Oh, Youth

A local couple is looking for a high school student to babysit their 3-year-old and 6-month-old. And get this – they are going to pay for it. Like in actually giving money to a high schooler to be alone with their infant and toddler.

They must be young parents.

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9 thoughts on “Oh, Youth”

  1. This is pretty typical. Some high school pupils make money only this way. My parents hired a ninth grader to babysit me and my siblings once, on the evening of their ninth wedding anniversary, January 9, 1951. My youngest brother was not there yet; he was born in 1952. But the other three of us ranged from three to six.

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  2. When I did this, some people were willing to do babies. If they were used to taking care of babies, had babies at home, they would do it. I didn’t feel confident for that, so wouldn’t, took care of older children.

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  3. In my area, if you’re hiring a high schooler for babysitting, you want to see that they have a Red Cross certification. They offer classes to kids between 15-18. These also tend to be some of the more responsible kids who are already used to looking after younger kids. I’d personally be uncomfortable looking after infants, but I know people who did so in high school, usually for family friends.

    As for payment, what would you expect? If someone’s taking the time to watch your kids/house/pets/whatever, why shouldn’t you pay them?

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  4. What you just described—-that was ALWAYS the norm back in the 60s.
    In 1964 my sister was only 1, and me, being the oldest at 9, was too young to take care of her when my parents wanted to go out somewhere
    …so they hired the older sister of one of my classmates (who was probably around 14 or so) to watch us for the 5 hours or so they were out.

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    1. I routinely stayed at home alone with my sister starting when I was 6 and she was a newborn. So yes, I know all about the olden times. 🙂 But I also know what today’s teenagers are like.

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  5. It boggles the mind, but in interviewing LOTS of prospective college-age babysitters from affluent Chicago suburbs and calling their references, I’ve heard a lot of stories to affirm this practice. The most memorable was one lass who, at the age of sixteen, was paid to look after four children including an infant and a special-needs toddler, for an entire weekend while the parents went out of town. SHE sounded awesome. The former employer who was vouching for her? Not so much.

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  6. They must be young parents.
    Or broke. Or far more trusting.

    Look, my mother was the eldest of five and in her mid-20s when she had my brother and me and she did not even consider paying teens to watch us. We got a grandmother who believed that “watching children” meant “making them sit silently in the same room while you knit and watched tv.” She absolutely did not want us talking to her. To this day, I have a searing hatred of variety talent shows.

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