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Babysitting for Teens and Tweens

When babysitting for teens and tweens, the babysitter must be a friend and disciplinarian for her charges.

The question of when is the right age to leave children alone to look after themselves is a tricky one. Often, parents find it difficult to leave teens and tweens on their own and prefer to have someone to look over them. On the other hand, the children may resent having a babysitter as they believe are not babies anymore and do not need any minding. They believe they can stay out of trouble and mind themselves without an adult around. The answer to the question lies in the circumstances behind the decision.

Why have a babysitter for teens and tween?

One of the main reasons why parents like to have babysitters for their older children is because of safety and legal reasons. In many countries of the world it is a legal requirement that children below a certain age should not be left alone. The age could be anywhere between 12 years to 14 years.

There are other places where the parents do not feel safe leaving their children alone on their own and hence look for someone to come and keep the children company. This is especially true if the parents are going out in the evening and know they might be late returning home.

Then there are the working parents who have no one to take care of the children while they are at work. Hence, they hire a babysitter or a nanny to take care of the children and their needs even when the children are older.

Another reason for parents to hire a babysitter can be that there are younger children at home who would require looking after. So the older siblings too have to stay with the babysitter just because it is required for a younger child.

There may be older children, who need assistance. They may be sick or differently abled and incapable of functioning normally without a carer or a babysitter. In such circumstances, it becomes important that the parents have an older person to take care of the home and the children.

Often there is severe discontent and sibling rivalry between children. They squabble and fight so much that the parents do not wish to leave them on their own and need to have a babysitter to intervene and maintain the peace in the house.

Whatever your reason maybe for looking for a babysitter in Dubai, when hiring, you need to pay attention to the person you are entrusting your children to.

Ideal Babysitter for Teens and Tweens

We have already posted a blog about how to choose a babysitter in Dubai. But that was more from the perspective of younger children. Babysitting for older children has completely different requirements. Older children are more independent and do not require constant monitoring or taking care of. Some older children may actually resent having someone to look after them. If the child is between the ages of 12 – 14, they may believe that they are old enough to take care of themselves as well as their younger siblings and may not like having some stranger come in to mind them.

When hiring a babysitter the parents should look for someone who is friendly as well as dominating enough to have authority over the children. This is essential as you do not want a power struggle happening between your kids and the babysitter. The disciplining power should be with the adult and not the children. Here are some points that you need to check when hiring a babysitter in Dubai for your teens and tweens.

Have someone you and your family knows well: It is always a good idea to have someone who is familiar with your house and the family. Children respond better to authority if it comes from someone they know. In case there is no one within your immediate family and friend circle to babysit for you and you need to call a babysitter through an agency, make sure to use an agency, such as, you have used before. Also, ask for a sitter who has worked for you before.

When hiring a babysitter through an agency such as, make sure that you specify exactly what you need from the babysitter and why you need someone to mind children who are old enough to be babysitters themselves. This will help them to locate someone more appropriate to your requirements.

Babysitters for teens and tweens need to befriend the children. An authoritarian will not work with children old enough to know their minds. You may get bad behaviour, tantrums and power struggle if the children are not inclined towards the babysitter you have chosen to look after them. Older children may be more open to listening and following the advice of someone they perceive as a friend rather than someone whose presence they resent. Trust is essential when babysitting oder children The babysitter needs to be able to entertain and engage older children. Unlike the smaller children and toddlers, who demand a lot of physical effort, older children need to be mentally engaged and need to be entertained so that they do not get bored and start causing trouble. They require ample activities to keep them busy. This could include reading together, watching a film and discussing, playing a board or a card game or even going out with the permission of the parents.

The age of the babysitter could also be a consideration at times. If you hire someone who is younger and too close to the age of your children, they may find it hard to accept the authority of such a person over them. On the other hand, if you hire someone who is considerably older, there may not be enough in common for the children to be friendly towards her. Thus it is essential that whoever you engage, should be able to exercise friendly authority over the children.

When hiring a babysitter for the first time, make sure that you check out her references. Ask the previous employers questions about the babysitters temperament, her attitude towards the kids and whether she is responsible enough ot be left alone with your kids. You need to be sure that the babysitter is aware of what is happening around her and is not sitting and chatting on the phone, surfing the internet or watching TV while the kids do as they please. A babysitter who engages with the teens and communicates with them is more likely to gain their trust and respect than one who doesn’t.

When Hiring a Babysitter For Teens and Tweens

We have already discussed the right questions to ask when hiring a babysitter in Dubai in a previous blog post. Asking the right questions will definitely take you a step closer to finding the perfect babysitter. But half the responsibility of the babysitter succeeding with your children rests upon you. Your interaction with the babysitter will determine how much she knows about your children and your home. This will help her in determining what is acceptable and what isn’t from your children.

You need to discuss all the matters related to your children with you babysitter. If a child has any particular habits, or requirements, the babysitter should be informed in advance so she is not taken by surprise when you are not around to explain things. Make sure that you explain the house rules so the babysitter knows when the children are overstepping their authority. Also discuss your discipline techniques with the babysitter. If a child needs to be disciplined, the babysitter should know exactly what you would have done under the circumstances. There should be no discrepancies between your discipline methods and that of the babysitter. Consistency is the key to good discipline. Before you leave the house and the kids alone with the babysitter introduce her to the children and explain to them why she is there and what they can and cannot do in your absence. Ensure that you do not allow the children to be sequestered in their room while the babysitter is elsewhere in the house.

Taking care of temperamental teenagers is one of the hardest things to do. This can be testified by parents of teenaged children. But if tackled right, babysitting for teens and tweens can become fun.

If you need information about hiring a babysitter in Dubai for teens and tweens, do contact To read more posts like this one, visit our blog page.

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