House sitting with a kiddo?

I’d like to start sitting with my 7 year old- We are both animal lovers, avid travelers, and pet parents ourselves, but I’m wondering if most owners would accept a sitter with a child. Are there any other THS parents out there?

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Hi @Ashley welcome to our community forum.

There are many successful family house sitters and while your opportunities may be less there are owners who welcome sitters with children, it’s really about the pets, homes and responsibilities.

Creating a great family profile is essential, including information about yourself and your child, references are important to, even for the young one … asking a coach, teacher or group leader to write a short reference is so helpful, after all as parents we are only going to say positive things. Photos with pets too, always think with an owners “hat on” what would you want to know about a family you would potentially be leaving in charge of your most precious possessions?

I’m sure you’ll get more excellent advice on the forum from other members and this great article published by Housesitting Magazine is a good place to start , it includes testimonials from other families

Thank you for being here and enjoy the conversations

Angela & The Team

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Welcome Ashley :wave:

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Hi, Ashley! Speaking from the point of view of a homeowner, I am very leery of sitters with children. I had a cat that had never ever offered to bite before, even in play, bite a child on the cheek. The child said they were “just looking at the cat”. The only thing I could come up with was that the child perhaps was sitting very close and staring into the cat’s face in a way the cat interpreted as hostile. And I have fragile belongings. Many of them, too many to put away for the convenience of a housesitter. My children are 26 and 30, so it has been a very long time since I needed to make sure everything fragile was put away. Kids are going to be kids. Am I going to get sued if a kid gets hurt? Is something going to get broken because a kid (like my own kids often did) ignored my rule that we don’t throw balls in the house? These are the kinds of things I’d need to feel comfortable about before I accepted a sitter with a child. Hope this is helpful rather than not!

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Hi @Ashley, I housesit with my husband and 2 sons. My boys are 12 and 10 now, but my younger son would have been 8 when we did our first sit.

We’ve only done 3 sits, all less than a week in length and all in the UK within a couple of hours of where we live.

Where owners are happy to consider sitters with children, they may be tagged as “Family Friendly” so you may want to use this as a filter when searching for sits. In general, we mainly apply for “Family Friendly” sits.

I haven’t some across any other pet sitting families on this forum yet, but it is early days. I was thinking of asking if there were more of us out there myself. Maybe some more will reply to this post. I’d love to hear their stories and tips too!

@Angela-CommunityManager I hadn’t thought of references for the children. One of the pictures on my profile is of them doing a thorough clean of a chicken house though!

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Absolutely helpful, @Val ! Thanks so much for your response!

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@Debbie thanks for the suggestion!

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I agree with you Val. As a HO with no experience of children I would be extremely nervous of having them in my home. Also my cats have no experience of children and only know a quiet life. If the sit is in a home with children already then the animals to be cared for would probably enjoy the attention as they are more used to it. It’s horses for courses.

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Hello @CambridgeAnnie welcome to our community forum and than you for joining in the conversation and for you very considered response to the question.

We look forward to getting to know you and your kitties better and sharing in your THS journey. Enjoy the conversation and connecting with other members.

Thank you for being part of our amazing community.

Angela and the Team

I do not want to dictate to anyone who he/she lets into his/her home and who not. We have raised two children and two giant dogs, so we know enough about having kids and dogs at home. Sometimes I wonder about the fears of some HO. Indeed there is a residual risk with children but who says that without kids, nothing happens. Red wine stains on the carpet or tablecloth, burn marks on the wooden table from hot pots, the not securely locked house, a house fire from cigarettes or cooking are risks that are usually caused by adults. And when I read some reviews for sitters, where dirt, dirty litter boxes, dog shit in the home or generally bad behavior is criticised, it was usually not caused by children. Adults drink alcohol, and it is not under control, then also a pool can become dangerous.
We bring a giant dog with us and know the danger of a joyfully wagging dog’s tail in combination with expensive Chinese porcelain at the wrong height. So we pay attention, and I think parents know their children and usually take good care of their children and other people’s property.
Maybe rethink about from who the possible higher risk comes. A child under supervision or an unsupervised adult?