Tips on Hiring a Teen Babysitter

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If you ever plan on hiring a teen to babysit your children, please take a moment to really think about how you, the adult, treat the teenage babysitter.  I was a babysitter as a teen.  With 3 children of my own, I’ve hired many teen babysitters.  Now with 2 teenaged daughters, they’ve been hired many times to babysit.  From all this experience, I have a few important tips on hiring a teen babysitter, tips the mother of your babysitter would like you to consider.

woman sitting on floor with baby and playing with colorful toys

I am very careful with my children’s safety.  I always have been.  I was careful of their health and safety even before I was pregnant.  Even though my daughters are now teens, I still am careful to keep them in safe situations and I ask that you do the same.  My daughters and I want to keep your children safe.  Please create a situation where my children can keep your children safe.  I have been amazed at some of the situations that otherwise responsible adults have put my daughters and their own children in.  Sometimes they just weren’t thinking and other times it was just one of those fluke things.   But please listen up to me, the mother of your babysitter, and pay attention to these tips for hiring a teen babysitter. Also, filling out this Babysitter Information Sheet Free Printable will definitely help.

Tips for Hiring a Teen Babysitter

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I do not allow my children to open the door to a stranger when I am gone.  They should not be expected to judge whether an unknown adult coming to the door is safe or not, especially at your house with the responsibility for your children.  If you are going to order food to be delivered (which will make your children and mine very happy), please have it delivered while you are still home.  Please do not ask my child to open the door to a stranger, again, especially while responsible for your children.

pink, black and blue graphic that says "come home when you say you will or at least call"

Please give my child the estimated time that you will be returning home.  If you going to be more than 15 minutes late, please let my daughter know.   One time  when my daughter babysat for a family, the parents were still not home 2 hours after they said would be home.  They never called to let my daughter know they’d be late.  My daughter and I were both getting very worried.  (I was about 30 minutes from going over to sit with my daughter and I was trying to figure out at what point I should call the police).  In addition to not calling my daughter to let her know they’d be late, they also didn’t answer their cell phone the 3 times she called them to see where they were, which lead us to…

pink, black and blue graphic that says "answer your cell phone if your babysitter calls"

It was bad enough that the parents didn’t call my daughter to let her know they’d be so late, but when they didn’t answer or return her 3 phones calls, at 1 a.m., my daughter and I were both extremely worried that the parents had been in an accident.  Please give your babysitter your cell phone number, and then please answer the phone when the babysitter calls.  If a teen takes the embarrassing and awkward step of calling you, it is for an important reason. I had to call the parents one time when I was babysitting as teen because their child had been injured in a fluke accident (he was riding his bike barefoot, rode too close to a parked car and severely cut his big toe on the license plate).  Fortunately, because they answered the phone, they were able to meet us at the hospital.

pink, black and blue graphic that says "ask me to pick up my child if you plan on or have been drinking"

Please do not drive my child home from your house if you have been drinking. at. all. even. one.drink.  One time a set of parents asked me ahead of time if I could pick my daughter up when they came home because they were taking a limo to a wine tasting event and planned on drinking.  I was more than happy to pick my daughter up.  I promise that if you or my daughter call me, no matter how late you get home, to come pick her up I will not be angry.   I will not think less of you (in fact I will be so impressed with your good judgement).  I don’t want you to drink and drive when it’s only you in the car, but I really don’t want you to drink and drive when my child is in the car with you.

pink, black and blue graphic that says "pay with cash not a check"

I get it.  You’ve had a really busy week.  You didn’t have time to run to the bank before my child showed up to babysit.  On the way home, you were so tired that you forgot to stop by the bank to get cash.  I understand.  I’ve been there.  But I always planned ahead to pay my teen babysitter in cash.  Stop for a minute and think about it from your babysitter’s point of view.  She’s so excited that she is earning an income.  Most likely she has immediate plans to spend that income.  You hand her a check at midnight on Friday or Saturday night.  That means that she does not have the cash she was planning on for her Saturday or Sunday event.  She and her mother now have to  ram a trip to the bank during their already busy  schedule (however busy your schedule is, I’m pretty sure it’s not any more busy than ours is).   And please don’t pull the oh-I-don’t-have-cash-but-I-will-get-it-to-you-tomorrow trick. You wouldn’t appreciate if your boss did that to you on your payday.  Please be prepared to pay your babysitter in cash as soon as she has completed her job. (An exception would be if you’re hiring a teen for an ongoing babysitting job.  You should then check with the teen and the mother to see if a check would be acceptable.)

Having said all that, my child and I deeply appreciate that you trust her and are engaging her in meaningful employment.  To teach my children financial responsibility, they are expected to budget for all their own expenses and earning income is part of  that process.  So, thank you for helping me teach my children a good work ethic and financial responsibility.  We promise to treat you and your children with respect and to behave responsibly.  We only ask that you do the same for us. These tips on hiring a teen babysitter will make sure we’re all on the same page. 

More Parenting Tips

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9 Comments

  1. Hi Susan – For both sides of the parents, this advice is worth more than gold. All spot on. I might also add… if you tell the baby sitter it’s ok to sit on your bed to watch TV (to be closer to the sleeping baby), you may want to distinguish between the TV remote control and the panic button control if both of them look the same. Always a fun experience at the age of 14 when sirens go off in the house and medics, fire, ambulance and police show up at your door when all you want to do is turn on the TV to watch some Miami Vice. Not that this ever happened to me or anything. Just saying hypothetically. šŸ™‚ Hugs, Holly

    1. Too funny, Holly. I can imagine a 14 year old running around in circles trying to figure out what to do. I can also imagine how horrified your 14-year old self was!

  2. Fantastic post Susan. I’m sure many parents forget that their teen babysitters are still children with Mom’s who worry. Pinning. Wishing you the best, Darlene

  3. Hi Susan, So glad I found your site through a link party. We are military too and very new to it. I just hired a teen babysitter that I don’t know personally but got through a recommendation. I’m so glad I found your tips! Things the mom of a 1 year old did not think about! I’ll definitely be following along with your blog.

    1. Jillian, welcome and thank you for your family’s service. Just wait for the second round of tips (there are a couple that will make you chuckle).

  4. I’m glad I clicked over and read the first part of your babysitter tips. More good stuff to read.

    Also, as a Girl Scout leader, it can be really frustrating when parents don’t answer their phone when I call. I can’t imagine what it’s like for a teenager dealing with that. I texted and called a mom the morning of our last day of camporee. She never answered until the 3rd call. Fortunately, it wasn’t an emergency, but still….And, apparently, she doesn’t always get texts on her older phone. Had I known that, I never would have texted her.

    1. Barb, I admire you for being a GS leader. Whenever my kids are not in the house, I answer my phone. period.

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