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Op-Ed: Protect Your Children’s Protectors

A Crown Heights mother expresses concern that too often parents don’t concern themselves with the safety and well-being of teenage girls who babysit their children in this op-ed submitted to CrownHeights.info:

Dear Crown Heights Parents,

My daughter is a local Crown Heights high school girl.  She enjoys babysitting, and over the summer babysat just about every night.

Very often, even when she finished babysitting very late, like midnight or later, the parents thanked her and she was left to walk home alone.  Often she was too embarrassed to ask for a walk or ride home and sometimes only one adult came home so she felt she couldn’t ask to be taken home.

She was in your home keeping your children safe.  Please keep our babysitters safe as well.

Any time a babysitting job ends after 10 or 10:30 PM, please make sure to figure out a safe way for them to get home.  They are high school girls and may say it is okay and they can go home alone, but it is not okay and they can’t go home alone.

IYH soon your children will be the ones babysitting, you would not want them walking home alone late at night.

A Concerned Mother

16 Comments

  • 1. Pops wrote:

    thank you I agree. I always tell my daughter to call me if the she is unable to be driven home by the woman of the house so that I can pick her up.

    Reply
  • 2. Ari wrote:

    I’m a parent and I always offer a ride to the babysitter if the hour is late. On the other hand a responsible parent of a young teenager will usually be involved and make sure that if the babysitting goes late that their daughter has a safe way to get home..

    Reply
  • 3. Anonymous wrote:

    When I hire a babysitter I tell her what time I will need her till and then ask if shes ok going home alone.
    I don’t have a car and anyway wouldn’t have someone home to babysit while I babysit the babysitter. If she lives too far etc she should say so.
    I’m trusting her with my kids, she had better have basic safety awareness and decline a job if she doesn’t feel safe walking home.

    Reply
  • 5. Anonymous wrote:

    It doesn’t matter if she “feels safe”. If it is after dark it is not safe. No one should hire a babysitter that would need to walk alone at night-even an adult woman.Do you want to see this person in the news the next morning?

    Reply
  • 7. Anonymous wrote:

    As a patent make sure you approve of the babysitting job! Take responsibility and don’t keep on sending her back.

    Reply
  • 8. Pedant wrote:

    The Eruv Rav are distinguished in their selfishness. See igros kodeish, Rabbeinu Hazoken.

    We are not from the Eruv Rav.

    The primary responsibility is of the babysitter and her parents. It’s hard to argue against that.
    But when they do not look to their responsibility, then it is your responsibility.

    You may not put another yid in dangerous situation because they aren’t wise enough to look out for their own self-interest and you have a need. Danger is more severe than Prohibition, and we are enjoined not to enable a (even a) sinner to sin (in a way of trei ivrei nahara).

    You might also consider the din of Oinas momoin.

    We are enjoined to love our fellow Jew as we love ourselves. And if you would not allow your daughter to go into a situation out of concern for her safety, then you may not enable another Jewish girl to go into that same situation (it’s unsettling that this need be said, but we all have lot of work to do…)

    Moreover, we are Chasidim, who go beyond the letter law, and we will even hurt ourselves so as not to endanger another yid (Chossid sorfon).

    Please, Yidden, let’s stop with the self-serving svoros, let’s work together to keep our brethren safe.

    Reply
  • 10. mom of 2 babysitters wrote:

    I agree with the writer, but parents of teens, it is your responsibility to know where your babysitter teen is, how she gets to and from the job, where she is and how much she is paid.
    I have asked my daughters not to babysit at certain places, either there’s no transportation or I don’t know the family and am uncomfortable with any details.

    Reply
  • 11. not just babysitters wrote:

    We always walk our young women guests home Friday night/Shabbos, unless another guest is able to.
    They are all our daughters.

    Reply
  • 13. but sometimes wrote:

    sometimes the parents tell me theyll drive me home then when it comes down to it only one parent comes home or something happens and they cant drive me which isnt fair

    Reply
  • 14. Uber is out there! wrote:

    I’m from out-of-town, when I hired a babysitter for a wedding, I Ubered my babysitter home (I sent my daughter-in -law with the babysitter in the car).

    Reply
  • 15. Solution wrote:

    Hire a BOCHUR.

    Most high school bochurim would be happy to babysit and have no problem walking home alone at 10:30.

    A bochur could use the money from babysitting, so why not hire one?!

    Reply
  • 16. cute? wrote:

    When my daughters (now adults) were babysitting age, I had a rule that they could only accept a babysitting job if the people they babysat for arranged either a walk or ride to and/or from their house if it was dark out (even when it got dark very early during the winter).

    If only one parent came home, I expected a car service to be arranged for my daughter. (Just a few dollars within Crown Heights)

    At first, my daughters were a bit embarrassed to tell the parents when they called to ask for them to babysit, but they stopped being embarrassed when they saw that no one objected or thought it the least bit strange.

    Reply

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