By in Parenting

Do you feel safe leaving your kids with a teen babysitter?

When I was a teenager it was pretty much normal for all of us girls (and one or two of the boys) to babysit. We would take care of a neighbour's kids for a few hours so they could go out to dinner or get the groceries, and a few of us would watch children at lunch or after school, while the parents were away at work. Pretty much everyone used young girls as babysitters – sometimes girls as young as 12. I even knew a few girls who would be asked to stay overnight and to watch kids for days at a time, while parents were out of town. Today I cringe at the thought of leaving my own little ones with a neighbourhood teen for more than a few hours! In fact, my kids have never been left alone with a teenager other than a sibling. They were always watched by a family member or a close adult friend. What about you, do you feel safe leaving your kids with a teen babysitter? | | | |

I have always used adolescent babysitters, and without any trouble.

1 votes / 8% 1 votes / 8 %

I have never used a teenage babysitter, but would be fine doing so.

2 votes / 16% 2 votes / 16 %

I would only leave my kids with an adult.

1 votes / 8% 1 votes / 8 %

I have special needs kids who can only be left with certain individuals.

1 votes / 8% 1 votes / 8 %

I have no kids, or my kids are grown up.

3 votes / 25% 3 votes / 25 %

Other please explain

4 votes / 33% 4 votes / 33 %
This poll has received 12 vote(s) so far.

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DanieGirl8587 wrote on July 2, 2015, 8:37 PM

My son is only 1 and no I would not leave him with a teenage babysitter. I only leave him with family and/or a very close friend who has kids of her own who is NOT a teenager.

Ruby3881 wrote on July 3, 2015, 7:41 AM

I sometimes wonder how moms did it in the past! There are so few babysitting jobs now because most parents just get a friend or family member to take care of the kids. And yet I can remember being left alone with a preschooler and a newborn at about age 14 or 15!

DanieGirl8587 wrote on July 3, 2015, 8:22 AM

I babysat my neighbor's 4 kids when I was 16 for a few hours when they went to dinner. Ages 5,4,2 and a baby. It wasn't too bad and the pay was good for me only being 16. Maybe when he is a little older and the teenager has recommendations. I just read about so many bebies getting hurt with these so called babysitters.

Last Edited: July 3, 2015, 8:23 AM

WordChazer wrote on July 3, 2015, 5:19 PM

I ended up with a seriously big crush on my babysitter. He was 16 when I met him, I was 10. We were friends for many years and I only lost touch with him when I finally moved out to my own place. He eventually came out as gay some years later but that didn't stop him being tall, dark and handsome!

MelissaE wrote on July 3, 2015, 8:11 PM

I had no qualms about leaving my kids with teens. Now, my kids are the babysitters and dogsitters.

celticeagle wrote on July 4, 2015, 1:09 PM

This makes me laugh because I was a teen babysitter. Oh, the stuff I didn't know. I had no brothers or sisters. It is funny to look back on it now. I never had a problem. Common sense I guess.

Kasman wrote on July 4, 2015, 3:16 PM

For short periods of a few hours I wouldn't have a problem with it but it depends on the age of the child being looked after. Really young kids shouldn't be left with younger teens.

Shellyann36 wrote on July 4, 2015, 6:44 PM

I have six boys. My oldest three are from my first marriage. My 24 year old had gastric reflux when he was young. We were a military family and I arranged for a teen sitter through the post babysitting program. I will never allow a teenager to babysit for my kids again. I come home from a class and David was covered in spit up and so was his playpen. I just paid her and let her leave without even saying anything. I was way too upset at the time. Out of my three younger kids now, 2 have asthma and one has asthma and sometimes seizures. I would not trust another teen to look after my kids for the world.

Ruby3881 wrote on July 5, 2015, 1:09 PM

I only ever had one male babysitter and he was the older brother of a boy in my class. He was a really good (but firm!) babysitter, but I don't think I ever would have thought of him romantically....

Ruby3881 wrote on July 5, 2015, 1:23 PM

Unfortunately, a lot of the really bad incidents of children being harmed seem to involve adults hired to watch kids all day while the parents are working. I'd say that when that's concerned, it's good to go through a reputable agency or ask around for recommendations from friends. Ask for references, and be sure to spend time with the nanny while she cares for the children, or to come home at odd moments unexpectedly, to see if all is well.

When it comes to teens, many babysit because they really love kids. That comes out when they meet your children. The ones to watch out for are the ones that have friends or boyfriends over, or that leave the kids to their own devices so they can watch TV, play games, or text...

Ruby3881 wrote on July 5, 2015, 1:49 PM

I think most times it's just a matter of someone being in the home, just in case. I never ran into any emergencies, and in a lot of cases the kids had already been fed and/or put to bed before I arrived. So I was mainly there to keep the kids company or to check in on them if they woke from a nightmare, or what have you.

CoralLevang wrote on July 5, 2015, 3:02 PM

My child is grown now. I would likely be more discerning today, and ask different questions before making that decision.

CoralLevang wrote on July 5, 2015, 3:10 PM

I was the eldest of five kids, and was made to babysit. When I had others ask me to sit, it was for money. From the time I was 12 to 16, I babysat for 50 cents an hour, regardless of number of kids. At 17, I raised my prices to $.75 an hour/$1.00 after midnight, again whether 1 or more children. Had one family who hired me over a weekend, twice. Two kids. Friday night, all day Saturday, return Sunday at noon, about 42 hours. I got paid $25 plus all my food.

When I became an adult, I thought I was supposed to have kids, and if I did not, was flawed. I had one. I did not have the courage to do things the way I thought would be better.

GemOfAGirl wrote on July 6, 2015, 4:43 PM

I have no children, but, like you, I babysat a lot when I was in my teens, and continued to do so well into my twenties (and if you count looking after nephews and nieces, then you could say that I continued into my thirties, but by the time I reached 30, the only kids I was watching were my sister's kids. And because I wasn't being paid to do it, I'm not sure you'd even call it babysitting. I called it, "taking the kids off of my sisters hands for adventures and to give my sister or my brother-in-law a little bit of a break", lol.)

WordChazer wrote on July 6, 2015, 5:45 PM

I envy whoever he's with at the moment, for sure, because he knew how to relate to people. To him, I was my own person, not my father's daughter or the school trouble. I was the first person who accepted me for who I was, rather than trying to make me into something or someone else.