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  • November 24, 2017, 03:44:50 AM

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Author Topic: Using Teenagers as Wedding Babysitters  (Read 3481 times)

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LondonAngel

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Using Teenagers as Wedding Babysitters
« on: July 04, 2017, 03:12:31 PM »
Hi all, just thought i'd post this, because i've been looking back on it and wondering if i was in the wrong or not for refusing to do it, even with family members.

A little backstory, in my teenager years from 13 to 20 i was a babysitter, my dad put the info out at work, and i got loads of cliants, families wanting my services. i wasn't unreasonable, if i stayed overnight my rates went up, never drank, made personal calls, and was alwways a professional. i got a great reputation to the point some weekends i had to turn people down.

So i was good at this babysitting lark, was trained in first aid that type of thing.

when it came to weddings, ones i was a guest at,  prehaps because i was good with children, everyone always tried to pass their kids to me while they "caught up with someone  or had a drink etc"

I always refused, because i thought it was unfair that they saw me as some type of unpaid help, while i was having fun catching up wih my family, because it was never a "quick drink", it went on for ages, i was stuck with a kid i was meant to entertain and i was pretty miffed at having this kid dumped on me, cute kid or not.

on one occasion, i was at a wedding and was told "Just leave the kid with Angel", to  which i responded with "My going rate is £5 an hour"

So why do people do this? yes i love kids, but why do parents feel their entitled to just dump their kids with teenagers, the older i got the more resistant i got since i was legally drinking and made it clear i wasn't reponsible for taking care of kids.

but has this ever happened to you?

lakey

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Re: Using Teenagers as Wedding Babysitters
« Reply #1 on: July 04, 2017, 03:29:39 PM »
Quote
So why do people do this?
Because there are always going to be a few people who will try to impose on others. Most of us, as you wisely did, learn to speak up and say no.

Cali.in.UK

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Re: Using Teenagers as Wedding Babysitters
« Reply #2 on: July 04, 2017, 03:37:08 PM »
This happened to me a few times, and it always made me really uncomfortable. I only ever babysat for two families and the youngest children were in kindergarten so I felt inept with 1) kids I didn't know and 2) kids younger than five. I would always say that I didn't know how to watch young kids but the few times it happened to me, the parents said it would be fine and walked off. In both cases, those specific people were very entitled.

I think at the weddings, people who have kids and are around kids all the time don't realize what an ask it is for someone to watch their kids even temporarily. I recently spent a dinner with a friend who has two kids and I sort of had to watch her 2 1/2 year old for about 30 minutes while we ate and I was totally exhausted by the end of dinner because her kid was constantly trying to get out of the booth (and did once successfully and I had to run after her) and it involved a lot of energy on my part.

I think in the future I'll just say no.

rose red

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Re: Using Teenagers as Wedding Babysitters
« Reply #3 on: July 04, 2017, 04:16:31 PM »
Quote
So why do people do this?
Because there are always going to be a few people who will try to impose on others. Most of us, as you wisely did, learn to speak up and say no.

Yup. Same reason people try to get free medical, law, cooking, plumbing, etc. advice/service from professionals just because they happen to know the person or just because the person is there.

I know this is when you were a teenager and doesn't apply anymore, but if they're nervy enough to stick their kids with you without even asking, I would say "I'm off duty. I'm here as a guest just like you." Your £5 an hour comment gets the point across too. And like I always say, it's all in the tone. ;)

LondonAngel

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Re: Using Teenagers as Wedding Babysitters
« Reply #4 on: July 04, 2017, 05:05:01 PM »
totally the tone sells it.

trust me drunk parents at wedding with their children, i could write a book.

only last year at my cousins anniversary, she wanted someone to look after her daughter, i was doing jegar bombs. no chance, there.


Easter Hat

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Re: Using Teenagers as Wedding Babysitters
« Reply #5 on: July 05, 2017, 07:30:55 AM »
It doesn't end at the teenage years. 

At a recent family reception my husband and I found ourselves being designated drivers for his 70-something parents and the children they were supposed to be in charge of.  In his heavy drinking family we are often the only sober ones at a party.  At this recent event DH's parents found themselves having too much fun to stop drinking so DH and I (and another in-law) had to shuttle these people and their vehicles home.  All the while listening to FIL declare that he was "sober enough" to drive and "could have" driven all 6 children home by himself. 

Typing all that now makes me realize how inappropriate the whole thing is.  We stay sober due to DH being an alcoholic.  We go to parties to see our family.  With their cavalier attitude about drinking they WILL drive home after having too many.  It's up to us to either leave the party early (and not be stuck driving) or stay and find ourselves to be chauffeurs.  In fact, chauffeurs who have to plead for people to let us drive them.  We've been doing it so long it just seems to be standard procedure.  I think it's time to make some changes!

athersgeo

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Re: Using Teenagers as Wedding Babysitters
« Reply #6 on: July 05, 2017, 08:48:08 AM »
How to use teenagers as wedding babysitters:
1) Ask well before hand (and take no for an answer) and offer appropriate compensation (doesn't have to be money, necessarily, but something that does at least acknowledge the teenager is Doing A Job For You)

There is no second alternative.

OP You were not in the wrong for turning it down and well done for having the spine to do so :)

mime

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Re: Using Teenagers as Wedding Babysitters
« Reply #7 on: July 05, 2017, 09:25:13 AM »
OP: I think it is great that you stood up for yourself! Lots of teens struggle with that because they're in that stage where they're responsible enough to be trusted to care for kids, but still young enough that they're not accustomed to turning down a 'request' from an adult.

I think that situation where teens are expected to take care of kids is a special category all by itself. I've seen it play out over and over again, and always hated it. I also see that responsibility falling on teens or, in the absence of teens, the youngest adult. Throughout my 20s and into my early 30s I had no kids. I absolutely hated it when I was expected to take all the nieces and nephews to the sledding hill on Christmas so the adults could play games. I had no kids at that time because I didn't want that responsibility. I wanted to be free to sit around and play games! I was grateful for DH-- he was much better than I about fending off that 'request', so we never actually had to do it.

I especially hated how it was suggested: "maybe auntie mime and uncle chip will take you sledding," followed by all the kids looking at us with an excited/pleading look.

I was also sorry to see that as any of the kids became a teenager, they became the go-to person for taking care of all the younger ones. One or two actually liked the job, but most didn't. I remember roping one of them into some other task to save her from having to watch all of her cousins. That teenager and I are both moms now who don't push our kids off on others at Christmas (or wherever). Hopefully we've broken the cycle.


Yvaine

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Re: Using Teenagers as Wedding Babysitters
« Reply #8 on: July 05, 2017, 10:29:08 AM »
OP: I think it is great that you stood up for yourself! Lots of teens struggle with that because they're in that stage where they're responsible enough to be trusted to care for kids, but still young enough that they're not accustomed to turning down a 'request' from an adult.

I think that situation where teens are expected to take care of kids is a special category all by itself. I've seen it play out over and over again, and always hated it. I also see that responsibility falling on teens or, in the absence of teens, the youngest adult. Throughout my 20s and into my early 30s I had no kids. I absolutely hated it when I was expected to take all the nieces and nephews to the sledding hill on Christmas so the adults could play games. I had no kids at that time because I didn't want that responsibility. I wanted to be free to sit around and play games! I was grateful for DH-- he was much better than I about fending off that 'request', so we never actually had to do it.

I especially hated how it was suggested: "maybe auntie mime and uncle chip will take you sledding," followed by all the kids looking at us with an excited/pleading look.

I was also sorry to see that as any of the kids became a teenager, they became the go-to person for taking care of all the younger ones. One or two actually liked the job, but most didn't. I remember roping one of them into some other task to save her from having to watch all of her cousins. That teenager and I are both moms now who don't push our kids off on others at Christmas (or wherever). Hopefully we've broken the cycle.

I've seen this idea here and there--a lot of people seem to think that adults are to be given hospitality, small children are to be given hospitality, but teens must be made to work for it, which just seems way off to me.

lakey

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Re: Using Teenagers as Wedding Babysitters
« Reply #9 on: July 05, 2017, 11:34:11 AM »
Quote
All the while listening to FIL declare that he was "sober enough" to drive and "could have" driven all 6 children home by himself. 

This is truly frightening. I'm wondering if, from your description of DH's family, the children's parents are also heavy drinkers with poor judgement. I know it is really tough to speak up with inlaws because you need to maintain some kind of relationship. However, someone needs to explain to the parents of these children that they shouldn't be left with your FIL. This could end in real tragedy.
It would be better coming from your husband. Hugs.

Sorry I didn't originally mention, this is in response to Easter Hat.
« Last Edit: July 05, 2017, 11:39:18 AM by lakey »

TeamBhakta

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Re: Using Teenagers as Wedding Babysitters
« Reply #10 on: July 05, 2017, 11:37:56 AM »
That is why I hate the idea of "You can save money by getting teenagers to babysit / clean up at your wedding (in exchange for pizza or little to no money)." Along with "Get your photographer cousin to take free photos" & "Culinary students will happily make your wedding food for a low price."
« Last Edit: July 05, 2017, 11:39:49 AM by TeamBhakta »

Winterlight

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Re: Using Teenagers as Wedding Babysitters
« Reply #11 on: July 05, 2017, 12:05:59 PM »
The only time I support asking teens to babysit at the wedding is when they aren't guests to begin with, they're hired (in advance!) for a fair wage, and given the authority to keep the kids under control. Otherwise, forget it.
If wisdom’s ways you wisely seek,
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To whom you speak,
Of whom you speak,
And how, and when, and where.
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Tierrainney

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Re: Using Teenagers as Wedding Babysitters
« Reply #12 on: July 05, 2017, 01:16:21 PM »
I don't remember if this was a blog entry or a forum post on eHell, but someone shared a story about being a teenager at a Thanksgiving party where they were shuffled off into a separate room, given a plate of macaroni and cheese, and told they were responsible for all the other children at the party. As I recall, it didn't end well.

I don't know where this idea of teens being in charge of children came from in modern times. I supposed way back when with a barn raising party or similar, the teens would be in charge of the babies so that the men could build the barn and the women could cook the food.
Do not taunt Happy Fun Ball.

baritone108

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Re: Using Teenagers as Wedding Babysitters
« Reply #13 on: July 05, 2017, 02:41:46 PM »
I think they do it because most teens don't stand up for themselves so they get away with it.  When my kids were too old for daycare but too young to be home by themselves I hired an older teen to stay with them while I was at work.  When she would do things like walk to the local pool with them other neighborhood parents would try to send their own kids with them.  I had to instruct her to flat out refuse and blame it on me.  Not only wouldn't she be giving proper attention to my kids I could only imagine what would happen if something happened to the neighbor kids while they were with her.

VorFemme

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Re: Using Teenagers as Wedding Babysitters
« Reply #14 on: July 05, 2017, 04:11:20 PM »
If the wedding party is trying to drag a "guest" off to one side without warning to "watch the younger kids" and not paying them - it's rude.

If the wedding party is trying to drag a "guest" off to one side with warning to "watch the younger kids" and not paying them - it's rude.

If the wedding party is trying to drag a "guest" off to one side with warning to "watch the younger kids" and offering to pay them - it's still rude but depending on how much they are paying - the teenager might find it in their wallet to forgive them

If the wedding party arranged ahead of time for one or two teenagers who are trained as baby sitters, is paying them, and they were not relatives or the children of friends and so not potential guests - I can't see where it is rude.  As long as they get paid...there were a few times I heard about teenaged friends of my DD who were promised money that never got paid to them or they got paid less than the agreed on amount...which was rude and would have been illegal if they'd had a contract with an adult to do the required baby sitting.
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