'Free Babysitting': Creative New Punishment for Naughty Teens?

Sasha Brown-Worsham

I tend to think you get what you pay for life, so when I saw the story of a father who offered his 16-year-old daughter up as a free babysitter for 30 hours in Texas, I was skeptical.

Kirstin Rausch, 16, of Texas  threw a late-night party while her parents were asleep one night in their upscale neighborhood and as punishment, her parents took out an ad in the local paper offering 30 hours of free babysitting.

According to the NBC, the ad read:

"Want a free babysitter for a night out?" read the headline in the Southlake Journal. Under Kirstin's picture, it said: "I'm in BIG trouble for missing my curfew, and my parents are making me provide 30 hours of free babysitting as punishment. My pain is your gain, so call."

And now the real question: would you ever partake?

Let me just say for the record that I have never used a teenage babysitter for my children. I am lucky to live near my family and my sister who is 24 and our sitter who is 27, are really the only people I feel OK leaving my children with for any length of time.

I was, after all, a teenager myself. I babysat for one baby when I was 14 and I shudder to remember the way I watched TV, ate from the pantry and ignored the baby. I was not a shining example of responsible adolescence, a fact which has likely poisoned the well for me ever hiring anyone younger than 20 to stay with my kids.

That said, I knew a lot of teenagers who were more responsible than myself. Unfortunately,  it does not sound like Rausch is one of them.

On the other hand, what if I were home?

Maybe I would try it. 30 hours is nothing to sneeze at. We pay our sitters about $15 an hour. That would save us quite a bit of cash and since I work from home, my kids would love to have someone to play with while I type away. But I would feel too guilty not to pay the poor girl.

Why should I take advantage of her because her parents are weird? Besides, I barely trust my parents with my babies, so the likelihood of me trusting a random 16-year-old who has already been busted for being naughty is low, indeed.

Would you try this out?

Image via _DarkGuru_/Flickr

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