We have a lovely young lady who comes over for an hour and a half some nights if DH isn't home in time for me to go to an exercise class. Usually it will involve getting DD (9) into bed and whereas I might say up at 7.30, lights out at 8 I might get home at 8.30 to find them both chatting in DD's room. The babysitter, let's call her Sam, is a mature 14 but DD is a very clued up 9 year old and it seems she is pulling the strings.
Tonight DD was finishing tea when I left and I said that she could have a yoghurt if she wanted dessert (as she's been with MIL today so ice cream, lemonade, cakes and sweets galore) but that was all and just water to drink. I've come home to find she's had a Fudge and some other chocolates too.
I appreciate that none of these things are major or life threatening so do I just let it go as Sam is lovely and the daughter of a friend of mine and my children love her. Or do I have words and risk upsetting her. WWYD
14 is only a child so I don't think you can really expect her to be the voice of authority over a 9 year old. I think you need to focus on your DD behaving - not taking treats or staying up late. So long as everyone is in one piece and the house is still standing when you get back then I'd let it go.
Yep. Your babysitter is 14. She is only 5 years older than your daughter. No issues with using her btw (don't want you to think I'm judging) but I think that there is only so much you can expect her to do. If I were you I'd reiterate your rules in front of them both and then take your babysitter yo one side and ask her again. Do you know why she is giving in?
Thanks guys. I really appreciate the replies. I think Sam is just such a lovely girl, she wants everyone to be happy and she would found it hard to be authoritative perhaps. It makes sense what you are saying - it's dd I should be having words with, not Sam .
I remember babysitting when I was 15/16 and letting the 10/11 year old stay up a bit later than instructed or watch a bit of tv that she wasn't normally allowed to. I think its probably to be expected with a teenage babysitter and I remember it being quite a lot of fun for both me and the girl I was watching. We had a nice relationship and chatted and had fun. I think if you want someone who will stick to the rules, you might need to find an adult, but as long as she's not doing anything inappropriate (like grown up films or drink/smoking) or being horrible to your dd, then I'd let it slide. Its only once a week!
Thanks Mack for your post. I'm not going to make a big deal of it. They do have a lovely friendship and I don't want to spoil that over 30 minutes bed time or a Finger of Fudge. I shall talk to DD though and remind her not to sweet talk Sam into going against my instructions.
Given their ages I think you should let DD and Sam know the rules, and ensure there are consequences for DD if these are not followed. That way all Sam has to say is "this is what your mum said so we need to do it" - which would be a cop-out for a proper nanny, but I think is acceptable for a 14yo babysitter.