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Old 05-24-2009, 04:43 PM
 
Location: Here... for now
1,747 posts, read 2,624,282 times
Reputation: 1208

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I was just thinking about a time when we moved to a totally new neighborhood and needed to find a babysittter. This was way back, when DS was a preschooler. It was a new subdivision of single family homes on fairly large, wooded lots. The neighborhood wasn't old enough and the houses weren't close enough for the residents to be close-knit yet.

Most of the kids were in the 3-10 year old range, with maybe 3 teenagers and a handful of babies (babies are always a handful, arent't they? ). One of the teens left a note on our garage, advertising her willingness to babysit. It was a well put-together notice, stating her qualifications and experience. I called her and asked her to come over for an interview.

She showed up at the door... with her MOM!!! Intrigued, I invited them both in. As I interviewed teen, Mom interviewed me. Just as I wanted to make sure teen was responsible, Mom wanted to make sure her teen would be going to a safe place. Mom also wanted reassure me that whenever teen was babysitting, she'd be just a few houses away. Just in case. I was mightily impressed.

We ended up hiring teen many times until she finished high school and moved away. She was fantastic. She was involved and engaged and got on the floor to play LEGOs and Super Mario. DS was mighty impressed with her video gaming abilities (and she was equally impressed with his!). It got to the point where, whenever she showed up, he shooed DH and me out the door! Best babysitter ever.

We've moved many times since then and have lost touch with her and her family. I know, if she is or decides to become a mom, she'll be wonderful.

So, has this ever happened to you? Is it typical? It was the first (and last) time for us. When you hire a new teen sitter, do their parents interview YOU? If your teen is a sitter, do you check out the place and family for whom they'll be working?
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Old 05-24-2009, 06:08 PM
 
Location: Denver 'burbs
21,164 posts, read 22,178,094 times
Reputation: 35681
No, this hasn't happened to me. Fortunately, we have never been in a position where we didn't know the family of the babysitter already. I'm impressed though. DD never babysat for anyone we didn't know either. I am always surprised at the list of kids and phone numbers that is in our neighborhood newsletter (very large neighborhood)as potential baby/pet/house sitters. I wouldn't in a million years have allowed my youngish teen daughter to go to a virtual stranger's house to work.
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Old 05-24-2009, 06:39 PM
 
Location: Dunwoody,GA
1,872 posts, read 4,569,874 times
Reputation: 1957
I think it's a good idea. I wouldn't want my young teenage daughter sitting for complete strangers. As a teen, I sat for a neighbor family who were seemingly fine, but the Dad gave me the CREEPS every time he drove me home (leering at me in a gross kind of way). He never stepped over the line, but it was always very uncomfortable. Funny thing is, we still live in the same community. My husband knows the guy (independently of me) and he recently lost his license due to repeated DUI's and currently takes taxis to the local bars and gets tanked every night! So, my teenage self was on to something about him being "not quite right."

I had another experience as a teen where the family I sat for were getting divorced. The Mom was dating someone else and told me not to let the Dad in the house if he ever showed up. Of course, he showed up and demanded to come in. Since this was before the advent of cell phones, I couldn't reach the Mom. I could, however, reach MY parents and they immediately came over and shooed the guy away. That was very scary for a 15/16 year old!

I personally would only let my teen daughter/son sit for people I know personally or who are "friends of friends" or in the neighborhood. So, I give kudos to that Mom!
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Old 05-24-2009, 11:19 PM
 
2,542 posts, read 5,833,660 times
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So far, the only babysitters I have used were two fellow college students during my last semester(um...we don't get out much!). However, I think this is a great idea. Meeting the mother/father also gives another glimpse into the potential new babysitter's life.

I think I will pass this idea on to fellow moms--something to consider when our children get old enough to sit!
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Old 05-25-2009, 12:39 AM
 
Location: Orlando, FL
12,256 posts, read 15,815,098 times
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My mom did when I sat for people she didn't know. I worked for the after-school program and a lot of the parents would ask me to sit on the weekends. My mom was like that with everybody though - if I was going to be in your house than she needed to meet you and see how you lived.
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Old 05-25-2009, 04:43 AM
 
1,577 posts, read 3,271,744 times
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nope, never heard of doing that. But not a bad safety idea.
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Old 05-25-2009, 07:20 AM
 
Location: Maine
650 posts, read 1,929,003 times
Reputation: 553
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nelly Nomad View Post
I was just thinking about a time when we moved to a totally new neighborhood and needed to find a babysittter. This was way back, when DS was a preschooler. It was a new subdivision of single family homes on fairly large, wooded lots. The neighborhood wasn't old enough and the houses weren't close enough for the residents to be close-knit yet.

Most of the kids were in the 3-10 year old range, with maybe 3 teenagers and a handful of babies (babies are always a handful, arent't they? ). One of the teens left a note on our garage, advertising her willingness to babysit. It was a well put-together notice, stating her qualifications and experience. I called her and asked her to come over for an interview.

She showed up at the door... with her MOM!!! Intrigued, I invited them both in. As I interviewed teen, Mom interviewed me. Just as I wanted to make sure teen was responsible, Mom wanted to make sure her teen would be going to a safe place. Mom also wanted reassure me that whenever teen was babysitting, she'd be just a few houses away. Just in case. I was mightily impressed.

We ended up hiring teen many times until she finished high school and moved away. She was fantastic. She was involved and engaged and got on the floor to play LEGOs and Super Mario. DS was mighty impressed with her video gaming abilities (and she was equally impressed with his!). It got to the point where, whenever she showed up, he shooed DH and me out the door! Best babysitter ever.

We've moved many times since then and have lost touch with her and her family. I know, if she is or decides to become a mom, she'll be wonderful.

So, has this ever happened to you? Is it typical? It was the first (and last) time for us. When you hire a new teen sitter, do their parents interview YOU? If your teen is a sitter, do you check out the place and family for whom they'll be working?
My mom came with me several times to meet potential baby sitting clients. It was mostly because I was too young to drive myself and she didn't exactly "interview" the parents in question.

I think it is smart to know who your teenager is going to be babysitting for, and get a feel for what kind of people they are. If my kids start babysitting, I plan to do the same thing.
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Old 05-25-2009, 08:49 AM
 
758 posts, read 1,598,527 times
Reputation: 952
I've only used babysitters that I've already known, but my daughter is now babysitting and she has babysat for neighbors and friends of ours and a couple times they have recommended her to their friends. I have gone with her to check out those people before she was able to babysit for them.
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Old 05-25-2009, 08:33 PM
 
Location: The mountians of Northern California.
1,354 posts, read 5,637,623 times
Reputation: 1280
My mom did the same thing. I basically only babysat for people that we knew or were friends with my moms circle of friends. My mom told them I could baby sit up to a certain time, had to have all their contact info, etc. She also insisted that if I was to be picked up and dropped off by the family I am baby sitting for, the wife must drive me. At the time I thought she was over protective. Now that I have my own family, I can understand it.
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Old 05-25-2009, 08:39 PM
 
Location: Nova Scotia
458 posts, read 1,139,018 times
Reputation: 444
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nelly Nomad View Post
I was just thinking about a time when we moved to a totally new neighborhood and needed to find a babysittter. This was way back, when DS was a preschooler. It was a new subdivision of single family homes on fairly large, wooded lots. The neighborhood wasn't old enough and the houses weren't close enough for the residents to be close-knit yet.

Most of the kids were in the 3-10 year old range, with maybe 3 teenagers and a handful of babies (babies are always a handful, arent't they? ). One of the teens left a note on our garage, advertising her willingness to babysit. It was a well put-together notice, stating her qualifications and experience. I called her and asked her to come over for an interview.

She showed up at the door... with her MOM!!! Intrigued, I invited them both in. As I interviewed teen, Mom interviewed me. Just as I wanted to make sure teen was responsible, Mom wanted to make sure her teen would be going to a safe place. Mom also wanted reassure me that whenever teen was babysitting, she'd be just a few houses away. Just in case. I was mightily impressed.

We ended up hiring teen many times until she finished high school and moved away. She was fantastic. She was involved and engaged and got on the floor to play LEGOs and Super Mario. DS was mighty impressed with her video gaming abilities (and she was equally impressed with his!). It got to the point where, whenever she showed up, he shooed DH and me out the door! Best babysitter ever.

We've moved many times since then and have lost touch with her and her family. I know, if she is or decides to become a mom, she'll be wonderful.

So, has this ever happened to you? Is it typical? It was the first (and last) time for us. When you hire a new teen sitter, do their parents interview YOU? If your teen is a sitter, do you check out the place and family for whom they'll be working?
I have to say I am one of those moms. When my oldest started to babysit, there was no way I was letting her into a strangers house alone. You do not know who is calling. So I also interview. There was this one woman, in her early 20's who needed my daughter to babysit later than usual for a school night. I made an exception as it was a banquet for her work. Well the woman was late, did not bother to call and explain, 12:00am she shows up, I am already there as she was 2hrs late. Daughter called me up I went over. When the woman came in I had a few words for her and told her she needed to grow up and be responsible, etc.. Needless to say that was the last time I allowed my daughter to babysit her her.

I would not allow my children into a strangers home, just like I would not allow my children to accept a ride home from a stranger.
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