Help! My Babysitter Got Grounded!

Updated on October 06, 2009
S.C. asks from Bowling Green, OH
10 answers

My husband's birthday is next weekend. I had planned on taking him out to a local bar and meeting up with lots of family and friends. I lined up a sitter (my little cousin) over two weeks ago. Now her mom tells me that she can't babysit because she got grounded. I'm upset because I don't really have another sitter that will stay the night at my house. I'm not quite ready to leave my two month old over night just yet, but we plan on being out late. My cousin (the adult) KNOWS that her daughter is my only sitter. I feel like since the commitment was made over two weeks ago, that it should be honored. Obviously, her mother feels different. What do you think? Does the prior commitment trump the grounding? Mostly I'm just curious as to what you all think. I know that she's the teens parent, and what she says goes! I can remember being grounded and still having to babysit. So, just curious :)

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So What Happened?

Thanks for your opinions. I should have mentioned that the babysitter is 14 and she watches my girls all the time and has since my oldest dd was a baby. She's more than capable of watching both girls all night long. Also, the baby sleeps through the night, so she wouldn't be waking up all night long. I found out the story behind the grounding, and it wasn't because Mom didn't think she could handle the responsibility.

More Answers



answers from Cleveland on

check out its a great place to build a sitter list for emergencies!



answers from Cleveland on

If you are just looking for an opinion, I don't think grouding should take away babysitting. It isn't as if she is going to have a party at your house, she will be working. If her monther really wanted to punish her, she would make her babysit for no pay.

Having said that, I don't know of any way for you to approach her on the subject. Is the parent invited out to the bar with you? If you have no other choice but to cancel the evening you could tell her that and see if she changes her mind.




answers from Terre Haute on

The ability to work and earn money is a privledge and something that most teens look forward to. If her behavior requires punishment her mother is well within her rights to tell you and her that she cannot do it. What you can do is ask your cousin if there is any way that the daughter can watch the children in her home rather than yours due to the fact that you do not have time to find another sitter. This way the daughter is still stuck at home grounded, but you still get to go out.



answers from Columbus on


Ypu might talk to Mom, and ask her how she wants you to handle this situation. You have a "bussness" relationship with her daughter, and she has left you in a learch, so does Mom want you to cut ties with the teen in the future as a babysitter (which is what you should do if you have a sitter cancel for any reason other than sudden illness.) Or would Mom like to come up with a solution (like putting the money in a savings account or donating it to a charity, that will teach her daughter about responsiblity and keep her from punishing you also, and enusre that you will employ her as a babysitter in the future? Mom is teaching her that it is OK to skip out on commitments too, especially if MOM did the canceling for the teen instead of the teen having to call you and explain what happened herself.

It just sounds kind of fishy to me, are you possitive that nothing else is going on? I have a 13 year old who sits, and if she makes a mistake, I don't punish the people she depends on. I think that is just inconsiderate.




answers from Cleveland on

Just my opinion here: What if this babysitter were 16 or 17, and had a "real" job? Let's say she was a cashier at WalMart. If she got grounded would her mother make her call off at WalMart? I don't think so! She should still have to "work" for you weather she was grounded or not.

I am wondering if maybe her mother is worried about her being in charge of such a small baby all night long? Maybe her mom is worried if something happened, she doesn't want her daughter to be responsible....or maybe her mother thinks she is not responsible or mature enough to handle an all night job? I wish you had posted how old this babysitter is. I think something sounds fishy here. I think you need to talk to your cousin and find out if there is an alterior motive for grounding her daughter and not letting her sit for you.

Good luck and I hope you don't have to cancel your hubby's party!



answers from Dayton on

I know you don't agree, but you really should respect her mom's discipline. After all, in the real world, the law doesn't take into account that you may have plans. She knew she had this job and she chose to do whatever it was that got her grounded. You have every right to call up the babysitter and tell her how disappointed you are, and how it totally ruined your plans, but to try to finagle a way out of her punishment is to undermine whatever lesson her mom is trying to teach her. I realize you are disappointed and probably mad, but it isn't totally about you. Part of being a parent, unfortnately, is having to alter plans and sacrifice our preferences for the sake of our children.



answers from Dayton on

I think it's ridiculous that she is grounded from babysitting. Getting in trouble isn't license for mom to totally mess you over. This isn't about being grounded, but keeping committments. I would call her or meet her for coffee and say that you need her to keep her committment and that mom could either make her work for free, or you could add chores so that it is really no fun. Like stay the night and babysit and then spend the day helping you do things around the house or something. I think if you explain it to her mom and offer different to work out different solutions it might help. If the girl was grounded, her mom was probably furious, and wasn't thinking about everything clearly.



answers from Indianapolis on

First, I totally understand you being frustrated at this new development. You have every right to be frustrated.

I'm curious what the "little cousin" did that got her grounded! :) For me, it depends on what the offense was that dictates the severity of whether or not she should be allowed to babysit. I would say respect the parents option to ground her, although I've never heard of parents grounding a kid from working (ala babysitting, but still).

I don't know how old the "little cousin" is, but I'm partly wondering if the parents just don't want "little cousin" watching 2 kids that young all night long. Maybe her "being grounded" was the "safest way" for them to tell you they didn't feel comfortable with the situation (watching 2 VERY young kids all night long - regardless of what time you come in; ultimately, you're wanting carte blanche to go out and have a good time, not worrying about when you get back, and being able to drink) - plus, no matter how responsible "little cousin" is with the kids, she isn't a mother yet, and getting up every 3 hours to feed the youngest might not be high on her priority list. While it would be a HUGE life lesson for her (not wanting to get pregnant at an early age), she's still loosing a night's sleep.

Really not trying to preach or get up on a soap box - those were just some thoughts I had.

Hopefully you guys can either find another sitter or reschedule to another night when she isn't grounded.

Good luck!



answers from Fort Wayne on

I agree that since she made the committment to you and it's an important day, she should've been able to still honor it. Unfortunately though, you have to respect her mom's wishes, and if she thinks that grounding includes babysitting jobs, that's the way it's going to have to be. However, I would call her and ask her if she would mind if her daughter could watch the kids at her house since it's for your husband's birthday.



answers from Muncie on

Perhaps you can suggest to your sitter's mom that the girl watch the kids without pay. That way you get what you need and perhaps you cousin will feel that without the pay it will be an add to the punishment.

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