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Babysitter Refuses To Watch Boys With ‘Visible Facial Hair’ After Parents Seem To Lie About Ages

Teenage girl raising her arms in shock.
Lourdes Balduque/Getty Images

It has thankfully become more and more acceptable for anyone to expect a certain minimum of conditions to be met at their place of work.

While all employees should perform their duties as expected, all employers should also be one hundred percent upfront and transparent about what the job entails.

Likewise, employees have every right to express when they don’t feel safe and comfortable in their work, which their employers should hear and address without hesitation.

Redditor Worried5871 was recently referred by one of her babysitting clients to babysit for another family, who needed a babysitter somewhat urgently.

The original poster (OP) informed the family that she did have some conditions when it came to which families she worked for, which the family told her they met.

However, when the OP showed up for work, it became clear to her that this new family lied to her about this all-too-important condition, resulting in the OP turning right around, leaving them without a babysitter.

A decision that outraged this new family, as well as the family that referred the OP to them.

Having doubts about her behavior, the OP took to the subReddit “Am I The A**hole” (AITA), where she asked fellow Redditors:

“AITA for refusing to babysit last minute and ruining the parent’s important plans because their sons seemed older than they said they were?”

The OP explained why she refused to babysit for a new family:

“I (19 F[emale]) have been babysitting occasionally for a few families for the past 2 years.”

“A week ago, a new family got my numbers from one of the families I babysit for a lot.”

“I told them upfront that I have this rule where I only babysit boys that are 10 and under, but when it comes to girls, the age isn’t an issue for me.”

“They told me they had two boys, ages 9 and 10, so I agreed.”

“They told me that they had very important plans the day I am to babysit and I assured them I am very professional and will be there on time and all that.”

“The day came and I went to their house and the dad greeted me then took me to their living room to meet the boys.”

“To my surprise, the boys looked like no 9 and 10 I’ve ever met.”

“One looked 12 and the other looked he could be 15 or even 16.”

“Both were taller than me and the older one even had some visible facial hair.”

“All that was going through my head was these parents lied to me about the ages because I lead with my rule about ages and they lied to me just so I would accept.”

“When the mother came down and greeted me, I asked to speak to her in another room and I told her I cannot babysit.”

“I was also truthful about the reason and she was livid.”

“We got into a back and forth where I basically said that I feel they lied about the ages and she even said ‘oh so you want me to show you their birth certificates to believe me?'”

“At this point I was kinda mad because she was immediately livid and I also felt like I was fooled.”

“Anyways, I said ‘Yeah, some proof would help’.”

“She stomped off to the living room and I could hear her tell her husband ‘get this b**** out of my house, I will stay with the boys!’.”

“I walked out of the kitchen towards the front door and announced ‘I’m leaving!’ before I stepped out.”

“Later that night the mom of the family who recommended me called and was also pretty angry.”

“I explained that these boys looked so much older than there were said to be and there was no way they weren’t lying.”

“She said maybe one is actually 11 but the other is truly 9 and that they just look like they were so much older.”

“To be fair the mother was tall and the dad was huge, it’s actually the reason I asked to confront the mother and not the father.”

“But boys weren’t just tall but also looked older face-wise.”

“Also, babysitting 2 strange boys who were both taller and clearly so much stronger than me doesn’t feel safe, which is why I have the age rule in the first place.”

“There was no way that their mother didn’t realize her boys looked so much older than boys their ages.”

“I feel like it was something she should’ve mentioned after telling her my rule about the ages.”

“I felt like I was justified but I also felt bad that I ruined their plans.”

“Everyone involved is angry with me and I wonder if maybe I was overreacting and should’ve just babysat since I agreed.”

“Right now I don’t know what to think.”

“Was I the a**hole here?”

Fellow Redditors weighed in on where they believed the OP fell in this particular situation, by declaring:

  • NTA: Not the A**hole
  • YTA: You’re the A**hole
  • ESH: Everybody Sucks Here
  • NAH: No A**holes Here

The Reddit community was in agreement that the OP was not the a**hole for walking out on her babysitting job.

Everyone agreed that the OP did absolutely the right thing by putting her safety and comfort first, and if the two boys looking much older and bigger than she was told they would be wasn’t enough to justify this, the outburst of their mother definitely was.


“In the future, ask the parents how old their kids are before you disclose your rule.”

“When you do it the other way around, you give the parents an incentive to lie.”-Mother_Tradition_774

“NTA – I babysat for a family for a couple of years, the boy was maybe 12 when I first started.”

“After a year or two when I babysat he would keep coming downstairs asking for a hug, I stopped after the second trip he did that as it made me nervous.”

“He was taller and had started getting facial hair, obviously hitting puberty feelings pretty hard.”- MamfieG

“NTA because you felt genuinely uncomfortable in this setting, and you must ALWAYS go with your gut.”

“Your policy about what ages you are comfortable with was stated up front.”

“I think you acted like a right proper business person in this situation.”

“You should always offer to meet with the family before an accepting a first job, though.”

“I’m kind of surprised they didn’t want to meet the person they were charging with watching their children before hand, but oh well.”- RNH213PDX

“NTA, it sucks for the mom that her young kids are so big, but she’s gonna have to spring for a large, adult male babysitter.”

“This is not easy to come by.”

“Chances are, she might not be able to go out until the boys are old enough to stay home alone.”

“Or maybe she can trade nights with other boymoms, idk.”

“But this is not your problem, it was ridiculous of her to expect a teenage girl to be able to deal with boys that are bigger than her.”

“Also, she was totally out of line cursing you out like that.”

“If that is the level of emotional regulation you get from the parent, I shudder to think what you’ll get from her kids.”- randomcharacheters

“NTA at all.”

“Don’t screw around with good baby sitters.”

“Spread the word to your baby sitting friend about how mature/large these ‘kids’ are.”

“You don’t have to take any job that makes you uncomfortable, whether from the kids or the parents.”

“And you most certainly don’t owe that referral adult any excuses.”

“They can pound sand.”- KronkLaSworda

“It sounds like they lied, but even if they didn’t lie the mom’s reaction was unacceptable.”

“Someone else pointed out that if the mom’s emotional regulation is at that level you don’t know where the kids could be emotionally.”

“Couple that with the fact the boys could overpower you and that you’d never met them to get to know them…you made the right choice.”

“I’d also to add that even if the kids are young and well behaved and smaller than you…as a former nanny myself with two decades of childcare experience, I would NOT work for an adult who spoke to me that way!”- Minimum-Essay-3809


“I am so impressed that you stood up for yourself like that.”

“Your gut is usually right and you are wise to trust it.”- eejayh24


“That rule is for your own safety.”

“The mother should have informed you that they looked much older than their actual age – that is, of course, if they really WERE younger.”- molewarp

“She lied to you.”

“You told her up front that you do not babysit boys older than 10.”

“NTA.”- Diasies_inMyHair

Honesty is always the best policy.

And the OP was simply being honest that she didn’t feel safe being left alone with two boys who looked much older (not to mention bigger) than she was anticipating.

Had the family been honest about this in the first place, then they could have found a babysitter who felt comfortable watching their boys and not been left high and dry.

Written by John Curtis

A novelist, picture book writer and native New Yorker, John is a graduate of Syracuse University and the children's media graduate program at Centennial College. When not staring at his computer monitor, you'll most likely find John sipping tea watching British comedies, or in the kitchen, taking a stab at the technical challenge on the most recent episode of 'The Great British Baking Show'.