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Dear High School Babysitter - Page 4

post #61 of 117
I pay my sitter 12 bucks an hour to hang with my 3 year old, and occasionally with my 8 month old. I can't imagine asking her or expecting her to do any cleaning. I don't even care if they don't put toys away when she leaves. Dishes? Laundry? No way. That's what I'd hire a cleaning person is for. I hire her to watch my kid, not take care of the house.

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post #62 of 117
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kirsten View Post

EXACTLY!!!!!! I remember making one or two bucks an hour, and doing all the things I mentioned in the original post. My mom had three kids, and she taught me what she'd want - do what is expected, and then if there is time do the "above and beyond" stuff. No, I don't want someone washing my delicates, but tossing a load of towels in and starting the washer seems pretty safe. Necessary - no, of course not.
First off, it would not make me happy at all if a sitter washed the towels. We use our towels far more than once before washing. Saving water is a priority in our house and we typically only do 1-2 loads of laundry a week. I do not write this to scold towel washers but to illlustrate how easy it would be for a sitter to be clueless about how different houses operate. I am guessing that when dd is on sitting age, she would never even think of washing towels since we just reuse our towels for about 2 weeks.

I did some babysitting in my time. While I agree that tidying toys, putting dishes in the sink, and at least piling sirty clothing in a neat mound is part of the job, nothing else is.

We have sitters frequently. Some have washed the dishes they used while I was gone. Every one has tidied toys and put dd's clothes in a neatly stacked pile on the end of her bed. I would not be thrilled with the dishes still on the table and toys everywhere....but that is like a 5 minute clean-up tops. If that is what it takes to have a decent sitter, I would not think twice. However, I would most definately stop hiring a sitter that insisted (after being told not to) on washing laundry, unloading dishwashers, or reorganizing my pantry. I am WAY to anal to have anyone else doing that stuff.
post #63 of 117
If my sitter did all that you expect of her, I'd wonder if the kiddo got any attention at all.

(And my sitter is my mother who lives with us.)
post #64 of 117
Not to be snarky, but I'm glad both views are represented here now. The OP sitter situation sounds like a Nanny one according to my friends who work f/t. My occasional sitter; ie. a few weeks/week, doesn't have time for those chores. She's hanging w/the kids teaching them neat new games and tricks and earning their everlasting adoration.
post #65 of 117
When I babysat in junior high and high school, I always cleaned up the kitchen and wherever the kids had been playing. My momt aught me that was just something you did. I'd even get out the 409 and clean the counters, stove, etc. One family i babysat for regularly used to tell me they paid me more than my 'asking rate' because I always cleaned up without being asked to. And the kids were almost always in bed within a half hour of their bedtime.
$9 an hour?!?!? I got $3 an hour per child. And this was back in the 90's!
post #66 of 117
I wouldn't expect any cleaning other than picking up toys and doing dishes that the sitter/kids dirtied while you were away, unless you talked about cleaning beforehand.
post #67 of 117
All the teen babysitters I've known (both as one and those I've hired) have spent the time after the kids have gone to bed doing homework. We were all taking Honors/AP classes (or college classes in the summer). I would never expect a sitter to do our laundry.
post #68 of 117
i guess i'm really an old timer b/c i can remember one babysitting job that paid only 50 cents an hour. ouch. but that was the cheapest one ever. i don't remember how much i ususally got. i do remember that i was hired when i was awfully young. like young middle school (6th grade). no way would i hire a 6th grader for my baby. but i was a very responsible kid.

i don't remember clean up ever being any kind of an issue. most likely i picked up after the toys, put the plates in the sink, etc. if something spilled, i cleaned it up. but it was never like a big frantic thing to do more and more housework. i wonder if some parents today are just more frazzled in general, to wish for this kind of help from teenage babysitters. for whatever reasons.

FWIW, my husband has offered to get me a once a week housekeeper to come in for like $25 an hour and clean. so far i've not taken him up on it. i guess i feel like i should be able to keep up with just one child and i'm staying home. but if i had more kids and the household situation got harrier, i think i might do it, just to get some cleaning chores out of the way.

as for babysitters, my DD is only 1 year old, and i have no reason for leaving her. my mom has babysat, but no one else. if in the future i used a babysitter, i would be way more concerned for my child than for any housework. housework will always always be there. it's just one of those things that as soon as it's "done," there's more. (just like going to work-- there will always be more work...) children, their safety and the quality of their lives, is much more important and cannot be replaced. my child's well being will always be priority number 1, to the exclusion of any other tasks a babysitter could potentially do for me.
post #69 of 117
[QUOTE=ElliesMomma;8342953]i guess i'm really an old timer b/c i can remember one babysitting job that paid only 50 cents an hour. ouch. but that was the cheapest one ever. i don't remember how much i ususally got. i do remember that i was hired when i was awfully young. like young middle school (6th grade). no way would i hire a 6th grader for my baby. but i was a very responsible kid.
QUOTE]


I think we expect a lot less of adolescents today. Also, we are much more worried now.
When i was in 7th grade a mom picked me up from school and then took me to her house twice a week. I babysat her 1 year old for 3 hours ALONE. We took mile long walks, went to the italian ice shop, the park etc. I did a great job, called MY mom if i had any problems or questions, and the baby had a ton of fun.
BUT, there is no way even now i let my 16 year old sister take dd (3 yrs)for more than a walk around our block. If i leave her with my sisters (16 &12) it is only for an hour or so while i get groceries. The 16 year old has CPR/first aid training and the 12 year old is GREAT with kids. I have a cell and they know to call me with any issues.
post #70 of 117
This is a bit OT but my husband and I were talking about this thread and we were saying how much things have changed for teens. In our neighbourhood in Toronto it's hard to FIND any teens who will babysit.

There are lots of reasons, but a big one is that we don't have friends with teenage kids and most parents will not allow their teens to go babysit for people they don't know well. I imagine I will feel the same, but it is sad and has changed the 'rules' so to speak a fair amount - it's one reason that babysitting fees are now so much more than minimum wage when they used to be the same or less.

I don't know what I think about the comments about teens. I babysat a lot as a teen (I did clean up too, but it was never expected) and I was very responsible and yet, there were situations I didn't know how to handle. I also fended off the odd drunk father. I'm very glad I did though: one of the families I sat for was the one that gave me the idea that a different approach (AP, although they didn't call it that then) could work.

Anyways just some musing. Hope I didn't get too far off track.
post #71 of 117
Quote:
When I was a teenaged babysitter, I occasionally showed up drunk, usually invited friends over to continue the party, and eventually perfected my blow job technique . . . all while earning $4 an hour. I thought raiding the refrigerator and talking incessantly on the phone were practically required in my job description. I don't remember much about actually playing with the kids, but I do have a vivid recollection of taking one toddler out for a walk and having the stroller suddenly lock up and revolve uncontrollably in the dead center of an intersection.

In case I'm not making myself clear, I was a teenaged babysitter, and therefore I WILL NEVER USE A TEENAGED BABYSITTER.

We had this conversation in my LLL group recently and I seriously chapped some asses, so I'm sure I've just done the same here. But think about it, if you can't trust these immature people to know how to act, how can you trust them to know how to react if something bad happens?

Yes, there are millions of responsible teens out there for the hiring, and every parent who hired me was sure I was one of them. Oh, did I have them fooled.
That's a pretty broad brush to paint a whole demographic with... Your experiences as a teen may be different from others.. If it's your personal comfort level, I get that, but it's not fair to say all teens are irresponsible like that.

Also, didn't the kids you babysit for ever talk? I get a pretty full report from my almost 4 year old when we get home. Heck, even my 2 year old (very verbal) will recap most of the night for us...
post #72 of 117
Quote:
Originally Posted by a-sorta-fairytale View Post
I think we expect a lot less of adolescents today. Also, we are much more worried now.
When i was in 7th grade a mom picked me up from school and then took me to her house twice a week. I babysat her 1 year old for 3 hours ALONE.
Hmm. Last month, my daughter (8th grade if she were in school) was babysitting a 10 week old baby for 4 hours, alone, twice a week. She had phone numbers, of course (mom was at work, dad and I were in class) but never needed them. He had some fussy days, but she was great with him, doing the bounce-walk for hours, and holding him on her lap while he napped... so not everyone expects a lot less from adolescents today.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BlueStateMama
That's a pretty broad brush to paint a whole demographic with... Your experiences as a teen may be different from others.. If it's your personal comfort level, I get that, but it's not fair to say all teens are irresponsible like that.
I agree. I was comfortable leaving my kid with teens, and I am comfortable leaving my teen with kids. There are plenty of teens out there who are responsible and caring, and would never do the things you did. On the other hand, there's a lot of anti-teen rhetoric out there, and I think it's easy to start to think that most teens are irresponsible and immature... but that hasn't been my experience. Actually, the only bad sitter experience I had was with a mother of 4 who I swapped with for a couple months when Rain was a baby - she was in LLL and homeschooled and really talked the talk, but I arrived at her house unexpectedly once and found my 7 month old in a playpen screaming while the mom and other kids calmly colored in the other room. My poor baby...

dar
post #73 of 117
Quote:
Originally Posted by Heffernhyphen View Post
I can't believe we're on page three and nobody has voiced the kind of sentiment I'm about to. That should be a sign to me to click my way right out of this thread and move on to somewhere safe, but what the hell . . .

When I was a teenaged babysitter, I occasionally showed up drunk, usually invited friends over to continue the party, and eventually perfected my blow job technique . . . all while earning $4 an hour. I thought raiding the refrigerator and talking incessantly on the phone were practically required in my job description. I don't remember much about actually playing with the kids, but I do have a vivid recollection of taking one toddler out for a walk and having the stroller suddenly lock up and revolve uncontrollably in the dead center of an intersection.

In case I'm not making myself clear, I was a teenaged babysitter, and therefore I WILL NEVER USE A TEENAGED BABYSITTER.

We had this conversation in my LLL group recently and I seriously chapped some asses, so I'm sure I've just done the same here. But think about it, if you can't trust these immature people to know how to act, how can you trust them to know how to react if something bad happens?

Yes, there are millions of responsible teens out there for the hiring, and every parent who hired me was sure I was one of them. Oh, did I have them fooled.
You do realize that there are some *gasp* responsible teens out there? Somewhere...

As a teen I had my share of fun, underage drinking and what not (ha.... how do you think I got my ds? : ). During that same time period I babysat for one family occaisionally. I never, NEVER showed up drunk. I never had friends over. I never even called any friends while I was "on duty". I took my job very seriously. I showed up on time and in proper attire (: ), I played with the kids, read to them, fed them dinner if needed, we sometimes baked/decorated cookies, then pj's went on, teeth brushed, kids went in bed, lights went out, and I cleaned up any messes we had made. If I finished that and the parents weren't home I would get a book off the shelf and start reading (unless I brought homework to do). I knew not to do anything like you described while I was on-duty. Never would I have even considered doing such things while watching others kids.
post #74 of 117
Quote:
Originally Posted by daniedb View Post
Wow, I would be quite irritated to find her sitting and watching TV if there were dirty dinner dishes and toys strewn everywhere. I would never expect her to do the laundry/dishwasher/feed the dog thing, but definitely I expect my girls to clean up after themselves and the kids. Thankfully, I've not run into anyone that doesn't get that.
Ditto.

Quote:
Originally Posted by daniedb View Post
Of course, one of our favorite "friends" (Henry's term for his babysitters) completely reorganized my pantry and freezer (with my permission) and threw out and cleaned everything that needed it. No extra pay, she's just like that. And no, I won't share her.
But don't you want to set a good sharing example for H? Come on, cough up that number! :
post #75 of 117

Babysitters

9$ an hour is good, it's not awesome, but it's good. It buys, *Dishes they used (and kids) in the dishwasher (or if the washers full, rinsed and stacked neatly in the sink),* Kids happy and if at all possible in bed, *Messes babysitter and kids made picked up. That said, kids don't know how to prioritize. It's entirely possible she thinks being a good babysitter means watching the kids all the time, so turning her back on them to do dishes is bad. She should clean the toys after the kids go to bed, but she might have been totally pooped after chasing after kids all day, you know how it feels. I babysat for many years as a teeneger and later as a nanny and I found that a lot of problems came from parents not telling me exactly what they wanted. If someone said to me, be really cuddly to my DS,don't let him watch any TV until bedtime and pick up his messes, just that would be done when they came home. Give the kid a chance, talk to her. Also, your kids might have asked her if they could call you, and it feels really mean as a babysitter to tell a kid that no, in this era of cell phones, they cannot call their beloved mommy.
Good Luck
post #76 of 117
The more I think about this the more I think i must use babysiiters later in the day or something. when my babysitter comes the girls are usually siting down to dinner (I make enough for sitter too). She i expected to put leftovers in the fridge, wash and put away all the dishes, tidy up the kitchen and diningroom (wipe table countertops and sweep floor etc). once the kids are done with supper they can watch a video or play a game with the sitter (cleaning supper stuff can wait until they are in bed) until bedtime. (usually about an hour). Then they brush their teeth, tidy their rooms with her help and get to bed. after that she has 3-4 hours to burn. once the main floor is tidied (couch streightened and everything put away, etc) ahe is free to do whatever but only if the house is as clean as I left it.

during the day though it is different. while I still expect any dishes she used to be done everything else i about special playing and treats. I expect them to be taken to the park, and led in fun activities outside. no TV and no video games or computer.

also

I think teens are the best sitters. it would have ever ocured to my friends or i to dissrespect someones home by inviting people over. The girls I ask to babysit i know very well and I know their families and I know my children would rat them out in a heatbeat if they had people over or didn't do all the coll thinghs sitters are suposed to do. I also know my neighbors would rat them out becuase we watch each others sitters like that
post #77 of 117
Quote:
Originally Posted by StephandOwen View Post
You do realize that there are some *gasp* responsible teens out there? Somewhere...
I do, that's why I included the sentence saying, "Yes, there are millions of responsible teens out there for the hiring . . . "

I spoke of my experience. And the experience of the kids who ended up pulling me in the game of Russian Childcare Roulette their parents were playing. Nobody ever got hurt, I never got in trouble, and the parents got a cheap night out, so I guess it's a wash. It's just not a chance I will ever take with my DS.

Did some of the kids tattle on me? Yeah, I'm sure some did because some parents never called again. Did some parents know I was drunk when I showed up. Definitely. I remember one dad slipping me an extra 5 to get myself another six pack. He seemed to think it was cute. :
post #78 of 117
I've gotta side with Heffernhyphen. I didn't get drunk on the job as a teenage babysitter, but I pretty much ignored the kids. Heck, I'd be a crappy sitter even TODAY, I'm just not that interested in other people's kids.

Worse than neglect, though, was that when I was in high school quite a few of the popular, desirable sitters in my neighborhood were NOTHING as sweet and wholesome as the parents thought. As soon as the parents left, they went through the house helping themselves to cash, cigarettes, prescription drugs, alcohol, etc. It was really no secret at all around school. I mean they'd be having conversations with each other about how much water you can add to a bottle of vodka so it looks like the same amount and the parents don't notice. Where do the Smith parents store their cartons of cigarettes? Etc.
post #79 of 117
Wow.... interesting thread! Just my two cents -- I was paid $2-$3/hr. (in the 80s) and I took care of the kids, bathed them etc. (if needed), helped w/ homework, fed them, put them to bed. After they went to bed, I cleaned up our dishes, put their dirty clothes in the hampers, and general straighten up. However, I usually got the KIDS to help me pick stuff up BEFORE they went to bed -- just seems to make sense -- afterall, THEY helped make the mess.

Anyway, after bed I would either talk on the phone w/ friends, watch tv, or read. All of which I had permission to do from the parents.

All of that said, when we have babysitters my primary focus is that the kids are safe and happy. Bedtime is a big issue -- they don't nap so they have to go to bed early. If the dishes are in the sink and not washed, I don't get my panties in a wad. And, as far as I am concerned, after the kids are in bed, play on the computer, watch tv, talk on the phone, whatever you want to do (within REASON! )
post #80 of 117
Quote:
Originally Posted by Heffernhyphen View Post
I do, that's why I included the sentence saying, "Yes, there are millions of responsible teens out there for the hiring . . . "

I spoke of my experience. And the experience of the kids who ended up pulling me in the game of Russian Childcare Roulette their parents were playing. Nobody ever got hurt, I never got in trouble, and the parents got a cheap night out, so I guess it's a wash. It's just not a chance I will ever take with my DS.

Did some of the kids tattle on me? Yeah, I'm sure some did because some parents never called again. Did some parents know I was drunk when I showed up. Definitely. I remember one dad slipping me an extra 5 to get myself another six pack. He seemed to think it was cute. :
I am not sure how common this is, but we usually check on our sitter, especially if it is one of the first few times we have hired her/him. We randomly drop in without any warning although we always mention that we might stop back some time during the evening. It helps me with my peace of mind and I figure it weeds out any sitters that might be having thoughts of pulling anything while we are gone. One of our best sitters is a "troubled" teen. I know what she is up to outside of the time she sits for us. But she is a GREAT sitter and probably needs the chance to do something positive. AND she knows we will be dropping in on her.....usually more than once Of course we will in town and are never more than 2 minute drive to our house so that makes it easy.
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