Just curious as to why a sitter with young children would apply for a sit in which the HO has specified their home is not child friendly? I try to write each applicant I don’t select a polite note that we did not accept their application. Do I mention anything about no kids? That might not be the only reason, but it would definitely be an automatic rejection. We’re retired, no children or grandchildren, grown nieces and nephews, so our home is not geared towards young ones.
Possibly because they didn’t read your listing closely. Or maybe they think you will change your mind if you can’t find a sitter. Maybe they think their little darlings are not as destructive as everyone else’s young children!
Hi @barbsun54, the most likely reason is they have not read or ignored you mentioning it is not suited for children. They also may be new sitters and applying widely to try to get sits. Yes, definitely decline them and mention it was not suited for families as stated in your listing.
I would definitely not do something like that! I agree with tembla.
I have only applied for sits that indicate that they are “family friendly”.
However, I did apply for a sit that indicated that it was family friendly recently and the owner said they didn’t have enough room to accommodate me, hubby and two small kids. I asked them to change their advertisement to not include that and they listened and apologized for the inconvenience. I also applied for a family friendly sit where the owner believed their dog would bite my youngest child despite us having skills to manage a dog like that. One way to get rid of an applicant. No loss on our end. Safety first.
I spoke about housesitting with my husband about how good it would be to get the kids introduced to animals at an early age. Obviously with supervision at all times.
It would be good if people took the time to read the advertisement carefully and adhere to the owner’s requests highlighted.
I am always exasperated as to why some people think their judgment is better than that of the HO’s.
It’s not all about destruction but safety.
Our house is open plan and has four floors, connected through a spiral staircase and no walls between the floors and the space it’s located in. There are only strung stainless steel wires and they are not safe for children. No insurance in the world would pay a cent if a child fell down three stories. You can’t watch young kids all the time and I didn’t even allow my nephew and niece when they were small to the upper floors, because it’s simply too dangerous.
Either they didn’t read, or they thought their personal angels would be the exception. I would just respond back and mention that you specified the listing was not family friendly. They need to know they should read better.
I agree it is frustrating, but I would definitely advise then of the reason when you decline. First, they need to understand the sitter requests, but secondly (and maybe more importantly) they need make sure they a reading the profile properly and completely before applying. This in itself is a flag for me as to if they don’t read and follow profile info, how can you expect them to follow directions you have given for your pets and your home.
We are a family of housesitters with 2 children. They are now aged 13 and 11, so not small, but we would never apply for a housesit where it specifically said in the listing that it was not suitable for children.
I think they may not have read your listing properly. This may be a sign that they may not read or follow any other instructions thoroughly.
Thank you all for your helpful advice!! I have sent the applicant a note thanking her. I said we had selected an applican with more bird experience (her profile didn’t indicate she had taken care of birds). I told her - and this is the truth - that my bird could be difficult and could bite viciously and for that reason I had specified that our house wasn’t suitable for children. He’s just a little parrotlet and really not that bad, but if a kid were to poke a finger thru the cage bars, he can draw blood. I don’t want that responsibility or have to worry about it while we’re away.
Sigh… You have the most beautiful house
Thank you so much
Agreed! My small parrot (a conure) is adorable, affectionate and hilariously funny. She’s also got a very very sharp beak and any sitter needs to be able to handle their own reaction to being bitten.
I bird sat for some friends and their bird HATED women. HATED. They told me the routine and suggested it was ok if I kept her in her cage the weekend because getting her back in might be difficult. I hate to see any animal locked up 24/7 so I decided to be kind. More fool me. I now have a big scar on my hand where the brat bit the everloving crap out of my hand and would. not. let. go. Finally got her back in the cage and there she stayed. Ironically a few months later they got a bird that hated EVERYONE, including them. Except me. Fool bird loved me, probably because I would ignore it. Would climb all over me, play with my hair, nibble my ear, my friends were so jealous. Birbs are fickle beasts.
Yes, they can switch allegiances with no warning! I’ve had my parrotlet since he was weaned and was sweet and cuddly. He’s 4 now and slightly hormonal - I call him my little velociraptor. Suddenly he will try to bite, but I’ve discovered that wearing an oversized work shirt foils his attempts to connect and I can gather him gently to play or put him in his cage. And he still lets me give him scritches and neck rubs. It was very handy for our last sitter because she could handle him with the shirt instead of gloves - he hates gloves but is used to the shirt and everybody is happy.
We are a little family of myself, my wife and my five year old daughter. I have applied for a few sits not listed as family-friendly, so I’d like to explain why.
I carefully read each listing. If it says in the text ‘not suitable for children/families’ I move on.
However, I have applied for sits which weren’t listed as family-friendly asking if this was simply because of the sleeping space. Our little girl is so young that she will happily sleep in bed with us, so we only need one bed and room. I imagine some owners feel they would have to make multiple rooms available if they said it was family-friendly but with us it’s not the case.
I always enquire about whether the animals would feel ok being around a young child, and emphasise that we wouldn’t leave our child unsupervised.
We’ve had a lovely sit with an elderly dog who lay on the end of the bed when it was our little one’s bedtime (to her utter delight), and would sit and wait to continue our walk until our daughter had caught up with us when she was off playing. And we have another upcoming sit (not listed as family-friendly) with a dog and a cat for a family that turns out to have two little girls of their own.
So I don’t just apply for ‘family-friendly’ sits. But I do carefully read each listing, and if it specifically said it wasn’t suitable for children I would move on.
There are sometimes mentions of reasons why the sit wouldn’t actually be good for children in the text (even if it is listed as family-friendly). For example, any mention of biting is a no no.
I wouldn’t be offended at all if an owner wrote ‘Not suitable for children’ prominently in their listing, and knowing the reasons why is helpful and saves me asking further questions or wasting anybody’s time.
Thanks for reading,
Gorgeous home!!! It looks amazing, but definitely not suitable for young ones. We don’t have stairs, but we do have a bird that can bite, and many breakable objects that aren’t valuable to anyone but us. We also don’t have lots of space to accommodate a whole family. We want our sitters to be comfortable, not sleeping on sofas or recliners because we don’t have enough bedrooms!
@barbsun54 Thank you so much
Yes, here it’s also not only the safety, but also the lacking space, which we wouldn’t want for a family. We don’t even have any sofas, which can be turned into a bed🤣
And our two cats are scared of small children. They would never want come close and cuddle, but that’s the reason why we want sitters to stay in the house in the first place. If it was only about feeding them twice a day and cleaning the litter box, a neighbor would do.