Ten things your teenage babysitter wishes you knew

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  • #609371

    Thank you writersoul for the great idea! Im babysitting now and wow we should all conduct background checks on people before agreeing to random babysitting jobs!

    1) we dont appreciate when you say “he had a long nap today so dont worry we aren’t so makpid on when they go to sleep….” Hi parents we actually want the kids to be in bed by the time we get here!

    2) when your kids start shrieking as you walk out dont tell me “a little strangers anxiety” an run out. Maybe calm your kids down, explain what i should so? And why arent they sleepin yet people!!!!

    3) no we do not look up to you when you say you have a filter which blocks everything so there isnt even a point in trying. How do you manage to block internet from

    My phone???????

    4) dont tell me akward things about your weird habits. Thats weird that you buy your two year apart kids the same size diapers cuz you are lazy….

    Any more?

    (These people better pay me a lot!!!)

    #1098569

    Torah613Torah
    Participant

    I feel cheated. There were only four.

    5. You should have books that are questionable only slightly hidden, so that your babysitter can find them and then pretend to not have read them. This makes babysitting more exciting.

    #1098570

    🍫Syag Lchochma
    Participant

    ultimateskier – I don’t know you so I don’t know if you are joking or not, but let’s just say that I hope you are.

    #1098571

    yentish
    Participant

    great post! though my babysitting days are long passed, here’s some that always annoyed me…i try not to do these to my own sitters

    6) please tell us where the food is and/or which food we can eat, especially if we come around dinner time. we don’t enjoy rummaging thru your cabinets to find stale pretzels.

    7) if you plan on staying out very late (definition varies, but i’d say passed 11pm), then tell me BEFORE i accept the job. maybe i have a test or school the next day? and for goodness sakes, dont call at 11:30 and say you’ll be back in 15 minutes and then don’t come home for an hour. at least tell me your stuck in traffic

    8) please call 5-10 minutes before you’ll be home. i’m not doing anything terrible, but its common courtesy. this gives me time to hang up the phone with my friend, gather my books, wake up if i fell asleep… or at least knock before you come in.

    9) i watched your kids, maybe even fed them, put them to sleep etc. pay me at least as much as you would your cleaning lady. if you’re not sure what the going rate is, just ask. chances are its more than you think.

    anyone for lucky number 10?

    #1098572

    gefen
    Participant

    ultimateskier- If ur not joking, please don’t babysit. U sound a bit bitter or stressed out.

    #1098573

    mitzvahgirl613
    Participant

    6 (cont).If you say you are coming back at 10:30, be here at 10:30!!!! Yes, I know there’s traffic and other things, but I have more things to do at home. If you are going to be late, plzz plzzz call me and let me know so I don’t get worried and that I know you will be late so I could postpone the things I have to do for a later time.

    I was once babysitting and the person told me they would be back at 10 p.m. and it was already getting closer to 10:30 and I was getting reallyy scared!!! I’m that type of girl that gets worried by these types of things! I tried texting both parents, no answer. Then I called the mother and she told me she would be back by 11!! I had things to do and she told me she was gonna be back by 10 and it really bothered me and she should have at least called me. this is why i clearly state that if you are going to be late coming home please call!!! thank you!!!

    attn yentish: i didnt see your post but i feel like i have to elaborate on the topic its soo important!! and i agree with everything u added!!!

    #1098574

    gefen
    Participant

    mitzvahgirl613- I do agree with you. If the parents tell you they will be home at a certain time then realize they won’t be, they should definitely call.

    #1098575

    Sorry i am a good babysitter for real i really love kids but there are just some pet peeves especially when you are all “my kids are angels and happy” and then they cry on you for a few hours!

    10) if you want me to feed your kids please have food in the house. (These people lagit have nothing! NOTHING!)

    #1098576

    WolfishMusings
    Participant

    6) please tell us where the food is and/or which food we can eat, especially if we come around dinner time. we don’t enjoy rummaging thru your cabinets to find stale pretzels.

    7) if you plan on staying out very late (definition varies, but i’d say passed 11pm), then tell me BEFORE i accept the job. maybe i have a test or school the next day? and for goodness sakes, dont call at 11:30 and say you’ll be back in 15 minutes and then don’t come home for an hour. at least tell me your stuck in traffic

    8) please call 5-10 minutes before you’ll be home. i’m not doing anything terrible, but its common courtesy. this gives me time to hang up the phone with my friend, gather my books, wake up if i fell asleep… or at least knock before you come in.

    9) i watched your kids, maybe even fed them, put them to sleep etc. pay me at least as much as you would your cleaning lady. if you’re not sure what the going rate is, just ask. chances are its more than you think.

    As a former babysitter when I was a teen (and now, as the parent of a teen babysitter), I have to say that these truly resonate with me.

    The Wolf

    #1098577

    nfgo3
    Member

    Here are 10 things baby-sitters should know about baby-sitting.

    1. You are paid to take care of children for a few hours. You are not being paid to do your homework, so if the kids are up, you are earning your wage. If you they are asleep, you have made some easy money, which everyone should get once in a while.

    2. The wage is the wage that we agreed to. If it’s too low, say so, or say no thanks. (If you think it’s too high, wait till you meet the kids.)

    3. We try to be home on time. If we are more than a half hour late, we will call you. If you have a curfew or must be home by a specific time, whatever the reason (school, exam, drug addiction), tell us before you take the job. We will comply with your requirement if we can, or hire someone else if we can’t.

    4. You are not doing us a favor – you are being paid for your troubles. If the pay is too low, ask for more, or say no to the job offer.

    5. Baby-sitting requires adult-like responsibility. Consider it practice – you will be old enough to be considered an adult before you know it. If you practice taking your responsibility seriously, it will prepare you well for adulthood.

    6 – 10. See 1 – 5 again.

    #1098578

    WolfishMusings
    Participant

    6 – 10. See 1 – 5 again.

    11. Adults needlessly repeat themselves.

    The Wolf

    #1098579

    🍫Syag Lchochma
    Participant

    nfgo – thank you for answering so calmly. I think I was too appalled to be that civil.

    #1098580

    123jew
    Participant

    Things your babysitter wishes you knew

    11. This applies when it’s dark out

    If I live around the blocked don’t say is it ok if I watch you go home (when really you are saying I can’t walk you all the way home because my husband isn’t home yet so I’m just going to watch you)I know you don’t want to leave your kids alone tell me before hand so I can get someone to pick me up. Our neighborhood isn’t safe I can easily get mugged or rapped.

    12. If I tell you that your kids where hard give me an extra few dollars.

    13. If you and your husband are coming home at different times and you know you wont be able to drive me home right away tell me before hand, and when I ask you when your husband will be home don’t say any minute when really it’s an hour and PLEASE pay me for this time I might not be babysitting but it is my time.

    #1098581

    student
    Participant

    To Ultimateskier:

    I don’t think I would want someone with an attitude like yours anywhere near my kids. Nor would I want anyone so judgmental in my home. Edited

    #1098582

    SaysMe
    Member

    i really hope some of these were jokes.

    I haven’t babysat for some years now, but some of those horror stories i had or heard stick with me.

    -If its a long babysitting job, offer/put out something to snack on.

    -it’s been posted, but needs repeating. Aim to come home when you say you will be! 15 minutes is a normal delay, more than that, let us know. If you decide to enjoy your night another hour, first call and ask if we can babysit that much longer! If not, call someone else to take over.

    -if you have a tenant, let us know! I totally panicked once when a man suddenly came to the back door right by the window i was sitting by. I actually made my father come over and confront the man.

    -if someone is going to be coming and knocking, and we’re supposed to let them in, please let us know?? The visiting grandparent, the cleaning lady, the delivery… My nerves have been needlessly strained many times

    -if you dont have any books at all for us, let us know to bring our own form of entertainment. At one job, i read alllll the baby books. Twice.

    -looks like this isn’t true for all from the posts here, but at least some of us will NOT go rummaging or searching around your house, for food, entertainment, or suntan lotion, without your direction or permission, so be so kind as to show us where anything we’ll need is.

    -leave us your contact info, and then don’t go turning off your cell!

    -oh! And if your kid’s been horrible, and we tell you s/he’s been difficult, or is evidenced in the fact that they’re still up, don’t give them a treat in our faces!!!

    #1098583

    TheGoq
    Participant

    I think most of the babysitters writing in this thread should quit their jobs and concentrate on their schoolwork, some of the spelling errors here are atrocious. I wont point out which ones I’m talking about to avoid embarrassing anyone but please high school aged kids should know how to spell.

    Sadly what i think happens is the older girls in the family become mommy Jr. and don’t concentrate on even the basics in school. Am i wrong?

    #1098584

    SaysMe
    Member

    goq- yep, you’re wrong 🙂

    #1098585

    TheGoq
    Participant

    saysme lolol.

    #1098586

    ☕ DaasYochid ☕
    Participant

    Goq, when criticizing someone’s spelling, you should probably consider using proper grammar.

    #1098587

    TheGoq
    Participant

    True DY.

    #1098588

    popa_bar_abba
    Participant

    Tell us where the whiskey is. I really don’t need to be finding your oxycontin while searching for it.

    #1098589

    Oh Shreck!
    Participant

    Oy.

    Are there any babysitters with good middos to be found??

    #1098590

    Shopping613 🌠
    Participant

    Yes, ME!

    What babysitters want to hear:

    1 Sure, you can take anything from the fridge, I also wanted to eat when I was your age babysitting. But I was too shy to ask (I was actually told this once)

    2. My husband will be home to pay you ( husbands do NOT know how to pay! My friend got 50 bucks for an half an hour!

    3. You can use the phone all you want!

    4. The kids shouldn’t wake up

    5. Make yourself at home

    6. Yes you can call long -distance

    Shopping613 [$]613 The Awarder, President, and founder of SUC (Single Username Certificates) contact me to join.

    Current members: Me ShtickyGuy Aurora77

    #1098591

    TheGoq
    Participant

    Call long distance? seriously???? that is way over the line, and the babysitters here should learn working in 99 percent of the cases is not easy and it is not fun you get paid for doing things you wouldn’t do for free, one more thing yes I know I’m being annoying your interaction with the father of the household should be very very very minimal you should never be alone with him for any reason i hope i dont have to go into detail for explaining why if your not sure ask your parents, Hatzlacha to all of you on your careers whatever they may be.

    #1098592

    commonsense
    Participant

    Goq, relax, many people have free long distance today. to be honest, most babysitters don’t need to use the phone nowadays b/c they bring their own.

    #1098593

    nfgo3
    Member

    SaysMe makes some important points – some nominal adults have the responsibility of 10-year-olds.

    Syag lchochma – Thank you. Nobody on this web site has ever called me civil or calm.

    #1098594

    nfgo3: this is in response to the 5 points you mentioned above:

    I currently live in Israel. The girls here are looking for work so that they can have some pocket money, and so that they can purchase things that they want and are not necessities. Finding a babyisitter is easy: just knock on any neighbors door. All the girls want the job. They are therefore willing to work. And you can say that if they don’t want the job, let someone else do it.

    However, where I grew up, in New York, it was different. As a girl, I did not specifically have any interest in babysitting. I did not want or need anyone else’s money, because my father gave me whatever I wanted. I was babysitting as a favor to those who asked me, only because they begged and I knew they had no one else. The money was just extra. I was not desperate for the job. But it made no difference to me whether my homework was done in my house or my neighbors, so I went. No, I did not mind if a baby woke up crying. That’s what I went for. But I didn’t agree to go if I knew the kids would all be up. Because I wanted to talk on the phone and do homework. When I said no, the people were upset. So stating that it wasn’t a favor and I wasn’t being paid to do homework isn’t true either.

    #1098595

    MorahRach
    Member

    I was my towns go to babysitter for years!! I babysat for one family every Thursday night for 4 hours, for 4 years. Some of these are so true! I love kids, I loved babysitting. I’m a teacher and a mom, can’t get enough. To those overreacting..calm down! You are reacting as though a 16 year old should have the maturity level and responsible head of a 25 year old. Maybe this is part of the shidduch crisis? People excpcting children to act and behave as adults.

    Anyway, I didn’t mind if the kids were up. I liked making dinner for them and putting them to bed, but once they were asleep-the best part was taking something to eat and reading a book/magazine or even watch tv if you were in that kind of house.

    Horro story: one time the father of the children I was watching was paying me and I was there 4 hours and 45 minutes. He didn’t have change but didn’t want to give me those few extra dollars, so he asked if I had change. I said no, so he said ” ok ill get you next time”. I never got those few dollars he owed me. Outrageous! One of the wealthiest families in my town. This was like, 6 years ago and I still think about it!

    #1098596

    Shopping613 🌠
    Participant

    Look I know, ive been with a father before, we leave the door open, go to seperate rooms, plus a kid will wake up, I know the laws, when you’re a teenage babysitter, you learn what to do…calm down

    Shopping613 [$]613 The Awarder, President, and founder of SUC (Single Username Certificates) contact me to join.

    Current members: Me ShtickyGuy Aurora77

    #1098597

    TheGoq
    Participant

    You know but you don’t know.

    #1098598

    Shopping613 🌠
    Participant

    What does that mean

    Shopping613 [$]613 The Awarder, President, and founder of SUC (Single Username Certificates) contact me to join.

    Current members: Me ShtickyGuy Aurora77

    #1098599

    TheGoq
    Participant

    It means just because on the exterior a man seems totally normal and looks like an average Torah Jew does not mean he is harmless you cannot tell what goes on in a guys head based on the fact that he is a husband and father and seemingly upstanding citizen, sadly in this day and age we cannot always be so trusting.

    #1098600

    mercury
    Member

    morahrach, you obviously were never truly mochel those few dollars which means he is still obligated to pay you. just cuz he forgot doesnt make him patur. i once had to tell someone i worked for he owed me an extra hour worth of my time i felt bed because i had left and so much time had passed since (not 6 years) but it continued to bother me ever so slightly eventho i was mochel. so i asked another employee at that office and she said he would want you to tell him and not be mochel. so when i told him he was so happy that i did becuase otherwise its considered stealing. and hes such a yashardik man that he really was happy i came to him to make things right so either be mochel ENTIRELY (hard to do) or tell him becuase if its really bothering you it can chas veshalom cause something up in shamayim for him.

    #1098601

    Shopping613 🌠
    Participant

    That’s true, but you do what you can these days, I cant research every family like a shidduch case!

    Shopping613 [$]613 The Awarder, President, and founder of SUC (Single Username Certificates) contact me to join.

    Current members: Me ShtickyGuy Aurora7

    #1098602

    Bored214
    Participant

    I used to babysit as a teenager because i liked the extra pocket money..now i’m married with a couple of young kids and i’ll say a couple of rules/tips that i think make sense after seeing both sides of the story: –

    (1) if you dont want the kids to be awake, ask the parents beforehand if the kids will be awake. If you don’t ask, don’t take for granted they wont be and dont get annoyed if they are – it’s your fault.

    (2) Regarding food – as a teenager you don’t realise it, but now that i’m married and on a tight budget if you sit all evening and nash on packets of crisps and stuff – you’re adding a few dollars onto my bill for the night which i can’t afford. I get babysitters when i need to go out and i don’t expect to have to provide you with refreshments. If you’re hungry bring your own food with you. I very willingly provide drinks and a few biscuits but sorry – that’s as far as it goes.

    (3) i always make sure to tell my babysitters whether they can use teh phone or not.

    (4) If i am going to be more than FIVE MINUTES late i will call my babysitter beforehand. If i am on time i will not call before i am going to arrive because they should expect me back for the time specified and make sure to pack up and wake up beforehand.

    (5) I always ask my babysitter what is the latest time they can stay till in the event that i may be a little later.

    (6) If i know my kids have been difficult i will give a bit of extra money because even though i’m paying them to look after my kids i do want them to want to come back again and not be put off from me for life…good babysitters are hard to come by..

    (7) I never did this and I dont expect babysitters to do this, but i did have one babysitter who used to clear up all the toys after the kids went to sleep. It felt amazing to come back to a tidy house after being out all evening. So babysitters if you’re ever really bored, you have no idea what a mitzva you are doing by taking 5 mins just to pick up a few toys and make the place look presentable. Again, i repeat you don’t have any chiyuv to so no need to get annoyed at me for making the suggestion but i’m just teling you how much mothers would appreciate it..

    #1098603

    Redleg
    Participant

    Not a babysitter but if I were a teenage girl I would certainly ask that if you and your husband are coming home at different times, please try to avoid leaving me in a awkward yichud situation. Ishah ba’ir is not a p’tur.

    #1098604

    EY Mom
    Participant

    To all babysitters and parents of them as well, a piece of advice:

    Stipulate beforehand that you only babysit/let your daughter babysit on condition that the parents either come home together or the mother comes home first. This is the only condition under which I let my teenage daughter babysit – even for close friends. I always say it and not once did anyone ever have a problem with it.

    This cannot be stressed enough! Unfortunately, in this stage of galus, there have been too many incidents. Do NOT let your daughters babysit if the father is coming home without his wife.

    I also instruct my daughter that if that happens despite our stipulation, she is to call me immediately and remain on the phone until she leaves. And yes, my daughter is very innocent – I simply told her that it’s not tzniusdig otherwise and she accepted it.

    #1098605

    writersoul
    Member

    Just a quick note- I know ultimateskier and she is NOT at all how you paint her to be. Everyone has bad days and horrible experiences- I think it’s a bit harsh to judge.

    I don’t babysit (there’s nobody really in my neighborhood to babysit), but I’ve tutored, and one thing I always appreciated was when the parents stood up for me whatever I said. If I told a kid that she can’t go out and play til we finished (her mom had told me I could have that kind of policy), and she kvetched to mom, she would ALWAYS stand up for me and make the kid stay. If she was misbehaving, the mom would always confront the kid, never excuse her or give her a nosh, like previous posters said. Having a supportive parent in the background really makes life easier.

    #1098606

    🐵 ⌨ Gamanit
    Participant

    I used to babysit quite a bit. Based on my experience, good and bad, here’s my ten things:

    1) Please prepare a list of instructions such as the kids bedtimes, and when the baby has to eat before I come. That way when I come over all you have to do is review the list with me and show me where the kids are before you leave.

    2) If you don’t want me to raid your cabinets and help myself to whatever I want, prepare some snacks, drinks and plastic cups for me on the table. It can be a fifty cent snack, but it makes me feel welcome and comfortable.

    3) Prepare an extra pacifier, baby bottle and formula on the counter. It’s hard to rummage through drawers while holding the baby with one hand trying to keep the other kids from waking up.

    4) When you called me to babysit your kids, I agreed to babysit your kids. Not your kids and the five month old baby your sister drops off. I also didn’t agree to watch the neighbors kids over a baby monitor, and go into their apartment to check on them every half hour.

    5) Let your kids know before I come over that a babysitter will be coming, and she will be here for a few hours. When a kid wakes up and sees me without expecting it, it can be very difficult on both of us.

    6) Please make sure I have a way home. I can’t always arrange a way home when I’m not exactly sure when you’re coming home. If you or your husband can’t drive, call a car service that’s trustworthy.

    7) Please give me a call when you’re on the way home. It’s very awkward when you walk in and I’m in the bathroom or have my things scattered across the table.

    8) If you told me that the kids will be sleeping, try to have them all in bed when I come. I might have agreed knowing I can still study for my final tomorrow. I understand you can’t force them to fall asleep, but please try your best.

    9) If one of your kids is sick, or needs special care please let me know on the phone before I agree to come over. That way I prepare my schedule accordingly.

    10) Please let me know what I may or may not use in your house. This includes computer, phone, books, and anything else. I have babysat for people where I had to bring my own phone because they paid per minute on their landline. I didn’t mind because I was warned in advance.

    Overall, most parents were a pleasure to deal with. If you want to hear my nightmare stories… let me know. I babysat enough to have plenty.

    #1098607

    SaysMe
    Member

    oh, one more! If you’re late to pick me up for babysitting, let me know, so i don’t have to sit in my coat for 30 minutes before you call to say you’ll be another 15 minutes. And a halacha pointer, if you cancel on the babysitter last minute, you might have to still pay something.

    Thanks parents and babysitters present and past and all others for dropping in with your pointers, tips and advice. This thread is useful for all! And this is the kinda thread that makes the CR a good thing, not just another ‘chat room’. Keep up the good stuff!

    #1098608

    writersoul
    Member

    Also, please make it clear what you plan on having the kids doing. If they’ll be sleeping or watching TV or something low-maintenance, let us know if we can use the time to study- Idunno about other people, but I wouldn’t unless I knew it was okay, and I’ve given up some of the few babysitting jobs I’ve been offered because they conflicted with studying. If, however, we do have time to study, we’ll thank you on bended knee.

    In general, though, let us know beforehand what level of maintenance you need- and pay accordingly.

    #1098609

    mitzvahgirl613
    Participant

    All of these points are soo true its scary!!! Thank goodness before I come to babysit, the mothers pretty much always tell me what I can eat- and its mostly everything!! I can use their computer if they tell me I can, but the food is not a problem because I’m told where it is and what I can eat. Also it can be soo awkward for me because I babysit for a certain family and on certain days when I come only the father is there it can be sooo awkward!! And yes it is soo important that parents should call/text 5 min before they come home!! This is such an awesome thread i love it!!

    #1098610

    aproudbyg
    Participant

    I have been babysitting rcently for certain families for 4 or 5 dollars a hour,they are kollel and i understand they have a limit,and i truely do not mind,what i do mind is that i found out recently they pay others 8 or 9 an hour to others! i mean come on parents i love to babysit,often kids request me,but make me want to babysit for you,dont make me feel bad for you and give up other oppurtunites! and whne you know you have a toddler that cries when going to sleep and especially with strangers,a heads up would be nice!!!!!

    #1098611

    Oh Shreck!
    Participant

    Why are all the babysitters telling ME what to do? I haven’t even thought of calling one.

    #1098612

    SaysMe
    Member

    aproudbyg- if you’re looking for a dan l’kaf zchus, perhaps they can’t really afford it but when they get stuck and can’t find a babysitter who will take less, then they have to take someone who charges them more as a last resort. But yasher koach on doing that for them

    #1098613

    aproudbyg
    Participant

    saysme– thank you,yes i can understand that,its life and its the way things are,but i do get frustrated when she accepts me to only work for her and tells me ot turn other people down,it puts me in a difficult position

    #1098614

    2good2btrue
    Participant

    Anyone wants to come babysit for me? My kids will be sleeping (but I will warn them that your coming.). you can raid the cabinet and I won’t even notice what you take. I have a box of old Mishpacha and Binah magzines, you can also look through my bookshelf. You can use my computer, I’ll leave you my cell phone (I don’t have a land-line.) I pay $0 per hour. If you have any more questions just let me know. (The only babysitters I usually get with these criteria are my sisters the problem starts when their not available.)

    #1098615

    miritchka
    Member

    This thread is really great! When i used to babysit:

    1) I didnt expect children to be sleeping, ever. I knew that they were paying me to watch their kids and they werent obligated to make my job easier. it was much appreciated and if i started after 7:30 the little ones were usually sleeping or in bed.

    2) If food wasnt left out for me, i did rummage and took what i wanted. I never took the last of a food item and didnt touch homemade foods

    3) If i wasnt warned about using the phone, I did call my parents to check in

    4) I did my best to get the children in bed by their bedtimes, sometimes the older ones would stay in their rooms and then come out upon their parents return. How embarrassing!

    5) I kept my looseleaf opened on the table so that i looked like i was studying hte whole time. I might’ve been napping or doing nothing, but that is none of anyones business.

    6) i did snoop but not in parents bedrooms or offices or read anything.

    7) If there was a TV i did watch on the lowest volume and then when i heard them returning, either the car in the driveway or the door opening, i’d quickly raise the volume, put th echannel back on what it was and turn off the TV.

    I was a great babysitter and charged a minimal fee. I was always available unless i was already booked. I did well in school and had time for friends over shabbos and in school.

    Now as a parent, I would love to have another me…

    #1098616

    mitzvahgirl613
    Participant

    miritcka i am u!!!! i do exactly the same stuff as you but the ppl i babysit for dont have a tv so i dont have that problem! but everything that you use to do i do the same!!!!! i’ll babysit for u!!!! i luvv babysitting and i luvvv kids!!!!!

    #1098617

    miritchka
    Member

    mitzvahgirl613: lol! I would hire you just because you are so honest!

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