Picking out a decent, trustworthy and reliable babysitter is never an easy task. And while most moms are the ones who do all the research when it comes to picking out a babysitter for the family, dads are just as involved, too. Just because they don’t do much of the talking (especially when you first meet), don’t think that they aren’t interested in who you are and what you will be doing inside his home while you're watching his kids.
In fact, there are lots of things that are running through a dad’s head during that crucial first-time meeting with a babysitter. And while he would love to go over everything with you, chances are that his wife is doing all of the talking instead. At least, that’s how it usually goes.
But believe it or not there are quite a few things that dads really don’t like about the way babysitters handle certain situations, but just haven’t done enough to communicate them out loud. From eating the leftover pizza to using the household Amazon Prime account and inviting your boyfriend over, dads have plenty of pet peeves. Here are 20 of them that dads want to tell their children’s babysitters, from their point of view.
20 Don’t Be Late Without Warning
Look, we get that you are trying your best to get to our house on time (even though your college dorm is halfway across town). But our time is valuable. Between work, school drop-offs and pickups and family time, we don’t get to spend much time with each other. And you are definitely not making our lives easier when you are late and we’ve got dinner reservations waiting for us. We hired you for a job, so please be respectful and be on time. You wouldn’t be late for your employer, right? So don’t be late – at least not with a warning – for us.
19 Inviting Your Friends Over
Sure, you might get bored after the kids fall asleep but guess what: you are not inviting any of your friends over to our house. Chances are that they are going to distract you from what you are supposed to be doing, and that’s keeping an eye on our kids. There’s a reason why you have text messaging on your phone. Text them instead. But don’t invite anyone over to our house, and especially without our consent. Not only are you going to anger us over it, but you will also freak out our kid, especially if he won’t otherwise expect it.
18 Inviting Your Boyfriend Over
This is a huge fat no. I don’t care how long you’ve been dating him. I don’t care if he supposedly loves kids as much as you do. And I really don’t care to meet him or get to know him for that matter (with that being said, I’m your boss, not your father). But under no circumstances are you allowed to bring your boyfriend over while you are supposed to be watching my kids. We are never going to say yes to it, so don’t even try.
17 Watch Your Language
Yes, you need to watch your language, even when we close the door and leave for our date night. That’s because there’s a very good chance that our kid will repeat anything questionable that you say. And trust us, he will repeat it. You can ask him to say “please” and “thank you” a million times, but the moment he hears a questionable word, it’s embedded in his little mind. So if you have colorful language, please keep it to yourself, unless of course, you want to explain to our kid’s pre-school teacher why he is all of a sudden talking like a college freshman who just now realizes that she has an exam, only after she downed several shots the night before.
16 Don’t Touch The Restaurant Leftovers
You’d think that we wouldn’t have to talk about this, but we are going to do it anyway. Please don’t touch any of our restaurant leftovers in our fridge. That’s just gross. As a matter of fact, please don’t touch anything in our fridge, to begin with. We don't go to your house and touch your food, now do we? So please don't put your fingers in food that belong to us, thank you very much. Plus, it's just gross and you certainly don't want us to catch you doing it on our cameras, either.
15 Charging More Than You Should
We get that gas is expensive, designer bags are even more expensive and that college tuition is off the roof. But looking at some of the rates that babysitters charge these days seriously makes me want to reconsider my career path. In some cases, babysitting really isn’t a hard job, yet babysitters are charging THIS much to watch my kid? Why even go to college in the first place when you can easily turn this gig into a full-time job and eventually make six figures working as a Hollywood nanny somewhere? Sheesh. Babysitters are some of the best-paid people on the planet.
14 Don’t Charge More For A Second Child
We get it that rates are very high and competitive these days. But if my wife and I are going out for a date night, chances are our kids should be sleeping for at least half of the time that you are with them. So for half of that time, we will be paying while you sit on your phone and text your friends from our couch. There is really no reason for you to be charging us by the hour and per kid, too. Unless our second child is a menace, this is something I just won’t agree on.
13 Dress Appropriately, Please
Yes, it’s hot as you-know-what outside. Yes, we get that you're young and 21. But please don’t make things awkward for me. Dress appropriately when you come to our house. Don’t make my wife give you “that” look and don’t make me divert my eyes each time I am supposed to look at you. It’s hard enough as it is, especially when my wife starts giving me that “stare.” Crop tops and cut off shorts are for the beach, and not for a babysitting job. Plus, we don’t want you giving our impressionable and very young 8-year-old daughter any ideas, either.
12 Posting On Social Media
We get it. You think our kid is cute. Heck, we think the little nugget is pretty cute, too. But please don’t post any selfies or photos of our kid on any of your social media accounts. Why? Because it’s our kid. He’s not your child. We don’t know who your followers are and we are very careful not to share photos of our kids with people we simply don’t know. Plus, our child shouldn’t be used for Instagram or Facebook likes. Also, don’t post the location of our house, too. It’s for our safety and for your safety as well.
11 Using Amazon Prime
We get that using Amazon Prime, and especially Amazon Prime Now, is very convenient. But that doesn’t mean that you get to use our account to buy food and ship it to our house within two hours. We can guarantee you that everything you’ll need is either in our kitchen pantry or in our fridge. Please do us a favor and don’t purchase anything without our consent. As much as our kid might tell you that buying a six-pack of goldfish or oreo cookies or whatever box load of snacks that he requests is ok, it’s not. He’s not the baby boss.
10 Watching Netflix
Here’s something to know: when we said to treat our house like it’s your house, we really didn’t mean it. Yes, we want you to feel comfortable, but we don’t want you acting like you are about to move in, either. Just like our Amazon Prime account, our Netflix account is personal. Would you want someone snooping through any of your personal accounts to see what is the last movie they watch or what kind of programs they are in to (dare we say even the kinky ones)? Perhaps not. Plus, our accounts should be password protected and you don’t need access to our passwords.
9 Lying About What You Were Doing
These days, it’s really hard to get away with a lie. That’s because there’s a very good chance that we’ve got cameras installed all over the home that we can easily access with apps on our smartphone. Now, that’s not to say that we are stalking you or watching your every move, but nanny cams do exist for a reason. Don’t get freaked out now: we’re not those kinds of people. But if you are caught snooping through our drawers and personal items, there’s a good chance that we will pink slip you once we get home. Bye, girl.
8 Using Our Bathroom
And by that we mean, using our shower or our bathtub. We get that you can get a little bored once the kids go to bed and the lights are out. But truth be told, we don’t want you taking a shower at our house. It’s not a hotel. Unless you get caught playing in the mud with our kids, don’t use your babysitting downtime to have a little “me” time by using my wife’s bath bombs, bubble bath, and perfume for yourself, especially if you haven’t asked beforehand. There’s always a good chance that we might come home early, and you wouldn’t want to be caught doing this, now would you? We didn’t think so either.
7 Not Putting The Dishes Away
If you made lunch or dinner at our house, that’s absolutely fine. We understand that you will be hungry just as much as our kids, and we have no problem with it. After all, you are a guest in our house. But if you make yourself a Cuban sandwich using all of our condiments from our fridge, put it away, please. And if you made mac-and-cheese for our kids, please clean up after yourself and put the dishes away. You should be old enough to know that no one should be cleaning up after you. Plus, dirty dishes are gross.
6 Not Telling Us The Truth
If our child had too much sugar before bed, didn’t brush their teeth, had a huge blowout, fought with his or her sibling or didn’t go to bed on time, we prefer that you tell us. Yes, every babysitter wants to look like they are in control, but chances are if our kid was jumping on his bed until midnight, we will feel the repercussions the next morning. We get that our little angel is a devil in disguise and that he tries to get away with things behind our backs. But you not being honest with us just complicates everything even more.
5 Don’t Bring Bad Habits In The House
If there’s one thing that we won’t tolerate whatsoever, it’s smoking inside our house. As a matter of fact, if you are a smoker, we prefer that you don’t watch our children altogether. Now, it’s not that we don’t like you, it’s just that second-hand smoke isn’t good for our kids. Also, if your teeth, clothes, hair, and purse all smell like cigarette smoke, our children might not feel comfortable with you. Sure, this might be your lifestyle choice, but remember this is our house. Please tell us up front if you are a smoker before we find out on our own.
4 Make It Clear Who's The Boss
Now, chances are that my wife hired you, but let’s make this a little clear: she might be doing all the talking, but we are both the boss. Even though I wasn’t the one that reached out to you – or barely even know you for that matter – don’t feel intimidated. As our family’s babysitter, I want to get to know you and your personality. After all, you are also watching the kids I share with my wife. This is a team effort and we are all in this together. Plus, let's not forget that even though my wife is paying you, the money comes from both our pockets.
3 Know The Difference Between A Nanny And A Babysitter
Now, we understand that this part applies more to us than to you. As we are sure you know by now, there is a huge difference between a babysitter and a nanny. A babysitter is there to watch over our kids during a short time period whereas a nanny is basically like a second, live-in parent. They know more about our children’s diets, rules, and restrictions, likes and dislikes. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn't either, especially during the short time period you are with us. We’d all benefit if you got to know our children a little better, too.
2 Don’t Be Rude
We know that many teens and college-aged babysitters still have a long way to go, especially when it comes to learning the basic rules of life. But whatever you do, please don’t be rude. And definitely don’t be rude in my house, and in front of my children. Respect me, respect my family and respect that you are in my space. With that being said, we expect you to treat us as if you would treat your own family or close, personal friends. Be on time and better yet, be a good role model for our children. We’re all counting on you.
1 Treat My Children Like They Are Your Own
Ok, we get it that you are still very young and you have a long way until you have children of your own. But with that being said, please treat your children like they are your own. We expect you to watch them the same way we would watch them and yes, that means acting like a helicopter parent, especially if our kids are on your watch. We also don’t want you to say anything to our kids that you wouldn’t otherwise say to us. Got it? They look up to you as much as they look up to us.
References: babble.com, scarymommy.com, parenting.com, parents.com, babycenter.com, mumsnet.com