10 Concerns with Younger Babysitters

Posted on by admin | in Babysitting Jobs

Hiring a babysitter involves a number of choices, including cost and how old the sitter should be. Younger teens tend to cost less than older teens, but there is obviously more to consider than just cost. Here are 10 issues of concern with younger teenagers as babysitters.

  1. Time. The time of day and length of time of a sitting job are both concerns when hiring a young teen as sitter. With a younger babysitter, you will likely have to limit the amount of time that you are away, and how late you stay out at night.
  2. Maturity. Young people mature at different rates, and not all will be ready for babysitting duties at the same age. One 12 year old girl or boay may be fully ready to take the job seriously, while another may not yet be ready at age 14.
  3. Responsibility. Will a younger teenager have a strong enough sense of responsibility to care for younger children? As with maturity, responsibility develops at different ages among young people. You can learn a lot about both, just by talking with a young, potential sitter, and listening for polite and respectful responses to your conversation.
  4. Comprehension and Reliability. Does this young person understand what is expected, and is she or he able to follow instructions? These are good questions for any age, but of special concern with younger sitters.
  5. Attention Span. Although it is related to both maturity and responsibility, attention span is its own category of concern. Even a mature and responsible young teen may be prone to lapses of attention, particularly around television sets and game counsels.
  6. First Aid Kit Proficiency. Will a younger sitter be able to handle the most basic first aid issues? With kids, something is bound to happen, eventually, and you want to be sure that cuts and scrapes and such can be handled by a young sitter.
  7. Emergencies. As much as you hate to think about it, larger emergencies may arise while a sitter is in charge. It’s important to consider whether your younger babysitter will be able to tell when an emergency number must be called, and know which is the appropriate one to call.
  8. Food. Another concern with younger babysitters is food preparation. Having meals planned and prepared ahead of time, so that no sharp knives or range-cooking are required, is a good idea with young babysitters.
  9. Respectability. Another concern is whether a younger teen babysitter will be able to command the respect of your child or children. This isn’t a problem with babies, of course, but if you have a child or children beyond toddling age, it is an issue of concern.
  10. Experience or Certification. This is actually the number one item that you should consider in hiring a younger teen as a babysitter. Experience babysitting and caring for younger siblings or other relatives is a real plus. If there is no experience to consider, a young person may have a certificate indicating readiness to babysit. Many organizations, in both profit and nonprofit sectors, offer babysitting training and certification for youngsters.

In any situation in which you need to hire a babysitter, take the most basic precaution of asking for and checking the sitter’s references. In the case of an inexperienced sitter with a certificate of training, you can do some internet research on the agency that issued the certificate. Younger sitters can do a fine job, but make sure that you’ve asked the right questions and received proper answers, before hiring.

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