So the years have gone by. I used to need a "mother's helper" when I was juggling a two year old and a newborn. Now my son wants to help moms with their children so I sent him to the Meridian Health Safe Sitter program.

Since babysitting is such a huge responsibility, I wanted to make sure that he learned properly from the experts.

We chose a one-day, full day class (there are a couple to choose from) along with CPR training that I would highly recommend for any pre-teen or teen that wants to make babysitting a job. I know that as a parent, I would prefer sitters that have taken a class like this one.

Some of the things covered included:

-- Helping your child gather all the contact information that they will need in case of emergency.

--As a parent, screening the adults who want to hire your child for a babysitting job (and never posting signs in public places), including getting references.

--A safety signal that you and your child both are aware of in case he or she has to call you to pick them up, even if it wasn't planned that way.

--How to act in a businesslike manner by being punctual and reliable and dressing appropriately.

--Encouraging your chid to not accept jobs in which they think they may feel uncomfortable. Also, young or new sitters should not watch infants....nor should they be responsible for babysitting children that will be swimming. (After all, they have not been certified as lifeguards yet.)

--What to do when a child is choking, and how to do CPR.

If you are interested in further information about signing up your 11 year old (or older) for a Safe Sitter Class, go to www.meridianhealth.com.