Texting While Babysitting: What are your House Rules?

Most of the time, we use high school age babysitters to watch our kids when we go out. Many of our babysitters don’t even know how to work the cable remote and DVR given that they “don’t watch TV”, which most would view as a positive, but in my book, is almost a negative. How can you be in high school and not care about what LC is up to? This makes me feel a bit like an animal because I am obviously not following the American Association of Pediatrics recommendation for TV watching. At all.

Our babysitters might not watch TV, but a lot of them feel free to jump on my laptop without asking. Nearly all of them text, which never raised a red flag until recently.

My accountant told me that when his 13-year-old babysits, he doesn’t allow her to bring her mobile phone on the babysitting gig. He says she should be watching the kids, not texting. I think this is a good practice.

When I hire a teenage babysitter, I feel responsible for their safety and well-being because I am a parent, too. Should I ask their parents if they are allowed to be on Facebook or AIM at my house? Should I ask their parents if they are supposed to be texting at all hours of the night?

Just as we wouldn’t allow boyfriends to visit during babysitting time for our teenage babysitters, should we also say, “no texting”? Or limit texting? Or “we have a home phone so if your parents need to reach you they can call you at our house?”

Or should we just be thankful to have a night out and let it go?

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