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HINTS FOR TEEN SITTERS
Helpful Hints for Teen Sitters
During Times of National Crisis
Be cheerful and behave toward
the child in your usual manner.
Don't be surprised if the child
has problems separating from
parents, cries at bedtime, wants
to sit on your lap all the time,
or reverts to childish behaviors
like thumb-sucking or carrying
around a stuffed animal or blanket.
These behaviors will disappear
when the child resolves the stress.
Play games, read stories and
spend time in active play. Leave
the TV off! Even if the child
doesn't show it, TV coverage
of the disaster is upsetting.
Maintain all the usual routines,
including bedtime rituals, favorite
Don't bring up the disaster
in conversation. If the child
brings it up, listen carefully.
reassure the child you will keep
him or her safe. Other than a
brief comment about your own
sadness and concern for the families
involved, you should not prolong
the discussion. Reassure the
child you will tell the parents
about their child's concerns.
Be sure to report the child's
comments and/or emotional reactions
to the parents when they arrive
home. If the child is extremely
upset, especially if you feel
the parents should come home,
call the parents and let them
know what is going on. Don't
be afraid to ask them to come
If any emergency or unpleasant
situation arises while you are
babysitting, remember to always
stay calm and always provide
These tips are from Safe Sitter,
a national nonprofit organization
that trains young adolescents to
be safe, nurturing babaysitters.
For more information, visit www.safesitter.org.