Adventures in Babysitting: A Guide to Having a Teenage Babysitter

It’s finally here! A night out for you, mama!  You’ve called a teenage babysitter to stay with the kids for the night and when they ring your doorbell, you are ready to start your night!  

But…like most things in parenting, it’s not that easy.

We have compiled a step-by-step guide to help you prepare for a teenage babysitter before a night out. These tips can ensure a safe and enjoyable experience for you, your kids, and your teenage babysitter.

Before The Night Out

Gather information. Leave all important names, phone numbers and address in one place will that will be easily accessible for the sitter.  There are tons of printables like the ones found here and here that are great for sitters to refer back to while you are out.  

Decide your expectations.  Talk with your partner about what you feel is appropriate for a teenage sitter.  

  • Can they have the wifi password?
  • Are they allowed to have friends over?
  • How do you feel about them posting pictures of your kids on social media?

Deciding how you feel about these issues will help you communicate to the sitter and avoid any uncomfortable situations that may pop up.

Communicate transportation for the night.  How is the sitter getting to your house?  If they need a ride, I HIGHLY recommend that YOU transport the sitter instead of your husband or partner.  Most female teenage sitters reported they felt more comfortable with the mom taking them home. It may make for a longer night for you, but it will make such a difference to your sitter!  

Shop for snacks. Grabbing a couple of extra snacks for your sitter will make them feel at home while you are out for for the night.  

The Night Out

Talk with your children about having a babysitter.  Make sure you review appropriate behaviors for having a sitter over and review what the routine will look like when you are gone.  Ask your children to round up some of their favorite games or activities they will want to do while the sitter is over.

Ask the sitter for come over early beforehand.  Depending on if the sitter has been to your house before, you may need more time to go over all the “Need to Know” information.  

Communicate your expectations.  Let your sitter know what is ok and not ok to do while you are out and what the house should look like when you return.  By being upfront about these will help you relax and enjoy your time away!

Give a tour of the house.  There are lots of different areas of your house you’ll want to explain to a sitter.  Make sure you explain the list of names and numbers for emergency contacts and any other emergency type items such as a first aid kit or a fire extinguisher, just in case!  Showing them where snacks are to eat and how to work the TV will ensure they are comfortable after the kids go to bed.

While You Are Out

Make sure you have your phone turned on.  While it’s great to be off mom duty for the night, make sure you keep your phone close just in case there is an emergency at home you need to know about.

Limit the drinks.  Again, it’s great to have a night out, but make sure you don’t over do it.  It can be awkward to come a little tipsy home to your teenage babysitter and even worse if you are planning to drive him or her home!  

Be respectful of their time.  Make sure you are home when you said you would be.  If you are cutting it a little close or want to stay out later check in with your sitter. Not only is it respectful to them, but to their parents as well.

Returning Home

Pay Your Sitter.  This probably seems like a no-brainer, but there have been times that I have almost forgotten!  I know that as a teenager I would have been too embarrassed to have asked to get paid and would have ended up making nothing for the night.  To combat this, we almost always get our cash out while we are in the car so we can hand it to the sitter as soon as we walk in.

Follow these easy tips and everyone will have a great night!  

How do you prepare for a teenage babysitter? What tips would you add?

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Meredith was born and raised in Cedar Rapids before attending Central College in Pella and settling in Vinton. She and her husband married in 2011 and welcomed their daughter, Claire, in February of 2014. Meredith is a Title 1 Reading Teacher at Shellsburg Elementary. She is passionate about her family, connecting with friends and teaching. When she’s not spending time with her daughter, you can find Meredith catching up on social media, watching reality TV or eating tacos.