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The student news of St. Paul Academy and Summit School

The Rubicon

The student news of St. Paul Academy and Summit School

The Rubicon

Kannankutty breaks down babysitting

“EYE” LOVE YOU. Senior Melina Kannankutty has been babysitting or caring for younger children for most of her life: “I’ve always loved kids and I am the oldest girl cousin in my family, which, you know, comes with a lot of playing with the littles, taking care of the littles.” Photo Submitted by Melina Kannankutty

Babysitting started to become a high-demand teenage job in the 1920s and only grew from there. With its growth in the 20th and 21st century. It’s a job that offers flexibility, but also requires a personality that can respond quickly to childrens’ needs.

Senior Melina Kannankutty began her job as a babysitter when she was twelve years old.

She said, “I’ve always loved kids and I am the oldest girl cousin in my family, which, you know, comes with a lot of playing with the littles, taking care of the littles. So I grew up doing that. And then I was also the only older kid in my neighborhood. So once I hit like twelve there were a bunch of three year olds running around and they asked me to babysit and I was like, ‘Yeah, I’d love to.’ So I made some flyers and now I’ve loved it for my whole life.”

Kannankutty works on a flexible schedule that depends on the parents reaching out and confirming times. “I’ve done so many jobs where I work full time, nine to five every day of the week. But then during the school year, I don’t usually have any consistent jobs. So it would just be like they would text me and I would work maybe a Friday and a Saturday or something like that,” she said.

Kids are really gullible. But you have to know the right thing to say to make them understand you because they don’t always like to comprehend things in the same way that we do.

— Melina Kannankutty

To set her boundaries within babysitting, Kannankutty tells parents before working with them about her expectations of the job. She said, “ I have a bar that I won’t handle no more than five kids at a time. And always my expectation is that you’re gonna detail to me exactly what your house rules are exactly. I need to know allergies and medical history. I’ve had parents that kind of just walked out the door and I’m like, okay.” Having time limits for activities also makes Kannankutty feel prepared to be in her clientele house and take care of their children.

Kannankutty would describe her job as “ very active,” as she is up and moving the majority of the time.

She said, “I’m never not moving or doing something and I also think quick thinking is a huge part. Kids are really gullible. But you have to know the right thing to say to make them understand you because they don’t always like to comprehend things in the same way that we do.”

Babysitters often serve as role models, imparting essential values such as kindness, patience and empathy to the children under their care. This job fosters a sense of trust between parents and babysitters, as parents rely on them to provide a secure environment for their little ones. It helps children develop social and emotional skills by interacting with someone outside their immediate family circle.

Babysitting is a really challenging but rewarding job. “It’s really gratifying,” said Kannankutty.

It’s a job that she cherishes but she doesn’t recommend it to anyone who struggles to be around children.

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Zadie Martin, Feature Editor
My name is Zadie Martin(she/her). I work as a Feature Editor for the RubicOnline. At school, I’m involved in book club and choir. I love to ramble about sci-fi and character building. I can be reached at [email protected].
Lucy Thomas, Staff Writer
My name is Lucy Thomas (she/her). I work as a Staff Writer for The Rubicon Online. At school, I’m involved in the Community Action and Service club, and Youth in Government. I love playing volleyball and reading I can be reached at [email protected].

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