Should the Babysitters Club be Age Restricted?
When I was between the ages of ten and twelve years old my favorite chapter books were "The Babysitters Club" by Ann Martin. And I’m sure my friends and I weren’t the only ones who started a Babysitters Club of our own.
We put an advertisement in the PTA newsletter letting parents know they could call us on Tuesdays after school at 4:00pm to set up babysitting for the weekend. Then we’d all go over to our friend’s house (the one who had the phone in her room, of course) and wait for the phone to ring.
And it did. Regularly. And we’d rotate who would take the babysitting jobs. Sometimes two of us would be asked to help watch a group of kids while the adults enjoyed a dinner party. And I’m pretty sure we only charged something like two dollars an hour. This was 1987, mind you.
Oh, did I mention we were only eleven?
Yes. Eleven years old. Babysitting infants and toddlers a lot of the time.
Looking back I can’t believe we were so completely entrusted at such a young age. But times were different then.
What about now?
We occasionally have our neighbor, who is twelve babysit our six year old, but her mother is always next door for back-up just in case. We know her well. She’s demonstrated good judgment, knows and likes our son, and our families are close. Our neighbor has also completed the babysitting course at the local hospital as well.
But I don’t think I would hire a babysitter that young if we didn’t know them well. Certainly not an eleven year old from a PTA newsletter, that’s for sure.
Oh yeah, and talk about inflation. Our babysitters are definitely charging more than two dollars an hour.
What about you? In your opinion, how young is too young to babysit?