There was a time when babysitting was a common way for teens to earn money, and it was often a teen’s first job. These days, though, there are a lot more options, and parents are well aware that there is more than one way to find child care if they want to have a date night.
Of course, it’s still acceptable to hire a teenager to care for your children. But like any child care choice, it has some pros and cons. Here are some of those pros and cons to consider as you decide whether you should hire a teenager to care for your children.
1. Children Like Teenagers.
Children often respond really well to teenagers. They’re fun, and children know that teenagers are not quite adults yet.
2. Teenagers Cost Less.
It’s pretty well known that an inexperienced teen is a lot more affordable than, say, a professional nanny or older adult with lots of experience and financial responsibilities. Most teens earn babysitting money as spending money or to save toward a particular purchase or goal. They do not have the financial obligations and responsibilities that adults do.
3. They Are Fun.
Teenagers have more energy to spare than your average adult. This can come in very handy if you have multiple children or a high-energy child who loves to play.
4. Teenagers Come to Your Home.
It can help ease any anxiety about your leaving if children are in their own home. It’s also convenient; you don’t have to pack up your kids and drive them somewhere.
1. Lack of Experience.
This is probably the number one con to hiring a teenager to care for your children. Teenagers do not typically have children of their own, and unless they grew up with baby brothers and sisters to care for, they aren’t going to have a very broad frame of reference for handling problems and issues with your kids.
2. They’re a “Kid” Themselves.
While this can come in handy in the energy department, the fact that teenagers are, brain-wise, still kids themselves can’t be overlooked.
3. Young Teens Can’t Drive.
This is a concern in the case of emergencies. Some parents are uncomfortable with a caretaker who can’t drive, or who doesn’t have a car of his or her own.
4. Teenagers are Busier and More Distracted Than Ever.
These days, teenagers have a lot of distractions (cell phones, video games), activities (sports, drama, music, etc.), and schoolwork. College preparation and competition are more intense than ever, and teenagers just don’t have as much spare time as they used to.
As you can see, there are pros and cons of hiring a teenager to care for your children. Hopefully, you’ll be able to arrive at a decision you’re comfortable with that works for your family.