Wednesday, June 16, 2010

How Much Should I Pay My Babysitter?

How much I pay my babysitter is a physical manifestation of just how much I value my child's life and happiness. I value the person who will be responsible for calling 911 more than I value my waitress. I know we're not suppose to be prideful, however I take pride in what I pay my babysitters. It's due to being an undervalued babysitter in my youth.

I once was asked to go on 'vacation' with a family. (Vacation being an Amway seminar in Arizona) I spent 90% of my time trapped in a hotel room watching kids. After the 'vacation' was over the family didn't pay me, as the thought taking me on 'vacation' was payment enough.

This was 50% my fault and 50% the fault of my father. Yes, I blame my dad for my being an underpaid babysitter. My dad is a great salesman. He should have passed on his knowledge as to how to properly sell your product, that being: You tell people what you charge before you give them the product. You don't give someone a service and then gratefully take what ever they deem right to give to you.

This mentality of taking whatever someone thinks you're worth with out demanding what you think you're worth is a bad road to go down at the age of 12. If we teach our daughters when asked to babysit to tell people upfront what they charge for their services, in lieu of just taking what they're given- it sends a simple and powerful message to this young girl. It's a small means of empowerment to young women. Teaching a girl to evaluate what she's worth, put a price on it, and have the courage to ask for it, not settling for what someone else thinks they're worth and just taking it.

So, how does one pay a babysitter?

Ask the babysitter what she charges. If she says "whatever you want to pay me" start negotiating. Can I pay you in cookies? How's $1 an hour? Make her tell you what she wants to be paid. If she doesn't give a price, tell her she's not going to get paid at all. Most will under quote- so what ever she says, pay her more. Call it a tip.

She'll build self-esteem and be more attentive to the children, because it will be viewed as a real job. Hopefully someday we'll all take more pride in what we pay our care givers, than in what we paid for our jewelery.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Not The Little Mermaid!

Advertising works. The strongest form of advertising, product placement. Just as product placement worked for Reese's Pieces, it also works for morals, values, and social norms. I believe that the acceptance of homosexuality is largely due to the introduction of homosexuality into media, starting small with the Lesbian Wedding on Friends, to Will and Grace, now most sitcoms now have the loveable homosexual sidekick.

This is why I flipped out over The Little Mermaid coming into my home.

Maybe flipped out is strong, but that DVD went right back into the netflix envelope from which it came. Brent's rational for ordering it: "I thought Samantha would like the songs." Oh, but the songs are about disobeying your parents, giving up your talents, ignoring your family and responsibility, sacrificing everything for a boy, and in your defiance living happily ever after, and all at the age of 16.

I've previously blogged about how Disney Princesses are the root of all evil, so recently a good friend forwarded this to me, which perfectly says why I am against everything princess and you'll never again find the Little Mermaid in my home.