Anyone with Little Ones and Teens- What About a Babysitter

Updated on August 01, 2010
M.D. asks from Rockport, TX
6 answers

We recently moved far from home and do not know anyone. My husband and I really need a night out and I am on the search for a babysitter. I have a 4 and 9 year old and they loved their old babysitter- she was 18 when we moved away and started watching them at 15. Anyways, it has recently been decided that my step son will live with us and he is 14. What do I do about a babysitter? Obviously he is fine on his own, but he is NOT ready for a babysitting responsibility. Is it weird to have an older teen sitter with a teen boy here too? I know he would keep to himself but this is new to me. Surely there are other moms out there with this same situation. I appreciate any advice. Thanks moms!

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answers from Dallas on

I would feel uncomfortable bringing a teenage girl into babysit with a teenage boy in the house, and if I was the teenage girl's mother, I would feel more uncomfortable. I'm not saying your step son is bad, but do you want two teenagers alone with no adult supervision? I would look into getting an older babysitter for the time being. I have good success with It is $125 a year to join, but they do background checks and you can read reviews by other parents.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Tulsa on

I understand your situation... I had a 14 year old boy. Here's a suggestion... when you and your husband go out for an evening, why don't you have your son stay with a friend so it's not to awkward for a responsible young adult to be there. I don't think it would be the best situation to have an older girl there with your teen son. Check your friends, neighbors, Red Cross, or local church for referrals for babysitters.

Age and gender doesn't really matter, it's the maturity level.

Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Tulsa on

The Red Cross has a Babysitters Course that is for 12 year olds so I believe a 12 year old is allowed to babysit. Perhaps you can start with just trips to the store or something similar to help teach the step son to be responsible enough to watch the younger siblings. It may take a few months to see the results you want but with short trips you can at least start.

I also agree you need an adult to watch a teenager. Even if they are not responsible for watching him it will come to a point when they will tell him to do something, like turn down the TV so the little ones can sleep, to pick up a book, cd, or something he left in the way, and it will be an argument in the making because he'll say "You can't make me do anything, you're not my boss" and the teen babysitter will say "I am trying to take care of the little kids and you are making that hard"...etc.

In my opinion he is old enough to babysit and it's up to his parents to teach him how to do it and be responsible.



answers from Pittsburgh on

Our daughter is 12 and just received her Safe Sitter certification this summer. She learned a lot about keeping kids safe and what to do in an emergency. The biggest draw for her...the money she can earn. She wants her own cell phone and we always told her once she got a job and could pay for it and the monthly bill she could have one. We've started her off slowly...we have a 15 month old son who she's been 'babysitting' recently. I run out to do some errands, i.e. the bank, post office, grocery shopping, etc while she's home watching the baby. I make sure he's been fed and it's not time for his nap, in other words he won't be screaming the whole time I'm gone. This coming weekend we're going to a matinee or an early dinner. Close enough that if there's a problem we can make it home in a few minutes. My advice...ask your stepson if he'd like the chance to make some money. If he says 'yes' explain to him what you're looking for. He may be interested he may not. If he is, look into a safe sitter course he can take. It not only shows how to act in an emergency, but the kids also get a folder to take to any babysitting job they have as a reference. It contains everything they learned in class.

As far as having a teen sitter in the house with your stepson, I'm sorry I don't know what I'd do in that situation. I guess I'd have to make sure that the sitter was atleast a few years older...closer to 17 or 18 so he'd KNOW who was in charge.



answers from Saginaw on

My mother lied to my sister and I when I was a untrustworthy teen and said she hired a "housekeeper" to come after school, when in reality she was a babysitter that got extra money to clean. We never caught on until we were older!


answers from New York on

Hi M.,
Just wonder, why the 14 year old couldn't babysitter your other 2?
Do you need a babysitter for everyday or just every once in a while to go out run some errands or go with hubby to the movies?
Many girls start babysitting around that age, so wonder why he couldn't.
There are babysitting classes in YMCA and you have to be 12 and up if I remember well.
I think will be a nice way for him to learn and to make some money.

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