I would love to hear from parents who allow their children to stay up until they get home when they have a babysitter. I cannot understand why a parent would do this. Don’t we hire a babysitter for the night so that we can go out and get a break from caring for our children? Then why, after a relaxing night out, would anyone want to come home and deal with getting their kids to bed?
First, let me say that hiring a babysitter that you trust to care for your children so that you can have a “break” or just enjoy adult time with your spouse or friends, is not a crime. In fact, it is very healthy.
Long gone are the days when you could hire a sitter for $1.00 an hour. But also, in most cases, long gone are the days when it was acceptable for a babysitter to sit on the sofa, watch TV, and talk to her friends on the phone all night. These days, many babysitters, nannies, and other child care providers get paid minimum wage or more (and sometimes much more), and so they are expected to do more.
Parents should expect that the sitter will engage their children, by either playing with them, reading to them, or interacting with them in some other positive way. Also, parents should expect to come home to find their house in the same condition as it was in when they left, and if it is late, their children safely in bed and sound asleep.
Telling your children that they may stay up until you get home gives you extra work to do after your night out when you have already paid someone else to do this for you. Also, the children will have the expectation that this will happen every time there is a sitter, so beware if you ever need to hire a babysitter on a school night. Another reason that allowing the children to stay up until you get home may not be the best choice, is that most children get cranky, whiny and/or just harder to deal with when they are tired, so by allowing them to stay up hours past their regular bedtime, you may have set your babysitter up for disaster.
The Babysitting Lady