Caring for Our Children – Babysitting Options
For many of us, the first time we earned money was babysitting – caring for someone’s children, often a family member, friend or neighbour. However, parents are a lot more reluctant these days to hire a teenager to babysit. If you are considering finding someone to look after your children while you have a well-earned night off or enjoy a date night, then here are some things to consider.
Teenage Babysitters Caring For Our Children - Things to Think About
- The Teenager – all teens are different; some are mature and responsible and fully capable of caring for our children while others are not ready for the responsibility this entails. It is essential that you know the person well so that you can establish that they are a responsible person to trust. Make sure that they are not going to be easily distracted by their devices or phone calls, so that they are entirely focused on the job at hand. Teenagers with experience are a better option than those who have not spent much time around kids in the past.
- The Child’s Needs – when caring for our children, the level of care required will depend on the age of the children and their behaviour. Younger children and babies will require more care than older children, while children with additional needs may require more individual attention. It is important that you carefully consider the level of care your children require and whether a teenager can offer it.
- What the Kids Think – your children may prefer a younger person caring for them; teenagers are fun and children often respond well to them, which may make the evening feel more like a treat.
- Cost – Teenagers caring for our children does represent good value; they are easier to pay than professional childminders, which can have a significant impact on the decision-making process!
- Emergencies – while none of us like to think of anything going wrong while someone else is caring for our children, it is important to have a contingency plan in place. If the babysitter needed help, is there a responsible adult nearby who can be there? If they had to take the child somewhere in an emergency, do they drive? Are you comfortable with them driving with your child?
Caring for our children is tricky enough without the added pressure of choosing other people to step in when we aren’t there! There are benefits and drawbacks to having a teenager babysit your child. In general, it is always best to opt for a qualified adult who has the experience necessary to deal with any circumstances that might arise, so the option to hire an au pair should always be considered. However, if you know a teenager whom you are sure you can trust, and you have a child with non-complex care needs and a good contingency plan in case things go wrong, then you could find yourself a fun, affordable childcare option and help out one of the teenagers in your life at the same time.