You are in LOVE. Well...at least you're in really deep LIKE. You have met the most amazing person, and you totally NEED to go out with him/her.
Hold on for a second. Do your parents even allow you to go out and "date?" Are you ready to handle the pressures of hanging out -- and possibly hooking up -- with someone?
Before you ask out the object of your affection, or say, "yes" to someone who's interested in you, go through this checklist of questions to make sure you're ready to handle whatever...
You might be excited about the prospect of finally earning some money of your own, but hold on a minute.
Do you know exactly what you're getting into? Babysitting isn't as easy as it looks. There's a lot of responsibility involved in caring for someone else's kids.
Before you jump into your first babysitting job, you need to know whether you're ready. You also need to know what to expect and how to handle any emergencies that might come up.
Are You Ready to Babysit?
Most states don't have laws requiring kids to be a certain age to babysit. When you start babysitting really depends on you -- and your parents.
You might feel like you're ready to babysit your younger brothers and sisters as early as age 11. Or you might feel more comfortable waiting until you're 15 or 16. Some kids are ready in middle school, but their parents say "no way" until high school.
When you start babysitting doesn't only depend on your age. "There are many issues involved," says Sally Herrholz, executive director of Safe Sitter, a nonprofit organization that trains teens on babysitting basics. "It's really more related to the maturity of the child," she says.
"We want them to be able to make smart decisions," says Lindsay O'Donnell, CHES. She's a senior associate with the American Red Cross, which also runs a babysitting training program.
Making bad decisions when you're watching kids can get you into real trouble. One study showed that nearly half of young babysitters (ages 11-13) did things they shouldn't have -- like leaving young children alone.
It takes just a few seconds alone for a baby or toddler to get burned, fall into the pool or tub, or get seriously injured.