“Can you pant like a puppy for me?
When I teach my Babysitting Class to youth ages 11+, I ask them, “Have you ever been home AND your parents were home and you STILL got hurt?”
Of course, they all say “yes” and begin to recount the varying things they experienced when three or five or seven, whatever age. I share with them MY story of cutting my knee open when I fell in first grade on a metal door mat outside the elementary school. Needing stitches, my mom brought me to the doctor. I share with my young babysitting class students that I remember crying because it hurt, because I was scared, because blood is really scary – and THEN the nurse got out a NEEDLE! I was crying when she kindly asked, “Can you pant like a puppy for me?”
I remember being confused why she wanted me to do such a thing. But, I promptly complied and sat there, on the gurney, panting softly – trying to be a puppy.
Babysitting class – great tip
Of course, you get the point… The gentle distraction got me busy with a task so that my mind focused on the task instead of the mental whirling vortex of pain/fear/blood.
I have taught adult CPR, First Aid and the Babysitter class for over 15 years. The babysitting class (EasyCPR-Denver.com) covers many, many excellent topics – but if an injury occurs, regardless that the young babysitters are always focusing on safety while babysitting, it is accompanied by the fear the child will feel if injured. To kindly reassure and distract the child is a way to calm the tears and calm the fears. I urge my babysitting class students to distract with the question, “Can you pant like a puppy for me?” or perhaps, “What IS your middle name, Kelly?” or perhaps, “How old IS your dog, anyway, Stevie?”
It is a good reminder to my babysitting class students that just as THEY got hurt even though their loving parents were home at the time, so, too, an injury can still occur while they are babysitting. I urge students, through the 4+ hour babysitting class, to follow two very important safety rules:
1) Prevent injuries by scanning each room for possible dangers and
2) Stay in the same room with the children you’re babysitting.
With those two safety mandates, babysitters have safety on their side!
As a Training Center for the American Safety and Health Institute (ASHI), I enjoy teaching this excellent class – their curriculum is strong and manageable for youth age 11+.
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Jean Lesmeister, 15 year Babysitting CPR, Adult CPR & First Aid Instructor
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