Babysitter Has Friend Round Without Asking/Telling Us(86 Posts)
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.
No yanbu but you need to discuss directly with him. Next time he babysits bring it up before you go out. I would cover what your expectations are and also that you can't continue with him as a babysitter if you ever hear that the children have been encouraged to cover something up. You can do it in a fairly light hearted way, if he is a decent child he will probably feel a bit mortified and won't try the same thing again.
I personally would also get his number. My babysitter and I communicate by text while she's here which makes those quick queries easy to manage. She has previously texted to ask if a friend can pop in (teenagers are spontaneous an did can't always be arranged in advance).
DS1 woke for a wee a little after DS2 and was annoyed that DS1 had told us. He wouldn't want to get S in trouble as he looks up to him. But I can't have DS2 feeling bad for telling me and I'm glad he felt he could. He didn't say it in a mean way - more "this funny friend of S's came round".
So, I know what I need to do now. Thank you again for your advice,
I've had a few youngish babysitters (16-19) & it's always been a matter of courtesy that they let me know if they want to have someone else in the house.
I'm not seriously worried that a babysitter's mate will assault my dc or abscond with the spoons; but I wouldn't be keen on impromptu drop ins, simply because IME if teen#1 is babysitting, the only reason teen#2 knows where to find them is because they've been texting each other.
At which point, if it's not been agreed with me, I'd expect teen#1 to say 'no don't come round - I haven't cleared it with raven - see you tomorrow'.
I'm perfectly amenable to being asked - on several occasions a sitter has wanted to bring a mate/boyfriend round. They get to spend a pleasant evening in front of a dvd & it funds a night out on the lash for them the following night/weekend - fair enough!
But I'd take a dim view of the situation OP describes, not least because of the suggestion that her dc should lie about it. I would have been fine, though, if I'd had a text saying 'My mate Sam's just texted, is it OK if he comes round for a bit?'.
Since you don't have this lad's number, I'd drop round next door, ask to have a word, & tell him it's not to happen again. Then exchange numbers for future reference, & say that if he wants to have a mate round for company just to text/call you so you can say yes or no.
Well, I almost always brought a friend when I was babysitting. But they arrived with me, met the parents and was no secret.
If I were you, I would tell the boy when he arrives for the booked session that you do not want him to open the door to anyone and to keep all doors locked, and also, no friends over please. I would not call his mother, unless something untoward went on.
I do think it's great that DS2 told you, and it might be worth reiterating to DS1 that nobody should be telling him to keep anything secret from you.
I used to feel I'd crossed the line if I took a phone call when babysitting (before mobile phones). I don't think it's unreasonable to say he can't have a friend round that you don't know about. Maybe he went to knock for him and was redirected?
Good point Countess, regarding secrets.
This has recently happened to my ds from the opposite pov. We had agreed to have his friend to stay for the w/e (parents away) and then ds was asked to bsbysit. He asked the mum if it was ok if friend came with him but was perfectly prepared to accept it if answer was no. He did recognise that the children he was bsbysitting needed to know that an unknown person would be coming with ds whilst their parents were out.
I would have a word with your sitter, explain that you need to know who is in the house whilst you're out, and ask him to let you know if he's bringing a friend with him but that impromptu drop-ins are a no-no. I imagine that it just hasn't occurred to him that he should have asked but friend clearly knew you might not have approved.
Hmmm, tricky one but I do feel 16 is a bit young to be babysitting. Rather use a proper agency if you can or do date night swaps with friends.
16 might be a bit young to be in sole charge of a couple of toddlers, but OP has an 11yo & a nearly 9yo.
My dc are 9, 8 & 6 & don't really need 'babysitting' as such. They get themselves to bed quite happily.
The babysitter just needs to be a sensible person who can tell them to go to bed, & then sit on a sofa watching telly so that there's someone in the house who can ring me/999 if there's a problem. I'd be quite concerned if one of mine couldn't manage that aged 16!
Some of the responses on here are bonkers...
As he hadn't asked it was of course wrong for S's friend to pop by without you being asked. I suspect that you would want the kid to come around before being left in your house with your kids so that you can meet him/her, I know I would.
I know you like and trust S but kids or adults even can succumb to peer pressure and if you don't know this kid you don't know if he's going to be a good influence on S, and thus your kids, or whether you'd prefer he not come around. If it were something like "Hey I have your algebra book". I'm babysitting at X, can you bring it round?" The friend should never have crossed the threshold of your home (unless it's a long drive and needed to pee quick). The kids wouldn't have had the opportunity to see him let alone be told not to say anything.
I would also NEVER dream of bringing a friend to a job! I might text, I might email but I wouldn't bring a friend around. It is a job contrary to what some people have said. It's not a favour unless it's a last minute "we have no other options" thing that I didn't necessarily want to do but I'm doing to be nice. It's a job... and even if it WERE a favour I would never presume to eat out of the fridge, or use the phone, or invite friends over or even turn on the bloody TV unless I had been given the all clear.
~~~ So OP to answer your question, I would pop next door and ask mum for his mobile number, or ask him to pop round when he's back, so you can talk about details for the next time he sits. Then I'd talk to him, probably outside or somewhere non-threatening about how you know he had a friend over. You would have preferred to have been asked and what your stance is on him allowing friends to come over.
I really don't think it kills people (adults or kids) to sit around being paid to watch TV without their friends around!!
I find it interesting the mobile coverage is shite yet the friend knew where he was/was going to be. I also find it interesting you don't have his number 'cause the reception is bad but his friend had no problem. Sounds like it was a pre-planned visit to me.
16 is also not too young to be babysitting. Goodness! I actually baby sat my TEACHERS toddler (good kid), as well as my Doctor's/mum's boss's son's 2 boys (little shits) when I was about 15/16. I was perfectly able to survive without the company of friends.
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