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      Laying out ground rules ahead of time helps. She may
      not have eaten on your couch if you told her not to. I
      usually leave a written list of the important stuff,
      so there can be no forgetting.

      I know how I am and if
      people tell me something I might forget. Then I could
      check the list.

      Also, sometimes babysitters have to be gently told to
      clean up after themselves and the kids. The one job I
      had, I babysat all day sometimes while the parents
      worked and they had to tell me about cleaning up. It
      wasn’t that I was trying to trash the house, but I was
      just a slob and didn’t even realize that things were
      getting a mess until someone pointed it out.

      My
      cleanliness gene had not kicked in yet, and I didn’t
      even have a concept of what it would be like as the
      parent to have to come home from work and clean up the
      huge mess the kids and I had made. But once they said
      something, I made more of an effort.

      I would try something like “It would be really helpful
      to us if you could just pick up the toys and put the
      dirty dishes in the sink after the kids go to bed.”

      Jen

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