I wanted to share some important questions to ask the teenage babysitter. Getting out can be great when you know that your kids are safe with a babysitter. These suggestions are going to help you find the best one for your children.
Our oldest son started talking about how he wanted to get a “real job” when he turned 14. This is the legal age, in our state, where kids can work. He then started asking about minimum wage and which jobs pay the most money.
Without hesitation, I started telling him about how much I would make babysitting when I was a teenager. (I LOVED babysitting when I was a teenager. I had several families that I worked for and would watch the kids at least once a month.)
As the older brother of three younger siblings, I knew that he would be a great candidate.
I know that many families have to hire babysitters, so I asked in a group that I manage online and loved their tips.
Questions to help you find the best teenage babysitter for your child
Recommendations from past clients are key. Not only do they show experience, but they also give you valuable insight into how the teen does with kids of different ages. If possible, ask for recommendations from someone who has kids who are the same age as yours.
While getting names and numbers are good, you have to follow through by actually calling and talking with the previous employer. If the teen is new to babysitting, that’s okay, but expect there to be a learning curve and consider only leaving older kids home alone with them.
- Have you Babysat for anyone else?
The answer will probably be yes, so be sure to discuss Cell Phone Policies. One of the things our online friends strongly suggested was to be sure we laid out the expected cell phone policy. For us, that means keeping the phone available and answering our calls and texts, but not texting others, playing games, or browsing social media sites. It’s important to make it clear that the babysitter is there to watch the kids – not play on the phone until the kids are asleep.
While the babysitter’s main job is to care for the children in the house, if you expect her to do other tasks (clean up dirty dishes that they use, make dinner for the kids, etc.), outline those expectations during the interview. Some babysitters may not feel comfortable with tasks other than watching the kids, and that’s okay.
Dirty dishes in the sink are worth an evening where your child is well cared for and you and your husband get a nice dinner out! Remember, you’re hiring a teenage babysitter and they may be new to these things.
Did you know that the American Red Cross offers a babysitter training class? Check your local hospital, too. I took a babysitting course every year at our local hospital. My mom was in charge of putting them together, so even when I didn’t take it, I helped with it.
The course typically includes infant and child CPR, as well as basic first aid for children. If your prospective teenage babysitter has this training, that’s a bonus! If she doesn’t, but you’d like to hire her anyway, consider offering to pay the nominal fee for her to go to the training. Not only would it benefit her, it would benefit your kids and provide you with much-needed peace of mind.
Finding someone reliable to care for your kids isn’t an easy task. Keep in mind that above all of the questions, recommendations, and training someone potentially has, the most important thing is your gut feeling.
If you feel like the person will be a good fit for your family, chances are that she will be. However, if you feel like something just isn’t quite right, odds are that you’re correct. Trust your instincts, interview with focus, and follow up on those recommendations – then enjoy your night out!
- Do you have a cell phone?
If this is your first time with the new sitter, make it a short trip. Another idea is to hire the babysitter to watch your kids while you are home, working on the yard outside or working in your office. This is a great way to get your kids and your babysitter used to one another and to your expectations.
Be sure to check out our suggestion of how much to pay a babysitter, too!