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Clare says... CLARE FENWICK, of Hartlepool, is mum to Marley, nearly four. She also runs her own professional coaching company, Kudos, and is partner in The Marketing Bank.

Byline: CLARE FENWICK

"CHILDREN will always pick up on the thoughts and feelings of those around them. Therefore, if we as parents are acting with unease and anxiousness then they will too.

"First, I would advise finding a babysitter you both like and feel comfortable with. It may be an idea to introduce them to your children ahead of the planned night out.

"Personally, I like to have my son bathed and ready for bed before the babysitter arrives. But I always allow him to stay up a little bit later and definitely like the babysitter to put him to bed. Imagine the fright he'd have if he woke up to a stranger in the house.

"I would also suggest asking the babysitter to come an hour or so before you are planning to leave and arrange beforehand a fun activity for the children to do with the babysitter. This could be anything from baking some cakes to watching their favourite DVD. You can then keep popping your head around the door to make sure they''re all getting on okay.

"Remember - children are much more adaptable and adventurous than we give them credit for. If you have chosen a person to look after them for a few hours you will have chosen well. And your kids will instinctively know this."

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INTRODUCE CHILD FIRST: Clare Fenwick and son Marley Picture by KATIE LUNN
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)
Date:Aug 26, 2011
Words:234
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