Moms Talk is a weekly feature on Agoura Hills Patch, part of an initiative to reach out to moms and families. We invite you and your circle of friends to help build a community of support for mothers and their families right here in Agoura Hills.
Each week in Moms Talk, our council of smart moms will take your questions, and share stories and solutions. Moms, dads, grandparents and the diverse families who make up our community will have a new resource for questions about the thousands of issues that arise while raising children.
Today's topic: How to establish babysitting etiquette
This week's question comes from Sheena Stephens, the mother of three children, ages 8, 6 and 2.
I consider myself lucky in the babysitter department. If my in-laws aren't available, we have a couple teen girls in the neighborhood to call upon. That said, it seems to me and many of my mom friends that today's teens haven't learned basic babysitting etiquette the way our generation did.
So how do you handle babysitter training? Are your teen babysitters already trained in babysitting basics and etiquette (i.e. clean the dinner dishes, pick up the toys that were played with, don't leave your own food messes for the parents to clean up when they return)? Or do you need to coach them to meet these basic expectations? On the flip side, do you just let them ransack the house as long as they are good with the kids and the kids want them to come back? After all, a messy house means they played and had fun.
We pay our babysitters fairly, but I find it awkward to be honest about expectations when the babysitters are also neighbors and friends. Does it have to come down to happy kids verses messy house?