How much should you pay the baby sitter?


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  • scoutshonor Sammamish, WA
    Nov. 5, 2015 2:44 a.m.

    Hire teens that are CPR certified, have a work ethic, and know what they are doing. The ones that actually play with your kids and happily clean up after. The ones capable of dealing with emergencies such as a child choking or getting ill.

    And yes, having more kids means you have less expendable income to spend on nights out. That does not mean teenagers should make the sacrifice for YOUR FAMILY PLANNING. At the least, they should make minimum wage.We rarely went out when our kids were younger because being in the Army, we simply did not have the money, but when we did? We paid them well.

  • scoutshonor Sammamish, WA
    Nov. 5, 2015 2:41 a.m.

    Times have changed and babysitting should reflect that. You cannot expect to pay as a mother what you were paid 20 years ago as a babysitter!! Also I agree with what some said that if this is what you think you are worth as a mother--$5 an hour -that's rather telling... and Sad.

    To give you an idea, my 16 year old gets paid $11-13 here in Seattle suburbs (+more for more kids). She turns down jobs all the time because she has waaaaay more intense of a homework load with 4 college level IB classes as well as 2-3 hour swim practice ALL YEAR long each night. With the pressure to get into competitive, high bar universities? You need crazy high GPA's and a sport/extra curricular.

    Finding time to fit in driver's ed was so hard, but both she and my current college sophomore got their license at 16. My son has his own brand new car which he pays for all by himself as well as more than half his tuition.

  • scoutshonor Sammamish, WA
    Nov. 5, 2015 2:38 a.m.

    Wow! I absolutely disagree with this author. $5 an hour to babysit is absurd. I made that and more as a 16 year old...that was over 27 years ago!! Come on! Back then in the 80's, movies were $4-5. If we use the "pay for a night at the movie" scale? It was a movie with a date and popcorn and gas money to get there. Minimum wage then was 3.75ish, candy bars were 15-20 cents, and gas was 78 cents a gallon. So let's get real. Today's gasoline is easily 4x as much. Movies are double to triple. Popcorn and sodas are insane.

    There is something called inflation and this author is blithely ignoring it to justify her miserly nature.

    And babysitting to save up for college?? College at Berkeley for me was $3.8k. Now it's 13.5k!! That's public. My son had recruiters looking at him for NYU, but it cost 65k a year. No savings from babysitting job could ever put a dent in that. He went to UW which still in 13k tuition.


  • Tracy- Sleep Coach Phoenix, AZ
    Jan. 16, 2015 5:01 p.m.

    I totally agree. My daughter only charges $5. We live in a very nice area. She has kept this price since she started at 12. Now she is 16. She gets tons of babysitting jobs. She always has money. My friends really appreciate it. I think she gets more work than any of her friends insisting on 10-20/hour. I had a sitter do this for me and we are paying it forward. She gets paid extra when the family can afford it. They want her to always come back. When she learns to drive she may do something else but this has been very regular work for her since she was 12. It's been awesome.

  • Friend to all Cedar City, UT
    Jan. 16, 2015 3:44 p.m.

    Although our children are our most precious gift in life, they generally are not much work when being watched by a babysitter. It usually only last a few hours so again, minimal work involved in most cases. I would most likely offer minimum wage for their services these days, unless I've asked them to take the child(ren) to the park where they have to prepare the child(ren) to go out, or something else with that kind of preparation and then keeping a VERY close eye on them. However having said that, when my daughter was tiny, way back in the early 80's, I paid my regular sitter $5 an hour but only because I could afford it then.

  • chinamom Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Jan. 16, 2015 1:08 a.m.

    Kudos to the author! I think she has a fabulous system worked out. "Back in my day...." the rate for sitter was 50 US CENTS an hour. I routinely tended families with 4-6 kids....and for my 50cents, I got everyone ready for bed, cleaned up the kitchen, held crying babies, etc. It was not uncommon for me to have 50-75usd (in the early 1970's) in my "piggy bank". That is a LOT of baby tending hours.
    My daughters both had a "sliding scale" for payment, depending on the number of kids involved...which worked well for them. But I trained them to do all the "extras" as "routine", because then they would get rehired.

    FYI: I currently pay a professional lawn service 18usd per visit to mow the front/back lawns of our rental property.

    Child-tending & lawn mowing are great 1st jobs. Learning to save the money you earn isn't a bad skill to develop either. The best things in life are worth working and waiting for.

  • Redshirt1701 Deep Space 9, Ut
    Jan. 15, 2015 10:02 a.m.

    To "Publius nota bene" I would never put my kids in the hand of a teenager that I didn't really know. The babysitters that I have paid have been teens that I know. I have only left a toddler in with a babysitter a couple of time, any other time I have left small children with a Grandparent or with a neighbor that had offered to take my child.

    Are you children so fragile that they cannot survive without you there? Is your child unable to get out a box of cereal and milk if they are hungry? Is your child so out of control that without a strong authority around they will get into trouble?

    If your child is normal, what do you expect out of a babysitter outside of making sure things are clean and the kids are not fighting?

  • Publius nota bene Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 15, 2015 7:50 a.m.

    @ Redshirt1701 "'Publius nota bene' but typically you are not paying a babysitter to keep your children alive."

    You put your child into the hands of an adolescent - whom you don't really know because outward appearances are not an indicator of inward demons - and you think the "value" of that is less than the value of your or your spouse's hourly rate?

    Tell yourself anything that makes you feel better.

  • Nunn24 Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 15, 2015 1:14 a.m.

    The cheapness and eagerness to exploit one's fellow man, which I am seeing in the letter and in many of the comments, is appalling. It is not the way life is supposed to be. It is not what Christ taught. It explains how Utah's wages are among the lowest in the nation. What a shame. It is a fulfillment of the prophecy that "in the last days, the love of man shall wax cold."

  • Kav Boise, ID
    Jan. 14, 2015 11:20 p.m.

    Oh my goodness people. From all over the country you are comparing your expectations to the expectations of the author who lives in a completely different area with completely different customs, expectations, and costs of living. I'm mostly sad that people can be so cruel to the author and to each other without reflecting on these differences, even to the point of citing scripture in a rhetorical display of religious superiority and condemnation of those who disagree with them.

    I lived in Washington and we payed about $8/hour for two kids. After moving to Idaho we tried to pay the kids the same way. The first kid we hired, not the parents, told us that we were paying too much, gave the money back, and would not accept more even though we insisted. Each place if different.

    In addition, some people are referring to after school jobs where they act as the parent, and others are talking about watching kids every once in a while. It's apples and oranges. Lets all just try to be nice.

  • RFLASH Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 14, 2015 5:17 p.m.

    Give me a break, please. I am not a teenager. I am 50. I don't have kids, but believe me, my life has been filled with them. I was also once a kid and you know what, it was good working on the farm every summer, but wow, too bad I couldn't get those wages back then!
    I think that the parents are the ones who feel like they are entitled! Think about it. They feel that they should be able use teenagers as cheap labor. Who is kidding who? You don't think these parents wouldn't have taken the higher wage? What, are kids suppose to get used to getting low wages? We do live in a state that likes to squeeze as much out of a person while paying the lowest wage possible. I think that these kids are the smart ones! Like my dad always told me, " If you don't stickup for yourself, nobody will! " It doesn't hurt them to accept less when needed, but I would never teach a child to expect less. Go for it kids!

  • Rosypeach St. George, UT
    Jan. 14, 2015 4:05 p.m.

    I agree with this author.

    Back in the olden days, think about how much kids had to work just to help out their families. Babysitting was something that they did to help out their families. It was a break from the real work. Even though I am too young to have a real job, I can babysit in a month,(Because I will be twelve) so that's what I will do to get money. I will do more than just sit around watching TV, I will clean as much as I can while taking care of the kids, I will play with them , sing fun songs with them, and COOK for them. Like I already do with my siblings.

  • CAB90 Logan, UT
    Jan. 14, 2015 12:47 p.m.

    I've been reading through the comments and I like the kids complaining that life is hard. I graduated from high school in 2008. I worked as a student custodian 2 hrs per day for $5.15/hr scrubbing nasty high school toilets. The only raise I got was when minimum wage went to $6.25/hr. This was after band practice early in the morning, school all day (including every AP class offered, ex. I took 4 senior year), and 2-3 hrs of track/cross country practice. I then went home to do homework until late at night when I would get up and do it all again. I was happy to have a flexible job that made me enough money to pay for school activities and to hang out with friends. I was busy but looking back it was good prep for when I got to college, got married, had kids, and worked. You'll live through it. Just wait until you're not living with mommy and daddy and have your own bills to pay. Suddenly you'll remember when a few dollars/hour was actually a lot of money.

  • CAB90 Logan, UT
    Jan. 14, 2015 12:09 p.m.

    I was under the impression that it was $3 per hour per kid. When I use to babysit that is what I would ask. If they were regular customers or were asking for me to stay longer hours I charged less. I mainly did it because it was fun playing with the kids, but making some money was good too. If I was going to pay a babysitter to watch my 3 kids I would probably pay a lot more than that right now because my 2 year old is potty training and my twins are 6 months. That's quite the handful! Luckily grandma and grandpa live close and so do the aunts.

  • bubbles0luv New York, NY
    Jan. 14, 2015 11:31 a.m.

    I'm confused by everyone saying that they had too much schoolwork to babysit or get a job. I know there is a lot of pressure in HS, but I took all offered AP classes, played three varsity sports, worked two jobs(not at the same time) and babysit regularly for a family. I'm nothing special, many of my friends did the same if not more! I really don't remember feeling like it was too much, I think I just watched WAY less television.

    I made minimum wage at my jobs. I made $7.50 an hour as a babysitter, before I got a raise after about 6 months of regular babysitting (sweetest family). This was in 2001-2004 so I get that we need to adjust for inflation, but $15 for a teenager with no jobs skills and a non-existent resume sounds completely reasonable to me. I might push it to $18 here in NYC but seriously, $20+ bucks for a teenager??? I might as well hire someone who's older and has a fully developed temporal lobe.

  • Tiffymom5 warrenton, OR
    Jan. 14, 2015 10:22 a.m.

    I agree that setting the pay in advance is a good idea. My girls negotiate their pay in advance. Here is what I told my girls though. It was the norm in my day that you played with the kids, not just watch a movie... unless that is what they want to do. But have ideas and activities planned. Also, it is expected that you will clean up any mess you make, leave the house looking better than when you go there. Do the dishes, straighten up the living room.. My girls are usually paid more than what was agreed upon because they do these things.

  • Redshirt1701 Deep Space 9, Ut
    Jan. 14, 2015 10:01 a.m.

    To "Publius nota bene" but typically you are not paying a babysitter to keep your children alive. I pay Doctors and Hospitals a lot of money to do that. I am paying a babysitter to maintain order, not kill my kids, not kidname, and sometimes to tell the kids to go to bed. If my child's life was that fragile, a babysitter would be the last thing I would trust with my child.

    A babysitter is little more than a teenage cat wrangler.

  • Publius nota bene Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 14, 2015 8:32 a.m.

    I don't know if paying someone $5/hour to keep your children alive is really putting a value on the service. How much does your husband earn an hour to do something far less life-critical?

    Perhaps your children are really worth $15/hour to keep them safe.

  • greatbam22 andrews afb, MD
    Jan. 14, 2015 4:40 a.m.

    The question isn't "How much should you pay the baby sitter?" The question is "How much valuable are my children to me and how much is my free time worth?"

    I have heard all sorts of crazy stories with baby sitters.

    I would rather fork out the extra cash to someone with some smart and experienced with children than to save a few bucks and get someone random.

    What you pay is what you get.

  • kolob1 sandy, UT
    Jan. 14, 2015 12:07 a.m.

    Plenty of Mormons moms pay good for babysitting. I think they should want the best qualified person to tend their children when they go off to the see Batman at the movies.

  • philaD Clifton Heights, PA
    Jan. 13, 2015 10:25 p.m.

    I'm currently working in a hospital system with a professional medical license as a resident and getting paid an hourly rate of about 7 dollars an hour. I also have over a quarter million in debt as a result of my training...

    So, I don't feel bad paying someone $5/hr for babysitting. Nor do I think it is irrational, nor do I expect any of my children (when they are the appropriate age) to be paid more. Nor am I bitter about my current rate. I appreciate the work I have and what I am learning through my employment. I was paid far less in past employment as a teenager (moving pipe in southern idaho for about $3/hr) and I look back on those times with enjoyment.

    I don't get a babysitter based on how safe they are going to be with my kids, nor should the price correlate with safety for such a position. I get the best possible one I can find and as the author advocates, spell out how much I will pay prior to leaving. Take it or leave it. They've always taken it so far.

  • Aint2nuts Tempe, AZ
    Jan. 13, 2015 4:29 p.m.

    I am 50 years old. I have cared for children my entire life -- helping my mother, babysitting at (0.25 an hour). Eventually, I graduated to better and better paying jobs, finally at the age of 30 earning a wage of 500 a week (20 years ago) with a boatload of benefits.

    You get what you pay for. 5$ an hour is below minimum wage. It is Illegal to pay below minimum wage in most states. Personally, I pay more than 15$ each time I get my car washed. It takes the car wash about 20 minutes to wash my car and they do a good job, additionally, I pay a 20% or more tip.

    To say you can only afford to have a babysitter twice a year, means you are probably spending your money on other things you feel are more important. That is your choice. Copping out and saying you can't afford more than 15$ for a sitter? Bogus. If you can't afford a sitter, barter for their services.
    How much is the safety of your children worth? A good childcare provider is worth their weight in gold.

  • Volcanoskunkgirl St George, UT
    Jan. 13, 2015 4:24 p.m.

    Because I am 3 years two young to get a real job, I have to settle for baby sitting. And even then I hardly ever get offers, and I'm OK with that. When I get a baby sitting job, I don't expect 10+ dollars. I want to be paid for how effect I was. I see many Young women who get paid to "Babysit" when what they are really doing is watching TV. I am the oldest out of 5 siblings, and because of that, I have to babysit, a lot! But then I see many of the other girls I know that are the youngest or only child, They don't know how to do it right yet the get paid $35! I think that if I don't work, I don't get paid. If I want to became a Zoologist, it will take me 7-12 years of school. If I can't work hard, then I can't get my dream job. Many don't understand if you want it, work for it!

  • Anonymous100 Anywhere, UT
    Jan. 13, 2015 3:39 p.m.

    We always asked what the sitter charged per hour, per child. If we could afford it, we hired them. If we couldn't, we didn't go out.

  • KimS San Clemente, CA
    Jan. 13, 2015 12:50 p.m.

    I relate with the author. I would love to get a babysitter more often, but can't afford the $8-10/hour for our one child (which is the going rate in the affluent area where we live). I feel like the wealthy families who pay a lot make it difficult for those of us who live on "the other side of the tracks." Since we don't live close to family, we trade with friends when we can. Needless to say, my husband and I aren't able to go on weekly dates like my parents did.

  • sshoaf indianapolis, IN
    Jan. 13, 2015 11:04 a.m.

    It is unfair to categorize all of teens as unmotivated. My two oldest children started looking for jobs at age 16. However, they were often told that since a lot of adults were out of work, the employer would rather hire adults because adults would be more reliable, etc... Also, hiring adults meant the employer didn't have to deal with child labor laws (such as not being able to work past a certain hour, use a slicer for meat, etc...) Both of my children didn't actually get a job until nearly age 18 though they constantly applied for jobs. Also, the whole "apply online" process doesn't help youth have a chance to give a good impression. When I was a teen, you could easily find a job at any fast food place. It is not that way now. The "balanced school calendar" also hurts teens by giving an 8-week summer. Most employers don't want to bother for that short of time. Consequently, neither of my children had much money saved to start college, which then either hurts mom and dad's budget, or causes the kids to take on more debt or not go to college.

  • peeannie west jordan, UT
    Jan. 13, 2015 9:32 a.m.

    I do tend to agree with the gal in this article. My daughter babysat for my SIL recently for one 18 month old (3 hours max) and was paid over $30. I thought this was too much and expressed that to both my daughter and SIL. She said that was very typical and she was happy to pay it. After my daughter gets that kind of pay, she really struggles to happily do the small chores I offer to pay her $5 for. (i.e. chores above and beyond regular chores -things like oiling my kitchen cupboards or sweeping out the garage)Why would she do those dirty and sweaty chores for $5 when she can play with a cute baby for much, much more? Kids do need a proper expectation of what they will be paid in life or that first job where they make $7.50 (minus taxes) an hour is going to be really very difficult.

  • Midvaliean MIDVALE, UT
    Jan. 13, 2015 8:57 a.m.

    @Laura Bilington
    True, but if you hire an overqualified person, and end up no paying them enough, you will have problems.
    Also this is baby sitting, not the workforce, a bit of a difference. If you are hiring a person out of a list of applications to sit your children, you don't want the "cheapest" person. Trust is the primary job requirement.

  • Oatmeal Woods Cross, UT
    Jan. 12, 2015 6:35 p.m.

    Pay a good babysitter exactly what a Mom is worth on an hourly basis when she is home with the kids. Pay the kid who mows your lawn exactly how much you would want to mow your neighbor's lawn. Follow the Golden Rule. The question is not what the teenager is worth or what lesson you think you are teaching. The duty is to treat the teen as you yourself want to be treated.

  • PacificCreek Puyallup, WA
    Jan. 12, 2015 5:46 p.m.

    I read the comments with fascination. When we first had kids we were in college, we never thought of paying a sitter. The funds simply weren't there. We either took the kids with us when we went somewhere or swapped with friends. As time went on and our economic situation improved my wife did some research after timidly being asked for a raise by our sitter. Turns out we were vastly underpaying what the market was demanding. We were just clueless to the going rate. It turns out a that the way to pay a sitter a decade ago was a $1 per hour per kid. I'm so glad that sitter spoke up and asked for a raise. She was AWESOME and we continued to pay her until she grew up, graduated high school and went off to college. We paid attention to the market price after that. If we encountered a sitter who wasn't good we didn't ask her back.

    We have encouraged our daughters to donate their time when babysitting for a temple trip or a church event. In our experience most parents really appreciate that and pay them anyway.

  • Royalbird Riverton, UT
    Jan. 12, 2015 5:01 p.m.

    I don't understand when we started having to pay per child. I used to babysit. I made quite a good amount of money with babysitting before I was fifteen and old enough to work at a fast food place. That was in the 90's. But I made $3/hr, and it didn't matter whether it was one kid or five kids.

    I agree with what the author has said. The pay for these neighborhood jobs that kids should be able to do is highly inflated. It's ridiculously out of control.

    As for some of the teens commenting, especially Bingham Student, I went to Bingham. I took three AP classes, was in cheerleading and choir, and I had a part-time job. I also graduated with a 3.97. I don't think school was easier back then. In fact, I believe it was harder. I've seen some of the things high school students are expected to learn now and it's been dumbed down quite a bit since I was there 20 years ago. Parents make things way too easy for their kids.

  • Danny Chipman Lehi, UT
    Jan. 12, 2015 4:22 p.m.

    If relatives aren't on hand, a neighborhood co-op is the next best option. Sorry, kids.

    I did, though, pay a girl who walked my dog while I was pregnant and couldn't do it myself, but I paid her in-kind with piano lessons.

  • Laura Bilington Maple Valley, WA
    Jan. 12, 2015 3:34 p.m.

    Midvaliean wrote, "You get what you pay for".

    No, you don't.

    I am an employer. If I advertise a job for $10 an hour, I will get about 12 responses. Some will be good workers and some will be awful. If I advertise the same job for $15 an hour, I will get about 40 responses--including the 12 who would have responded to the $10 offer. And some of the 28 "new" responders will be mediocre to downright awful as well.

    I have had applicants offer to work a day without any commitment to be paid because they were confident that I would keep them on after seeing how diligently they worked. They did, and I hired them on the spot. Most of them turned out great.

    If you prefer making zero dollars an hour sitting home, that's your choice. Your parents got what they raised.

  • LeoMarius University Park, MD
    Jan. 12, 2015 2:59 p.m.

    I just ran a search and the going rate in Utah for a babysitter with 2-5 years experience for 3 children is $14/hour, not per evening.

    You are underpaying your sitters by 280%. Quit pontificating about "lazy teens" and start paying the market rate or stay home.

  • citygrrl SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    Jan. 12, 2015 2:49 p.m.

    When I was 14, in 1973, I babysat all the time. The author is correct in that it's good to set the price up-front, as well as spell out the expectations. But I don't like the tone that it's up to the parents of the babysat children to establish a work ethic for someone else's teenagers. Babysitting is a capitalist exchange, period. You have kids, they have time. This is your price, it's their perogative to accept or reject it. I made 50 cents/hour. I think that was pure exploitation, but I have to say, the minute I turned 16 I had the motivation to find a job that at least paid minimum wage.

    I don't know why the author had to quote a kid who brought up what non-Mormons pay, but as long as it's out there I'll tell my story. I once asked a matron to pay me 75 cents/hour. She had four kids (4,3,2,1). She only asked me on Tuesday and Wednesday nights (Mutual night!) when the LDS girls were unavailable. She paid me my increased fee, but never asked again.

  • LeoMarius University Park, MD
    Jan. 12, 2015 1:25 p.m.

    Quit being so cheap and pay someone to watch your kids. If you don't think your kids are worth $15, then you don't really value them very much do you?

    You probably complain about your property taxes because you don't think Utah teachers should make very much, since your kids' education probably is worth much to you either.

    If you can't afford to pay a competitive wage for babysitting, then you can't afford to go out. Don't wag your finger at greedy teens who want to be compensated for their time and effort watching your offspring. They have better things to do than wipe your kids' noses and clean up their toys. If you don't value your own children, why should they be expected to volunteer to care for them?

  • BostonLDS Salt lake City, UT
    Jan. 12, 2015 1:16 p.m.

    I nannied and was paid $12, and that included driving the kids to activities, tutoring them, cleaning, etc. I think $5 for watching a movie and putting the kids to bed is PLENTY. Oh and I would be considered a youth by the commenters - I'm a recent college graduate. I agree 100% with the author - my peers expect a lifestyle equivalent to their parents, but aren't willing to put in the work for it. That's why credit card debt is so high in my generation - people aren't living within their means. They'd rather have a giant TV instead of a savings account.

  • A Guy With A Brain Enid, OK
    Jan. 12, 2015 12:49 p.m.

    Article quote: "After the babysitter took my offer, because we are friends and I was interested, she and her brother started talking about what they get paid for other jobs. He said that he usually earns $30-40 each time he mows someone’s lawn. He was bewildered when a man in our ward said $20 was too much to pay for just mowing his lawn. Then he said that regular, non-LDS people pay $50 per time that he mows their lawn! FIFTY DOLLARS."

    Stick to your guns! $50 for mowing a lawn is insanity. So is $30 for 2 or 3 hours of babysitting when, like the author said, they're not doing hardly anything more than what they'd do at home anyway, ie, sit and watch TV or a movie.

    No, not every teenager has an entitlement mentality but a whopping lot of them do.

    I had a teenage girl in my ward in Tucson ask for a raise for babysitting about 15 yrs ago. I think I paid her $5 an hour and she wanted $6 and I immediately told her no. She never babysat for us again. Her loss and our gain. She spilled Kool-aid on the carpet and was terrible.

  • Redshirt1701 Deep Space 9, Ut
    Jan. 12, 2015 12:40 p.m.

    Here is the interesting thing about paying a kid $5/hr for babysitting. If you consider that after taxes a $7.25/hr job turns into about $5.50. If you are paying kids $10 for babysitting you better be getting a very good babysitter like a few that have posted here. You better be feeding them, getting them ready for bed, cleaning up the messes, and maybe changing poopy diapers.

    Most babysitters are too young to be employed, so the fact that somebody is willing to pay them to do something is quite good.

  • Midvaliean MIDVALE, UT
    Jan. 12, 2015 12:33 p.m.

    The bottom line is this: When you want to go out and have a good time and not worry about your kids, how much is it worth to you?
    If you want the cheapest baby sitter, than you will get what you pay for. TIME is the most expensive of all commodities, which is why most people dont' want to waste theirs with your kids, unless you make it worth it, or unless they want to see your kids.

    I have a brother with kids, we trade when we need to take our wives on a date. Its free, I just have to reciprocate.

  • Sandee Spencer Longwood, FL
    Oct. 25, 2013 8:12 a.m.

    Back in the 70's when I was getting paid $1 an hour to babysit -- gas was 36 cents per gallon, a movie ticket was around $1.50 and a record album cost $3. So 1 hour of babysitting bought you 3 gallons of gas, an hour and a half bought you a movie ticket and two hours bought you a record album. Kind of puts current pay in perspective.

  • raybies Layton, UT
    Oct. 24, 2013 7:25 a.m.

    rational: It's not character, it's economics. Making this about character excuses lowballing.

    When I hunt for a job, if I get a better offer--even if I told someone else I'd take their offer--I take the best offer. That's the real world.

    This article implies that paying a babysitter little keeps them from becoming selfentitled brats in the real world.

    Well... in the REAL WORLD, I've been laid off nearly half a dozen times. When I started in the "real world" I thought my employers had my best interests at heart. I learned in the "real world" that most employers treat you like a resource and that's it.

    So... I'm saying if you're doing a job for the money, you should do it for the money.

    My kids will actually donate babysitting for Temple trips, and there are some kids they've grown very fond of, but when it comes down to money, I find it interesting that the nonLDS parents pay a lot more for their services. I think it's because they actually know the value of childcare better and LDS take it for granted.

  • K Mchenry, IL
    Oct. 24, 2013 2:13 a.m.

    Babysitters are not getting taxes deducted? A babysitter would get the money back at tax time. An employer would be matching SS withholding. An employer would be fined for not paying minimum wage besides.

    Gas to mow the law is up. If they bag it and pay for the pick up those prices are higher too than the good old days. Maintenance of the mower, not unlike mileage for work if you get it for travel. Mowing the lawn has costs attached.

  • Rational Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 24, 2013 12:07 a.m.

    Layton, UT
    If you pay a cheaprate expect to have last priority. You may even be told that the babysitter had a better offer and canceled on in the last second.


    That's a character issue, not a price issue. If you make a commitment, keep it.

  • tara.moser Logan, UT
    Oct. 23, 2013 11:29 p.m.

    Yes that is how much a daycare provider receive....actually more then that 3-4 an hour. I know I pay it...per kid. So that is not some unrealistic expectations because in the adult would they will be making that. I pay 600 a month for 32 hours a week so 128 hours. And the same for every child on top of that.

  • tara.moser Logan, UT
    Oct. 23, 2013 11:12 p.m.

    The usual rate is around $5 an hour but per kid. So 3 kids 15 an hour. If you don't want to pay it that is fine but they are the ones helping you. It doesn't seem fair to be penalized for you having a ton of kids so you get free service after one. Just like any daycare as well its per kid per hour. Its not fair to use the child because they have no other option for buisness.

  • ColoradoCougarFan Loveland, CO
    Oct. 23, 2013 12:56 p.m.

    Couldn't disagree more!!! I have teenage daughters now but I remember the days of finding babysitters. Is the justification for not paying them fair wages because they are underage and you can't afford it? I own a business and would love to use that argument. I'd also love not to pay min wage because the job isn't that difficult.

    My oldest (17f) didn't want to babysit anymore because too many people didn't want to pay the going rate. So...she went and got a job that would pay her. I have instilled in my children the value of paying their own way. Because of the opportunity they have had to earn money and save money they buy the items I don't think fall in the parents responsibility. (i.e. video games and clothing accessories)

    The mormon culture in Utah especially make people think service should be expected from others. The kids watching your kids should be paid at least the minimum wage. $15 for 3 hours? To watch 3 kids? As a parent I'm shocked you think that doesn't require a lot of energy. You should be ashamed for being so cheap and selfish.

  • mamabax St George, UT
    Oct. 23, 2013 10:27 a.m.

    First of all, I totally agree with the author. Second, the people who are comparing it to a job at Burger King either don't have kids or have never worked fast food...not the same. Playing for a couple of hours and watching movies with my kids is hardly like working 8 hours dealing with ornery customers in a gross fast food environment. Not only that, but many of my sitters bring their homework/phones to do if they have free time after getting the kids to bed. Couldn't do that at a regular job. Third, if you get a job at a fast food chain, you have a W2 and are taxed on your income whereas a babysitter gets to keep everything that they make tax free. If someone has a legitimate job doing day care for a living and have been trained/licensed then that is a different story...but a teen looking for a few extra bucks should not make minimum wage in my opinion.

  • St Gorgeous SLC, UTAH
    Oct. 22, 2013 11:53 p.m.

    I pay our babysitter 10 bucks per hour :)

  • Acegrace Lilburn, GA
    Oct. 22, 2013 1:03 p.m.

    I am amazed by how much "historical" talk there is of the price of babysitting, but only a FEW comments about how much it is NOW. The author did not hint at whether she checked the going rate with others in her neighborhood.

    I babysat plenty as a teenager in a Mormon community outside of Utah. I was glad to get the opportunity to earn money and build references that came in handy later when I went for real, paying jobs.

    As an adult, I try to be very fair with youth and not talk down to them or about them without knowing what I am talking about. There is a lot of entitlement in society today (I see it a lot in younger people in professional environments, but I have met a few elderly folks who act entitled also - but very few.) However, not all the youth are like that. Many of them are being raised right and are striving hard in many areas.

    Let's not bash the youth or the author. Let's do market research and be fair to those we hire as the Bible urges.

  • raybies Layton, UT
    Oct. 22, 2013 12:47 p.m.

    If you pay a cheaprate expect to have last priority. You may even be told that the babysitter had a better offer and canceled on in the last second. And I'd be okay with that. If we're going to pretend that my kid is learning a valuable life lesson by you lowballing her, then let's up the ante. In the real world, you don't own the babysitter, and if someone offers a better rate you can bet they're going to take the higher paying job, unless there are distinct benefits.

  • Gildas LOGAN, UT
    Oct. 22, 2013 8:26 a.m.

    I can honestly say that I never in my life had a babysitter, that my mother was at home when we got back from school; when we were pre-schoolers she or Dad were always with us. On Saturdays Dad stayed at home with us while mother went shopping. So we never paid a penny in babysitting and never suffered from the absence of parents but had a happy family life.

  • Dennis Harwich, MA
    Oct. 22, 2013 5:19 a.m.

    If a baby sitter ever leaves you place with less than $20.00 in their pocket you should be ashamed.

  • Bingham Student South Jordan, UT
    Oct. 21, 2013 6:05 p.m.

    Umm, $2/hr X 5hrs X 30kids is not $300/hr, it is $60/hr. Still point taken, and I think that some teachers should definitely be paid more, but since some teachers only make kids do book work, and no fun learning activities, not all teachers deserve to be paid more

    On to another topic...If I were paid $15 to babysit for 3 hours with 2 kids, I would definitely take it, because I would love to earn the money. Yet at the same time, I would rather be paid between $20-$30, hence the eye-rolling that the kid gave the mom. More than $30 for that amount of work is, in my opinion, very generous, but i would still accept it all, because I am motivated to earn money when I need to be.

  • Mrs TAP Bountiful, UT
    Oct. 21, 2013 1:22 p.m.

    I have worked at fast-food restaurants and I have baby sat. Believe me, the fast-food jobs are much more strenuous and demanding! Occasionally, you will run into a family with a strong-willed child who might drive you crazy. Then you have the option of never sitting there again or trying to relate to the mom who has to put up with it 24/7. For the most part, though, you watch tv with the children for awhile, get them off to bed (and wow, do kids go to bed much more easily for sitters than they do moms), then the rest of the evening is yours to do homework or, otherwise, entertain yourself.

    Restaurant work, on the other hand, is simply exhausting if you're doing a good job. I thought the author made some good points, and I wish she could hire a sitter more than twice a year. If I lived close, I would be glad to help her out.

  • Rural sport fan DUCHESNE, UT
    Oct. 21, 2013 11:21 a.m.

    Amazing how well the responses to this article illustrate the problems discussed in the article.

    First off, if you are old enough to need to pay for gas and insurance...get a real job, not babysitting.

    If you live in a place where your cost of living is ridiculous, like say California, then babysitting is obviously going to cost more. Get over it, or better yet, quit feeding the cycle of inflation and skewed unreal expectations.

    And lastly, the author wasn't saying all kids are lazy no-goods, just that many seem to expect a LOT more for their service, than many of us got back in the day, even after adjusting for inflation. When minimum wage was $3.35, we didn't get $3 an hour for babysitting, so now when min. wage is $7+, you shouldn't expect $10.

    Its obvious, isn't it?

  • zabivka Orem, UT
    Oct. 21, 2013 11:13 a.m.

    I think, in this conversation, it would be helpful to distinguish between paying a teen who is essentially a family friend to do the job and paying a stranger.

    If we are talking about a family friend, then I think the onus is on that teen to offer a fairly reasonable (read: cheap) rate. If we are talking about a hired babysitter that is either a stranger or an acquaintance, and possibly around college freshman age, then I think it would be unwise--and potentially unsafe--to offer wages that are below the industry standard, even if the babysitter is a teenager.

  • Semi-Strong Louisville, KY
    Oct. 21, 2013 9:47 a.m.

    My daughters did this as older teens and were in constant demand. They never set a "wage" but the folks who kept them busy were willing to pay them nicely because they appreciated a responsible teen.

    I am not sure I would be willing to leave an infant or several young children in the charge of a 12 year old. If so, they would have to be somewhat remarkable (hence worth a bit more than their peers).

    Babysitting is mostly easy and usually without incident. But who do you want watching your child should there be a problem? How much is that person worth?

  • Mona Beaverton, OR
    Oct. 21, 2013 9:13 a.m.

    The author is absolutely right about the inflation of babysitting wages. Babysitting is a usually a job for younger teens who are too young to work at Burger King. Paying them less than minimum wage is not saying your children are not important. When teens get a "real" job where they have the expenses of better clothing, car & gas to get to work, and are working the entire 4 or 8 hour shift, that's when they can expect minimum wage. Much of babysitting time is spent in down time after the children are in bed. If the sitting is done entirely during the day when the children are busy the entire time, then a little more pay would be in order. I put myself through my first year of college (1972) on the 50 cents per hour I had made babysitting for the previous 6 years. Oh, and, if a teen thinks a person is not paying enough, they can say no to the job and stay home and earn $0.

  • Colorado Patriot Grand Junction, CO
    Oct. 21, 2013 9:07 a.m.

    I started babysitting when I was 10 (60+ yrs. ago)and I earned 25cents/hr. and 35 cents/hr after midnight. Didn't matter how many kids. I was just glad to earn some money. I suppose that was a lot of money for people then.

  • Goldminer Salem, ut
    Oct. 21, 2013 8:26 a.m.

    Perhaps the employer should take out the taxes, FICA, a fee for tax paperwork processing and subtract all that from the wage and it would give the kids an idea what is in store for them when they get the job they are "entitled" to. There are some "lessons" that they are being shielded from learning!

    Paying someone $50 to cut the lawn is ridiculous and I doubt it. Now, if they haul away the grass clipping, edge it, trim the hedge, clean the drive way, etc, etc, maybe $30 but not $50.

    And, BTW, taking AP classes and sports PLUS chores WAS the rule in the "old days!" Not complaining; just stating what it was like.

  • K Mchenry, IL
    Oct. 21, 2013 8:04 a.m.

    If you play sports the only employer you find who will work around your schedule is mom and dad. And that is what they do. Clean houses or work on some project for x hours a week around practice and games. As it is a child is in seminary, school, sports, church activity. If they don't do sports but work they can maybe get 3-4 hours after school. I don't know how anyone could find an employer to schedule them for 79 hours a week around just the school hours. If just school and seminary you could possibly do 20 hours a week. The adults looking for work will likely take priority over teens. You could take home after taxes about $6,000. Even less if you tithe. That will not pay for college, mission, clothes, car insurance, gas, car, fees related to car. It will pay for a lot but not all of it. The good old hardworking days are over. Gas is at least three times as high as the 80's and cars are twice as high, and college is 6 times as high.

  • breyabella USA, VA
    Oct. 21, 2013 7:46 a.m.

    Listen, I'm 16 years old and I babysit for a family every Friday night. I get paid $10 an hour. There are 3 kids age 7,4 and 2. I make dinner, I feed them dinner (and trust me, they're picky eaters), I bathe them, I get them ready for bed, I put them to bed (which usually includes reading stories and snuggling), after they're asleep I clean the kitchen, I clean up from bath time, I clean up all their toys (most are from before I even got there, and I ALWAYS make sure I do the dishes and run the dishwasher. I think $10 and hour for that is definitely deserved. I mean, I would probably do it for less but they set the rates. I absolutely love those kids and I would do anything for them. I even see them at church and talk to them then. It isn't just a once a week thing. I have serious relationships with these kids. Heck, the 7 year old who was learning about marriage, asked if I would marry him because we marry the people we love. I think I deserve the $10.

  • PandaNina Hampton, PA
    Oct. 21, 2013 7:43 a.m.

    The sense of entitlement is not where the author thinks it is. She expects to find cheap labor - AND labor who would be more than willing to be underpaid ? Knowing the value of your work is not being entitled. I babysat a lot in my day, and I regularly asked for raises. Parents may not know how their kids behave when they are not home. They underestimate the responsibility involved. And does that mean that the jobs of stay-at-home-mothers is worth less than the minimum wage (over 7 dollars an hour) ? What kind of signal does that send ? OF COURSE you need to set the price beforehand, it's not as if you were giving a gift or something, it's paid work. The fact that teenagers are concerned does not make their work and time any less valuable. That's the excuse given for the exploitation of illegal migrants, children in England in the Dickens era, etc. Look at history, you haven't invented anything new.

  • K Mchenry, IL
    Oct. 21, 2013 7:07 a.m.

    Lets look at state tuition and fees. It was $1,190 in 1987. In 2013/14 $6,708 per year. Minimum wage didn't increase by a multiple of 5 or 6. It is very fine and good to say I worked and is paid for a car or I worked and paid for college. The pay and cost ratio is not level. Or expectations. Likely you didn't bother with car insurance. No employer would hire a kid 30 or 40 hours a week. There are people with kids needing minimum wage jobs. People who have a hard time getting 40 hours of it.

    $5 an hour isn't an hourly rate for an adult even. That is lower than minimum wage. Perhaps she can solve the problem by doing babysitting swaps. She watch another's kids while they get couple time, and they watch her kids another time so she can get couple time. If she checks out the cost of infant care in her area at a center she would probably faint.

  • ZachFam fletcher, NC
    Oct. 21, 2013 6:56 a.m.

    Wow. I have a really hard time reading this because I agree with the author (to a point...I would probably pay a little more)..but when it comes to the people saying "You get what you pay for"...really?? So, because I won't pay you $7 a hour PER CHILD to watch my kids (who really only want you to play cars with them)...you aren't willing to do CPR on them? Or protect them from harm? You are only getting $5 a hour after all.
    When you are 12/13 years old, $5 a hour is a score. You can't get a job at Burger King. I always pay a little more for a babysitter who is older and has more experience...but you are babysitting. This isn't your career. This should be supplemental. Yes. Prices have risen since "back in the day"...but you can't expect for all adults to compensate for that...that is what a "real" job is for. :)
    Can parents step in and talk about what is appropriate? Or do the parents feel like $50 to mow lawns or $10 an hour per child is okay?

  • lakota1987 Tempe, AZ
    Oct. 21, 2013 6:18 a.m.

    I like the author's suggestion that you let the potential babysitter know upfront, before acceptance, what they will be paid, along with what they are expected, and what they can do to earn extra money. I think that's the best advice to take from this article. Also, as a 26-year-old single, childless woman, I would happily earn $15 for the chance to play with kids for a few hours.

    That being said, I think kids have a lot more going on these days that weigh out to be more important than cash, especially when college tuition and board is often so expensive that a kid physically CAN'T work enough to pay for even the first semester of college. So many parents and kids often find that academic and extracurricular pursuits are more important than saving money. I received a full ride scholarship in 2005 because I dedicated myself to school and activities, rather than working. I did have a part-time job one summer just for experience, which I quit when school started. But I don't regret having a full activities resume when I applied to colleges.

  • Don't Feed the Trolls Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 21, 2013 12:51 a.m.

    6 hours per Saturday date night
    $5 an hour
    50 Saturdays a year


    And that doesn't include the occasional mid-week job.

    I'd say not bad for a 12 year old.

  • K Mchenry, IL
    Oct. 20, 2013 4:30 p.m.

    I could get car insurance for $50 a month. I could put gas in the tank for $1.20 a gallon. That was the late 80's. Check the rates to get car insurance for a teenage boy. It's insane. It costs too much to have teen drivers. It's not lack of ambition. Most countries don't have kids with DL at all. Or jobs. They study for 15 hours a day.

    When you look for a job wouldn't you expect the going rate. Would you go to an employer who paid the last worker 30K and be mad that they want to try and get you to work for 20K? Why is this different or babysitters? Or lawn care?

  • Lightening Lad Austin , TX
    Oct. 20, 2013 3:36 p.m.

    Is the Deseret News a church news and views publication not the daily newspaper for the general public I had assumed it was? Why pray tell motivates this question to be a "Mormon Mom" question as opposed to an issue for all mothers who need to hire a baby sitter? On one hand we get the drivel from the position on let's say church beliefs such as the Noah's Ark and the Flood 4,000 years ago that killed all living things, then it's an article on a human like skull found that is 1.8 million years old. Just how does that fit in with the creation 7,000 years ago? Then we have the daily anti gay articles, and the equally preachy porn warnings, making it hard to figure out what this paper really is, a ordinary daily news publication or a church only publication filled with all the do's and don'ts?

  • junkgeek Agua Dulce, TX
    Oct. 20, 2013 8:52 a.m.

    If you don't want kids to be "soft", then PAY them when they do work.

    (And yes, I believe there's more value in the AP classes, the accelerated academics, and the college prep work than working some deadbeat job. College scholarships pay more than making $20 a week babysitting.)

  • junkgeek Agua Dulce, TX
    Oct. 20, 2013 8:49 a.m.

    I think it's great that youth are finally standing up and getting more money for watching kids. It's a thankless job.

    "First, I get a babysitter twice a year." Why are you even complaining? Twice a year you can't pay an extra $10? This is like the tipping at restaurants argument - if you can't afford to do it, don't go.

    My wife and I always paid $4 per hour per kid, and rounded up to the next $5 increment.

  • moniker lewinsky Taylorsville, UT
    Oct. 19, 2013 11:41 p.m.

    Back when I was a babysitter, it was not unusual for people to try to get out of paying entirely. They'd come home from dinner and a movie and say casually "Oh, I'll pay you tomorrow". Tomorrow would turn into a week and nice little Utah girls (like me at the time) aren't always taught assertiveness. Then there was the one neighbor that would always call and ask me to babysit on Sunday while they went to their pre-church meetings, but would call somebody else for paying jobs during the week. I don't know why it was assumed that I would always happily babysit for free on Sunday, but I guess it was.
    I found these things to be way more problematic than getting paid a dollar or two an hour.
    Again, babysitters aren't getting taxes deducted. Based on the types I had to deal with (managers, customers, coworkers, etc.) when I was working my first minimum wage jobs as a teen, I'd much rather have babysat for a little less money.

  • moniker lewinsky Taylorsville, UT
    Oct. 19, 2013 9:51 p.m.

    I tend to hire younger babysitters. They can't make minimum wage because they're not 16 and they're usually more excited to do it anyway. A 13 or 14 year old is usually perfectly capable of holding down the fort for a couple hours. 20 some odd years ago, I made a dollar an hour so $5 now doesn't seem too shabby. But I also usually round up to $10 or $15 or $20 or whatever. No need to be a tight wad. When I was in junior high a woman in the ward begged me to sit all Saturday so she could go skiing. She was gone 7 hours and when she returned, she handed me a $10 and told me I owed her three hours of sitting. I wish to death I had had $3 to hand her at that moment. Not worth my Saturday. In the past, I've paid more to have my lawn mowed. But honestly, an hour of manual labor in the hot sun is worth more than an hour of watching TV with my kids. Unless it's Dora. That deserves a bump.

  • zabivka Orem, UT
    Oct. 19, 2013 9:28 p.m.

    Came to this article to see if "Mormon Mom" would follow the typical Utah family "cheapskate" stereotype.

    Was not disappointed.

  • Brer Rabbit Spanish Fork, UT
    Oct. 19, 2013 8:51 p.m.

    In order to avoid this entitlement mentality I helped my 3 teenage sons start up a lawn mowing business. By 2005 they were charging $25 per standard yard. They were doing a professional job, buying their own gasoline, purchasing and paying for equipment repairs.

    The adult professionals were charging about $40 per typical yard. Why I should pay an unprofessional kid $40 to $50 to cut my grass? AS for baby sitting, why should I pay more than $7.25 per hour when those working at the pizza place are paid $7.25 per hour and have FICA taxes deducted and the baby sitters don't?

    I pay the 16 year old boy that sometimes helps me, $8 per hour because he is a good worker and he is glad to get it. If he decided that was not enough he could say no and I could easily find someone else. There are unskilled adults that are paid less than $10 per hour.

    The good teenage workers are glad to get a job and experience, even at minimum wage. The minimum wage is often below the dignity of many of the entitled teenagers, and they complain that they can't find a job.

  • cole Monroe, WA
    Oct. 19, 2013 7:06 p.m.

    WOW! Hey, I have lots of training and even work with special needs and I'd babysit for $5 @ hour. But then I use to babysit for 25 cents per hour and that included cleaning the house and fixing meals! Yeah, that was a long time ago, early 60's. However, I still work and not that long ago I was pushing grocery carts and cleaning the toilets at a grocery store making minimum wages. I totally agree with this article. Hmmmm, I think I'll go on Craigslist and see if I can make some "extra" money babysitting.

  • ballpark ,
    Oct. 19, 2013 6:59 p.m.

    I live in California and read the DNews on a regular basis...your article is further evidence of the "bubble" of Utah and how its not even close to the "real world". Five dollars is very low. $10/hour is the going rate in California amongst LDS members. My daughter babysits for a neighbor for $15/hour. They are willing to pay it because she is very good. She didn't tell them that was her rate, that is just what they wanted to pay. You take for granted the plethora of babysitters you have at your disposal because of your involvement in your church. People that don't have that option are willing to pay much more. Quit your whining and be grateful you have someone who will do it for $5 bucks. My girls never tell anyone what their rate is. If the family doesn't pay well, good luck trying to get a baby-sitter. Word gets around.

  • Howard Beal Provo, UT
    Oct. 19, 2013 3:11 p.m.

    Again, an article that generally panders to the more affluent neighborhoods. Let me say that a good deal of our children and teens are far from entitled. They scrap for everything they can in an economy that unlike generations of the past in which I belong, offered more opportunity. I love these pieces. They are so white suburbia that they make me nauseous.

  • Truthseeker SLO, CA
    Oct. 19, 2013 1:37 p.m.

    "First, I get a babysitter twice a year."

    Then maybe pay the prevailing rate?

    We always paid the prevailing rate for babysitters in our area. The one(s) who spent time talking on the phone rather than watching/playing with the kids, we didn't use again. I was hiring them to take care of the kids--which includes cleaning up after them if they make a mess etc, but not to wash the dirty dishes or clean my house better than I left it. For several years while I helped support our family, we spent a lot of money on babysitters. We did not have the "luxury" of living near extended family. Entertainment--simply going to a movie became expensive because we had to hire a babysitter. But we managed. I was happy to see the babysitters we used grow up, and make something of themselves. When my oldest was 8 yrs our household income was such that we no longer needed my income and I became a stay-at-home mom.

    Every generation since the beginning of of civilization has lamented how hard they had it compared to the current generation. But each generation faces different challenges.

  • Utes11 Salt Lake City, Utah
    Oct. 19, 2013 1:25 p.m.

    Jan Francisco sounds like a cheapskate... and bitter for some reason. My daughters babysitter is responsible for her health and safety. What if something happened? I want my sitter to be able to handle it, give first aid if need be and call 911. What is THAT worth to you Ms. Francisco?
    Lawn mowing? $40 easy. The kid has buy buy gas for his mower.

  • jeanie orem, UT
    Oct. 19, 2013 12:23 p.m.

    Prejudice against teenagers?

    Let's look at it this way. If a teenager gets 2$ an hour for each kid they babysit, not a bad rate, what should we pay an adult with 30+ kids for 5 hours that went to college for four years and regularly attends drug awareness meetings, suicide prevention, physical safety, and participates in intruder, fire and earthquake drills? Let's say this adult has 5 years experience and is also trained to educate these kids. 2$ an hour x 5 hours x 30 kids. That would be $300 an hour.

    When we set expectations so high when kids are young where can they go to but to feel cheated when the adult world presents a different reality? It is not prejudice against teens, it is kindness in expecting them to work and be paid realistically.

  • jeniallen Denver, CO
    Oct. 19, 2013 12:20 p.m.

    I have teenagers. It is much better to talk about how much to pay beforehand. Both for the babysitter and for the parent. Sometimes my kids come home with next to nothing because the parents tell them, "it was easy, they were asleep most of the time". I don't think it matters whether the kids are awake, asleep, bratty, etc. The teens should be valued for the job they are doing. Look at the pressures you are putting on these kids. It is a HUGE responsibility. Kids need to be valued. I don't think that my children will grow up to be lazy because I insist they get paid a certain rate for babysitting. My teenager will not do your dishes, she will not do your laundry. But she will sit on the floor and play with your child. She loves children and your children will love her. Your children will be safe, cared for, fed, wiped, diaper rashes averted, prayed for, worried over.......and the list goes on. Value the 'help'. If you don't like how things are happening while you are gone, get somebody else. There is no shortage of babysitters out there.

  • anti-liar Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 19, 2013 12:11 p.m.

    What is even more horrifying than the incredible greed demonstrated in the article (and in many of the reader comments, both here and at the original blog) is the ability of some to rationalize that such greed is morally supportable. For example, employers pretend to be concerned about reinforcing an "entitlement mentality" among teenagers (i.e., teenagers thinking they actually are entitled to a fair wage for their faithful labors) when in truth, the "entitlement mentality" really lay with the greedy employers, who have convinced themselves they are "entitled" to cheap labor (and to illegal-alien labor, child labor, and good-old fashioned 18th-Century slavery, etc., in ALL labor sectors, if it were possible).

    Is the desire to build confidence and maturity in young people more than mere lip service? Okay then, pay the young person a fair compensation for his diligent labors. Don't rationalize "It only is a training ground," or, "He should be grateful to be paid a few pennies; after all, a few pennies is better than no pennies."

    The Greed of today explains why the gap between rich and poor is greater than ever and why home ownership has become unthinkable for most.

  • rnoble Pendleton, OR
    Oct. 19, 2013 11:34 a.m.

    Over the years I have hired lots of teen-agers. I am a retired golf course superintendent. I have seen good employees and bad. Most teens vacillate between good and bad. Since retiring I have continued to have personal projects for which I hire help. I estimate the work to be done and what it is worth based on my experience and what contractors I know charge and then hire people to help. I tell them their hourly wage is up to them because I am paying X for the project. I have sent kids home with too much hourly pay and had parents tell me it was to much. I have sent kids home with less hourly pay and had parents tell me it was not enough. My answer is always the same. The project is worth this much and your kid decided how much hourly wage they got by how hard and/or efficiently they worked. Some kids don't get hired a second time. A couple have taken to asking me if I have any projects. Some kids won't accept my deals because they know they are going to have to work "too hard". Everybody chooses.

  • RWSmith6 Providence, UT
    Oct. 19, 2013 11:01 a.m.

    This isn't about what we pay a babysitter. It's about what we pay our 16-year-old yard boy. He started with us a few years ago--only yard jobs not covered by our regular lawn care people, tree and shrub maintenance people. He's moved from $4.75 to $12.00 an hour in those few years, knowing all along that we'd raise his hourly pay based upon two things: success of his efforts and speed. The last "raise" was to $12.00 for 10 hours maximum from $8.00 for 15 hours maximum.

    By the time he graduates from high school and goes on his mission, he will have put away all the money he'll need for the mission, maybe a bit more for college. What is more, he's gained tremendous self-confidence with his ability to work hard because the hard work has been rewarded not on the basis of "going rate" ( as little as possible in other words) but on the basis of performance.

    Tell me that shouldn't be the American Way.

  • Allen Salt Lake valley, UT
    Oct. 19, 2013 10:55 a.m.

    Teens hiring out as baby sitters, and families wanting to hire them, should realize that baby sitting is a business, and the teens should tell up front what they charge. Similarly, families should tell up front what they expect the teens to do. If the two parties agree with each other, then the teens get the jobs. If not, the teens and families can negotiate the price, or the families can look elsewhere. It doesn't really matter whether teens think the families are paying too little and the families think the teens are charging too much. They are doing a business transaction.

  • Wayne Rout El Paso, TX
    Oct. 19, 2013 10:53 a.m.

    REMEBER...you usually get what you pay for. If you want to get a sitter on short notice or have a sitter that leaves the house clean, pay more than anyone else in the neighborhood. The word will get around and you will have many to choose from.

  • Midwest Mom Soldiers Grove, WI
    Oct. 19, 2013 10:33 a.m.

    This prejudice against the young is grotesque. No, the kids today do not live the life that those of us who are older did, just as we did not get the privileges and trials of our parents' day. "Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof." Presuming to cut the wage of a hireling "for their own good," is self-serving propaganda.

    I have a suggestion for the author. Let the kids name their own price so that the author can learn the value of her children and the job of caring for them. She seems to have entitlement issues. Then she could blog her new life lessons for another group of people that she can presume to prejudge.

    When our children were young, we were rarely able to afford a babysitter. We always tried our best to make babysitting our children a fun place to be and worth the work. As a result, the young people we hired were always glad to be at our house and our children enjoyed their happy caregivers. We need to respect the work of all people, young and old. That's part of the "do unto others" golden rule.

  • blackpickles Rexburg, ID
    Oct. 19, 2013 10:03 a.m.

    I don't think you guys realize how hard it is to get a job right now. I have an Associate's Degree and I still can't get a job. When I was a teenager, the only job I could get was babysitting. I only worked for 5 dollars and hour once. The other times I got paid in-between 8 and 10 dollars. This seems like a lot, but when you're having to buy college textbooks college class, it isn't that much. I bought textbooks because I was in Running Start where high school kids get to go to college for *free*. The state paid the tuition. That was it. I paid for the rest. I was unable to get a real job then. Babysitting was my only source of income. Paying 5 dollars for three kids is ridiculous. You may think that it's just t.v. and dinner, but there is a lot more effort that goes into it. I played with them, I did homework with them, I took care of them, and I did everything that their mom would've done except clean the house. Any babysitter worth their salt is worth at least minimum wage.

  • RBB Sandy, UT
    Oct. 19, 2013 9:28 a.m.


    Wow, applying the Sherman antitrust act?. I doubt the author has "market power" and can control pricing.

    While I have not hired a babysitter in years, $5/hr for 2 kids is not unreasonable. I have teanagers and they would gladly do it if the kids aren't brats. You are simply there make sure things do not spin out of control.

    I do agree with the sense of entitlement. Yes you may study hard but that does not mean you work hard. Most of my emploees have college degrees and many have graduate degrees. Some work hard, many don't. Many who do not work hard are the first to complain about their compensation. They want top pay but want to show up at 9 and leave at 5. They are unwilling to do anything beyond the minimum, but begrudge the owners of the company who have taken on the risk and spent thousands of unpaid hours building the business.

    I once hired a secretary who had moved to my city and immediately took a job at McDonalds while looking for a secretarial position at 2.5 times the pay. I knew she was willing to work.

  • Strider303 Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 19, 2013 9:21 a.m.

    Great article. I support the author. I have babysat in my teens, and am a male. I mowed lawns in high school for money, and worked at least 20 hours a week all but one semester of all my college career.

    Work is different from activities. All the sports and AP classes and extra curricular events are nice but they are not work, as defined in pay for services. Activities are scripted, usually paid for by a third party, and cater to the student because the student is the source of the provider's income. Work is not play, that is why the call it work.

    I feel that work provides a laboratory for the person to develop the ability to overcome difficulties in management, the acquisition of needed skill sets and how to deal with all the problems of life, i.e., rotten work hours, less than desired pay, unpleasant co-workers, demanding situations, fatigue etc..

    I agree that by in large the youth of today are raised with a sense of entitlement, are emotionally unprepared to deal with the world and are due for a rude reality check.

  • Mom of 8 Hyrum, UT
    Oct. 19, 2013 9:18 a.m.

    I tell my kids they are NOT professionals but still apprentices learning how to do a job. There's no reason for them to earn even minimum wage. If someone pays them more than $3/hour for babysitting or mowing a lawn, they give some of it back.

    (Yes, everyone in the neighborhood calls my kids because they do a good job without robbing the parents of their hard-earned money.)

  • KinCO Fort Collins, CO
    Oct. 19, 2013 8:42 a.m.

    So you sold lemonade and operated a "restaurant" in your front yard? Really? Where on earth did you grow up? Apparently out in the sticks somewhere--in modern suburban America, where most of us live, you would be in serious trouble with the law if you tried that. My kids can't even bring homemade treats to school for birthdays anymore. The truth is, there are few jobs for teenagers these days. The fast-food jobs of yesteryear are mostly taken by under-employed adults, grateful to have a job and easier for the manager to schedule because they don't go to school 6+ hours a day. Look around the next time you go into McDonalds--if your area is like mine, most of the workers are well over 18.

    You are 31, as is my oldest and he had no trouble finding jobs as a teenager. His younger siblings, especially the two that are still teens, have not had the same experience (we have not moved). I think your suggestion is unrealistic. And unless you live in Utah, where your neighborhood is your ward, it is completely impractical.

  • patjan Flower Mound, TX
    Oct. 19, 2013 8:38 a.m.

    This was an excellent article. I am making a copy of it to use in teaching Family Consumer Science classes in jr/high schools. I can't agree with this author more. By paying babysitters too much money for inferior work we are adding to the entitlement culture. There are some young teenagers who are very willing to work hard, however they do not need to receive almost minimum wage to make it worth their while.

    In 1969, at 11 years old, I began to babysit for 25 cents per hour. I babysat every Friday night for the same family. I played with their four children, put them to bed, and then I did their dinner dishes (which they ate on before I arrived). Then I cleaned up the toys, etc. I loved this job and I did it for the joy of autonomy, accomplishment, and a little spending money. To me it was a right of passage to prove how grown up I was becoming. I knew I was underpaid, but loved the job anyway because it was consistent and I loved the kids. The entitlement culture we live in now is detrimental to a child's emerging hard work ethic.

  • Oldy Glocks Orem, UT
    Oct. 19, 2013 7:48 a.m.

    If you wish to observe what has happened to our nation, just do a quick glance through the comments to this article.

    What once was a unified and great nation (1941-46) has since become a seriously divided nation which can not agree on the cause of changes which have creeped into our once peaceful and content life styles.
    While many things have collectively wrought havoc on our nation, the TV, Credit cards and computers have been MAJOR game changers in what family life used to be.
    When we all grew victory gardens for the war effort there was unity with the nation being of one mind and purpose and we prospered as a self sufficient nation.
    We are fast approaching a time when everyone will need to use those skills to raise food, which most have no clue about doing.

  • Meg30 Providence, UT
    Oct. 19, 2013 6:20 a.m.

    Wow. I'm sorry for harsh comments people have made here. I thought your article was great and I was surprised how people can twist your good intent. :(. I hope a day might come when we can all work together and support each other and communicate kindly when we have a difference. All this is why I don't blog. Life's hard enough without all the venom.

  • Pac_Man Pittsburgh, PA
    Oct. 19, 2013 2:47 a.m.

    How much should you pay? Whatever the market can support. Sure you can pay $15 for three hours for two kids. But you get what you pay for.

  • anti-liar Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 19, 2013 1:13 a.m.

    Well gee, maybe the babysitter should be paying the mother for such a fantastic "training opportunity," instead of the mother paying the babysitter. What a disgusting spate of rationalizations. This is about greed, cheapness, and taking advantage of another. $2 extra if you clean the house, WOW. What is it about Utah and Greed so frequently seem to go together?

    "Work ethic" works both ways. It is not just about hard labor for the convenience of the employer. It also is about the dignity and justice of proper compensation. The notion that work for someone else is its own reward is pure sophistry.

    So just stop it, please, with the, "but they're only teenagers; it only is supposed to be a stepping stone for them" rubbish.

  • UteMiguel Go Utes, CA
    Oct. 18, 2013 11:56 p.m.

    In the real world, it would be a violation of antitrust laws to encourage other employers to collude with you to drive down wages. The author should be ashamed (if not criminally charged).

  • jeanie orem, UT
    Oct. 18, 2013 11:51 p.m.

    With so many comments on this article, as well as on the blog the article was first posted on, calling the author cheap, accusing her of not valuing her kids enough to pay exorbitant adult hourly rates, bad mouthing teens, etc. it is no wonder we have so many young adults living at home and parents complaining about how expensive kids are these days.

    I believe our current culture values good grades, impressive academic classes that accelerate the college process, and sports more than old fashion work. Those things take hard work, but the kind I am talking about is different and comes with the feeling of healthy independence, not just personal achievement.

    A teenager who knows the real value of money and buys much of their stuff on their own is in a strong position to enter the adult world competently and confidently. Money is the engine of the adult world and when we do not give kids a realistic view of it we weaken them.

  • NightOwlAmerica SALEM, OR
    Oct. 18, 2013 11:04 p.m.

    I agree with what has been said earlier. You get what you pay for. So go ahead and be cheapskates and lowball for a babysitter. We can all talk about how much things cost when we were young. If you think a babysitter should be paid exactly or similar to your experience back in the day, Sounds like living in the past is more important than your own kids.

    Same goes for mowing the lawn. A kid shows up with possibly their own lawnmower, gas, and the risk of getting injured. And you are only going to pay $5.00 an hour? Get off your duff and mow the lawn yourself.

  • oaklandaforlife SLC, UT
    Oct. 18, 2013 10:42 p.m.


  • Quagthistle Hays, KS
    Oct. 18, 2013 10:00 p.m.

    There is a very simple reason, if you ask me, why many young people are not motivated to join the workforce today. Look at the average wage as a percentage of GDP. It's abysmal compared to "way back when", and it's worstening. If you go work at McDonalds today, you will barely make enough to live in a cardboard box behind your place of employment. The real money is in becoming famous, which is rewarded with millions (while "honest work" is paid a mere $20k or so per year). Income inequality breeds laziness, crime, and greed (among the *truly* entitled who abuse the workforce for profit). Besides, many teenagers are so overschedualed that they don't have time for a job (and summer work is hard to get because businesses don't want to train someone who will quit in 3 months). For several months every year in HS, I was at school from 8am until 8pm every day. When was I supposed to hold a job? Was I supposed to give up sleep? Homework? Orchestra? Volleyball? Speech? Academic Bowl? Drama? AP College Credit Algebra? Which of these was so unworthy that I should have been flipping burgers instead?

  • justme001 Salt Lake, UT
    Oct. 18, 2013 9:56 p.m.

    Bottom line to all those who think 2 bucks an hour for a baby sitter is a good thing. Remember you get what you pay for. If a 2 dollar an hour sitter is sufficient for your child's safety well then....

  • Truthseeker SLO, CA
    Oct. 18, 2013 9:34 p.m.

    Generally speaking the rule of thumb is:

    The parents with the brattiest kids pay the least.

  • I Choose Freedom Atlanta, GA
    Oct. 18, 2013 8:32 p.m.

    Most of today's teenagers are soft. My parents never bought a single item of clothing for me after I turned 14. I purchased my own car when I was 17. When I was a high school senior I worked two jobs for a total of 76 hours per week and I still pulled good enough grades to get into BYU.

    I think that many parents today shield their kids from having to grow up, making them soft and weak. I think this explains why today's kids are marrying later and later, they are unprepared and therefore unwilling to take on that responsibility.

    Don't get me wrong, I think we have great kids today. They are just soft. And I think it is primarily their parent's that are at fault for not preparing them.

  • cjcramer88 Newbury Park, CA
    Oct. 18, 2013 8:22 p.m.

    I have a college degree and am in school for my teaching credential, I have previously been a full-time and part-time nanny as well as an occasional babysitter. I started babysitting when I was 12/13 and would have never babysat for $5/hr. In my opinion your children should be the most important thing in the world and therefore worth the investment of a good babysitter... you say you just want someone to watch a movie with your child.. if there was a fire, earthquake or other natural disaster I am guessing in that situation you would want someone who would do what they had to to protect your child. A burglar? I would home they wouldn't simply just keep watching a movie. Your child choking? Sick? Throwing up? Just watch a movie? I'm going to guess not.... so although it may seem like a mundane task most of the time, there is a lot of responsibility that comes with the job.

  • tinker84307 kaysville, UT
    Oct. 18, 2013 5:52 p.m.

    The problem with today's kids is this they want everything that there parents have worked all there life's for and they expect them to get it for them.

  • drbarbiedpm GRAHAM, WA
    Oct. 18, 2013 5:14 p.m.

    In the 80s I babysat for one dollar per hour regardless of how many kids. Sometimes six. And that included making a simple meal and putting the kids to bed. Five dollars per hour seems more than fair. I do believe that kids nowadays feel entitled to more than they earn.
    Unfortunately our society promotes entitlement. Sad.

  • Laura M ,
    Oct. 18, 2013 5:10 p.m.

    Are all the commenters on this site teenagers? I TOTALLY agree with the author. Kids of this generation have a sense of entitlement. They think jobs should just be handed to them and that they should get paid a ton of money for very little work. If they can't find a cushy job, they aren't willing to work at all. The prices for babysitters have gotten WAY out of hand. We need to teach our teenagers to work and to work hard. We need to teach them to be willing to take whatever job they can get. And I think the author's policy of letting the babysitter know before hand what she expects from them and how much she will pay is great. The babysitter is free to accept or reject the job knowing exactly what is involved. Great article!

  • Messenger and Advocate Provo, UT
    Oct. 18, 2013 4:29 p.m.

    I have to disagree to some extent. I taught students who went to Hillcrest High School. They have an IB program there where it is like taking undergraduate classes at an ivy league school(Hours of Homework/Study to do well on there test at the end of the year). These same students were involved in sports, music(instrumental and choir), and drama, at the same time. I think there is a lot more stress to do well in school, then back in the day.

    I do believe that paying $50 dollars is way too much for mowing a lawn unless it is a couple of acres. I pay my babysitters $2 dollars/hour per kid. I have Five, and my kids are very easy to take care of. I can't wait until my oldest can babysit. Money for his college fund.

  • staypuffinpc Provo, UT
    Oct. 18, 2013 4:21 p.m.

    @Bingham student
    Congrats on taking 3 AP classes. As my father always said, "work for your grades and they'll work for you." I found that to be true when getting to college and securing scholarships. In fact, that's one of the things that allowed me to graduate from graduate school without any debt. So, keep it up and do good work.

    That being said, the fact that you can ask your parents for $ anytime and they give it to you should be a sign that perhaps you and the author don't live in the same world. If you can get money anytime by asking for it, then you fall into the author's description of being unmotivated to get money through employment.

    3AP classes and sports + a job is more in-line with my experience growing up. Sometimes our parents shield us from getting a job in fear that our grades and athletics will falter. My father did that one year and my grades lagged. I found I was more focused when I was working in addition to those other activities. Parents mean the best, but our actions don't always succeed.

  • S.C.M. Whittier, CA
    Oct. 18, 2013 3:36 p.m.

    and on the issue of licenses...it isn't that kids are content to let their parents cart them around.
    1)..the rates of car insurance for teenagers is astronomical--ours DOUBLED when we added our first teen driver.
    2)..in our district, there is no longer driver's ed, so you have to come up with the fee to pay for driver's ed or wait until you are 18 and then take the test WITHOUT (yikes!!)
    3)..a lot of states have graduated licenses which prevent teenagers from driving friends for the 1st year of licensure, so many think they might as well have a parent drive so they can go with friends instead of everyone taking separate cars.

  • S.C.M. Whittier, CA
    Oct. 18, 2013 3:31 p.m.

    When my kiddos were little, my parents generally watched but on the rare occasion we had to hire someone, we did pay a littler more because our reasoning is that our kids were the most important things to us, so we want someone who will keep them safe, happy, and entertained (and the house reasonably clean when we got home). I think it is fair to let the babysitter know ahead of time what you will be paying then it is up to them to say yes or no--but the babysitters should also be willing to say "I charge $$ per hour, or $$per hour/per child--then the employer knows what to expect.

    On the other hand, where do you live that the teenagers are getting paid $5o a week to mow 1 lawn? In our neighborhood, the mowing companies charge about $80 for the month and they come every week.

  • Johnny Triumph American Fork, UT
    Oct. 18, 2013 3:30 p.m.

    Isn't that what grandparents are for?

  • Aggie238 Logan, UT
    Oct. 18, 2013 2:45 p.m.

    I don't think the author understands economics. If you're going to pay half of what other customers are paying for the same service, you aren't likely to get far, regardless of what you think is fair. The opportunity cost of babysitting your kids for 3 hours is a lot more than $15 for most teenagers. Most of them could make $22 in the same amount of time at Burger King, which is arguably less difficult than caring for someone else's two snot-nosed kids.

  • Third try screen name Mapleton, UT
    Oct. 18, 2013 2:38 p.m.

    Year ago I had a friend who paid his babysitters minimum wage, by the hour. That was his moral guidance.
    He didn't take out taxes or create a 1099. He just paid the going rate for youth labor.

  • Bingham Student South Jordan, UT
    Oct. 18, 2013 2:31 p.m.

    The argument that teenagers don't have enough motivation to chase after things is not true. I am a teenager, and don't have a job. So does this mean I am not motivated?
    No, not at all. I take 3 AP classes and do a sport at school. I barely have enough time to finish my homework and housework. If I could afford time for a job, I would completely use it, but I can't fit it in my schedule. I borrow money from my parents, but I do not get paid any allowance, so they give me money when I need it or so I can go out and have fun, which is only maybe 3 or 4 hours a month. On the weekends I still mow my neighbor's lawns for whatever price they are willing to pay me, and I am trying to save up for a mission, so half of the money I earn goes to a bank account. All of my friends either have jobs or are in a similar situation as me. I don't know many people who only mooch money off their parents without being attached to activities that they are motivated towards.