Parenting

Baby Sitter Question

In the past, I have used the teachers from my girls daycare as baby sitters or other family friends - all who are in their 20's and either college grads or in college.  My next door neighbor just took a baby-sitting class and really wants to watch my girls.  She is in 6th grade.  I was talking to the mom yesterday (my neigbor the past 7 years and someone I totally trust) and she told me that if we were comfortable with her daughter watching the girls, she would love to sit.  We talked about having her watch my girls for a few hours in the afternoon at some point when my neighbors are home and that her younger sister would also come and help out.  The younger sister is in 5th grade.  My kids play with these girls alot when we are all outside.  I would not do bedtime or anything at this point as I feel like she is a little too young right now to handle getting the girls dinner and into bed and everything.  Would you be comfortable with this sitution and what would you pay?  Do I need to pay both girls or just the older sister?  (At this point, I would not have the girls sit if the parents are not home - the girls have been left at home alone and do great - during the summer, they are home for a few hours each day and since I work at home, they know they can call or come over if ever needed which has never happened).
Jenni Mom to DD#1 - 6-16-06 DD#2 - 3-13-08 

Re: Baby Sitter Question

  • I'd do it.  I'd start with 1-2 hours - like enough time for you to run to the grocery store or somewhere nearby for errands.  I'd probably pay $7-8 an hour.  I was thinking the other day, that the older my kids get, the more comfortable I am with a younger babysitter.  5 year olds don't have the same needs as a 2 year old, and an 11 year old could certainly manage them for a short time.
    Jenni ~~Alex & Avery ~~ 6/13/06~~Adam ~~3/26/08

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  • I am probably in the minority here, but I would not hire a babysitter under age 16 or 17. A 6th grader is 11-12, right? I sat for my younger sister at that age. Although I was very responsible, I was terrified that something would happen and I wouldn't know what to do. I think caring for a young child is too much responsibility for a pre-teen or young teenager.

    I would consider hiring this girl as a "mother's helper" to play with your girls while you are home and need to get some stuff done.

  • I started babysitting around 10 years old.   I was perfectly capable of making mac n cheese for dinners and handling 2yo's tantrums.  I think if you trust the babysitter's maturity level and if she has parents at home that she can call for help in an emergency then hire her.

    I was usually paid per kid.  Something like $3 per kid per hour.

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  • I was babysitting at this age. But I had 4 siblings... I think you should leave them for about an hour for a few times (before any longer) maybe go shop for groceries. Only while their mother was right next door of course. 

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  • I agree w/ a mothers helper. 

    A friends DD is 11.  She is very mature for her age, very smart - and she loves DS.  I know I coudl trust her but yet... I wouldn't use her to babysit.  Not yet.

    I think I started babysitting at the age of 13, and now being the mom.... I'm kind of surprised people hired me!  I was fine to do it, but yikes, I was young! 

    "Beer is living proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy."
    ~Benjamin Franklin

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    DS dx with celiac disease 5/28/10

  • I'd do it. In fact, that's how we broke in our last sitter. He's young (12), but very responsible. We only have him sit when at least one of his parents are home, and we only go for a short period of time. It's essentially playing with the kids a couple of hours doing activities that I have told him to do with them (watch a movie, playdoh, puzzles, board games). Snacks and such laid out. All ground rules laid out, so there are no questions. And for us it's ideal to do that during the afternoon, so one of the kids is napping.

    I look at it this way. You have to start somewhere, and I would rather a younger sitter that's excited and taken the babysitting class, than an older teen that hasn't and is just looking to make a buck.

  • I would do it as well.  It would be great to break her in when you go to the grocery store or out to lunch with friends.  I definitely would not leave her at night yet.  My niece is 13 and in 8th grade and we let her babysit at all hours.  My in-laws and my SIL and BIL live across the street, so she can call them if need be.  Maybe you may feel more comfortable letting her come over while you clean or do yard work first.  Then try leaving her alone for a few hours.
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