Babysitter Texting/facebooking While W/your Kids

Updated on June 20, 2012
S.X. asks from Libertyville, IL
13 answers

We have a great babysitter but as she enters adulthood she's making questionable decisions for herself, we still like her and don't want to lose her. However, we know that she's "always typing" in her phone and i see her facebook wall enteries while she's with my kids (its public)
Does anyone else have this problem? I know kids are testing 1,000 a month so i'm not sure its unrealistic...
but we are NOT the parents on their cell p hones at the park or texting instead of giving our attention to our kids.

What can I do next?

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answers from Savannah on

You're not paying her to socialize. I'd let her know that its totally okay to do once the kids are asleep but that while they are up and awake, you'd prefer that she played with them, helped clean up and got them supper/baths and in bed on time.

I was a nanny for a long time and when the kids went to sleep I picked up the rooms we had been in, wiped down the counters and read a book or magazine I had brought with me. I don't think its too much to ask as long as she's paid pretty well. I mean - I could make $50+ in one night, the least I could do was pick up some toys and keep the dishes from piling up.

Just my two cents!

2 moms found this helpful

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answers from Portland on

Hi S.-

I was a Nanny for many years. I would only give my cell number to family & friends etc as my work number, but I made it clear I would only answer when I was free. When my phone would ring, the kids would say, "you're phone is ringing", but I would never answer when I was doing something for them.

If you have hired her to care for your children, then you have the right to tell her she needs to watch your kids. Things happen so quickly with kids, whether falls or child predators trying to grab your kids, you need a watchful sitter, not a texting sitter.

If you are noticing poor choices while she is not caring for you kids, it's also important to note her personal decisions too. A friend had a babysitter who accidently dialed her at 2 am, the babysitter was out parting and drinking, based on the noises on the line, but she was scheduled to be with my friend's kids later that day!!!

It's an important lesson for your babysitter to learn, that she needs to be trustworthy with your kids. I was always honored when families chose me as their Nanny, because I understood the trust that was needed between us.

Good Luck!

R. Magby

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Austin on

I do not think it is too much to let her know that when she is sitting, you would prefer she be paying attention and interacting with your children while she is working for you.

At work this last year, I had to have a conversation with a employee about putting her phone away while on the clock. I told her if she had an emergency, her family was welcome to call our main number, but it is very unprofessional for her to be texting and accepting calls all day on her phone..

She was not pleased but I told her to take a look around. No one else who was working was doing this.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Pittsburgh on appropriate. I think you should say something. She does work for you.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Kansas City on

I would let her know that it's ok, only while the kids are in bed. When I used to babysit, I would bring a book to read when the kids went to bed.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Nashville on

Very few jobs will let you text and facebook while on the clock. Lots of people do it, but it is often a fire-able offense (after a couple of warnings/write ups). If she is old enough to be responsible for your children, she is old enough to be responsible for her own actions and not text while she is supposed to be working. I think it is perfectly reasonable to allow it during naptimes/quiet times like the other mom said, but not all the time constantly.

I would set some new rules, she probably hasn't really thought about it and has never had it laid it for her. I would not mention that you see her posts on her public facebook page because she will probably think to mark it private and you won't be able to checkup.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

My sitter did this a little bit, but it was most often when my son was napping, or if he requested to watch a video and she was watching him while he was watching it, or while he was eating lunch. Basically when it was OK to be multitasking (I was working at home while she was watching him so I could "catch" her at it). It never got out of hand. I think it's perfectly reasonable to establish rules like this for her.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

Yes, this is normal. But, is it acceptable? Absolutely not! I would kindly let her know that you would strongly prefer that she not use her cell phone at all while she's with your kids. This includes texting. I always make it clear to my teenage babysitters what the expectations are. The are your "employee" for the night and should respect your wishes.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Charlotte on


1 mom found this helpful


answers from Atlanta on

We are currently having the same problem. Our babysitter is our niece and she is constantly on her phone texting. She stays all week with us in the summer. She stays up late on the computer and texting and I am pretty sure one day she was asleep on the couch while my toddler was roaming around doing whatever. I work from home and although I am here, concentrating on my job is important and we really need the sitter to pay attention to the child. I am super frustrated with the situation. We pay her good money to watch our child and sometimes my job is still not getting done because of the need for me to still watch my child. She is off this week on vacation and I was looking for ideas of how to talk to her. Maybe we should just tell her staight out what we expect of her and the phone will need to be put away while I am working and she is watching the child. Also, we are considering turning our internet off at 10 p.m. because she asks to use my computer and stays up late on it. We need her getting enough sleep too. Are we being too ambitious with our expectations?



answers from Redding on

You just need to establish some boundaries with her and let her know you don't want her spending her time texting, etc while watching the kids.
I personally HATE the texting craze!
I don't use it at all. I don't let my son do it.
If you notice at all, (not saying you don't), but young girls walk around with their phones or blackberries or whatever they're called in their hands wherever they go. You see them texting in restaurants, at the movie theatre, at weddings! Standing in line at the grocery store and they're texting. You'd think they're the head of Homeland Security or something and must be in contact with what's going on with everyone they know every minute of the day.
Anyway, that's all their business and it doesn't make them bad people, but if you don't want her doing any of that while she watches your kids, you just have to come out and tell her.
She sounds like a great girl and she probably doesn't think a thing of it because for whatever reason, kids don't. It's such a part of what they do they don't even think it's not appropriate in some situations.
Does she want to text and be on Facebook or does she want to have a job being responsible for your kids?
If she's texting after getting the kids to bed and they're asleep until you get home or something, that's not so bad. But put them at the table to eat and then sit on the couch and text? I wouldn't like that scenario.
Part of watching kids is interacting with them and it sounds like she's old enough to understand that.
I would just have a talk with her about it.



answers from San Francisco on

I just dropped my daughter off for a babysitting job and I told her NO TEXTING while she was there.



answers from Chicago on

I'm a sitter and I only text and go on-line while the kids are napping. I leave my email open because that's how their parents communicate with me during the day. I do send a text or 2 while I'm sitting there waiting for them to eat lunch but I'm not writing very long messages or doing it very often. I would say if your sitter is neglecting her job and it's something that you are not comfortable or happy with then you should ask her to limit her calls/texts to only emergency and I would lock your computer. I get "unrealistic" suggestions from parents all the time but asking someone you're paying to keep your kids safe to do their job is not an unrealistic suggestion at all. Trust yourself or you'll end up driving yourself crazy.

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