign that the sitter’s a dud.

Boy Babysitters

Then there’s the issue of boy babysitters. It would make sense that boy babysitters would be best suited for watching boys, but in researching this issue, it appears that many people express concerns for boy babysitters. This may be a concern for parents of girls, but should it be a concern for watching boys or even at all? Why does the idea of using boys as babysitters get such a bad rap? There have been several cases of boy babysitters who were caught and subsequently charged with molesting a child on a nannycam. But there are girls who have done terrible things to children as well. The truth is that I know a few boys who are wonderful with kids. Unfortunately, they don’t babysit, but if they did, I would not hesitate to have them watch my boys. They’re fun, energetic, responsible and kind, isn’t that what we’re looking for?

Having said all that, the one thing we can do to protect our children is to be selective with who we choose to watch our kids. One thing I make sure to do is to interview all prospective sitters.  I ask about their experience, fees, any additional training as well as for references. Usually I find my babysitters from friends, a child of a friend or through someone I know. This helps alleviate some of the stress, but I don’t think you can ever be too safe. Make sure and trust your instincts. There’s a lot to be said for the vibe you get when you meet someone. Trust your judgment.

What do you think? I’d love to hear your thoughts on this subject. Am I asking too much? Post your comments. Let me know where you live, how many children you have, what you pay and what you expect. Also do you use a girl or boy babysitter? Let’s compare notes.

About the Author:  Renee Martinez consults and speaks professionally on social media marketing, integrated marketing communications, public relations and branding. She is the president of Ruby Marketing Communications (www.rubymarcom.com), a boutique marketing communications company that specializes in providing branding, social media strategy and integration, and creative services. Her blog (www.reneemartinez.com), provides resources on everything marketing and social media for her active audience. 
Renee has contributed as a featured monthly columnist in the monthly jewelry industry publication, JCK, on matters related to internet marketing as well as in InStore Magazine as a featured blogger where she writes about developing effective marketing strategies for the jewelry industry using social media. She is the founder of: Social Media Biz Summit (www.socialmediabizsummit.com), the first large-scale SM conference to come to Buffalo, NY; #jewelrychat, a weekly twitter chat for the jewelry industry and www.RaisingBoysWorld.com. Renee teaches social marketing courses at Canisius College in Buffalo, NY for the business school as well as offers small group social media marketing training and educational seminars for businesses in Western New York and beyond.
Renee has dabbled in the internet marketing arena since the early 90′s and is not ashamed to call herself a “marketing geek”. From chatting in AOL, “sharing” music on Napster, and teaching HTML classes before it was considered “cool” to developing comprehensive social media strategies, effective public relations campaigns and managing online communities (most recently Chevy Girls Buffalo).
She enjoys being able to help people find their voice online and to create buzz about their product or service that will give them the results they desire. 
Renee can be found on Twitter (@reneemmartinez) and Facebook (http:/www.facebook.com/RubyMarCom).