The pros and cons of hiring teenage babysitters

Teenage babysitter

If you’re searching for someone to care for your children so you can have the odd night (or day) out, you might be considering teenage babysitters.

Many people hire teenagers for this caregiving role, which can be a great option.

Finding the right person to care for your child is a serious business, and you must be 100% happy with your decision. For this reason, there are many points to consider if you plan on hiring a teenage babysitter.

Of course, no two teenagers are the same. But here are some pros and cons of hiring teenage babysitters so you have peace of mind when you go out and enjoy your free time.



As babysitting is a private arrangement between yourself and the carer, no law dictates what you must pay. However, the consensus is that pay would increase with your babysitter’s age and experience level.

This means that teenagers can work out pleasantly cost effectively!

With most teens earning around $20-$25 per hour in casual jobs and babysitting rates averaging between $20-$40 per hour, a teenager would be cheaper than an experienced adult babysitter.

Plus, most teens are eager to gain work experience to build their resume with a current job and an excellent first reference, so they are happy with the lower wage bracket.

Energetic and fun

You were a teenager once. Remember when you could juggle school, swim team, friends, family, AND a secret boyfriend? The energy you were able to economise effectively during that time is now a mystery to you.

Teenage babysitters have enough energy to look after your child and play with them (it’s a bonus if they can also help them with their homework), allowing them to create fun memories and positive experiences with your child while you are away.

Having a good teen as a role model in your child’s life can make up a valuable part of their support system.

Familiarity with technology

According to a study in 2020, the brains of multi-tasking teenagers are wired to acquire and retain important information more efficiently through the internet and other current technological tools than those 35yo and above.

If you are a parent who needs someone who can easily understand and learn to use your home’s security and doorbell systems, I suggest you give teenage babysitters a chance.

Aside from being able to digest technical instruction on modern tools easily, they have a genuine interest and natural inclination to use technology in accomplishing most of their tasks (remember how good they are at using computers, mobile phones, and other devices that require a reasonable amount of artificial intelligence), whether that is school work or babysitting.

Ensure that your hired babysitter also knows and has access to your preferred messaging apps, local emergency channels, and personal contact details.

Flexible schedules

Aside from school hours, possible part-time work and curfew which is fixed for most typical teenagers, the rest of their day is often free for them to do as they please.

This means many teenagers are available so you can hire them for the hours you need them. Plus, they might be available for last-minute work if they have few commitments.

If you are looking for a teenage babysitter, look for someone whose social calendar is not full and who can show you they are willing to work and accommodate your child in their schedule.

Relatable to your children

Teenagers sit about somewhere between being a child and becoming an adult. While this can make you hesitate to entrust your child’s welfare for a few hours, you can benefit significantly from getting a teenage babysitter.

While teenagers are young enough to understand and form easy, relatable, and authentic connections with younger children, they are also old enough to develop the confidence and skill to communicate with an adult such as yourself.

A teenage babysitter can be an effective bridge between you and your child, as they gain their ward’s trust with their natural relatability and easy involvement, and your trust as a parent through effective communication and reliability.


Lacking in experience

The reality of hiring a teenage babysitter is that they have little work experience and often no experience caring for children.

As their first employer, you might find yourself explaining the importance of timekeeping, reliability, and communication.

With a lack of experience comes the inability to handle certain situations which may arise and not having the necessary skills to care for your child properly.

Some teenagers can act responsibly without prior experience, while others might have a meltdown and cut your evening short.

Maturity level

Set your expectations realistically. When you leave your child with a teenage babysitter, they are being watched by an older and, hopefully, more responsible child.

Before you start the clock on your babysitting employment with your cool teenager of choice, sit down with them and set boundaries and expectations with them respectfully.

You can let them know which TV channels you do not allow them to watch with your child, or which words you would prefer not to be said in front of your child.

Suppose your child exhibits specific behaviours that can confuse, put off, or scare your new young babysitter. In that case, I advise you to educate the teenager in advance so they can also be empowered about how to deal with your child in the future.

You can teach them how to earn respect and assert healthy authority with your child. Brush them up too on what they would do in different scenarios they might experience in the house while you are away where their decision-making will be necessary.

Limited availability

I have mentioned that teenagers can make themselves available easier than most adults. But it doesn’t mean that their schedules are a free for all.

Remember, they are teenagers. Nothing is more important to them than socialising with their friends, and this will take priority above everything else, sometimes even paid work!

If you wish to employ a teenage babysitter in your home, I encourage you to plan ahead. Do you have a dinner date coming up in a month? Ensure to “book” someone who can fully commit the evening of that day at least a two-weeks before. Then remind your teenage babysitter as the time draws nearer, as they have a tendency to forget.

Safety concerns

Given the age of your hired babysitter (14-17yo), you must consider safety issues when they are in charge of your home and, more importantly, your kids. 

Teenagers may lack the experience and maturity to handle emergencies or keep a close eye on multiple children at once. 

They are also more likely to engage in risky behaviour, such as inviting friends over or leaving the children unattended. 

Provide clear guidelines and expectations to avoid anything going wrong and keep your kids (and home safe).

Limited transportation

Depending on the age of your teenage babysitter, they may or may not have their own transport. But most teens are still relying on public transport or the taxi of mum and/or dad.

This means that when you decide to hire a teenage babysitter, they might need some time, support, or a specific time window so they can safely show up at your home and leave for their home at the end of their gig. This is particularly true if you need babysitting services in the evening; these hours can be logistically challenging for teenage babysitters, especially girls.

I suggest that you allocate 30mins before and/or after the babysitting gig for you to do pick-up and/or drop-off for your teenage babysitter to ensure their safe arrival at your home and safe return to their homes.

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Beanstalk Single Mum Team

About the author

Beanstalk is run by a team of single mums who share their expertise about single motherhood to help other women on a similar journey to them. This article was written from experience and with love to help single mothers in Australia and across the world.

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