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?

Wineoclocksomewhere Sun 16-Mar-14 00:01:45

I have a 16 year old neighbour who babysits for me. If this happened to me I think I would be annoyed at the 'don't tell anyone' bit, kind of more than the event itself. Agree that you talk to him directly, and don't pussyfoot around the bit about them keeping it secret.

Famzilla Sun 16-Mar-14 00:02:08

I have no parents. The only people that take care of my daughter are my close friends or her registered childminder. What an odd question, as if anyone is going to say "well I don't know my babysitter at all, I just leave my kids with whoever I can grab in off the street." confused

Wineoclocksomewhere Sun 16-Mar-14 00:03:11

Also his parents live next door - presume he does too? So surely no need for email address or text message?!

Pupsiecola Sun 16-Mar-14 00:03:57

Mamapain I will now. I hadn't needed it before. He has the landline here if I need to get in touch with him when he's babysitting. Arrangements so far had worked just fine. This has never happened to me before. I was trying to gauge how to respond. I wasn't asking for lectures re choosing my babysitters better. Obviously I wouldn't have chosen him if I didn't have a good feeling about him. Thank you for the more constructive and helpful answers.

Pupsiecola Sun 16-Mar-14 00:06:20

Well aren't you lucky to have close friends nearby Famzilla. We moved to this area a year ago. And the fact that you use a childminder - I'm guessing your kids are still young. When mine were that age I used their nursery carer. My children are 11 and 9.

Anotheronebitthedust Sun 16-Mar-14 00:07:44

Don't do it through his mum; if he's old enough to look after your children then he's old enough communicate with directly. Tell him next week face to face if you are happy for him to still do it (and I think you should, he sounds very nice and your children obviously like him).

That'll also give you a bit of time to calm down, tbh you sound a bit aggressive at the moment. I understand what you're saying about not wanting someone you don't know in your home, but first you say friend 'was just passing by and asked S if he could pop in,' and then that you are 'disappointed that S didn't check with us first .' How could he check with you first if he didn't know his mate was going to come round?

Yes, a professional babysitter probably wouldn't have invited a friend round, but if it's never been raised he might not have known you wouldn't like it. It's probably one of his first experiences working, and he's only young. As the adult, and the employer in this situation, it's up to you to set the rules in advance. While some things may not need saying (if you came home and found him and his friend had been drinking/going through your personal stuff, for example, then there would be no excuse) things like having friends round, being able to eat from the cupboards etc are more of a grey zone, and should be clarified.

It's your prerogative to put whatever rules you like for your house, but you have to communicate them, and not expect a comparatively inexperienced teen to be psychically aware.

WWID? If I trust someone enough to look after my kids, I trust them to use their own judgment WRT inviting a friend in.

HeyNonny Sun 16-Mar-14 00:08:41

You don't have his mobile number?! Would you expect him to answer your house phone then?

In an emergency, how would you contact him if he was at home with your boys whilst you were out? I wouldn't answer somebody else's phone unless they'd asked me to; our babysitter wouldn't either (she tells me if it has rung whilst we were out).

Back to the question though - you need to make it clear to the babysitter that he's not to allow strangers (to you) in your house without permission.

SirChenjin Sun 16-Mar-14 00:08:51

There was/is no need to choose your babysitters more carefully - you've done what many parents do, and you've asked a teenager neighbour to babysit. Crikey, that's what teenagers rely on for cash! Hardly the end of the world.

He's just been a bit of a silly arse, but a quiet word in his shell-like and I'll bet he'll be very apologetic and will either never do it again, or will ask your permission next time (as he should).

Brabra Sun 16-Mar-14 00:09:10

Your children are 11 and 9, I think you are massively overreacting. I don't see anything wrong with your babysitter bringing a friend. It is a shame they tried to cover it up, but judging by how you have reacted, I am not completely surprised.

Alonglongway Sun 16-Mar-14 00:09:18

I have a 16 yr old who has just started tutoring a kid she met at the library and she's very keen but really not sure about how it all works. With younger kids it's easy to see 16 as very mature and confident. I'd say chat to him directly about your boundaries and work it out

huftydufty Sun 16-Mar-14 00:10:13

My daughter is 17 and babysits for our neighbours. Sometimes she has a friend visiting from another town and is staying with us, so she goes with her to babysitting. My daughter always checks with the parents (of the children she babysits) first, and they have never minded her having a friend along.

It isn't something she does everytime,and personally, I prefer that she doesn't do it. I think that if she's being paid to babysit,she ought to concentrate on the kids she's caring for rather than her friend. However, she's a sensible girl and it has always gone smoothly.

My friends and neighbours organise the babysitting through me - but I have given the telephone numbers to my daughter so that all the details etc can be finalised with her.That way she is easily contacted when they are out and anything last minute can be communicated.

If I were you I would get the boys telephone number from his mum, call him and explain how you feel (in the evening, when he isn't at college). Tell him you don't mind if he has a friend drop in, but you have to know if there are going to be strangers in the house, or alternatively, that you think he's a great babysitter, but you'd prefer that he comes alone and doesn't have visitors.

Decide what you feel comfortable with and stick with it.

Pupsiecola Sun 16-Mar-14 00:12:39

Yes I have told him that he should answer the landline if we need to get hold of him. This area isn't great for reception mobile wise depending on which provider you are with.

I'm not feeling aggressive about the situation. I was calm until I came on here!!

Caitlin17 Sun 16-Mar-14 00:13:50

I think you are very unreasonable in not allowing a teenage babysitter to have a friend round. You haven't mentioned if you are paying him, I assume you are but even if you are he is doing you a big favour in giving up his evening.

MysweetAudrina Sun 16-Mar-14 00:13:52

Do 11 year olds really go to bed at 8pm on a Saturday night? My 4 year old stays up later than that if no school in the morning.

I would just make a point of saying that no one else is to be in the house while you are out and explain why.

huftydufty Sun 16-Mar-14 00:13:55

Yes, but you posted in "Am I being Unreasonable", there's always going to be some kind of flaming on this forum....

bragmatic Sun 16-Mar-14 00:15:00

You're getting a hard time, OP. I've no idea why. <bemused>

SirChenjin Sun 16-Mar-14 00:15:15

Don't blame you Pup - sometimes the responses on MN seem to come from a parallel universe hmm

Although it is AIBU....wink

MamaPain Sun 16-Mar-14 00:15:19

Having re-read the OP, I've clearly missed a few things.

He lives next door?! Get the number for future reference, but why don't you just knock on the door?

The kids are 11 and 9, I had presumed they were babies, so yes you are really overreacting.

I would take AgentProvocateur's advice.

Pupsiecola Sun 16-Mar-14 00:17:42

We are paying him £7 an hour. For that he gets to sit on our big comfy sofa and watch our 52" Plasma TV. He is welcome to eat anything from the cupboard or fridge. My children go to bed at 8pm. He has time away from his parents. So yes, we pay him well and we treat him well.

Yes, my 11 year old has always needed a lot of sleep. He only dropped his day time nap the Summer before he started school. My boys are early risers, up at 6am to 7am even on the weekend regardless of what time they go to bed.

Thanks huftydufty. Never posted here before. Never will again.

Famzilla Sun 16-Mar-14 00:18:49

I'm not lucky. I've had 2 child-free evenings since I became a parent. Are you always this much of a drama llama?

Pupsiecola Sun 16-Mar-14 00:19:41

Are always this much of a judgemental witch? (No need to answer that).

SirChenjin Sun 16-Mar-14 00:19:44

he is doing you a big favour in giving up his evening

What a load of rubbish.

Pupsiecola Sun 16-Mar-14 00:20:59

Re knocking on the door, his mum would be there so that defeats the object of trying to handle it without involving her.

SirChenjin Sun 16-Mar-14 00:21:44

No-one is being a 'drama llama' - the OP has perfectly justifiable concerns, and plenty of us on here have said that we wouldn't be happy with the lies or strangers in our house either.

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