too rash?

A Babysitter Called The Cops When The Parents Didn’t Answer Her Texts For 3 Hours

They said they would be home at 9 p.m., and by midnight the police were looking for them.

Originally Published: 
A teen wants to know if she's in the wrong for calling the police when the family she was babysittin...
Sigrid Olsson/Getty/Reddit

Many parents have a nightmare story or two to tell about babysitters. But it’s super important to remember that babysitters have lots of nightmare stories to tell about parents, too. In this case, a 14-year-old teen who was involved in a nightmare situation at her last job asked Reddit’s infamous “Am I The A—hole?” forum — and most people were in agreement.

The teen explained that she sits for people in her neighborhood and took a job from a couple who was new in town with the stipulation that they be home by 10 p.m.; they told her they would be home by 9 p.m.

But that didn’t happen.

“They did not get home at nine,” she wrote. “At quarter to ten I started texting them to see if they were on the way. Then I called my parents. My mom came over because I was getting worried. It had snowed pretty bad on Friday and they weren’t answering. At 11:30 we phoned the police. I was freaking out.”

Bad weather and radio silence is never a good sign.

“The police got their names and address and I guess found their license plates like that,” she continued. “They found them in about twenty five minutes. They were at their friend’s house. They called me and they were mad that I called the police.”

Sure, anyone would have been embarrassed to have the police called. But was it still the right thing to do?

“I promise I wouldn’t have called the police if they had answered my texts or calls,” the girl explained. “And my mom was concerned as well. I didn’t call to get them in trouble. I was worried. But they told my mom that I’m not mature enough to be babysitting if that’s how I’m going to behave.”

She also added that the parents not answering the phone is ultimately a safety concern.

“I feel kind of bad that the police made them come home from their friend’s house,” she concluded. “But I think that they should have answered the phone. What if there was something wrong with their kids?”

So, was it rash or rational to call in the cops after hours of silence from very late parents? The commenters sided with the sitter in this case.

“The parents were taking advantage of you,” reads the top comment. “You did everything you should have, including trying to reach them, contacting your mother, and then contacting the police. You’ve done nothing wrong. The parents are angry at being caught out on bad behavior.”

Another person added that she was being considerate by making sure the parents were safe.

“If god forbid something had happened to them on their way home how long exactly was she supposed to wait before calling the police? Because at 2.5 hours late with no contact it was definitely a possibility,” they wrote.

Another person added that as a minor, the sitter made the correct decision to bring in adult to help her.

“Your mom thought calling the police was the right call (it would’ve been even if she wasn’t involved). You did what you are supposed to do at your age. Call a trusted adult when you aren’t sure what to do,” they said.

Well, the jury has spoken. This should be a lesson for parents, not babysitters: Keep your phone on you when you have a babysitter — and if you absolutely can’t for some reason, provide them with emergency numbers to call instead. And if your sitter gives you a hard stop, like, “I have to be home by 10,” you better be there by 10 or else call and explain your very good reason for being late. After all, a good sitter is hard to find.

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