Do you think babysitting jobs for young girls help prepare them for motherhood?

United States
October 2, 2011 8:54pm CST
My daughter is due to have her first baby at the end of November. As we lived in the country, when she was young, she never got babysitting jobs. Recently she said to me, "Mom, please come and stay with me and Eric for a few days when we come home with baby Carter. I don't even know how to change a diaper!" Yikes, do you think it's a good idea to try to find babysitting jobs for young girls so they have experience in tending to babies?
3 people like this
19 responses
@GardenGerty (157941)
• United States
3 Oct 11
In our community the Red Cross offers babysitting classes for kids who are eleven and older. I think it is good for them to take the classes and then when they pass the class do some babysitting or help in the church nursery. In fact nursery situations are better because they are usually supervised by an adult who will help them with any problem that comes along.
2 people like this
• United States
3 Oct 11
That's a great idea - the assisting in a nursery situation. Too late for us, but good for those coming up!
1 person likes this
• Canada
3 Oct 11
Not that it makes a difference but I am interested in knowing how old your daughter is? Did you not have any other children that are a bit younger than her that she maybe changed a diaper or two when she was younger? Does she now live in the city now and has she not taken any prenatal classes where they teach you how to take care of a baby? I am just wondering these things. I am 28 years old and don't have any children yet but I was lucky enough to babysit when I was younger so I got to learn how to take care of a baby. I also took babysitting classes in school when I was 11 years old. When I was in school we didn't have a choice but to take the class. It was compulsary. But I am glad I took it because then when I turned 12 years old I was allowed to babysit so I do have quite a bit of experience for when I am ready to have a baby. They will also teach your daughter a little bit about how to take care of a baby in the hospital. But it would be good if you could go help her. I think you don't mind anyways because it sounds like it might be your first grandchild. When my brother had his first baby, the baby will be 2 years old in November, my mother flew out to be with them for a couple weeks. My sister in-law didn't need my mom's help so much but my mom just wanted to be there since it was her first grandchild and she was pretty excited about it. Good luck to you and your new grandchild, Littlemissy saying talk to you later
1 person likes this
• United States
3 Oct 11
Hi Little Missy - No, Kara was my last child. Her brother is 8 years older than her. She is now 23. We lived in the country so baby sitting presented a problem because of transportation. Yes, it is the first baby in our family in 18 years! WOW and we're all excited. I will of course be spending time with her and her husband after little Carter comes home. Kara is quite competent, so she'll pick up on caring for him quickly!
1 person likes this
• United States
3 Oct 11
Isn't Christmas just the most fun when there are little ones about? We all know what to expect as adults or the older teens and children - but having a little one around to come around the corner and see the wonder of the lighted tree with all the wonderful gifts below is just enough to make your heart soar with joy!
1 person likes this
• Canada
3 Oct 11
It is good that you have the time to spend with them. I am very happy for you and your family. That's a long time without a baby in the family. I know when we go for christmas dinner with the family other than my niece there are no other babies. The next youngest is about 15 years old so it is nice to have a baby around again. I hope my brother and his wife decide to have another one soon and I hope to find that right guy for me so I could start a family of my own soon.
1 person likes this
@GemmaR (8517)
3 Oct 11
I think that it might make them realise that having a baby isn't simply the amazing experience that a lot of people seem to think that it is. Far too many people just seem to think that all there is about having a baby is feeding and changing it, and they don't have any idea about how time consuming that can actually be. However, I think that your daughter will be fine because new Mums have to learn a lot about parenting in the first couple of days of their baby being born. People worry about how they're going to cope, but the majority of people find that they just warm to it and manage perfectly well.
1 person likes this
• United States
3 Oct 11
Yes, and I'll be there to help her the first few days at home. It's great also that my son-in-law is also granted maternity leave from his work for some time! He will be around to help out as well - so I guess I'll be teaching two people. But after a couple of days, I'm sure they will both be fine to take care of little Carter!
1 person likes this
• Mexico
3 Oct 11
Hi Kizzy Cat fish: Actually I haven't thought about this, but now that you mentioned it, I think it's a good preparation not only for teenage girls but also for boys who in the future would be fathers too. I think that a preparation like this could help improve their skills and also to value the work from their parents. ALVARO
1 person likes this
• United States
3 Oct 11
Yes, well shame on me for not including the fellows. It WOULD really be good for them to learn as teens what is involved in caring for an infant. Matter of fact, if the fellows learned that too - as well as the girls, it just might stop a lot of the teen pregnancies! What do you think?
1 person likes this
@AJsMom (157)
• Philippines
3 Oct 11
When I was around 10 to 11 years old, I used to babysit my nieces and nephews. But they were already around 3 months old when I was able to handle them. Somehow I managed to learn how to change diapers and prepare their infant formula. It is quite hard to do that job at a very early stage but since they are my nieces and nephews that I loved so dearly, I was able to tolerate their tantrums and dealt with all the difficulties. Baby sitting other people not from my family is I think another thing. I haven't tried it yet on a long term basis so I don't know how it's gonna be making a difference in our experience. But going back to your question, somehow, it would help perhaps in a way like carrying a baby, feeding, burping and changing diapers. At least they can familiarize themselves how it's going to be when they have their own.
1 person likes this
• United States
3 Oct 11
I have to agree with you. I remember when I was young, I had a job babysitting two young boys - I think they were twins. They were holy terrors, those two! Everything I did with them was an absolute challenge. The day I finally quit was the day that those two tore the wallpaper off the wall in the staircase. That was enough for me!
1 person likes this
5 Oct 11
ya,no doubt about it,not only it prepare girls for their motherhood also make them to be patience and give many good personalities, i have many friends who babysitters. after several months of working in this field i feel the difference from them, i recommend it for teens
1 person likes this
• United States
6 Oct 11
Yes, I wish that my daughter had had the experience, now that she will have a son of her own in less than two months. I do believe that she will be a natural and will take control of the situation in nothing flat and be a wonderful, caring, doting mother!
@00fear (3216)
• United States
3 Oct 11
I think it is a good idea for them to start baby sitting so they can have experience. They will then find out not just to change a diaper but also to know the experience of having a child. It is a pretty hard experience to have a child.
@00fear (3216)
• United States
4 Oct 11
They do that there too? When I was in high school, I was also in that class. Luckily for me, when it came to having to carry that fake baby, they had change my class schedule.
• United States
3 Oct 11
Yes and a lifetime of it as well. Many of our high schools here have a class for the kids where they have to carry an egg with them 24/7 for one week. They are to pretend that it is a baby in their care and need to consider diaper changes, feeding schedules, nap times, etc. I never had this type of class, but it would probably be quite interesting pretending an egg is a baby.
1 person likes this
• United States
4 Oct 11
I had to laugh! So when it came your turn, you lucked out and didn't have to nurture a chicken egg as your child! Good for you!
@AmbiePam (86049)
• United States
3 Oct 11
I think it is a good idea. When I was sixteen I worked in a daycare with the 6 weeks to one year old babies. I told my parents it was the best birth control anyone could ever give a person. And of course there are the practical things you learn like diapers.
1 person likes this
• United States
3 Oct 11
I had to chuckle with your comment about birth control. How true is that! When my daughter told me she was pregnant I said, "I thought you were on birth control!" She said "I stopped it because I didn't like what it was doing to my body." My reply to that was, "Well, just wait to see what this is going to do to your body." **Chuckle** But regardless of all that, the whole family is exceedingly excited about this new little addition!
1 person likes this
@shaggin (71681)
• United States
4 Oct 11
I do think it would be a good idea for them to be around babies for awhile before having their own children. It would teach them what it is like in some ways. It wouldnt show them how they will be up all night with a crying baby and only getting a few hours of sleep. It probably wont teach them to bathe a newborn or how it feels to have post partum depression. But it will teach them the basics and for some new moms that might be a really good thing to have that little experience ahead of time.
@shaggin (71681)
• United States
4 Oct 11
Putting a disposable diaper on a baby isnt very hard but with my son every time I changed his diaper he would pee all over the place the second the diaper came off. Usually all over my face ugh lol. I used cloth diapers on both my children so that was even more of a task. Like you said I dont think I would like leaving my kids with a teenaged boy. I just am to nervous about things for that. I've rarely left them with a sitter at all and its always been just friends or family. At night once in awhile when I go out I wait until the kids are asleep and then just have someone come sit at my house in case they wake up.
• United States
4 Oct 11
I had to chuckle, as when my son was an infant he would squirt like that too! After a while I got ready for it and put something over him as soon as I took the soiled diaper off.
• United States
4 Oct 11
Yes, I think so many of us on here agree that it is good experience. I also liked the one fellow who commented that it would be good for teenaged boys to learn too. I don't know how excited I would be leaving my infant with a teenaged boy babysitter, I do know that I'd have to know him REAL well. Anyway, it won't be long before I'm teaching my daughter how to diaper her own new little boy - my new grandson Carter!
1 person likes this
@myfb2009 (8296)
• Malaysia
4 Oct 11
Hi Kizzy, indeed young girls should be allow to learn babysit, so that they are well-prepared for their future motherhood. I helped my mum to taking care my younger sister and brother when i was only 15 years old. At that time, my mother was diagnosed with diabetes and having the complication. She was hospitalized for a few days, so left me alone to taking care both of them. Because my father still need to go to work at that time. At first it seems quite difficult but over time, i see myself quite familiar with the daily process of taking care of them. I giving birth my son a few years ago and see myself don't have any problem taking care of him until now. Seems like, an early hands-on experience in taking care children do gives a good babysitting knowledge to me.
@myfb2009 (8296)
• Malaysia
5 Oct 11
Yes, i do feels worth it. Since i don't feel much difficulty in taking my son since from birth until now. I think it is really a very good training for preparing me towards motherhood.
• United States
6 Oct 11
I'm also sure that, even though he doesn't know it, your son is glad that you had the experience! OK, I'll tell you a funny little true story. You know the winter one piece pajamas with feet that one steps into and it has one long zipper up the leg and all the way up to the neck? Great little sleeper for the toddlers. Even today, I remember the color of maroon and the trim of maroon and white on my son's pajamas that I just described. He had taken a bath at the age of about 3 1/2. I was helping him dry off then to dress in his pajamas. He didn't wear underwear to bed. Oh my goodness, as I zipped the pajamas up for him, his little ... you know what ... got caught in the zipper - poor little fella! It still makes me want to cry today almost 30 years later. I unzipped in a hurry and started to zip up again, but my son stopped me (remember he's just over 3 years old in this story) and said, "NO! MOM! I'll do it!" Amazingly, it truly taught him to dress himself from then on. My warning in this is "Don't Try This At Home!" It was just an accident! Gotta love the little guy!
• United States
4 Oct 11
Hi MyFb - Thanks for the nice reply. I am impressed that you did such a marvelous job of taking care of your siblings when your mother became ill with the diabetes. I'll bet at the time you felt overwhelmed. But today, you may feel that it was a good education to you for your adult parenting years?
@beingwell (3625)
• Thailand
3 Oct 11
Good point, kizzy! I too don't know how to change a diaper. I'm hoping my mom or in-law would help me when the time comes. Maybe, it's really good to have babysitting experience..
@beingwell (3625)
• Thailand
4 Oct 11
I don't think they have that here in Bangkok, kizzy. And I'm not very active at our church's social activities. I'm only there every Sunday...hihihi
• United States
4 Oct 11
Well, I'm glad that you're going to the church each Sunday! Bangkok must be an amazing place to live!
• United States
3 Oct 11
Maybe you could volunteer some at the church nursery or a local day care where you can pick up some pointers and get some experience. I should have thought about that for Kara earlier in her pregnancy (Kara is my daughter who will have her first baby in about 2 months).
@SIMPLYD (90722)
• Philippines
3 Oct 11
Haven't she thought of learning how to do things for her upcoming baby before she gave birth to her son? Doing that, would have prepared her well for that big event. However, as her mother you can teach her the basics in taking care of the baby. Then, her maternal instinct will just come out.
1 person likes this
• United States
3 Oct 11
Well, she might have gone to a nursery or day care to volunteer, but she works full time and lives in a very small community in the mountains - I don't know what opportunities for that are up there. I'm sure, though that we'll muddle through somehow. I've had plenty of practice, so she has a good teacher! Yes, I do believe that the maternal instinct will definitely play a big part.
1 person likes this
@sanofer (525)
• India
3 Oct 11
yes.each and every girl should know atleast something about baby sitting.if they know basic things like how to handle the newborn baby,how to carry them,diaper changing etc,it will be useful for them in future.it will also make mom like you to feel relax that their daughter knows something about babysitting.
1 person likes this
• United States
3 Oct 11
Yes, I now wish that Kara had the opportunity to babysit when she was in her young teens. It would have made this easier for her. I do think, though, after a couple of days with her she'll catch on with no problem. Although I believe that I'll receive many a phone call with, "Mom, what do I do now?" They'll be fine. :-)
@averygirl72 (37770)
• Philippines
3 Oct 11
I think that your daughter will eventually learn babysitting. It may be hard at first, yes. As the mom, join her at times to help her. But still, young girls must at least try babysitting so that it won't be hard during motherhood. :))
1 person likes this
• United States
4 Oct 11
Well, Avery - Kara will be permanently babysitting as of the end of November! My grandson will be arriving! I'll go help her for the first several days and get her started off right. I'm sure she'll be fine though - she's a quick learner. Further her husband also has parental leave that is coming to him and he'll be there to help as well. Thanks for your reply.
@stephcjh (38473)
• United States
3 Oct 11
Yeah. I think if girls are mature enough to be a good babysitter, then I think it would be a good experience for them.
• United States
3 Oct 11
Now, in hindsight, I wish that there had been opportunity for my daughter to have had babysitting opportunities. She was raised in the country with me and we were too far away from other homes. Her baby/my grandson will arrive in about two months, so I will be giving her all the instructions when little Carter comes home!
1 person likes this
@maximax8 (31053)
• United Kingdom
8 Oct 11
I think that it is a very good idea to let a 13 to 16 year old girl do some baby sitting. She could learn how to change a diaper, give the baby his or her feed and how to hold the baby. When I was a teenager my secondary school let the girls do a course on baby care. Some of the girls needed this because they got pregnant quite young. I worked as a children's nanny in Finland when I was 18 years old and when I was 20 to 21 years old I did some work as a children's nanny in Australia. So I was well prepared when my baby son was born. I was 22 years old by then. Good luck to your daughter with baby Carter when he is born. I am sure with some help she will learn how to look after him.
• Australia
3 Oct 11
Yep. I think they should have babysitting jobs... or even just assist in caring for a younger sibling.
• United States
3 Oct 11
I agree with you TigerSpirit. And now that I look back on it, I should have tried harder to get her some babysitting jobs. I do believe, though that she'll catch on fast and everything will be fine.
@koperty3 (1876)
6 Oct 11
Well I'm not convinced about it. Few years ago when I was nursing student I had some practice on Maternity Ward. I learn how to change dippers and bath newborns and take care of their basic needs but this experience did not convinced me that I would be good mother. Kids needs more than taking care of their basic needs and those skills are not something that you can learn.
• United States
7 Oct 11
You are SO right about all that. I do believe that some babysitting experience at least teaches the basics that otherwise they would struggle with.
@SydneyJ (902)
• United States
3 Oct 11
I think teenage baby sitting job are good eye openers for teenagers because it shows how hard it would be to have your own child and it helps build experience for when they become a parent
• United States
3 Oct 11
I have to agree - I had some really good experiences when I was young babysitting. I was not afraid of diapering or most of the jobs of being a first time mother.