There is an interesting topic posted on Open File: Who killed the babysitter? The question is, “Are you a young parent? Is this something you’ve experienced? Why isn’t a teenager good enough to care for your kid?
Here is the opener:
In the 1980s, when the young women of Generation X were teenagers, they earned a lot of their income by babysitting. They cared for actual babies, toddlers and younger siblings.
Now Gen Xers are having children of their own, and they don’t seem to be entrusting their kids to the teenagers of the next generation. Childcare issues are a hot topic among my friends who are parents, and none of them seem willing to consider the 15-year-old girl next door as an option.
What gives? Older children have been caring for younger children for all of human history. Each generation is more coddled than the last–are Gen X parents too picky to trust teenagers to babysit? Or has the babysitter talent pool been drained because teens are taking ‘real’ jobs sooner (the local movie theatres seem entirely staffed by pimply 14 year olds)? Or is it something else entirely.
I would never let a teenager babysit my kids. I blame it on babysitter horror movies like this one from 1979. Have you checked the children? Yikes!