So, Abigail finished her Red Cross Babysitter Basics course, and passed with flying colors! She had to take a final exam, and they won't pass you unless you score an 80% or higher - she received 96%. I am so proud of her, not only that she passed so well, but that she worked diligently through the various lessons, and really took the whole thing rather seriously, rather than a glorified game.
She's now had several opportunities to serve some families at church as a Mother's Helper, going over for a few hours to play with kids and generally lend a hand in any way necessary so that Mom can get some things done. It's been wonderful - to see her serving in such a practical way, for gaining experience of looking after kiddos and how other families do things, and hearing the feedback of what a big help and great kid she is (I know this, of course, but it's so good to hear!).
If you're at all interested, I would highly recommend the Red Cross Online Babysitter Basics class. It's only $25, and since it's online, you can fit it in around your schedule. They also offer a group class, too, but it didn't seem necessary for us - most of what they would have you practice there (changing diapers, feeding little guys), she already has lots of opportunity to practice at home!
She's really looking forward to growing this new skill into a marketable business, but for now, she's content to take it all one step at a time, getting to know the ropes and working at being the best babysitter she can be. We have been so blessed to have so many wonderful babysitters over the years, she's had lots of models she can borrow from. The babysitters that have cared for and influenced my kids over the years now have the privilege of blessing others they will never even meet, simply because of how they have modeled what a great babysitter should be.
If you've ever watched my kids, thanks for the way you've cared for my family, and how you have influenced my kids to care for others.