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what is the "role of a baby-sitter?

i have been baby sitting twins for the past year and a half. and now that they are older things are more complicated. i was told by the parents to spank them, or disciline then if i need to. well i have been disciplining them, but when they go to their house, the parents don't follow up with it. so what ever i do here at my house goes out the window. i've been the one to cut the nails, comb the hair, started potty training them, but it all goes to waist when they go home. i just need some help here, cause i'm at the end. i'm ready to quit. watching twins is not hard at all. dealing with parents who don't do anything with the kids other than hold them and give in to everything is hard. so please i need help. what do you moms think the role of a sitter should be. and whats crossing the line (like the parents leaving the discipline to you).

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Asked by maritza_v at 5:01 AM on May. 26, 2009 in General Parenting

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Answers (4)
  • Your role is to care for the children in the parents absence not to start being their parent. Their parents are suppose to start potty training and you are suppose to follow their regiment. I do understand sometimes being a working parent you feel guilty for not being there and just wanna spoil your kids, but maybe you should write a list of things you do with the kids and give it to the parents.

    Answer by conweis at 5:27 AM on May. 26, 2009

  • Sounds like you've gone from "babysitter" to "Nanny!!!" BIG difference! I define a babysitter as someone who works on a DAILY/HOURLY basis, and ensures that the child(ren) do not get hurt, are entertained, fed, take naps/go to bed on time, and SOME light housekeeping-leaving the children/house in the same condition as when you found it/them!

    A Nanny on the other hand usually LIVES in the home (think Au Pair), and basically "calls the shots"--raising and disciplining the children on a long-term basis! A Nanny acts more like a parent in the parent's "absence." (I was one for a family for 8 years--the parents "didn't have time" for their children over their careers). The parents gave me a credit card to use on the children, they gave me a car to take the children wherever they needed to go (school, sports, doctor's appt. etc.), I even did the grocery shopping and played housekeeper--BUT I was also paid VERY well!


    Answer by LoriKeet at 6:33 AM on May. 26, 2009

  • I would be having a sit-down with the parents of the children you babysit, and either REDEFINE your role, and what is expected, and increase the PAY which should be commensurate with the expectations, OR tell them you can no longer be their "babysitter!"

    Tell them your concerns, that you feel taken advantage of, and that you are concerned over the lack of follow-up/follow-through on discipline by them. THEY are the parents, THEY need to play SOME role in the parenting process too! (sarcasm!)

    Answer by LoriKeet at 6:35 AM on May. 26, 2009

  • If you are watching them in your home, then the rules of your house should apply, and I think you have to discipline in order to teach that. The truth is that they are the ones who are suffering, because when they go home, they live by another set of rules. As they get older, it will probably get easier for them to remember in whose home they are and which set of rules apply. You just have to re-establish them again every morning. Hopefully, that will get easier as they mature. It might help if every morning, you begin the day by reminding them that they are at your house and that your rules apply and will be enforced. Some of my friends have to do this with their own grandchildren. Every time they come for a visit, they have to be reminded where they are and what the rules are. It's a shame that the parents want them taught but don't want to do the teaching. Better that they have you than nobody.

    Answer by NannyB. at 8:31 AM on May. 26, 2009

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