November 1, 2010 12:46 am at 12:46 am #592854
All parents who have babysitters that take their children to the park:
Do you know what happens at the park? Are your children being properly supervised and cared for?
I frequently visit the park on Avenue L and East 17 Street in Brooklyn. Almost every time I am there I see a group of babysitters, that seem to be friends, gathered together socializing. I have noticed some questionable behavior amongst them and if it were my child and babysitter I would want to know. I do not know the families so I can not get in touch with them. I am hoping that the parents will see this post and take proper action.
*While the sitters are busy amongst themselves the children are running around unsupervised and many times even out of the sitter’s site. These are toddlers, not older children that don’t need constant supervision! I have seen a child fall and get hurt and the babysitter could not even see that the child needed care. Either myself or someone else has gone over to the child and taken him to the babysitter, and all she did was say “— stop cyring and go play”.
*Sometimes a babysitter doesn’t want to be busy with a child so she locks the child in the stroller while she yapps with her friends. I saw a child strapped in his stroller crying for 20 minutes while the sitter sat with her friends shmoozing.
*They all bring food and share it amongst the kids. Your children are eating food from other people’s houses, that was possibly prepared by another babysitter. How do you know it is something they aren’t allergic to? Or its a hashgacha you approve of?
*The babysitters take ‘breaks’ at the park. A babysitter will tell another babysitter I’m going for a break, keep an eye on the kids. She then LEAVES the park! And when she returns she usually has a bag of treif food. When one comes back the next one leaves. A babysitter other than the one you hired is watching your kids! Your babysitter is not even on the premises.
*On more than one occasion I have seen men hanging out with the babysitters. It seems as though some of them make up to meet their boyfriends while at the park. While watching your children, the babysitter is having her boyfriend visit!
Again, if this were going on with my children I would want to know, so I am reaching out to those whose children it might be. Please be cautious with whom you entrust your children to!November 1, 2010 3:47 am at 3:47 am #705942
Thank you for bringing up this important issue! I often take children to parks in both boro park and flatbush and i see this happening all the time. The examples you give are exactly whats going on, and its really really sad. So many times i see toddlers running around with zero supervision, sometimes i wonder if they just took a stroll to the park by themselves. What irks me the most is when the babysitters strap the kids in the swings and push them for an HOUR while they enjoy shmoozing. No kid wants to be shaken up for a full hour. But hey, it works for the babysitter -she doesn’t have to run around.
Parents, its your your kids we’re talking about. Do Something!November 1, 2010 6:04 am at 6:04 am #705943
You guys have a better idea? Its not like theres a whole bunch of affordable Jewish women babysitters looking to go take care of kids.
The options are limited and those who can afford it and dont need to work watch their own kid.November 1, 2010 6:44 am at 6:44 am #705944
I once did a babysitting group and people sent without looking into me at all. When I sent my son to cheder, I asked them straight out about hitting and they showed me where it talks about it in the teacher’s contract. My friend was relieved that they don’t hit. She had been sending her son there for a few years. I couldn’t believe she would send her kid there without knowing. But people just send where everyone else sends, and they have no clue what’s really going on….it is completely irresponsible. If we are too overwhelmed by life to take proper care of our children well….I will abstain from commenting on that.November 1, 2010 8:05 am at 8:05 am #705945
I have seen similar and worse on the Ave L and East 4th park in Flatbush- babysitters who treat the children they are watching like animals, too lazy to take them to the bathroom and letting them just use the grass instead, letting them run around without ANY clothes on, yelling and barking at them, forcefully shoving food down their throats when the child says they’re not hungry/don’t want to eat, etc. Parents, please be careful!November 1, 2010 10:23 am at 10:23 am #705946
Uh-oh I have a babysitter for my toddler, but she is a 15 yr old frum girl. I need to somehow spy on her… any ideas?November 1, 2010 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm #705947
I think the problem here is more than the physical safety of our kids. It is very real, but it’s only the tip of the iceberg. We leave our kids with non-frum people at their most vulnerable stages. We want them to grow up with yiras shamaim and yet we throw them into the care of those who are not even sure that there was Creation. No amount of singing “Hashem is here…” will help. It’s really a miracle that most kids do not go off the derech after spending most of their vulnerable years with people like that. Those so-called babysitters need to be babysat by us – not the other way around. They should be helped to realize the existence of Hashem, not be left in charge of our kids.
Why do we do it? I think it’s a matter of misplaced priorities. We value our comfort. It’s much easier to have a babysitter come to us – and do our housework while she is at it. We don’t have to trouble ourselves – and our kids – to get everyone ready, shlep them to someone else’s house. There are literally dozens of frum babysitters who would be happy to take care of our babies in their homes in the frum environment. Our frum house does not provide frum environment for our babies. The caretakers do. And, even though we do not want to acknowledge this for our convenience, even babies have eyes, ears and feelings. Their thinking abilities are not as underdeveloped as we tend to give them credit for. And whatever their brains can’t understand, their neshamas do. What are our priorities as parents? That is for us to decide. That is what our free will is all about.November 1, 2010 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm #705948
WellInformedYid – Yes, there is a better idea. Very affordable. Just not as convenient. To take kids to a frum babysitter’s house. She is usually a stay-at-home mom or a former morah, or, if she is older, she has vast experience in raising her own frum kids. Of course, as with everything, you need to check references. If we want someone to take care of our kids, cook our meals and clean our house all for $8/hr we can’t complain about the quality of her work. It’s either affordable or comfortable. If it’s both – it might not, has-ve-shalom, be safe.November 1, 2010 2:59 pm at 2:59 pm #705949
WIY, D9, Yes there are other options like the husband going to work so the wife can raise her own kids, lets start with that.
And there are other options. When I went back to work when my youngest was a baby and I lived in Flatbush I did not give my Housekeeper a key. I told her she can take my child outside only on the block and in the backyard (where my neighbors could see her). Why anyone allows their babysitters to have a key to the house and lets them take their children anywhere is beyond my comprehension. How do you know that they don’t take your kids to a treif restaurant? How do you know that they only take your kids to the park? How do you know that they only walk with your kids and don’t get into a car with them and go off to their boyfriend’s house?
It is one thing when the kids are old enough to talk and tell you everything that goes on. It is certainly another when kids are too young and too small to give you feedback. DO NOT GIVE THEM A KEY. Let them take your kids out in your backyard only or in front of your house. Who said they need to walk? If the kids are in carriages let them walk them up and down in front of the house. YOU take them for a walk, or take them to the park when YOU are home. Or get a High School student to come after school to do it.November 1, 2010 3:05 pm at 3:05 pm #705950
Just become a woman is frum, doesn’t mean she will take good care of your child(ren). Please look at a woman’s qualifications, not her religious status.
We use a non-Jewish daycare that has a ton of frum kids. They are very respectful of only feeding the kids food you bring (or on occasion, foods with a proper hechsher that they talk to you about before). They are warm, loving and teach the kids a ton.November 1, 2010 3:15 pm at 3:15 pm #705951
aries2756, and what about the language they will hear? Even if it’s not in English. And you can’t very well check their bags for food they bring in with them or forbid them to use their cell phones. And if you don’t trust a person to take your kid out, how can you trust her to take care of him/her inside? How can you trust her not to mess up your kashrus? Would you leave your child with a person you don’t TRUST?November 1, 2010 3:21 pm at 3:21 pm #705952
WellInformedYid – as a few posters have mentioned there is no lack of frum babysitters willing to babysit in their own home, especially in Brooklyn. Besides for these babysitters being frum, they are usually cheaper and have other kids for your kid to play with. If one insinsts on having a babysitter in their own home make sure to properly check into the prospective babysitter. Get references from your friends, not from other babysitters. Don’t waste your time with the references the babysitter gives you. She’s only going to give a person who she knows will say good stuff. Find other references on your own. Do your homework! And once you hire a babysitter, you should pop in unannounced (or if you can’t have someone else do it) and see what’s going on. If you know the babysitter takes the kids to the park drive by and watch from your car for a few minutes. Install a nanny cam in your house. Besided for what’s observed by the public and posted here I’m sure you’ll be very surprised what you see on the nanny cam.November 1, 2010 3:26 pm at 3:26 pm #705953
I’m sure you’ll be very surprised what you see on the nanny cam.
I’ve got to tell you, sometimes I wonder about all these stories you hear.
I did quite a bit of babysitting growing up, and I never did anything* that would actually shock me as a parent. Is it just me?
* Well, that’s not entirely true. One time when I was about 15 I was babysitting and let the baby sleep through the afternoon without realizing that it meant that she would be up all night with the mother. Needless to say, I didn’t let that happen again — but it’s not something that was threatening to the baby either.November 1, 2010 4:20 pm at 4:20 pm #705954
Wolf, nanny cams are like insurance. You hope that you won’t need them, and most times you may not. But they are still worth having for the “other” scenarios.November 1, 2010 4:32 pm at 4:32 pm #705955
Wolf, nanny cams are like insurance. You hope that you won’t need them, and most times you may not. But they are still worth having for the “other” scenarios.
I wasn’t disputing that point. I was just expressing wonderment that there are so many bad babysitters out there.
The WolfNovember 1, 2010 4:48 pm at 4:48 pm #705956
anon for thisParticipant
SJS, I have to agree that just because a babysitter is frum doesn’t mean she is capable.
I lived in a town where there were no frum women who provided childcare in their homes. Most women hired non-Jewish sitters to care for their children in their own homes. I hired a frum woman to care for my infant and toddler, thinking that this would be better than a non-Jewish sitter. One day I came home from work (8 hours plus commuting time) and she told me that my daughter hadn’t drunk her bottle or anything else all day. I asked her why she didn’t call to tell me this at work, and she shrugged. When I questioned her further I realized that she’d been offering my daughter the same bottle all day, without washing and refilling it. Of course my daughter refused refused it, because it hadn’t been refrigerated all day and was spoiled.
That day I told her it wasn’t going to work out. Afterwards my neighbor told me that she had seen the sitter neglect my children and had been concerned, but didn’t want to tell l”h on a frum person.
After that I sent my children to a Jewish daycare center. It was more expensive but they received excellent care.November 1, 2010 5:29 pm at 5:29 pm #705957
Any mother who leaves her kids with a babysitter without spying from time to time (no please dont install video cameras in your home), is an idiot.
They care about their $$$$$ most because thats what amybody with a job cares about. Oh, and yeah, they also care about your kids. They really do.November 1, 2010 5:46 pm at 5:46 pm #705958
They care about their $$$$$ most because thats what amybody with a job cares about.
While there *are* people for whom that is true, I’d venture that that’s not true for the vast majority of people.
Most people take jobs because they *like* the job they have or because they *want* to be doing that job. Were that not the case, no one would ever volunteer for a low-paying job like being a rebbe.
The WolfNovember 1, 2010 5:50 pm at 5:50 pm #705959
Oh, and yeah, they also care about your kids. They really do.
And, as a point of fact, when I was a teen and babysat, I most certainly *did* care about the kids I was sitting for.
The more I read your post, the more I take umbrage at it.
The WolfNovember 1, 2010 6:09 pm at 6:09 pm #705960
What is your agenda?
And please explain your experience or ulterior motive that (seemingly) makes you push this agenda.
I may be wrong; if so please explain your venom.
Thanks.November 1, 2010 6:28 pm at 6:28 pm #705961
Just out of curiosity, are you the OP in the Imamother thread, or did you just copy and paste this without attribution?
The WolfNovember 1, 2010 6:41 pm at 6:41 pm #705962
I find it funny that the person who started this thread decided to be makpid on writing “whom” rather than “who” and yet ended the sentence with a preposition…November 1, 2010 6:59 pm at 6:59 pm #705963
It’s ironic that some who would never let anyone drive their car lest it get scratched, entrust their babies to people who they hardly know.November 1, 2010 7:34 pm at 7:34 pm #705964
D9, in my case my neighbors and my parents dropped in at my house at any time of the day! And yes I did check their bags, and my other kids were older when I had one. My youngest was 9 months when I started and my oldest was 9. I explained about Kashrus and milk and meat and I had two separate sides. And if my kids told me something that didn’t sit well with me I let her go.
Today I have 3 separate sides, one even for Pareve with 3 sinks and 3 ovens and dishwashers. She knows she can’t turn on the fire and if no one is home in my house she goes next door to get a neighor and at this point my youngest is 24.November 1, 2010 7:52 pm at 7:52 pm #705965
bombmaniac- a redundant preposition, no less 😉November 1, 2010 7:58 pm at 7:58 pm #705966
aries2756 – I would give you an A+. We should all learn from you
Yitzy99 – you are so right! Its also ironic to see sometimes sitters or mothers leave babies in the carriage at the front of a store, while they take their pocket books with them and stroll around the store to shop.November 1, 2010 8:36 pm at 8:36 pm #705967
indeed squeak, indeedNovember 1, 2010 8:45 pm at 8:45 pm #705968
JAM, when my kids were babies and I lived in BP my friend and I would go out shopping together so one of us would watch the carriages outside while the other would go inside the store. We would take turns. At no point did we leave our kids alone outside.November 1, 2010 9:47 pm at 9:47 pm #705969
The shopping issue of elaving kids outside while the moms shop, also reminded me that so many women will leave their kids alone with the cleaning woman, but hide their jewelry.November 1, 2010 9:54 pm at 9:54 pm #705970
one should never elav kidsNovember 1, 2010 10:02 pm at 10:02 pm #705971
I thank G-d every day that I live in a frum city in Eretz Yisroel. You are all NUTS for entrusting “the diverse melting pot” of America with our precious children. Absolutely nuts.
I won’t even entrust my non-frum parents to supervise my children, ESPECIALLY when we visit America and they might feed them treif.
How on earth can you let these same “goytas” that you all look at with disdain be responsible for your children?????????November 1, 2010 10:29 pm at 10:29 pm #705972
Anyone who hires an illegal immigrant/goy over a Yid to do a job that any Yid in need of work could use is a sonei yisroel. So many times I weep when I see illegal immigrsnt goyishe shammashim in shuls, having no kavod for seforim, kedushas beis knesses, etc. Oy, would I love to have such a job to help me get through school. Instead, we give these jobs to our enemies, maybe to save a couple of bucks. Very nice way to treat a fellow Yid.November 2, 2010 12:53 am at 12:53 am #705973
People have to watch theyre kids like theyre the most valuable thing in the world. I dont have kids yet but when I do I will make sure that theyre always with someone I would trust with my own life.November 2, 2010 5:01 am at 5:01 am #705974
If you are going to have people “pop in” to check up unexpectedly on your babysitter, please by all means inform her that some relatives will be coming over from time to time to “visit the baby,” and you are letting her know in advance that it is “OK” for her to let them in even if they were not expected (show pictures of the people to her so she will recognize them.
Otherwise, if I were the babysitter and some lady claimed to be the aunt or a grandparent wanting to visit the baby, I would not open the door to them without first speaking to the parents. Any babysitter who DID let a stranger in would be looking for a new job,as far as I am concerned.November 2, 2010 4:31 pm at 4:31 pm #705975
Wolf and Gavra-
Sorry if my post came out too strong. I dont mean anything against babysitters. I hire them too.
What I am trying to say is that MANY of them really dont care too much about kids. I came across some that fell asleep and slept through hours of babysitting. I also witnessed a babysitter who yelled at the kids like a maniac and the mother had no idea. (who knows, maybe she even hit the kids.)
All Im saying is that when you do leave a babysitter, make sure you know whats going on.November 2, 2010 4:35 pm at 4:35 pm #705976
OK, fair enough. That is why you interview (for a daysitter), have trial periods (together with people you trust), etc. so that you can tell that your children are safe.November 2, 2010 5:03 pm at 5:03 pm #705977
GAW- the point is that not everyone does that.
I was in my pediatrician’s office one day and a non frum babysitter walked in with a child. The receptionist asked whats the child’s name and guess what the babysitter responded? She said, “I dont know!”
She had zero idea what the child’s name was. She only had the phone number of the mother at work.
I heard the recetionist call the mother and give her a piece of her mind about her irresponsibility. She said afterwards how the mother wasnt really surprised or sorry about it.November 2, 2010 5:20 pm at 5:20 pm #705978
Put that with the parents who leave their children outside while shopping.November 2, 2010 5:23 pm at 5:23 pm #705979
In any sufficiently large population, you’re going to have your share of irresponsible people — including parents. And irresponsible parents are more likely to make poor babysitting choices.
Sadly, unless you start legislating who can have children and who can’t, I don’t see that changing.
The WolfNovember 2, 2010 5:52 pm at 5:52 pm #705980
Gavra I have an old issue with that. My pressure rises when I think of it. And I have a family of a few small children, yet I never found it necessary to leave them outside unattended and do not understand the mothers that do.November 2, 2010 10:12 pm at 10:12 pm #705981
There is a website where folks can post sightings of nannies interacting with there charges. You can check it out at I Saw Your Nanny.blogspot.November 2, 2010 11:50 pm at 11:50 pm #705982
Thank you for speaking out about this. I also sometimes go to the park on L and 17th though I try to avoid that park for the most part — but I have seen these ridiculous babysitters you speak about and my heart just aches. I want to scream, I want to take these children away from them… but then what?? What can I do?? As a mother I can’t imagine leaving my child with a goy, let alone the kind of low-class disinterested people these are. You can see how much they are interested in these children by looking at their expressionless faces.
I have to say that there is a “nice” goy in my building and she has helped me with my children on occasion WHILE I WAS HOME COOKING, finishing up work (I work from home) ETC.. But I have used her sparingly …because when she enters the sanctity of our mikdash miat is disturbed — although my children are little they can feel it. I personally would not want to look at her for any length of time, why should I be so insensitive to think that my children’s neshamos are not uncomfortable by her presence.
However, sometimes two hands are just simply not enough, and I have used frum babysitters in the past — although they are not all neccessary good or as frum as they claim to be when you first meet them… There are many issues.
I know that it is a very unpopular notion these days, but… I believe you should sacrifice everything you can in order for your children to have YOU (or your husband) or another family member like a grandmother, for example, with them at all their waking(and sleeping) hours. I don’t believe that children should just be occupied with something, BUT they deserve to be loved, taught, nurtured, kissed, hugged, laughed with. They deserve to build a relationship with YOU. I heard something so sad one day. A little boy maybe of two yrs. old calling his babysitter “Mommie”, and the babysitter saying “No, Moishe, I am not your mommy!” Our Yiddishe kindelach are the most precious treasure we have and although it is hard to make ends meet — it is the case for many families especially these days– it is my humble opinion that we must make many sacrifices. There are people crying and davening to have children and beg Hashem to give them such a bracha. I know because I was one of those people. Hashem gave us children so we can raise them OURSELVES, put into them all the love we have…NOT hire goim to do our job. Goim can clean our house, that’s it.November 3, 2010 4:52 am at 4:52 am #705983
I would say that people should take photographs if you happen to be in the park anyway and post them on that blog or in a local newspaper so that parents can have a first hand eye opening experience. Even if it is not their own nanny they might realize that it very well could be.
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