As a kid, I can remember the standout babysitters that made the time my parents were gone fun—many of which were teenage boys from my neighborhood. When I was growing up, I probably had just as many boy sitters as female sitters. My older brother even babysat for the kids across the street occasionally when asked. Over the years, however—and maybe it has always held as a bit of a stigma—I definitely think it became hugely uncool for boys to watch kids.
The Boys are Back
But according to a recent Washington Post article, the boys are back. It highlights the growing trend of boys enrolling in babysitting courses offered by the American Red Cross and how more men are signing up on sites like SitterCity and UrbanSitter. UrbanSitter found that males had double the number of jobs in 2013 than they had in 2012, looking at the pool of sitters listed on the site for two years. Females grabbing open sitting jobs, comparatively, remained the same.
If you have a son, it might even be a better idea to hire a teenage boy sitter. I have a young son who would surely welcome the occasional male role model that also likes to play Legos, Star Wars, and street hockey. Plus, it would show him that he could consider babysitting as a possible part-time job as a teenager a few years down the line.
In a time when it is often difficult for teens to find jobs—and even harder to find extremely flexible jobs—why not babysit? It provides the opportunity to make money morning, noon, and night when available. Plus, teens can make some decent cash. I personally pay my high school sitters $10 - $12/hour and my college sitters who can drive my kids to activities, $15.
Maybe this trend will also inspire teen girls to look at summer jobs that traditionally might not seem as "girly jobs" and go for it! Landscaping, painting, delivering pizzas, even refereeing summer sports are all possible options. Other suggestions for flexible summer jobs for teens include tutoring, pet sitting, and housesitting.
Thank goodness for this growing trend. I could use a few new teen sitters this summer!