When to Turn Down a Babysitting Job

It may be tempting to say yes to every babysitting job you’re offered, especially when you first start babysitting. But there are definitely times when you need to say no.

As a babysitter, there are things that I’m comfortable with and things that I’m not. If you think about potential babysitting situations, I’m sure you can think of a few things that would creep you out as well! Before you accept a babysitting job, you need to make sure you’re comfortable with the family and the surroundings. You also need to make sure you have the skills to handle the job as well as get your parent’s permission. If you’re missing any of those ingredients, you have to say no.

There are several questions you need to ask before you say yes to a babysitting job. Check out this video to learn what to ask.

When I started babysitting, I thought I had to take every job that came along.

So, Kayla, she tends to throw tantrums. Nap time, mealtime, bedtime, and playtime. I got a dog, Fido. Can you feed him for me if you don’t mind? He does bite, so don’t get too close. Took the mailman’s finger off. It’s okay, doctors put it back on. Counts and everything now. Gotta go!

Thankfully, I learned how to say no real quick. Here’s a few questions you have to ask yourself before accepting a babysitting gig.

Question number one: Will I be safe? Let me break it down for you. If there are dangerous pets, dangerous people, or dangerous surroundings, turn that job down. What’s dangerous, you ask? Anything that makes you feel uncomfortable.

Creepy neighbor?


Aggressive dog?


What about guns in the house?

Good question. If you talk with the homeowner and they’ve assured you that the guns are unloaded and securely locked up with ammunition securely locked up in a separate location, and, and here’s the most important part, you feel comfortable with that, then freely accept the job. But, if the guns are not securely locked up or you or your parents are uncomfortable with you babysitting in a home that has guns at all, then turn that job down.

Back to question two. Do I have the skills to handle this job? You always need to make sure you have the ability and the experience to handle each babysitting job. For example, if you’re new to babysitting, you probably shouldn’t start with a newborn since they require special care. And if the job is babysitting more kids than you can watch at one time or supposed to last more hours than you have the energy for, turn that job down.

And finally, question number three. Are my parents okay with me taking this job? Unless you’re 18, you need to check with your parents before accepting a job. For one thing, they may remember things that you forgotten like you have a family reunion that day or you have a big test the next morning. Or, after the great poop explosion of 2018 you swore, you’d never babysit for the Smiths again.

For another thing, at this age, parents still get veto power so even if you think you can handle a job, they may disagree. Next time on Babysitter Boss, I’ll show you how to turn down a job. Get ready! You may want to take notes.

Check out more Babysitter Boss videos.

If you can say yes to a babysitting job, you need to know what to do next. Find out What You Need to Ask Before Accepting a Babysitting Job.

If you haven’t taken a Safe Sitter® class, find one near you!