North Carolina Mom Sounds Off for Babysitters' Pay Request

One woman thinks teen girls need to stand firm in their pay rates.

— -- It's not that Andrea Owen wants to pay more for the neighborhood teens to babysit her kids. It's just that she wants them to set a rate and stick to it.

The life coach and mom of two sounded off on Facebook late last month in a rant that's resounding with moms, particularly moms of girls.

Her post read, in part:

"Jay [her husband] and I started talking about how much babysitters charge, and I told him I like to ask them first what their hourly rate is. My experience in this is usually the girls say, 'Whatever you want to pay me is fine.'


Owen told ABC News, "Why are we raising our girls that this is OK? They should set a rate and stand firmly in it."

The North Carolina mom has a 6-year-old daughter, and plans to do just that. "I also want her, and other girls, to learn to negotiate at an early age," she said.

So if a parent thinks the sitter's rate it too high, she suggests the teens respond with suggestions for other duties they can perform to make it an agreeable situation for both parties.

"You know how when you come home to the sitter and kids and it looks like a bomb went off?" Owen said. "I'd gladly pay extra to come home to a neat and tidy house."

She also suggested folding laundry as an example of how to negotiate a higher rate.

But, in the end, this isn't really about babysitting, not to Owen. Because babysitting is often the first paying job teen girls have, she thinks it sets a foundation for later in life.

"I was never taught how to negotiate," she said, "but you can bet I'll teach it my kids. This isn't something you learn at school. It has to be taught at home. If we want to close the pay gap [between women and men], the younger they learn, the better."