As a home and pet owner I know that some people may have some reluctance to entrust their home and pets to families with children. Three of our sitters have come as families and it has been an overwhelmingly positive experience for both parties. The dogs have adored all the extra attention, cuddles and fun they get from having children around and the children have gained a great deal from their experience of caring for and being responsible for a pet and their routine. On each occasion the children have been respectful of our property and super attentive to our pets and their needs. As one of the parents said "we wouldn’t pet sit with our children unless we were sure they would be careful with the house and the pets. So fellow homeowners I would say, next time a family with children applies, give them a go!
Totally agree. Children who travel full time with their parents are far more respectful of other people’s property and the environment. I find them grown up and a joy to be around. And hats off to the parents who are home schooling. A job I would balk at but everyone I meet is doing a fantastic job. Well done.
Thank you @RosieB for sharing your experiences with families, there can be such a positive connection between animals and children when children are brought up with pets and taught respect and kindness, they seem to identify with each other.
I don’t believe the reluctance to have families sit is always to do with inviting children into the home but when a pet is not used to children then an owner will naturally be concerned as to how they will react and of course they will not be around to manage the situation.
When pets are used to children and lots of activity, having a family sit can be a wonderful experience for everyone involved.
Thank you again for sharing.
@RosieB this is lovely to hear! I sit with my husband and 2 sons. My boys love animals and grew up with us looking after our friends dog Jazz until she died 2 years ago. Jazz felt like part of our family, and we all missed her hugely, and we missed caring for her. So we joined TrustedHousesitters to allow us to love and care for other pets during our school holidays.
@ElsieDownie we aren’t full time sitters travelling with children. We are just an ordinary family who really enjoy spending time with pets. However I do believe that my children are just as respectful of other people’s property and the environment as that is how they have been brought up. In fact the boys and I regularly volunteer as part of work parties on our local nature reserves so are very environmentally aware.
We do understand that not every HO is comfortable welcoming sitters with children, and indeed nor is every pet. We’re very grateful to those HOs who have trusted us with their homes and their precious pets, especially those who do not have children or grandchildren of their own.
We are homeowners with a pond, and an intermittently busy/fast road behind the house (though you can close doors to keep kids in the garden). For this reason we’ve always had a “no kids " policy. Recently we invited a charming sitter to bring a friend or friends to help out with the sit, and the friend had children. (sadly we had to say no to the request). THS insurance seems to cover people who the sitter has invited , for public liability, however things always get more complex when you have to go to your own insurers as well to make sure that there is no conflict (ie if one party insures you and another party already covers that issue it can negate the insurance). Also there seems to be a"responsibility” factor. Has anyone had experience of this? I don’t worry when our friends visit with their children, but the insurance factor seems to complicate things, and I would like to know if is our responsibility to make the pond safe. Thanks for reading this
I’ve been fortunate to have 2 back to back sits, both of whom allowed my mini Dr. Doolittle to accompany me. Following an extended period of virtual school, being an only child and petless due to her mom’s allergies, it was a blessing! My granddaughter was great company to both animals, showering them with extra love and attention. She is respectful of other peoples property and learning great life lessons along the way. I’ll miss her as I embark on my west coast sits next month.
This is great to hear your opinions on sitters with kids. I’ve always wondered if it is a hindrance to our application that we are a family with 2 children, now I can read and understand the reasons why.
Families with children have homes too so the good part about having a family stay is they know the importance of home hygiene, securing the property when leaving, making sure appliances are turned off fully, watering of house plants or tending to the lawn/garden, these are all part of our daily home life as a family.
When we search for sits, we tend to also be a little picky so it is understandable that HO’s are too and that is ok. After all, it is your beloved pets and homes that are being left in our care.
Have a great day everyone. I’m actually on a sit now as I write this, so I’m about to sleep with a minimum of 3 cats.
So lovely to read the positives, we have been fortunate to have HO who didn’t advertise “family friendly” and I have applied and put why I thought their Pets would benefit from us sitting for them. It’s been a hugely rewarding experience for our Kids, so much leaning, not just about the Pets, People’s Homes, different Kitchen’s, Bathrooms, Laundries etc, learning about the local area and meeting neighbours and locals too, it’s why we have continued and will continue HS.
I always ask " what do you not want touched/used " I always do anyway as wouldn’t want to damage/break a sentimental/expensive object.
We have found Pets love the attention from the Kids and they always know I am the leader and the Kids (they learned very quickly that the Dog’s need to know they are higher in the pack than the Dogs).
With my owner’s cap, i always refused children as our pool is not fenced and i would be too frightened : accidents happen, if parents don’t put the alarm on while they are inside home answering the phone leaving a young one alone !
The responsability could be mine if a kid drowns in water. Even if i’m abroad !
Last week I accepted a sitter with her 2 years old and a half daughter, because the pool had been closed a few days before but i wondered whether my young dog would react. He’s not used to babies. The sitter was not anxious at all, she has traveled with her daughter all world round (Canada, Costa rica, Spain, France so far) The mother and I paid attention all morning before our departure. I get news everyday it seems things go well.
Before i we went away, I took off evrything on shelves and tables, which could be broken by a young one who runs , may fall or grasp a fragile item.
I don’t have any grand children so they are no toys at home for kids. i went to the next door library in order to borrow a few hard books for that baby girl, her mother having told me she was reading stories about cats. Unfortunately, she could not choose the books herself, the library asks a health pass that the sitter can’t show, being a non vaccinated foreigner.
@datonn maybe something here will help with your ideas