A few days ago, we decided to let S10 stay home alone for a short time. O8 had soccer practice, and DH was on his way home. It seemed like a good opportunity for her to spread her wings a little. She was very pleased with the idea, and handled it very well. When I got home, she had folded her clothes plus a basket of mine (unasked!) and was enjoying some computer time.
Now that she’s a staying-home-alone expert, she has decided it is time to share her new abilities with other, younger kids. She wanted to know about doing some babysitting. I mentioned that the Red Cross offered a babysitting class, and suggested she look into it. Turns out they have an online class. Of course, we had to do it NOW! TODAY! I agreed to put up the $25 for the class as long as she agreed to finish it. Otherwise, she will have to pay me back.
The class, a canned online program, is supposed to take about 4 hours. It includes videos, quizzes, and scenarios for kids to think about (what would YOU do in this situation?) and discuss. She stayed up the first night and got through two of the four components. The next night she almost finished the course.
I’m not sure when she will actually do some babysitting for realz, but it was a really good exercise to get her thinking about safety and using “common sense” in situations. Next step is to do a real CPR class, so she can add that to her ‘resume’.