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Dad needs help hiring a sitter

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KeepOnMovin posted 6/4/2013 09:37 AM

OK. STBXWW always took care of hiring sitters for the kids, day care and that kind of thing. We have 50/50 custody, so i hired a sitter to stay with DS11 while i work this summer.

My sitter is a 13 year old girl from our church. She is coming with her parents tonight for a walk-thru before her first day tomorrow. Need to show her where everything is, but what else?

What do i need to discuss with her tonight?
In case of emergency stuff, like tornadoes and fire?
I have a land-line phone (yeah, i may be in the minority here) for her to use.
The emergency phone numbers to contact me and poison control is posted by the phone.
Her mom will drop her off on her way to work in the morning.
Do i trust her to cook anything (easy stuff for breakfast and lunch)?
I have an in-ground pool, and even though DS11 is a good swimmer, i really don't think i trust anyone to supervise swimming while i'm not there.
How much do i even pay her?

All responses are greatly appreciated. STBX complained to me that she could not get a summer job (she's a teacher) becuase of her responsibilty to watch DS11 while i work. So i hired a sitter. Now she's pissed that i hired somebody.

Spirit13 posted 6/4/2013 09:49 AM

If you both have iphones, have her add you for "facetiming"

That is a great way to touch base via video. It just gives more "comfort" as to what is going on and if she has questions about things - you can see what she sees, etc.

Kajem posted 6/4/2013 09:52 AM

Put YOUR rules in writing. You can add to it.

Good thing her parents are coming to see where you live.

Ask her if she feels comfortable cooking stuff while her parents are there. If you asked my kid (at 13) what she could cook, you would have gotten a whole menu of items, when in reality she helped me make those items. Kids often feel more confident about doing some things than the adults around them. Her parents can give you a good idea if her cooking will be a safety issue. You can adjust your menu plans and shopping accordingly. I might not feel comfortable with them cooking stuff on the stove...but I would be ok with them microwaving something for lunch. JMHO

Is this 13yo responsible. And will your 11 yo listen to her? That is the biggest issue.

Good luck

lieshurt posted 6/4/2013 09:58 AM

I would not want her cooking without supervision. Perhaps you could have meals already prepared that she could just throw in the microwave? Also, I would be clear that having friends over would not work.

I am not a fan of having an inhouse sitter, so my son went to the YMCA for day camp during the summer. It was a lot of fun for him and the hours were great. If your sitter does not work out, maybe that's something you could look into.

[This message edited by lieshurt at 9:59 AM, June 4th (Tuesday)]

Chrysalis123 posted 6/4/2013 10:35 AM

The age difference is not very big, so be sure the 11 year old will listen.

I would also talk about:

1. cleaning up messes

2. where they may go during the day

3. if your 11 year old can have friends over

4. Internet usage and texting

torn2bits posted 6/4/2013 12:28 PM

It sounds like your in kind of a jam where you need to hire a 13 year old. If she is a responsible girl (i.e. Leader) and you know her skills then this seems ok, however I think she is too young to handle an 11 year old boy.

The gender/age difference is what gets to me. Also, I dont allow my kids or anyone in my pool without an adult over 18 period.

Is she certified in child/adult CPR? I am concerned that if she is not a leader, she will panic during an emergency situation like the house is on fire, the toilet doesn't work, the microwave is smoking, etc.

Hourly wage for a teen under 15 is $6 per hour unless you discussed this with her parents. Is she eating your food for 2 months? This is taken into consideration.

Privacy going to the bathroom, changing, sexual boundaries, eating boundaries you expect for your son, hours on tv, gaming or internet need to be discussed. Who's going to tell if either is doing wrong, alcohol, smoking, sexting, violent movies,.

Yes, I know this sounds odd, but when children are left alone, many things can happen.

I have 13yr and 10yr old sons. They negotiate not telling me about what the other was doing when I was gone.

I wonder if your son could volunteer at the local library. Mine is for free and its the whole summer days. They start at 11 at my library. Adult supervision and actually enriching them at the same time.
Just some things to consider.
I know it will go well for you.

[This message edited by torn2bits at 12:33 PM, June 4th (Tuesday)]

cmego posted 6/4/2013 14:12 PM

I probably wouldn't hire someone that young. Granted, my kids are younger (7 and almost 10)...but minimum for me would be 16. They need to be able to drive if there is an issue.

I'm really picky. My sitters are generally nursing students or lifeguards I steal from the pool...if they are a lifeguard, I let them take the kids.

I make sure dinner is either cooked...or sandwiches. I do expect they tidy up the kitchen and house of anything they pull out.

I put the kids weight, allergies, medications, the home address, contact numbers, etc, by the phone. You will need that kind of information if there is a medical emergency.

I also have them come at least one time while I supervise the play so I know they get along.

KeepOnMovin posted 6/4/2013 15:11 PM

Thanks for the helpful replies. I worry maybe i haven't done enough research into this...

I initially wanted to hire a different girl who is 15, but DS11 begged me to hire this one, and i did. STBX has used her in the past to stay with him when she was out. Also, i know the parents really well, and they are ultra conservative.

I definitely have a lot to work on as far as establishing the rules.

She is only staying with him two half-days during the week, and his older brothers (16 and 18) will be there from time to time. I just couldn't count on them to be there as they ahve their own jobs and friends to tend to.

I could have insisted one of the older boys be there at all times to watch him, but there's a little bit of resentment with DS16 and him feeling taken for granted.

Also, i just didn't want DS11 sitting in front of the TV all hours and not having someone there to entertain him and play games (non-video variety anyway).

Infidelity and divorce is such a mess. I can handle the feelings of betrayal and that sort of thing for me. But, I'm struggling with the effect on the kids. STBX knows this and is exploiting it. She knows all she has to do is suggest i'm fucking up the parenting, and she's gotten to me.

MissD posted 6/4/2013 19:55 PM

I was watching kids over summer breaks when I was 12-15 y/o and we had no major problems. They were younger which may have made it easier as far as them minding the rules. I didn't cook per SE but would re-heat or fix simple things. I always had a neighbors phone number in case of non emergency type emergencies. Might ask if she has questions, and interview her out of earshot of your DS, as well as in the presence of, so you get a feel for her her maturity level. Ask her parents if they have questions/concerns, and if all goes well consider scheduling a working interview for a few hours on a day when you are home.

Nature_Girl posted 6/4/2013 20:49 PM

JMO, 13 is too close in age to be watching 11. There needs to be several more years' difference in ages. Trouble's brewing, I bet...

courageous posted 6/5/2013 00:05 AM

The age difference is so small and that your son begged you to hire her means that he probably has a crush on her or he sees her as a friend to play with which means he will not mind her authority.

13 is not too young to babysit but it is too young to babysit a 11 year old.

Bluebird26 posted 6/5/2013 05:06 AM

I would be concerned also with a 13 year old watching an 11 year old. I have a 14 year old and a nearly 11 year old, I can't leave them alone together as the younger one will not listen to the older one. It is just that age!

However I would make sure the sitter has no friends over during the times you require her to babysit. I would say no pool, no cooking either to be on the safe side.

HopeImOverIt posted 6/5/2013 11:35 AM

I could have insisted one of the older boys be there at all times to watch him, but there's a little bit of resentment with DS16 and him feeling taken for granted.

One way to handle that would be to pay DS16 to watch his brother.

Besides talking with the sitter, you need to have a talk with your DS11 about what you expect from him.

Cooking should be microwave only.

StrongerOne posted 6/5/2013 13:32 PM

No cooking. Fruit, sandwiches, crackers... Frankly, I'd say no knives or microwave, as well.

Absolutely no swimming.

The age dif gives me pause, but then again, when I was 12 I babysat *four* kids, ages 5 to 10, evenings and some afternoons. They were well behaved kids. Also, my mom was always available in an emergency. The fact that the parents are coming with her for the walk through is an excellent sign. You might ask the sitter some "what would you do in this situation" questions to get an idea of her maturity and ability to make good decisions.

Make it exceptionally clear to your kids that the sitter is there to keep them safe, so they have to mind her. "Obey without delay"... swimming.

KeepOnMovin posted 6/7/2013 10:02 AM

Well, i'm not ready to declare victory after two days, but it went much better than i could have expected.

DS11 does not have a crush on the sitter. There's absolutely no crush vibe and the sitter isn't really crush-material.

He (so far) had no problem following her direction. He is pretty well behaved. We had a talk and he knows she's in charge when she's here.

DS11 was sort of sad this morning that he had to go to his mom's rather than the sitter coming over because she(sitter) plays games with him. Mom is there with him and he loves her, but mom is never 'present' if you know what i mean.

So i feel better about the decision.

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