Babysitter Has Friend Round Without Asking/Telling Us

(86 Posts)
Pupsiecola Sat 15-Mar-14 23:33:44

Just back from a night at the cinema. 16 year old boy (S) from next door has been "babysitting" (DS1 is 11, DS2 is almost 9). It's the third time he's done so. Nice polite boy from a good family and the boys like it when he looks after them. He got here at 7.15pm. We went out at 7.30pm. Back at 10.45pm. Boys went to bed at 8pm.

DS2 just woke up. Told me that S had a friend round. Didn't stay long but was a nice boy and good fun apparently. Said he was just passing by and asked S if he could pop in. Clearly S said yes. In this half-hour window between us going out and the boys going to bed?! And this friend told our DCs not to tell us he'd been round in case S got into trouble.

DH and I feel very disappointed that a) S didn't check with us first (and if he had we'd probably have said no), b) didn't tell us a friend had been round when we got home and c) his friend told our children to lie to us.

We've never met this friend. We feel very uncomfortable that he's been with our children and in our house.

Is this a reasonable response? I don't have S's number or email - we arrange babysitting duties with his mum whom we don't know massively well as we have only lived here for a year. He's meant to be babysitting next Saturday night. So I guess I need to email her to say it's unacceptable to invite friends over.

WWYD?

CocktailQueen Sat 15-Mar-14 23:39:49

If he's old enough to be babysitting your dc, he's old enough for you to communicate directly with him re friends around - or any other concerns.

Though, tbh, if you don't know his mum that well, or him, then why are you asking him to babysit for you?

Famzilla Sat 15-Mar-14 23:43:00

I dunno. This whole thing kind of reeks of double standards to me. Hire a babysitter through the proper means or at least someone you actually know.

Pupsiecola Sat 15-Mar-14 23:45:09

When I say I don't know them well I mean that we've not known them for years and years, and we're not good friends. But I've met up with her for coffee etc. We knew him before he first babysat for us. He has a part-time job for a reputable company and is at sixth form college. He's a good kid. We don't think this was malicious. It probably didn't occur to him that this is not the thing to do although it clearly occurred to his friend as he asked the boys to lie.

Really I just want to know how others would feel in the same situation.

MostWicked Sat 15-Mar-14 23:46:30

I think you ought to know your babysitters a lot better!

Pupsiecola Sat 15-Mar-14 23:47:02

Oh ffs we do know him. Of course we know him. And we know his mum, and his dad. We know him better than we would know someone from an agency, or an ad in a newsagents' window, if that's what you mean by proper babysitter.

To be fair to your babysitter, this appeared to be an unplanned visit from his friend, who, yes, was wrong to ask your children to lie to you, but was clearly just looking out for his mate by doing so.
I have to say I think it is a little unreasonable of you not to allow a babysitter to have a friend; i did a lot of babysitting in my teens and often brought a friend for company (though the friend would arrive with me, not surreptitiously). No one minded.
If you are unhappy though, you must lay down some ground rules about what you expect / allow from a sitter. That is quite reasonable. I do think you should have done this from the outset, however.

BlackDaisies Sat 15-Mar-14 23:47:46

I think you either trust him or you don't. If you do, then you'll be able to talk to him about not letting his friends in. If you don't then find another babysitter.

Pupsiecola Sat 15-Mar-14 23:48:17

Can you people not just answer the bloody question I asked?!

HillyHolbrook Sat 15-Mar-14 23:49:40

I always asked if I was bringing someone else when I babysat, even if I was watching my cousins. It's a stranger in your home without permission, and that's just not acceptable to me. Just because that boy is nice doesn't necessarily mean his friends would be, it could have been anyone.

I wouldn't kick off or look elsewhere for babysitters if he is a good lad and the DCs like him, but I'd have a word with the boy and just say if he wants friends over again to let you know first and get permission as it's your home and you should know who is in it and when.

MamaPain Sat 15-Mar-14 23:51:09

I think you're overreacting a bit.

So this nice boy popped in for a little while, did no harm and he told your boys to lie not S?

Are you upset that he didn't tell you or that he had a friend round?

I think the first makes sense and I would just say "you know it's fine if you want to have someone round, can you just let me know after because its a bit confusing when the kids are talking about something I don't know about".

If it's the latter than I can't fathom why, if they're just teens, I used to always encourage my teen babysitters to have a friend round with them, its boring sitting in someone else house while their kids are asleep.

Dumpylump Sat 15-Mar-14 23:51:24

It doesn't matter what we think. You clearly are not happy about it, so tell him. I wouldn't email his mum....if you are able to trust him to look after your children then you should be able to discuss this with him directly.

YABU. You are upset because you don't know the friend that well and yet you admit that you don't know the 'babysitter' or his family that well confused

I would be annoyed about him asking your kids to lie, but he is a 16 year old boy, not your employee. What were you expecting from him?

BlackDaisies Sat 15-Mar-14 23:52:40

If you're asking how would others feel, then I think it would bother me too. But if I trusted him I would just talk to him about it. If you say he's a nice kid, and his friend was there very briefly I can see how it might have happened. I would probably tell him I was disappointed that he never told me. If I had any sort of gut feelings/ concerns (that he might invite not so nice friends round) I'd stop asking him to babysit. It all depends on how you personally feel about him.

MamaPain Sat 15-Mar-14 23:53:27

And in response to WWYD, I would do the above of asking him to mention it if it happens again, because it sounds as if today was spontaneous. I would also say its fine to have a friend over, in fact why don't you bring them with you at beginning that way we can meet them and they can stay for the whole time and keep you company.

Famzilla Sat 15-Mar-14 23:54:40

Ok. YABU. If he's adult and trusted enough to take care of your children then at least talk to him in person about it instead of tattling to his mother about his "unacceptable behaviour". I did a lot of babysitting all through my teenage years and would have been mortified to be infantilised like that.

Pupsiecola Sat 15-Mar-14 23:56:12

So, how well do you all know YOUR babysitters?! We don't have helpful grandparents round the corner. We wouldn't leave the children with someone we don't trust. He is a good kid and his parents live next door should he need them in an emergency. It's not that we don't trust him. It's that he's been naive on this occasion to think it's okay to do this without asking.

SheherazadeSchadenfreude Sat 15-Mar-14 23:56:58

What Famzilla says. Speak to him in person if you're not happy.

oscarwilde Sat 15-Mar-14 23:57:34

Did a lot of babysitting as a teen. My parents would have skinned me alive if they'd heard that I'd invited someone in.

You are giving him adult responsibilities, contact him to tell him that it's only with permission or not at all depending on your preference.

aquashiv Sat 15-Mar-14 23:58:36

Just tell him you would rather he didn't b have strangers in the house. I wouldn't be happy.

SirChenjin Sat 15-Mar-14 23:58:41

YANBU - I'd be furious too.

You've asked him to babysit and he's taking advantage of an adult free house, which is not on. My eldest teen babysits, and he wouldn't dream of doing this - not all teens are like that.

I think you need to decide whether you can trust him enough to babysit again (after you make it clear that you don't want anyone else in the house), or whether you'd prefer to look for someone else.

bragmatic Sat 15-Mar-14 23:58:53

I think he fucked up. I think you continue to use him if you think he will be contrite about what happened, and truthful in future. Tell him clear boundaries when he shows up next week.

Pupsiecola Sat 15-Mar-14 23:59:32

Again, FFS. It's not a case of tattling to his mother. I don't actually have his mobile phone number. He's at college all day. She works from home. It's just the easiest way that we've communicated. Short of waiting for him down the road when he cycles back from college I don't have the opportunity to talk to him until he next babysits, but I would like it cleared up before then.

SirChenjin Sun 16-Mar-14 00:00:34

Hit return too soon - was going to add that you could also say to him that he's welcome to bring a friend, but that you want to know in advance.

MamaPain Sun 16-Mar-14 00:01:39

Why don't you ask his mother for his mobile number? Surely that would be more helpful in future to arrange babysitting.

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