Just curious - was this odd? Babysitter question - Page 4 - Mothering Forums

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#91 of 107 Old 03-05-2009, 11:39 AM
 
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Originally Posted by MusicianDad View Post
Uh, 16 doesn't mean stuck in ones own little world. If a 16 yo is going to say "byebye" and not return because I ask her to respect what I perceeve as private space then I probably don't want her in my house alone with only my kids anyway.
i wasn't trying to be rude, and i understand what you mean. it's just that when i was 16 i had homework, lots of it at times and if i brought it over i would have asked i'm sure. but i'm sure she was just being innocent and didn't think about how personal a computer can be. i'm just saying *if* someone said it to me, after the fact, i would be a little bummed and i probably wouldn't return. for me- i would think someone was overreacting and wouldn't want to work for someone who wouldn't allow me to do my homework or simply check my facebook when the kid (kids) were asleep.

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#92 of 107 Old 03-05-2009, 11:48 AM
 
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Sure people should respect other people's property. Using a computer doesn't destroy property, and many people who have responded on this thread (myself included) don't seem to think it violates personal boudaries. If someone is entitled to be in your house and you trust them with your kids, I think it's a bit stingy to think that they would need to ask for every little think: May I sit on the couch? May I use five squares of TP when I pee later? What about if I pee a second time - can I use 5 more? May I have a PBJ sandwich? And a glass of water too? Is it okay if look at the magazine on the coffee table? Lord, I'd go bananas if someone didn't feel comfortable enough in my home to help themselves to most things - computer included.
exactly. that's what i am meaning. it would be as if they trusted me with their children, but not with their computer? that's why i wouldn't return.

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#93 of 107 Old 03-05-2009, 12:08 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Ironica View Post
Sure, me too... if they're *there*.

If I'm at my mom's house for dinner, and I want to look something up, I'll say, "Mind if I use your computer to check...?" And she'll say "sure." Of course, I know her computer inside and out... but it's polite to ask.

However, if I'm there and she's NOT (like she's out of town and asked me to fetch something or drop something off), and I want to look something up on the computer, I don't stop and think, "Gosh, I'd like to check the traffic, but I can't, because she's not here to ask." I just do it.
That's because you have an understanding with your mom that it's okay to use her computer. The babysitter did not have that understanding (or permission) from the OP.
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#94 of 107 Old 03-05-2009, 12:18 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Ironica View Post
Sure, me too... if they're *there*.

If I'm at my mom's house for dinner, and I want to look something up, I'll say, "Mind if I use your computer to check...?" And she'll say "sure." Of course, I know her computer inside and out... but it's polite to ask.

However, if I'm there and she's NOT (like she's out of town and asked me to fetch something or drop something off), and I want to look something up on the computer, I don't stop and think, "Gosh, I'd like to check the traffic, but I can't, because she's not here to ask." I just do it.
I guess we're different there...I would just wait until I got home and go on my own computer unless she told me before she left that it was ok to go on it.
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#95 of 107 Old 03-05-2009, 12:53 PM - Thread Starter
 
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exactly. that's what i am meaning. it would be as if they trusted me with their children, but not with their computer? that's why i wouldn't return.
It's not that I don't trust someone with my computer. It's the personal data on the computer and the personal information on the computer desk that is, well, personal, and I had no intention of anyone seeing those things.

I am not used to homework being done on a computer. I didn't even have a computer in college. It did not even enter my mind to offer it to her for homework.

As I mentioned, I would simply not make myself at home in a friend's home office without asking first.
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#96 of 107 Old 03-05-2009, 01:06 PM
 
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Originally Posted by ~Purity♥Lake~ View Post
Oh, we had to ask permission to use anything that my parents considered their own, including the commodore 64 when I needed to write a report for school. We weren't allowed to even go in their bedroom. It was an off limits area. We also needed permission to use the home phone. I know my parents are weird, but I'm sure they're not the only weirdos out there.
Well we didn't have computers until I was an adult so this wasn't an issue. And yes, I do think it is weird to have to ask permission to use the phone and not be allowed in your parents bedroom at all.
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#97 of 107 Old 03-05-2009, 02:03 PM
 
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ok. yeah i see what you mean. like, bills lying around the desk and such? i completely understand that. i wouldn't want anyone seeing my paperwork and things either. for some reason i was thinking personal stuff ON the computer, i'm sure you have personal things on there no doubt, but i certainly wouldn't go looking for them online, that's what i was meaning by the trust. if i used someones computer i would be using it quickly for my homework or a quick myspace/mothering/facebook type log in and then get right off.

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#98 of 107 Old 03-05-2009, 05:06 PM
 
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I don't think I would go into a bedroom that wasn't a child's room while babysitting, but that's just me I guess.
I would go into a guest room, but not the parents' own bedroom.

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Another time I was surprised to find out that she put in a dvd for my son. I had never offered that as an option and keep the tv cabinet closed and always said "here are the remotes if you need them after ds goes to sleep".
I wouldn't be suprised unless you had specifically asked her not to. Since popping in a movie is a pretty normal babysitting thing to do, it makes sense that she did that.

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#99 of 107 Old 03-05-2009, 09:30 PM
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My sense:
The computer was on (if sleeping), in a guest room which hadn't been closed off to her.

Access can be EASILY password protected, with separate accounts for each user if so desired, and doing so isn't generally considered a sign that you're trying to hide something or any sort of scurrilous activity. People have different preferences for how apps run, and the way you keep everyone happy is to give each her own user account, and pw-protect them so the settings for YOUR account don't get messed up when someone else uses the machine.

This would definitely not be a big deal to me. If I were sitting for someone, I'd probably do the same thing. It would absolutely not occur to me not to touch the 'puter, just because, as someone said above, that would be like "don't touch the toaster!". If there were no guest account and all the other profiles were PW protected, no harm no foul, see what's on TV maybe, or read, or knit, or do the dishes, or whatever.
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#100 of 107 Old 03-05-2009, 09:39 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Hoopin' Mama View Post
It's not that I don't trust someone with my computer. It's the personal data on the computer and the personal information on the computer desk that is, well, personal, and I had no intention of anyone seeing those things.
Ah. So, you had personal paperwork and such out in a place that you hadn't closed off, and then it bothered you that someone was in that room.

What if she'd been working at the desk, and *not* using the computer? Would you have felt exactly the same, do you think?

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Originally Posted by Hoopin' Mama View Post
As I mentioned, I would simply not make myself at home in a friend's home office without asking first.
Do her parents have a home office, or is the computer in a common living space? She may not be familiar with the concept of a home office, and not have the assumption of boundaries that you do.

If the answer to the first question above was "yes, I'd feel the same if she was just at the desk and hadn't touched the computer," then the issue is the physical space, and you need to make sure that any areas you don't want the babysitter in are closed off, or that any papers you don't want the babysitter to see are put away. If you opt to close off the area, you should say something, like, "I'm in the middle of a project here, so I closed the door to keep anything from being disturbed." That makes it clear that the door is a boundary she's not supposed to cross, without implying that you suspect she'd snoop or whatever.
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#101 of 107 Old 03-05-2009, 11:11 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by Ironica View Post
Ah. So, you had personal paperwork and such out in a place that you hadn't closed off, and then it bothered you that someone was in that room.

What if she'd been working at the desk, and *not* using the computer? Would you have felt exactly the same, do you think?
.

yeah, it's the space, also. Handwritten letters, medical records, bills, etc. I am having a medical procedure coming up, so lots of paperwork.

I don't ever think to close doors. We have been burglarized twice and I like to be able to have doors open in rooms that have windows in them. So both the dog and myself can hear anything. Sounds paranoid, I know, but that's what two burglaries will do to you.

Her family computer is in an open space off the kitchen.

I guess we still see things differently though. I really wouldn't go into any of my friends' home office without mentioning the need to do so first. I have two very good friends that I have babysat for in the past year that have office/guest rooms. I've been to there house a ton of times but never in those rooms, so it wouldn't seem like an communal area to me.

It's not bothering me at all, I have continued on this thread b/c I think the different POV's are interesting.
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#102 of 107 Old 03-05-2009, 11:11 PM
 
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I guess I don't have that enabled.
It was the default setting when we installed Firefox. I like it, because ds2 loves to switch off the PC unexpectedly as a joke.

There's obviously a wide variety of view on this issue. When I babysat (something I did only rarely), the only thing I ever touched without explicit permission was the telephone. It would never have occurred to me to touch anything else.

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#103 of 107 Old 03-05-2009, 11:18 PM
 
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I feel it would be inhospitable not to share ones' family computer-- when the sitter is over I want her to feel at home, and that means an open pantry, too. A laptop is different, because we keep it put away when not in use. But the family computer which is set up in the shared area of the house is definitely available. In fact I have encouraged her to use it for homework when she is here. BTW, as far as the generational thing goes, I am 25.

If I were babysitting, I would consider a turned-on computer in a public area of the house up for general use, whereas a turned-off computer or a computer in a bedroom would be off-limits unless otherwise specified.

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#104 of 107 Old 03-06-2009, 01:25 AM - Thread Starter
 
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n/m
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#105 of 107 Old 03-07-2009, 12:11 AM
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It wouldn't bother me if you left the door open. If she had to open a closed door to get to it, then I would find that weird.

The only time I was bothered by computer use in a babysitter is when she JUST used the computer and DIDN'T feed my dd!

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#106 of 107 Old 03-07-2009, 01:03 PM
 
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I used to do homework all the time when the kids went to sleep when I was babysitting, so the fact that she was doing her homework seems pretty normal to me. But I do understand that you were uncomfortable with her seeing all your personal mail, etc.

I think at 16 though, I would have been so mortified that I had done something that had offended the people I babysat for that I probably would have avoided babysitting for them in the future. So, if it was me, I would simply put my stuff up before the babysitter got there, so she could do her homework and you could feel comfortable with her there.

 
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#107 of 107 Old 03-07-2009, 03:00 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Laggie View Post
I think that, to her generation, it's no different than watching your TV. At our house, you can only get into the "guest" account without a password - I think that's pretty typical for most people, and she may have been surprised that your computer isn't set up that way... Meaning, most people's personal data, bookmarks etc. aren't easily accessible ime.

If it was in the master bedroom, I might find it weird. But a guest room/office... unless she was told to stay out, wouldn't seem like an off-limits area to me.
i agree with all of this.

next time just clear your cookies beforehand like you said and don't worry about it. i think bringing it up would just be embarrassing for everyone.

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