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10 Reasons to Not Hire a Friend’s Daughter to be Your Sitter
September 10, 2011 | in Babysitting Jobs
It’s tempting, when you need a babysitter, to take the advice of a friend and hire her or his daughter for the job, without the same precautions you’d take to hire a stranger. Here are 10 good reasons not to just go ahead and hire that friend’s daughter.
- Enhanced Perception. Have you ever found yourself admiring some characteristic of one of your children, and sort of “pumped it up” in telling friends about it? Well, I’m sure that your friend’s daughter is a fine young woman, but you’ll want a second opinion, regardless.
- Obligatory Pressure. If you are going to consider hiring a friend’s daughter, make it clear that she will be have to interview with you, the same as anyone else that you consider. Don’t talk yourself into overlooking qualification issues out of some sense of obligation that you may feel to her parent.
- Friendly Pressure. When dealing with a friend’s daughter, there may be an unspoken expectation that you overlook issues of experience and qualification. Don’t let friendly pressure affect your consideration any more than obligatory pressure.
- Cost Conflicts. Hiring a friend’s daughter as sitter is also a possible source of conflicting expectations. You may feel obligated to overpay, or privileged to underpay, because of the friendship. Likewise, your friend’s daughter may expect a premium rate because of the friendship.
- Familiarity Issues. If the friend in question is close enough that your families do things together, there may be a problem with familiarity between your kids and the friend’s daughter as a sitter. Before now they’ve just been kids in friendly families, perhaps playing together, or even possibly being less than friendly with each other. This may make affect your kids’ ability to respect her as a sitter.
- Familiarity Issues II. The flip side of the last reason is that your friend’s daughter may already have a negative opinion of your kids, due to familial interactions. She may feel obligated to accept the job because of your friendship with her parents, and not treat the kids fairly due to her prior opinion of them.
- Familiarity Issues III. The daughter of a friend may be tempted to treat the job less seriously than she would otherwise. There is a chance that she might assume you won’t care if she has friends over, or spends all evening on the telephone, because of your friendship with her parent.
- Friendly Repercussions. Hiring the daughter of a friend opens the door to possible conflicts between you and your friend. If there are issues with her work, her parent may not be able to resist calling on your relationship to give her a break.
- Privacy. Regardless of the quality of the relationship you have with your friend, there are always potential issues of babysitter exposure to internal family business. Another unnecessary discomfort in your friendship.
- Her Privacy. You may be tempted to talk to your friend about private issues of hers that you have learned of through your children. If you speak with anyone about this sort of thing, it should be the daughter, unless there are legal issues involved.
If you absolutely feel obligated to consider hiring your friend’s daughter as babysitter, at least you will now do it with your eyes somewhat open to the possible drawbacks.← 10 Reasons to Take the Kids to the Sitter’s Home | 10 Reasons Parents Call Their Sitter →
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