Teenage Babysitter Questions? - Mothering Forums

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Old 03-26-2004, 08:49 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Since we've moved we're looking to hire another teenage babysitter for ocassional evenings or/and weekends out. I need to be refreshed on what to ask them again. Here on base they have to take a babysitting class which included CPR and first aid. Then teh center will register them and you can get a list of who on nase took teh class. SO I haave the list now it's interviewing time, what am I looking for again? WHat do I need to know?I know referances. ALso How old do you think tehy need to be to handle three kids for a few hours?

side note: I know some mamas here do NOT aprove but DH and I need our together time so any helpful advice is greatly apreciated.
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Old 03-26-2004, 09:37 PM
 
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Okay I would ask if they know how to cloth diaper - if you do that is. Ask for references so you can check that... How long have they been babysitting, what are their favorite ages, give them scenarios and ask how they would handle... I don't know I guess I'm having a brain fart, I'm not thinking of much... I guess I would also just ask questions about what they like to do just to get to know them better and get a feel for them.
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Old 03-26-2004, 11:27 PM
 
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When I babysat (a long time ago....) I remember that some moms did a "trial" run with me. They would ask me to come over while they were busy in teh yard, or with a project, or something, and frequently peep in and check in. I think this is a good way to see how the babysitter interacts with the kids and how comfortable the kids are with the sitter.

You can eavesdrop a little bit by leaving a window open or being in a nearby room to get an idea of how they handle things.
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Old 03-27-2004, 06:48 AM
 
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Have you considered hiring a student who's studying Early Childhood Education/Nannying, especially with 3 kids.
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Old 03-27-2004, 11:02 PM
 
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Sounds like you have some great ideas already -- especially the trial run. I just wanted to second that I really like the whole "teenage" thing, because I've found that they are more likely to play with & entertain instead of *just* making sure they're safe, kwim?

Anywho...good luck with the interviews -- don't be afraid to go on instincts if you (or your dc) just "like" one more than the others.
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Old 03-28-2004, 02:07 AM
 
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i baby sat from 13 on and was a "pro nanny" before i got married.....i would say a definate YES to the trial run with you nearby to peak etc
also YOU ARE THE MOMMA, and those are YOUR KIDS, so let your instincts stay tuned in....just like how you pick your doctor or whatever, this is how to pick a care giver, do you trust them? is the big question...and check up on the refrences....ask WHY they liked this teen as a sitter etc.
i think that i was an excellent sitter and even ended up majoring in childhood eduction with a focus on infant develpoment.....that being said....
i personaly will NEVER trust my young child(ren) with a sitter.
as in anyone who isn't a mom themselves (one thta i know REALLY well) or part of my family etc. with my kid who is under the age of five or maybe even older.....
but i understnad you got to do what you feel is best...
is there anyone on the base that is also a mom that you could trade babysiting with?
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Old 03-28-2004, 09:10 PM
 
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I also think that a few trial runs would be great. Have the babysitter come over and just ask him/her to play with your kids while you do laundry, work in the yard, hey if you just moved- emptying boxes. You'll be able to peek in and see exactly how she interacts with your kids and see how your kids react to her. Then you can do it for a longer time, a trip to the grocery store perhaps.

I would ask for references, who has she babysat for in the past and their number so that you can chat with them yourself. has she taken a cpr class? A lot of hospitals offer babysitting type of safety classes for teenagers.

Good luck!

Heather , momma to ' Parker- 10, Carlee- 7 and our baby Genevieve Faith - 8-27-10

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Old 03-29-2004, 05:26 AM
 
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Depending on how much time you want to invest, you might want to consider hiring a teen as a mother's helper for a regular time slot on the weekend for a month or two. That way you can teach her how to cloth diaper if you do, you can communicate with her and show by example how you want her to respond, and get to know her. Then after you've trained her in, you will probably feel very comfortable leaving the kids and her alone together.

See, here's the thing. I personally would much rather find the girl with the right heart and attitude, and then teach her the details and maybe even split the cost of a CPR/Red Cross Babysitter's Class with her (or even pay for it outright) rather than try and track down the one who has everything (but yet may not be the right fit or be willing to accomodate your wishes).

I also think it's too bad that so many people are moving away from hiring young folks, and moving towards college age or older. For me, as a teen, it was a wonderful experience nurturing little ones. And an ECE/FCD degree years later didn't teach me any different. If anything, I was much more willing to accept and honor parental wishes as a teen, instead of thinking I knew so much more than the parents did as a professional and forming my own ideas and becoming less accomodating to an individual family need.
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Old 03-29-2004, 10:54 AM
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It is my understanding that anyone under 16 years of age cannot be held legally responsible for anything that happens while children are in their care. Does anyone know if this is false?

I don't think that teenagers should be 'babysitting' (don't care for that word) for three young children. that is frightening to me.
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Old 03-29-2004, 01:18 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by playdoh
It is my understanding that anyone under 16 years of age cannot be held legally responsible for anything that happens while children are in their care. Does anyone know if this is false?

I don't think that teenagers should be 'babysitting' (don't care for that word) for three young children. that is frightening to me.
It varies from state to state, and the degree of 'responsibility' required. A 14 year old may be held responsible for some things but not others in terms of childcare.

I babysat for other people from the age of 10. (I know that many of you are horrified right now, but I was not your average 10 year old except for my hieght). In Gavin de Becker's "Protecting the Gift" there is a list of questions to ask a babysitter/child care provider (of any age!) during an interview; perhaps someone who has the book could post them? I also have to totally agree with the trial run idea -- it's an absolute necessity, especially with three kids!

Rynna, Mama to Bean (8), Boobah (6), Bella (4) and Bear (2)
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Old 03-29-2004, 04:57 PM - Thread Starter
 
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We had 2 great girls before DH left for Iraq and the kids really liked them. I think ds had a crush on one. The wanted to babysit together and agreed to split the money. I wish I could track them down

As far as teenagers not babysitting, well to each their own. There are responsible teenagers out there. I was one of them, I'm glad someone gave me a chance as well as a few others here. When a teenager has something to do it also helps them stay out of trouble.

Your right tigerchild, maybe I should not limit myself to this list. I think I will put up a few flyers also. There's one girl on the list who's 17 she was recomnded by one of the ladies at CYS.

Definitly doing a trail run.

Another question. How much to pay for three kids? Some of the girls I called had their own prices, some were too low and some were waaay too high. How much for three kids per hour?
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Old 03-30-2004, 12:20 AM
 
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Oohhh.. how much... that soo depends on where you are -- the COL in your area, kwim? When I babysat as a teen -- 12-13 years ago my minimum was $1/child or 2.50/hour -- whichever was more. Now if I were to pay a teen to babysit my ds I would pay around $5-$6/hour -- but I would probably pay that with 2 children as well. We live in a pretty solidly middle class area.
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Old 03-30-2004, 02:02 AM
 
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We have a wonderful teenage (17 or 18) girl who has watched Abigail for us once when my parents were not able to. I would use her again in a heart beat if the need arose. We pay her $10 an hour to watch Abby. She normally charges 8 or 9 and hour, and we offered to pay her 10. As we explained, we are leaving her with our most valuable posession, and we want it to be a job she takes very seriously. We gladly will pay her more than she thinks she is worth so she understands the importance of the job she is doing.

I have known her family through church for almost 9 years, she has been sitting since she was in Jr High. She is loving, and enjoys playing with Abigail. We trust her 100% and that is the only reason we feel comfotable leaving Abigail in her care.

We had her come 45 minutes before we needed to leave, and allowed Abigail and her to play while we were still home. It also allowed me to show her around, go over the bedtime routine, and give other instrusctions.

I have a folder by the kitchen phone that has CPR instructions, basic first aid info, heymlich remover info, emergency numbers, our address, Abigails importnant info, where stuff is located in the house, friends and families phone numbers etc etc etc.

We also told her she could call us for any reason at any time, even if it was just for a silly question.

Like I said, I would be happy to use her again if my parents were unavailable. When she goes away to college next year I will be asking around at church to find another sitter to have available in case the need arises, and I will do the "mothers helper" bit untill I feel confident in leaving them alone.

I babysat as a teeth, from the age of 10 till I was teaching and married. I also feel there are many responsible and loving teenagers who make wonderful sitters, you just have to find the perfect one for your family!
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Old 03-30-2004, 04:23 PM
 
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as my parents lived next door since I didn't drive

will these sitters that you will be using a) have a drivers license?
or b) have someone that can and will drive them if an emergency arises ( room for car seats etc)
make sure that you have a notarized paper that Junie B jones may obtain medical care for Rocky Horror on the date of between hours of 2-9 and to call you at the contact number immediately

This saves time should it be needed. not a scare tactic -just an old hand sitter who now has her own . My 17 yr old has permission when he sits with two contact numbers if possible.

Not a do a dry trial run do one or two dry emergency runs. THat way should it goddess forbid come up there is much less panic and everyone knows where things are-kits numbers etc
even if the emergency is just a cut on the finger.
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Old 04-01-2004, 03:10 PM
 
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During the interview, ask her to give a reference that is not on her list. Call that reference right after she leaves, before she has time to call herself.

Ask how she feels about spanking. If she says that she supports it but won't spank your kids, don't go with her. People who believe in spanking don't usually reserve it for only certain kids.

If your kids are young enough to be carried around in a sling, make sure she understands that is what she is to do. Does she understand the dangers of CIO, and that toddlers and preschoolers should also not be left to CIO?

After hiring someone, one day arrive home early and unanounced.
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Old 04-01-2004, 11:10 PM
 
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A sitter should never provide transportation if there is a medical emergency unless there is another adult that can sit with the sick/injured child. If care is needed so urgently that it can't wait for mom and dad the sitter should call 911. This was learned in the California Childcare Provider's course for licensed providers.


-Heather

Heather married to my highschool sweetheart 6/7/02 :cop: Mother to Dani age 14 and Timmy age 10 Nadia 1/29 :
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Old 04-01-2004, 11:14 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by Greaseball
Ask how she feels about spanking. If she says that she supports it but won't spank your kids, don't go with her. People who believe in spanking don't usually reserve it for only certain kids.
I have to disagree with this (respectfully ). Up until about a year ago, I had no problem with spanking. I was and suffered no harmful after-effects, but I found it ineffective in truly disciplining. I've learned about many better ways here.

That said, I would have NEVER EVER EVER thought to use any sort of corporal punishment on a child that wasn't my own. I babysat a lot growing up & it never occured to me it would be an option. My job was to entertain & keep the children safe. They rarely were "bad" as they were too busy having fun. If they were naughty, a reminder that their parents would get a full report was usually enough to stop the behaviour. After all, it isn't the job of the babysitter to teach life lessons, etc -- just to entertain the kids so they don't miss the parent(s) for a few hours, kwim?

I don't think you would have trouble with teens attempting to spank your kids, unless they are permitted to punish their younger siblings at home -- then there might be some problem with a blending of the duties of parent/sibling/temporary caregiver, etc. that would need to be firmly and bluntly addressed.
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Old 04-01-2004, 11:23 PM
 
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Maybe it wouldn't be an issue, then.

When I was a teen babysitter a lot of the parents told me "Don't be afraid to spank!" Not only did I never see a reason to, I wouldn't even if they were "bad"!

I wonder if some parents won't hire a non-spanker?

Also, what about smoking? Along the lines of what I thought some might say about spanking, I've seen the same thing be true about smoking - someone who says "I smoke, but I won't smoke when I'm at work" will often smoke at work. And I would not be satisfied with someone who would "only smoke outside" - I don't want my kids left alone so I can pay someone to smoke. Besides, some kids are irritated by the smell of smoke on someone.
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Old 04-02-2004, 01:24 PM
 
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I have three wonderful babysitters for my DS and possibly a 4th. I need to call him sometime. With all 4 not only have I interviewed them but I have talke with their parents as well. My 16 year old Gem as I like to call her lives in my neighborhood, so she can walk over when she comes to babysit. Funny thing is her parents are so overprotective that they drive her over and pick her up in the evening when she is done. She has great parents. I have found that you can learn alot about the teen by talking to his/her parent. I would also talk to other parents that the teen has sat for and see what they have to say about him/her. My Gem took one look at the cloth diapers and said "Those are cool! No problem!" I usually leave stuffed Happy Heinys out so they are quick and easy for my Gem. I try to pay what the minimum wage is since all 3 girls that sit for me don't have a part time job. One of the girls is hard to get ahold of since she is popular with several of the parents at our church.

Loving Mom to DS (7) and DS (5).
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