Thanks You Guys for the advice.babysitter for a 14 Year old...i Know Crazy

Updated on February 03, 2012
B.M. asks from Coppell, TX
19 answers

Okay here goes. We have a teen actually my step kid who is 14. Husband and I arrive home at the earliest 6:30 (me) 8:00 (him). We are looking for babysitter to spend 3-4 hours with her monday- friday to just basicaly supervise her. Unfortunately, at 14 she can't be home alone, we're now realising this. We live in Coppell. NO , neighbors are not an option.

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So What Happened?

Thanks you guys for the advice. Our teenager is actually 13 until March. She is spiraling out of control. We suspect smoking etc. Unfortunately though she's been in counciling it doesn't/ has not helped much. We have been referef to a child psychiatrist. Dad is in denial and I am at my wits end, wondering if my home will still be in one piece when I get home. That being said I found a local boy's and girl's club but now hubby seems unresponsive to the idea. Again his guilt and denial.

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answers from San Diego on

It's so nice to see a parent using their noggin. It's a bad age to be left alone. I hope you find what you need.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Savannah on

Maybe instead of having a babysitter, which might cause some resentlment, you can find a place for her to go after school. I know that certain park and recreation centers have after school programs, and schools often have places that they can be enrolled to stay and do homework etc.

2 moms found this helpful

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answers from Houston on

My SIL had to do this with her two recently. The boy (14) is an idiot. Sorry but it's the truth. He lost the house key more times than can be counted among other issues. The girl (13) is boy crazy and cannot be trusted. I wish I had a recommendation for you but I figured you wouldn't mind 'a you're not crazy.' You're not crazy. Good luck.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Santa Fe on

This is a great idea. Have you tried the Sitter finding website? At this age my brother and I were latch key kids and were home a few hours before our mom got home. Wow - the things my brother got into and did bc he had no adult supervision. It was bad! My mom still to this day does not know about all the stuff he did!

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Charleston on

Sorry you're in this situation. Are there after school activities she could enroll in instead of a babysitter or after school programs at her school? I say this because I'm afraid she will freak out knowing she has to come home to a sitter everyday. (I would have totally freaked at 14 to have to stay with a sitter, and my niece who is almost 14 would most definitely, but she's very mature for her age.)
Maybe there is there a friend of hers that she could go home with 2-3 days a week, and you pay that parent for their time? You don't want to make her feel like a baby at this age, even if she is not responsible enough to stay alone.

I'm sure you've thought of all of these, but just wanted to share my thoughts. Good luck, and I hope she can mature quickly so you can trust her alone.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

I have a 14 yo and a 16 yo.
14 yo's don't necessarily listen to 16 yo's. They do better with someone who is a bit older, like 20 or so.
My daughter is having a time with the freshmen on the swim team. She is 16, most of them 14/15. She runs the practices, they try to skate out and not do what is required.
So a college student is great if she can commit to a job after school.
Do you have a Y nearby?
Can she stay after school for clubs, sports?
An older lady,
can she be a mother's helper
Check your church for sitters.
How far away do you work, can you hire a 17/18 yo (senior) to drive her to you?

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

Not only is it a smart idea in general for safety, I think it's nice. What kid, whether she admits it or not, wants to be home alone so much. How lonely!!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

You are a SMART woman. Studies show that most "issues" from violence to vandalism to promiscuity (sp) occur for this age between 3 and 5 pm.
Try calling Sitter City. I sat through an incredible presentation and LOVED what they said and how it works. From what I saw most of the sitters were students.
If that doesn't pan out for you Mother's Best Friend (?) is another service you could google.
OR if you are near a campus, put up a flier with the tear tabs in the education building or see if you can advertise in a local online/email student bulletin. Let you daughter help "interview" the folks, etc.
FYI- My mom did this with my sister and I in middle school/high school when we didn't have extra curriculars going on - best decision ever looking back on it!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

Good idea. I think it's sad for a kid to come home to an empty house.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

Well since she is of a decent age to babysit herself, it sounds as if maybe she is not mature enough to be home alone.

In that case, I would get an older high school student (11-12 grader) or a college student. I would hope to choose a student who could be a positive role model for her and help her learn responsibility and be a mentor.

Most day cares do not accept 14 yr olds. Is there a program at the local rec center maybe?

Good luck.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

Get a good role model, very positive college student.
No neighbors, grannies, other sock-knitting old ladies....they are useless with teens.
Perhaps an old retired school teacher will do well.
I have 14 y/o myself, totally understand you. Teens can get in a lot of trouble. Still cannot find a suitable person, so I babysit him myself and my beautiful little wonderful baby spends time with our nanny. i look for ward to the days when his homework load is not huge and then I can go out with my youngest and leave the 14 y/o with nanny and husband on the phone checking his every move with her.



answers from Dallas on

I think you are very smart and not crazy! Is she in high school yet? Most high schools have clubs and activities after school. Beginning in high school, volunteer work is very important for college applications. Maybe you could find some kind of organization that could use an after school volunteer. You might even be able to find her a job of some kind.

IF she is difficult and getting into trouble, it might be hard for a teen or even college student to control her. I would also be concerned about whether the babysitter would in deed be a good role model. I would think an adult would be best. It could be really tricky finding someone that would be willing to take on a troubled teen and come to your home. So, I would think some kind of organized activity/activities would be easier to find. Does she like sports, dance, cheerleading, music, theater?

This is something I hadn't thought about, since I am a stay at home mom. I bet there are a lot of parents in your situation.



answers from San Francisco on

I'm thinking that the best thing, and the thing that will cause her the least amount of anxiety, would be a college student. I'm sure you can find one who needs to earn some extra money while doing homework with your daughter. I personally don't know of any daycare centers that take 14 year olds. The school may have an after school program that runs until about 6:00. I would say either that or the college student, or a combination of both.

Good luck. I can't imagine that this is going to go over well with your teen.



answers from Tyler on

Some friend's of mine hired a "grandmother" for this exact situation. They advertised in the paper for a grandmother type person and it worked out great for them.

Good luck,



answers from Honolulu on

College student.
Another Mom that you might know or a Mom of one of her friends?
A retired Grandma or Mom empty nester



answers from San Francisco on

I think you sound like a great stepmom...someone who could be like a mentor or role model would be nice. If it were my daughter I would probably pick a successful student from a local college...They need the money, and they could study together too.


answers from Biloxi on

what about a local Boys & Girls Clubs or YMCA - both have after school programs for children and teens.



answers from Jacksonville on

Does anyone near you have a home daycare that she could go to? My sons daycare provider has several older kids who go to her house after school. She has them do some homework and a snack and then if they want, they can play with the little kids. My son loves playing catch with the big kids after school. She also takes them on the days that school is off.



answers from Washington DC on

I want to say, good for you for recognizing that a kid this age does indeed, in her particular case, need supervision. A lot of parents would assume that she does not need anyone because of her age, or the parents would be so scared of offending or upsetting her that they would not do what they knew was right and would leave her unsupervised.

I second the folks who ask if you can locate some options for after-school activities for her. Thoughts: Boys and Girls Clubs. Or schools sometimes have "homework club" time where kids can stay to do homework but must be enrolled to do so. Or, local libraries sometimes have afternoon events or even seek kids this age to be unpaid volunteer "pages" or employees (this would probably not be 5x/week, though--but do check). After-school classes at her (middle?) school, if they're offered, or involvement in something like clubs if they have them. Contact your county and/or city parks and recreation department, too; they often have classes and other options for kids during the school year and might even provide a paid, after-school "child care" option (sorry to use that term, don't use it with her...!). Our schools have "SACC" or "school-aged child care" available in schools but not for kids as old as she is....Is that an option in your schools?

Some combination of all the above might be needed to cover all five days and there could be issues with how she gets to and from these places if you are not available for transportation. For an at-home option I can only think of things like and other places that provide sitters; but some of them may not be a lot older than your child if they're college kids and it's your call whether you want someone who is not close to her in age.

I really hope you can come up with something. Please update us here and good luck to your family with this. If it comes down to it, don't hesitate to ask her school counselor if he or she knows of programs or places that would help you with this -- counselors should know about community resources.

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