By Lindsay Bell, co-founder of Lucky Lil’ Darlings
Whenever I tell someone that I’m the oldest of five girls, I get the same response: “your poor dad.” With five lively kids, my parents often needed a helping hand, someone my sisters could look up to— a role model— in comes big sis!
I always loved caring for my little sisters. I still do. I refer to them as little, even though I’m the smallest. I prided myself on teaching them, introducing a new fun activity and challenging their creativity. I always wanted my sisters involved in everything I did. I felt it was my duty to make sure they were safe, happy and exposed to all the great experiences that I was having.
As I look back, I realize that even at a young age, I understood the sensitivity of children. I knew what made my sisters happy, excited, sad and afraid. Kids absorb everything around them, the good, the bad and unfortunately sometimes the ugly. They learn and imitate all behaviors, actions, values, beliefs and expressions.
Not everyone has an older sibling, but I believe every child needs a strong role model in their life. Whether it is a parent, a teacher, a friend or a childcare provider, each one of these individuals will impact your child’s life on some level. For better or worse, you can’t choose your family, you may not have a say in your child’s teacher, but the people you do get to choose are your childcare providers & babysitters!
Here is what I have learned that makes a sitter a worthy role model:
- Strong Work Ethic: She arrives early and takes initiative, going above and beyond the call of duty. She often plans an activity in advance, reads an extra bed-time story, and fully engages the children in imaginative games. She is there to stimulate, not just supervise.
- Zest for Life: She smiles with ease and exudes positive energy and exuberance. Happiness is contagious and your children will respond in the most positive of ways.
- Smarts: Surround you lil’ one with knowledge and passion. Align your child with a sitter who specializes in an area your child expresses interest. Does your child love basketball? Find a sitter that played in college. Your child will wait at the door for them to come over again.
- Wellness: It’s important to place your child with individuals who care about their own physical and emotional well-being. If eating the “healthy stuff” is a challenge, find a sitter that cares as much about leafy greens as you do.
- Loving Heart: I can tell in the first few seconds of meeting a sitter whether she is compassionate. This characteristic pulls at me most of all. These big-hearted ladies will continuously praise your child when they succeed, hug your child if they get hurt, and motivate and encourage your child throughout the day.
When you are not around, make sure your child/ren are only in the best of hands. Use this role model/sitter check list when hiring sitters, nannies and people to care for your children!
Lindsay Bell is the co-founder of Lucky Lil’ Darlings (LLD), an elite family care solutions company providing corporate and family focused babysitting, parent-centric events and inspiring commentary on child care, kids and family focused products. Prior to launching LLD, Lindsay worked in communications for the Radio City Rockettes and as a Marketing Manager for boutique marketing and PR agencies in NYC. For more information on Lindsay and LLD visit www.luckylildarlings.com or follow Lindsay on Twitter @LindsayBellNYC
Photo by: www.ladyappleton.com