First of all, please introduce who you are and what you do when you’re not babysitting?
My name is Ghissy, I am 26 years old and I do many many things outside of babysitting! I work full time in an office for a large NZ retailer but I also LOVE volunteering particularly with children. The main organisation I volunteer for is Camp Quality who provide camps & activities for children living with Cancer, where I am the Camper Registrar – I oversee our whole camper database for Auckland / Northland, meet new families, introduce them to camp and then ensure that every child on camp is happy and healthy and having a great time!
I am married to my wonderful husband and we have two pet bunny rabbits that live inside and totally rule our house.
What was it that got you interested in becoming a babysitter?
I am that person in a group who always seems to attract the children (and animals!) – I always have been! Babysitting just seemed to happen for me but since I moved out of home I had only been looking after friend’s children occasionally. I am a big kid at heart so babysitting to me is a great chance to have some fun and get on a child’s level again!
What is it about working with children that you look forward to the most?
Getting to know what makes them tick – With TBSC I am constantly meeting new families & children and no two children are the same. Some children want to sit down and draw a picture or practice writing your name until they can remember it and others want to run in circles screaming and singing or splash bubbles up the walls at bath time – I am 100% on board to do all of that with them and ensure they have the most fun with their babysitter.
What is the proudest moment you’ve had so far as a babysitter?
I had the opportunity to share what I love about babysitting to a beautiful and curious 9-year-old girl I have babysat for twice now. She is so intrigued by what babysitters do and how much fun they have and she already loves to help look after her own baby sister – she told me that her main goal when she grows up is to be a babysitter!
Is there anything you’ve learnt from the child/ren you babysit, instead of the other way around?
Absolutely! The main thing I have learnt is patience. But as adults, we often forget how to have fun, make a game out of nothing, laugh at anything and appreciate the small things – the children I have babysat have taught me how easy that is to still do – I use this in my role with Camp Quality too!
Has there ever been a time where you thought ‘I can’t do this’ or ‘ahh this is a hard one’ and how have you gotten around that?
If you’re a babysitter or a parent for that matter and haven’t had this thought, then surely you must be a robot! Of course I have! I usually babysit in the evenings so my main responsibility is getting the children into bed on time but as I know from when I had babysitters myself that’s often the last thing a child wants to do!
I have a few tricks up my sleeve for handling this – one would be sitting with them until they drift off but sometimes you have to revert to leaving them for a while so they forget what mischief they were trying to get up to!
I was looking after 3 boys one night and the youngest refused to go to bed unless I gave him a very sharp edged LEGO toy to sleep with – he protested FOREVER and eventually decided to “run-away” from me and hide in his parents bed – knowing how tired he really was I thought to myself maybe just leave him for 5 minutes and sure enough he was fast asleep “hiding” under the duvet so I carried him back to his own bed (without the sharp LEGO!)
What would you say to parents who are a bit nervous about leaving their child/ren with a sitter for the first time?
Nerves are normal! If you are nervous, try booking your babysitter to start 15-30 minutes earlier so you can allow time to get to know them and watch them interact with your child/ren. Don’t be afraid to ask questions – get to know your babysitter, what their skills are etc.
TBSC has no shortage of experienced babysitters who I am sure would be more than happy to give you updates during the time that you are out if needed.
What would your advice be for anyone who is thinking of joining The Babysitters Club as a sitter? And why?
Do it! TBSC allows you to pick up as much or as little work as you can and no two jobs are the same. I have met so many incredible families, children (and cute animals) that I never would have come into contact with had it not been for TBSC.
Finally, what would you say has been the biggest impact on other areas of your life from being a babysitter? e.g changed career path, helped me be more patient with other people from the practice with kids, etc.
I can’t pick just one! Babysitting has 100% given me more patience but it has also given me an insight into how a child works / thinks / acts which has helped me not only in my full-time job but in my volunteer roles too.