Is Your Teen Ready to Babysit?

Emily is a 13-year-old from Corona, CA. She enjoys reading, writing, and swimming and her favorite subject is history because it inspires her to learn about other cultures.

Babysitting, it is something most teen girls contemplate doing to bring in extra cash. There are many things to consider before offering our services and to get parents to allow us to. This is mostly related to the maturity level of your teen.  Just as parents are hesitant to hire, parents of teens need to make sure they are capable of taking care of young children. After all, some of the blame will fall upon you for letting your minor do it in the first place when you are aware of their attitude problems, if any.  If you can honestly say your daughter is responsible and ready then some of this article will not apply. It really is not our fault for being the way we are, it is perfectly natural because we are still growing up ourselves.

As I mentioned before, getting extra cash is a major motivation when deciding to become a babysitter. Money can be hard to come by in this tough economy so every little bit counts. Or, they have siblings that they are already have to babysit and want to expand outside their immediate family. Some teens also simply enjoy leading young children and are hoping to make a career in the child development industry. Babysitting is a great start to that because it obviously gives a small amount of work experience. Whatever the reason for wanting to it is huge task to take on and takes some deliberating beforehand.

Personally, I started out babysitting for my three female cousins who are ages two, four, and six. My Aunt and Uncle were going to be doing a church group once a week for a few months and needed someone to watch them. I was left with the kids for four to five hours at a time which I thought would be a piece of cake – I was wrong. I had no experience with kids that young, let alone three at one time. There was never a break and since I am only thirteen the oldest felt I was too young to be in charge, naturally her sisters followed her lead because she was the leader.

In those months I learned a lot both about childcare and myself. Everything seemed so easy, but when I was tired after a long day at school and having to listen to them whine really made me appreciate my parents so much more for what they have had to go through and all parents for that matter. My cousins thought I was an okay babysitter; I was fun and let them get away with things. However, I learned that I am simply not cut out to be a babysitter yet it did not upset me because I still have a lot of growing up to do still.  It did not come as naturally as it should have and probably will when I am older.

If you notice your teen does not seem particularly ready to babysit then I suggest telling them that carefully because it can be interpreted as you not trusting them or that you see them as young children themselves. Try bringing up my story and how I thought it would be so easy but ended up being overwhelmed. If they insist then negotiate an agreement of how many kids and the ages that they will be able to watch; for example, only two kids that are at least seven years old for three hours at a time. Maybe even something less that to start with and give them more freedom if all goes well. Most importantly, reassure them that it is not a matter of trust, just you watching out for them.


Tags: , , , ,

One Response to “Is Your Teen Ready to Babysit?”

  1. Gab Rose
    October 27, 2011 at 7:07 pm #

    The same thing happened to me, and I’m 15. The girls I babysit were practically challenging me to send them to time-outs. I desperately just wanted to be able to give them a good swat on the bottom, but I couldn’t. After about a year of babysitting, and a class, I’m almost a pro now, and they’re as used to me as I am to them. :D

Leave a Reply