Babysitters Reveal The Weirdest Rules That Parents Told Them To Enforce

Paddy Clarke
Unsplash | Thomas Griesbeck

Babysitting can be a great way for teenagers to make a little extra money and learn a bit of responsibility. However, babysitting can also give you a strange and unwanted glimpse into the lives that others lead.

One person took to Reddit to find out what some of the weirdest moments were that some people had encountered while babysitting, by asking, "Babysitters of Reddit, what were the weirdest rules parents asked you to follow?"

Since babysitting is quite a common thing to do, there were plenty of weird and uncomfortable responses, the most bizarre of which have been provided below.

Fleetwood Mac Fans

Instagram | queen_street_vinyls

"The 3 year old daughter HAD to watch this VHS tape of a live Fleetwood Mac concert before bed. I was like, okay cute, that’s adorable, 3-year-olds love the weirdest things she’s so quirky and this will be fun. But she didn't love it. She always wanted to watch land before time instead. But it was always on the note left for me. Like /pager number, pediatrician, chicken soup for dinner is in the fridge and, and WATCH FLEETWOOD MAC at 630 before bed/

"Obviously the family eventually found out I wasn't making her watch it, as I had no f*cking reason to believe it was a secret. They were clearly upset by this and I was never called back to babysit. So that was weird..." — Onlylivingirl

Little did this person know that this was part of a deal with the devil that the parents had made, and if their child didn't watch this live show every day then their souls would be damned.

Duct Tape Them Into Their Pyjamas

Instagram | zeegazine

"I used to regularly babysit one of my younger cousins. At nap time I had to put her in a zip-up pajama with feet. I then had to duct tape the zipper down and duct tape the wrists in a way that wasn't restricting but she couldn't pull her hands into her onesie. If I didn't do this she would pull her hands in and dig in her diaper...always. My aunt got tired of cleaning poop covered walls regularly." — dezz-the-artist

Another parent wrote that their child used to do something similar so they put their pajamas on back-to-front so they couldn't reach the zip. That seems a little easier than using duct tape.

No Singing

Unsplash | Matt Botsford

"When they heard me sing asked me not to sing to the kids." — Lord-AG

Wow, now that is how you put someone's dreams down! I didn't realize this person had actually been babysitting for Simon Cowell.

No Bathroom Breaks

Unsplash |

"Told me that under no circumstances could the kid use the restroom because he was 'grounded'. Obviously I ignored this. Later it was discovered his father physically and sexually abused him. He was a prominent member of a large religious community in the town, so it shocked us." — KAFKA-SLAYER-99

The kid was around 10-years-old at the time, according to another post by this person. It's hard to imagine a babysitter actually enforcing this kind of rule, you'd have to be incredibly cruel.

Peanut Allergies

Unsplash | Vladislav Nikonov

"Not necessarily a rule but the first time I went to their house they told me about their daughter's very serious peanut allergy, walked me through the epi-pen, prevention, phone numbers of their neighbors who were doctors- all fine so far. I took this very seriously. But then the mother put her hands on my shoulders and said 'if she dies we wouldn't blame you. It wouldn’t be your fault'. While I appreciate the thought this freaked me the hell out and I was 100 times less comfortable."

I can kind of understand what they were trying to make this person more comfortable, but this is a little too much!

Avoid The Basement!

Unsplash | isaac jarnagin

"I was 13 and was babysitting my neighbors' kids. It was my first time, so the parents walked me through all the rules about the bathroom and tv and food and bedtime, etc. Just as the parents were taking off for the night, the mom came back in and whispered to me, 'don’t go into the basement'. I avoided the door to the basement all night until I had put the kids to bed. I walked slowly to the door and put my ear against it. I heard what sounded like whimpering. I ran to the couch and started watching tv to get my mind off of it, but then I heard something fall in the basement and knew someone was down there.

"I went over and opened the door. The whining instantly got louder. I went down just three or four stairs so I could peek down...and I saw...a goat. As soon as the goat saw me, he started bleating loudly. It scared the crap out of me. I went upstairs and the goat was still bleating much that it woke up the kids. The oldest girl came out and said, 'Did you open the door to the basement?' I said, 'Yeah, why?' She said, 'When you do that, Carlos thinks you’re going to feed him and he starts yelling'."

This person said that she reckoned the mother had whispered it to mess with her.


Unsplash | Jason Leung

"I had to put the kids to sleep with the CD player going. That wasn't the weird part. It was a recording of their parents basically going 'Molly, you are wonderful. You are a star. You're going to shine bright.' That isn't super weird...But it was like several hours long, and apparently they listened to it every night." — optimuspaige91

That's one way to raise a narcissist! Also, this person said that they never stayed long enough to hear the full thing, so who knows what else they were saying to their kids in their sleep.

Remain Emotionally Distant

Unsplash | MichaƂ Parzuchowski

"Babysat for a family that had three boys, one a newborn. I was never to feed the baby by holding it next to me, but I was to put it on my legs and make eye contact with him at all cuddling. Also, I was never to let the older boys lose any game we were playing. I quit after about a month. Years later I found out that youngest one..the baby that wasn’t to be cuddled...jumped off the Golden Gate Bridge." — mahas511

A life of being refused emotional connection can cause considerable damage to a person's mental wellbeing. This person also went on to say that they did raise geniuses, but at what cost?

Leaving Kids In The Driveway

Unsplash | Thomas Griesbeck

"The mom had me put her kids in their car seats and sit in the driveway with all the car doors open while she just hung out inside the house. 5 hours of me standing in the driveway watching them sit inside their car. Never returned." — heckinghell

This person went on to clarify that they meant that they never returned to this house to babysit, not that the mother never returned. This person also said that they weren't allowed to drive the kids anywhere, they had to stay on the driveway.

Don't Eat The Wafers

Unsplash | Food Photographer

"I used to babysit for this family when I was in high school (in the 80s) and they had no books or reading material of any kind, except that there would usually be like two sections of the WSJ and a running magazine lying around. No. Books.

"Anyway, once I went over there and the mom told me like nine times, BEGGED ME, not to eat the box of 'Nilla Wafers that was in the cupboard because she needed them for a recipe the next day. BEGGED. I was like, 'Ok, got it. They're totally safe because I don't even like vanilla wafers!' She kept mentioning it, and it was the first thing she asked me about when they got home." — ZweitenMal

I would have had to at least open the box to see what was inside, as it sounds like she was hiding something in there.

The Test

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"Wasn't a rule, but on my first day they sent over an adult male friend of theirs who asked to come in. I said no, and was then told I was being tested and I had passed."

That's quite an intense thing to do. Do you think that this is an appropriate way to test a babysitter?

Wasting Food

Giphy | The Boss Baby

"One had me feed her 1-year-old ONLY from a freshly opened baby food container. If she only ate two or three spoonfuls, I was to throw it away and when she wanted more in 15 minutes I was to open a new one. I thought it was so she would finish her meal and be full for a while, but she said it was OK to feed her every time she wanted it. I would probably throw away 5 or 6 jars in a 2 hour sitting. They cost more than I usually made for sitting." — GooberMcNutly

What a wasteful attitude. People in the comments were specualting as to whether the parents were just ridiculously wealthy or whether they were extremely paranoid about something.


Unsplash | hue12 photography

"They asked me to spoon feed their 3 year old. He was perfectly capable of eating by himself, yet they fed him like that until he was 5. I also interview for a family that had twins and they were still sleeping in cribs at 3 years old. The mother wanted me to hand wash their socks and underwear. No thank you." — justmede123

The first child apparently wanted to be hand fed; however, the babysitter would only hand-feed the child while the parents were around, then make them eat by themself when the parents had left.

Wildly Inappropriate Requests

Unsplash | Josefin

"I used to work housekeeping at a hospital. A doctor that was frequently on the floor that I worked on asked me if I could watch his kids on Saturdays. He had 3 toddlers. His wife didn't work but wanted time to go shopping and get her hair and nails done. I get there early as the doctor is getting ready to leave. He says he's cooking breakfast and while he gets the kids fed and dressed could I HELP CHANGE HIS WIFE'S TAMPON. She'd drunk a lot the night before and was completely passed out and was leaking and messing up their sheets. HE'S A DOCTOR.

"I told him I should work for someone more than a few minutes before I go rummaging in their private parts and that I'd tend to the kids if he tended to his wife. What I really wanted to do was leave but the kids would be home alone with their hungover mother so I chose to finish cooking and stay. He went upstairs and sent the kids to the kitchen where I was putting food on plates. After a little while he popped his head in and said it was a short day, he was done upstairs, and he was leaving. I NEVER met the wife. He came home at noon, gave me $100, and I never spoke to him again." — callmesomethingelse

Defending Against The Father

Annie Spratt | Unsplash

"Not a rule but a single mom once told me to use the bat by the door in the event the kids' father comes by and tries to take them. That was pretty weird and uncomfortable." — berniemac85

It's quite unfair to put a stranger in that situation. If the mother thinks a situation requires a bat, then the babysitter should not be left alone.

Warm Milk After Dinner

Instagram | laurentrouvrais

"To give him warm milk in a baby bottle right after every dinner - he was a fully functional 10-year-old boy." — QueenRaptor

They went on to write that everything else was normal and that the kid was fine with it. They speculated that it may have been something to do with his teeth, but his teeth seemed fine.

Driving Around The Neighborhood

Unsplash | Samuele Errico Piccarini

"Asked me to drive their three-year-old twins around in my personal vehicle for 2.5 hours because 'that’s the only way they can nap'.

"No. I simply put the kids in their beds, closed the door, and they were asleep in 15 minutes."

Kids can act very differently around babysitters than they will with their parents.

The Reversal

Two glasses of chocolate milk
Unsplash | Yeh Xintong

"On the opposite end of the spectrum, The family gave me instructions to let their kids drink chocolate milk, which they were otherwise not allowed to have. I think they wanted their kids to associate baby sitter time with fun time, so the parents could go out more often. Seemed to work out well for them, the kids both grew up to be successful people." — Krindus

A lot of parents were quite taken with this idea. This was perhaps the most wholesome one on the thread.

Sugarplum Fairy

Giphy |

"I was told that the only thing she specifically wasn't allowed to do was eat a bowl of sugar." -[deleted]

Family Tragedy

Flickr | whittikerowens

"Her Dad had been the mascot for a popular fast-food chain and had recently died in a bizarre accident where he'd asphyxiated at a family Christmas party during a breath-holding contest with his brother. Yeah, it was pretty weird. Every night before the kid went to bed I had to take her to a photo of her Dad and say goodnight to him together. It was kind of sad really." -DowntownCarob

Burning Toys

Giphy |

"I babysat for this woman who was, and is still, an awful mother. For instance, one of her "rules" was that if her oldest daughter misbehaved I was to threaten her with burning her toys in front of her. She wanted me to take this kids toys and light them on fire. No." -FoolishWhim

The Mouse

Flickr | cargotopakistan

"Family from my church asked me to babysit their three kids. They were...difficult children, but my mom made me agree (I was around 15). I got there and the house was a mess, like hoarders level bad; stuff piled to the ceiling in some rooms.

They told me not to open the microwave because a mouse had gotten in it and the little boy had turned it on and the mouse had exploded." -Avaylon

Barbara Streisand

Giphy | Last Man Standing

"They also left the newborn baby with me. He cried all night long. I tried everything. When they got home they told me I had to listen to Barbra Streisand 'woman in love' on repeat for him to fall asleep. Did that the next time. Spent the entire night in the kitchen, if I stopped swaying or the song changed he cried." -Shufflegoop

The Bologna

Giphy |

"One family often had plain bologna as a snack. A slice at a time. I was REQUIRED to microwave it until crisp, like well-done bacon. Apparently this was because of 'germs'" -PagingDoctorLove

The Washcloths

"To only wipe the children’s butts with washcloths. Even when they poop. Also, they were like 8 years old. No toilet paper in the house. Never went back." -redditor56784


Giphy |

"Regularly babysat a little girl, the dad was ALWAYS there. I wasn’t allowed to change her, feed her or do basically anything else. AND the dad would take me and the daughter out to lunch every weekend and insisted on paying for it." -ebayk

The Mirrors

Unsplash | Luis Villasmil

"I babysat for a neighbor of my friend, she wasn't available. They had a four-year-old boy. The boy was to eat at this kid's table that was up against a mirror covered wall. He would watch a movie on the tv behind him by watching through the mirror. They also had a lock on his door that locked from the outside and it also had a peephole looking in. Freaked me out and I never went back." -thefamilyo

Peeing Outside

Unsplash | Chris Yang

"To let their 6-year-old pee outside. It was fine until I see him playing with mud in the middle of a drought. When I asked him how there was mud, he said: "I made it!" -Knockout23

Hot Sauce Law

Unsplash | Chris Liverani

"No hot sauce after 9 pm." — JohnMclain112

Apparently the child absolutely loved hot sauce, but the parents were worried that having too much would make them sick. This person also said that they took the kid to Taco Bell every time they babysat them, the idea of which is making me feel ill.

I Couldn't Agree...

Ben Eaton | Unsplash

"I had to change the kid's cloth diaper every 2 hours on the dot. The kid was 6. I assumed it was for some sort of disability or something, but no. His parents just didn't want to potty train him, and the kid was content with being babied. I remember just making the kid put his own diaper on and encouraged him to use the bathroom if he had to go. I never went back." -Drsweetcheeks

Would you have agreed to do this? Or would you have also made the for door and never looked back?