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A dad-of-three says he’s not sure if he did the wrong thing by asking his teenage babysitter to set alarms throughout the night, so she wakes up to tend to the kids.

The dad and his 34-year-old wife have three children, ahed seven, four and nine months.

“I work a demanding job (in the medical field) and work many many hours,” he explained. “My wife not so much but she does have night shifts often.”

He explained that they had their previous babysitter for two years, but she moved away.

“Our new babysitter is only 16, but she had been babysitting one of my coworkers children for awhile and I trust him.”

The dad explained that a few nights ago, both he and his wife were working nights, so their teenage babysitter was at their home.

“I saw on the camera that our babysitter was asleep on the couch and the baby had woken up was crying for almost 30 minutes while she slept.

“That bothered me, so without talking to my wife when I got home in the morning I had told my babysitter maybe she should set alarms throughout the night to make sure she’s awake since the baby monitor didn’t wake her and that it was not okay for her to leave the baby crying like that.

“I guess it hurt the kid’s feelings because she mentioned it to my wife and my wife is really upset with me because ‘she’s only 16′ and what I was asking is unreasonable and that this has never happened before so again I’m being unreasonable and that I should’ve talked to her first because this could’ve been a ‘learning experience’.

“She also said I was completely out of line as well. I’m really not worried about a learning experience but am worried about the fact if my children are cared for properly.”

It prompted the dad to ask whether he was in the wrong, and his post attracted thousands of comments saying that indeed he was.

“I am curious why anyone thought a 16-year-old would fit the bill of a night nanny? It amazes me that people with money always cheap out when it comes to paying for their children’s sitters and nannies. You and your wife are both the assholes in this scenario,” one person commented.

“If you want someone awake all night then you need to hire an adult! This child you hired needs to sleep at night so she can go to school and learn during the day. How can you someone in the medical field not understand how important sleep is to a growing body and brain?!,” another said.

While another commented, “You have a 16-year-old who I’m assuming is also a high school student watching three children overnight. She fell asleep (which was to be expected) and the baby monitor didn’t wake her up. The correct answer would be that you need a new baby monitor that will wake her up not for her to set an alarm that goes off every so often all night. If that’s no acceptable to you then it’s time to hire an overnight nanny who is an adult instead of hiring a child to watch children.”

What are your thoughts? Let us know in the comments below. 

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  • You get what you pay for. If you want more of a nanny who is not a babysitter, then pay for it because that seems to be what your expecting. I myself as a mum have slept through the monitor from being so dog tired. And guess what – my baby survived it. Look at a nanny or accept a baby sitter may not meet your expectations.

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  • Both you and your wife are in the wrong here – your children should have an adult babysitter to care for them overnight, not a sixteen-year-old child who needs her sleep as well as she is still studying. A 16-year-old might be acceptable for an occasional night out when you will return around 9 or 10 pm, but not for overnight duties.

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  • Wow. The entitlement.

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  • There is No way I would let a teen 16 year old look after my children are you kidding me,

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  • Honestly, I think if you want someone to be awake at night you need to hire someone (and pay them accordingly) A 16yo is going to be awake the next day ( presumably in school) and needs their sleep. Setting an alarm would not work. Who could predict exactly when a baby would wake up!!

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  • Don’t think it was handled well so have to agree – an adult should’ve been better suited

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  • That’s a really big ask of a 16 year old – to babysit 3 kids overnight. I think you need another option.

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  • I don’t think an untrained, underage kid (who possibly can’t even drive yet) should be doing overnight care for small children.


    • I agree; several concerns and lots of risks.

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  • A 16 year old shouldn’t be doing overnights as one presume they are still a high school student.

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  • Get a licensed nanny of you want overnight sitters for your babies/kids. That’s not fair on a highschooler

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  • Yeah, 16 is way too young for overnight babysitting jobs. It’s one thing for a few hours or even all day on a weekend, but at night and expecting her to wake up when she’s not a mother and doesn’t have that instinct. She’s still a kid for goodness sake!

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  • Concerns about age and responsibility and sleep deprivation; professional services might be a better way to go.

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  • I’m afraid my first thoughts were too that a 16yr is too young to give the responsibility to look after a seven, four and nine months old overnight.
    When you do want to go ahead with the 16yr old the least you could do is to buy a better and louder baby monitor.

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  • I notice he thinks his own 16 year old still needs a babysitter. Also that he doesn’t believe they are old enough to care for their younger siblings. So why hire someone else’s 16 year old ?
    Pay a responsible adult a decent amount & then you can set their terms of employment.


    • The article says the kids were seven, four and nine months old

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  • It’s fair that he wants the babysitter awake – but not really fair to expect that of a teen. I think for overnights he needs to be hiring someone older.

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  • I think they just need to hire someone older! 16 looking after 3 young children overnight? Noway! I would not expect that of a 16 year old.

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  • This OP was torn apart on the original thread, and rightfully so imo. In the comments they told the very low price they were paying this teenager, and acted oblivious to the huge responsibility they were putting on this girl. It’s crazy that some people will cheap out on the most important thing, their children!

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  • I guess if theyre paying for a service, they get to set the expectations

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  • I think 16 is way to young to be responsible for overnight stays.


    • Personally I think it would be too much responsibility during the day too

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  • I think perhaps the father should consider someone a little older to look after their 3 kids, that is a big job for a teenager to manage and stay awake at night, they are practically still a kid themselves. I agree with one of comments in the article that it would be worthwhile purchasing a new baby monitor that has a louder sound or some other features that would wake the baby sitter should they fall asleep while looking after the children.

    Reply

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