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#1 hamiriver

Posted 11 February 2013 - 11:43 AM

Do you expect your babysitter to engage with your kids?
Or is it acceptable for them to sit on the lounge  all night and text and phone friends- pretty much ignoring your kids. The kids range from 9 to 4 years old.
We have had a few babysitters lately who think this if perfectly ok. The one we had on Saturday night asked the kids a sum total of 2 questions and never left the couch!  
The other funny thing is that when you ask them if they were well behaved, they always say yes!!  I know my kids well enough to know that this is so not true...and the kids tell you the real story in any case anyway. One blabs and then the other two let it all out!!
And we are paying $20 per hour,



#2 ~~HappyMummy~~

Posted 11 February 2013 - 11:48 AM

I would expect them to engage with the kids then put them to bed with a story or whatever is needed.  Plenty of time for them to sit on the lounge when the kids are asleep!

Try another one!

#3 Justaduck

Posted 11 February 2013 - 11:55 AM

I'll admit there have been a few times where I have babysat a boy and his friend and all they wanted to do is play Xbox all night (parents were fine with that) so I was kinda stuck with not much to do, but apart from that I would wait til the kids were in bed til I used my phone.

Mostly the kids wanted to play something & I would play & interact with them.

About the well behaved thing...I would only mention something if it was worth mentioning...ie one boy in particular would be a bit defiant or sneaky, but it was easily controlled and managed, so I didn't mention to the parents every little hiccup in the night. Would only be if it was something big and I struggled with that I would mention that their kid was playing up.

#4 YodaTheWrinkledOne

Posted 11 February 2013 - 11:59 AM

QUOTE (~~HappyMummy~~ @ 11/02/2013, 11:48 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I would expect them to engage with the kids then put them to bed with a story or whatever is needed.  Plenty of time for them to sit on the lounge when the kids are asleep!

Try another one!

This is what we expect from our babysitter and this is what she does.  $20/hour, daycare worker, studying for her early childhood teaching degree.  She brings along her study (during uni semester), a book to read or a DVD to watch, after the kids are in bed.

As HM says, there is plenty of time after the kids go to sleep for the babysitter to sit down and vege out then.

#5 roses99

Posted 11 February 2013 - 12:12 PM

I babysat through school and university and I always engaged with the kids. If I was babysitting at night, I would play games with the kids, we'd dance in the lounge room etc, then we'd pack up toy, clean teeth and get ready for bed. Then I'd read a story for each child, sometimes a few each. I'd then sing them songs to put them to bed or do whatever their parents had asked me to do (rock, pat, etc).

It was only AFTER the kids were asleep that I would watch TV or study.

$20/h is a lot to pay a lazy teenager.

#6 Fairey

Posted 11 February 2013 - 12:17 PM

When I was a wee las I used to love the couch veg out after the kidlets were in bed - because I was tuckered out! I'd play with the kids, play outside, cook dinner, tuck them into bed, read bedtime stories etc.
Of course, this would all depend on what time I was baby sitting, etc. I was getting paid $2.50 an hour and got all the way up to $5 an hour (Whoo!!) I had quite a few regular jobs.
I'll need baby sitters myself in years to come. And if our babysitter sat on the lounge all night, and didn't interact with our kids, said babysitter would not be coming back, and all my friends with kids would know about it.

#7 Therese

Posted 11 February 2013 - 12:24 PM

When I used to babysit I would play with the children and then after they were in bed sit down and do nothing. So that is what I would expect.

#8 surburbanfunk

Posted 11 February 2013 - 11:30 PM

For $20 an hour I would expect the baby sitter to play and engage with the kids! Even if they played for an hour or so got in to their pjs and then watched a kids movie ect before bed. Once the children are in bed it wouldn't bother me but while they are up I think this is the least they should do.

#9 Sassy Dingo

Posted 12 February 2013 - 09:31 AM

Could you try to be specific? I'm just thinking of my first time I babysat. Hadn't really had much to do with kids (was an emergency and I was doing it for my neighbours) and I didn't really know what to do.

Could you say something like 'please limit screen time to an hour before dinner, then after dinner their routine is to help clean up, play a board game, shower, teeth, story and then bed?'

They might just not know what you expect.

#10 AngryBird

Posted 12 February 2013 - 10:01 AM

We've had a terrible run with sitters lately! When I used to babysit I engaged with the kids, made meals, cleaned up, folded laundry, swept the floor - did all kinds of things. Entertaining the kids was top priority but I always found time to do a few other things as well. Even moreso as a nanny.

Now I cannot seem to find many sitters who will do anything beyond making sure none of the kids dies on their watch! We come home to dishes unwashed, table uncleared from dinner (4 hours ago!) toys everywhere and the sitter on the couch on Facebook or watching TV. The kids even say "Xxx isn't much fun, she talks to her boyfriend/plays her phone all day/night and doesn't want to play"!
I find it SO frustrating!

#11 NotBitzerMaloney

Posted 12 February 2013 - 10:10 AM

I must say I am very direct about my expectations, as with anyone I am paying.
"Please play xxx with DS, feed them dinner at Y o'clock, put DD diwn to sleep which will require xxx, read his 1-3 stories thn lights out. While you are waiting for DS to actually go to sleep, could you please fold this laundry / clean up their dinner, etc. Once he is asleep, here are the directions for TV/DVD"

And I write it down and ask them to write down what happens while I am out, so we don't have to have a big conversation when I get home.

I'm a hardass though, obviously!

#12 YodaTheWrinkledOne

Posted 12 February 2013 - 10:31 AM

QUOTE (Sassy Dingo @ 12/02/2013, 09:31 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Could you try to be specific? I'm just thinking of my first time I babysat. Hadn't really had much to do with kids (was an emergency and I was doing it for my neighbours) and I didn't really know what to do.

Could you say something like 'please limit screen time to an hour before dinner, then after dinner their routine is to help clean up, play a board game, shower, teeth, story and then bed?'

They might just not know what you expect.

I agree with this.  When we first had our babysitter over, she was very proactive and asked what the routine was, was there anything that we didn't want the kids to do, was there anything specific that she had to do with the kids, where was the first aid kit (band aids) and what did we prefer her to do if she noticed one of the kids had a temperature, etc.  Even now, when she rocks up, we discuss the plan for that night (ie. what activities the kids might like to do, how early/late do we want them to go to bed, etc).  The kids participate in these discussions now, so everyone is on the same page.

And without ever being asked, she always cleans to after dinner and sweeps the kitchen.  I'm not sure if she gets the kids to help or if she does it after the kids have gone to bed, but all toys and books are put away as well.  DH & I think she's great, but the kids absolutely adore her.  I think we are very lucky!

Edited by YodaTheWrinkledOne, 12 February 2013 - 11:05 AM.


#13 halcyondays

Posted 12 February 2013 - 10:46 AM

I'm give very specific directions to my sitters-
no talking or texting on the phone whilst the children are awake. No watching TV/listening to your music whilst children are awake. No friends visiting, no opening the front door unless an emergency. No drinking alcohol and please don't go into rooms you don't need to go into. I often phrase this as, "I'm sure you wouldn't do this, but believe it or not, a babysitter we had before went through my make up! So please don't go into rooms you don't need to go into".

I also list a plan for them for the evening- 6pm feed the the dinner I have left in the fridge. Help yourself to dinner too- you can have what the kids eat or help yourself to anything in fridge/pantry.
Please let the kids play outside after dinner- A needs help riding his bike and it would be great if you could encourage him to ride without training wheels........
Then have bath at 7- please wipe down the bath afterwards. Read stories, do puzzles then brush teeth etc etc etc

I also text the next day to say how A told me everything that you had done together and thankyou for being a great babysitter.




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