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Saturday, March 13, 2010

WWYD

Annie has entered the world of babysitting. Actually, she's been doing it for a while now. A year, maybe longer.

Tonight she babysat for some neighbors. They have one little girl, about 2 years old. Baby E. was already asleep when Annie got there. Mom and Dad left, each to separate occasions. Dad arrived home first, not quite 3 hours later.

He gave Annie a check for $20!

She is only 13. Babysitting for just 1 kid. One slept-the-whole-time kid. I think $20 is too much. My first reaction was to tell her she should go there tomorrow and give them $10 back.

But then I started thinking about how I want her to value the service she provides. And how she has done some free babysitting without complaint for a friend of ours who is a newly single mom.

So, do we just consider the generous pay a kind of "what goes around comes around?" Should she give 1/2 back? Should just keep it all and make a donation with some of the money? Buy babysitting supplies with some of it?

What would you have your daughter do?

19 comments:

Shannon said...

I would have her keep it, but put some away for savings, some for tithing, and the rest to spend on what she wants or needs...remember that today prices are alot higher than when we babysat back in the day, so this is not really horrendously to high...

Cat said...

That's normal- even low- pay for babysitters these days. $8-10 an hour is standard, but I can see lower if kids are asleep. But I really, really hope you don't make her give it back, because if that's what they're paying without asking what her rates are, that's what they're paying other sitters, so that's what sitters are worth.

So you can probably tell I think she should keep it :-) If I were you, I'd set up some kind of plan where she saves a percent for the future and a percent for charity, then gets the rest to spend and make that the standard for all incoming income, so she starts learning to manage money. Make it a teachable time.

Eternal Lizdom said...

Keep it. She did the work and they paid her what they felt was fair. If I have a week at work where I don't work as hard, I certainly don't offer any of my salary back!

Just because the baby slept doesn't mean her job wasn't valuable. Babysitting is about more than playing with and caring for the kids. She is there in case there is an emergency, in case a child gets sick, in case there is danger. She provides the parents a sense of security- and THAT is truly priceless.

B said...

I would graciously keep it but if you are truely uncomfortable with it then mention it to your neighbor before the next babysitting occasion. Say something like "gee, daughter really enjoyed babysitting and your generous paycheck, but I think I'd feel a little more comfortable if you reduced her rate next time".

Joanie M said...

Let her keep it. Minimum wage in PA is $7.25 an hour. She got minimum wage for her job last night.

Momza said...

Let her keep it. If she is asked again to bbysit for this family, tell her she can feel better about earning all that, by doing an extra great job at sitting...like doing a few dishes or sweeping the floor. That's how my girls get and keep their bbysitting jobs...doin the extra stuff, when the kids are sleeping.

Janet said...

As a mom who pays sitters, I say she should keep it. I always seriously think about what I pay. When I have a good sitter I want to make sure I keep them - so I pay them well.

babybeezymom said...

As a parent who has to, on occasion, us a babysitter here is my take. We pay our babysitters well because we are grateful to have trustworthy and responsible people/teenagers to take care of our girls. We pay them for doing their job as a babysitter and for being a responsible and hardworking teenager.

Sharon said...

It's not too much at all.
Sure the baby slept, but that's luck.

I think $20 is very reasonable, and if it's too much in your eyes, then yea-only let some of it be for actual spending, save the rest.

kimybeee said...

If the family felt that $20.00 was fair and that is what they paid her, then Annie should keep the money. The amount may be based more on how important that time was to the family versus the actual amount of work Annie had to do. Teen babysitters really aren't popular here. Family usually takes care of the kids, so I have no experience to base my opinion on.

Michelle said...

I would tell her that it's not always going to be that easy (or that much money) and let her keep it.

Rebecca Jo said...

I think I need to find a job babysitting!!! :) haha!!!

Really though, I'd just let her keep it - I'm sure the parents just appreciated a good kid who they can trust - & believe me, that's priceless!

Amy's Mom said...

I think it would be interesting for Annie to blog about it on her own blogsite and ask several friends or families what the going rate is. I think she needs to then set a rate, and include exceptions, like if past 12 mn, if for more than 2 children, etc. She could make a little flyer to give to KNOWN potential customers and even include some of the plusses that some of your readers suggested- light cleaning, vacuuming, etc. That way they would all be on the same page, and THEN if they pay her more, she would know how much they appreciate her.
It could have gone the opposite way - what if he only paid her $6 for 3 hours - what would she have done?

Amy said...

@EVERYONE -- Annie thanks you very much for your overwhelming vote of "let her keep it!"

Jessica said...

I think she should keep it but I think it could be a great way to show her how to save her money and how to manage it. Maybe put some in savings for something special that she wants to save up for.

Old Woman said...

I don't have daughters, but can say, that when I required baby sitting services, I did pay my sitter very well. I was a single mom and sometimes when I need the girl for an hour or two, she got 20 dollars -- other times, when I needed her longer, she earned less an hour but still made out well.

For your daughter, next time sitting for this family may not be so smooth. So today was easy, next time, maybe not so much. It will wash out in the end.

As a young women, the affirmation that her services are worth something will go a long way. She should be take the money and be proud!

Marine Wife said...

I agree with the idea of using it a s money-managment teaching moment. It might seem like a lot to you but the family obviously paid what they thought was fair.

As for setting rates, I'm not sure that's a good idea unless she's immensely popular and in demand as a sitter. Not only am I more generous with the teens who tell me to pay whatever I feel is fair but I'm also more likely to ask them to babysit again.

Micah and Emily said...

I used to get paid $1.50 an hour and never thought the parents quite appreciated the hard work and care I put into watching their little kids...nice to know prices have been raised! Let her keep the money but reinforce the value of saving for that rainy day.

E

Shelley said...

I think she should keep it, too.

Her circumstance is much better than Aisling's. Aisling babysat for nine kids at a SAHM book club meeting. She was told beforehand that there'd be only five children, three of the nine were infants-in-arms, and at the end of three stressful hours, SHE made $20.

I was utterly furious with those stingy, ungrateful women, and I'm very happy for Annie that her employers are generous and thoughtful.