Concerned Teen Babysitter Calls the Police on Late Parents — Was She in the Wrong?

Allison DeGrushe - Author

Dec. 13 2023, Published 3:33 p.m. ET

Want to turn your career into a cash carnival? Babysitting is the ticket! It's a gig that comes with great responsibility, but fear not — if you do your part, it's only fair to expect the parents to hold up their end (aka coming home on time and keeping those communication lines wide open). Yet, in the wild world of the "Am I the A------" (AITA) subreddit, it seems like asking for such basic decency is a tall order.

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The original poster, who goes by the handle u/thebabysitter9, said that she contacted the police after the parents she babysits for ghosted her calls and arrived home considerably later than anticipated.

Keep reading for additional information, and stay tuned to hear what the internet has to say.

A young woman looks anxious as she makes a phone call.
Source: Getty Images
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A babysitter called the police when the parents were late and unreachable.

The teenage OP spilled the beans that her mom's co-worker was in dire need of a babysitter, so she agreed to babysit his three little kids from 2 p.m. until 8:30 p.m. while he and his wife attended a party. The OP claimed everything went well, but unfortunately, the parents didn't return home when they were supposed to.

At 9 p.m., she attempted to reach her mom's co-worker, but he did not answer. Despite her sending multiple texts, none were acknowledged, and her repeated phone calls every 30 minutes went unanswered.

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After a few hours, the OP reached out to her parents, but neither could assist; her dad was at a work dinner, and her mom didn't answer her call. Feeling uncertain about what to do and concerned for the parents she was babysitting for, she decided to call the police around 11:30 p.m., as she needed to get home.

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Coincidentally, the police arrived as the parents returned home. However, the dad was incredibly displeased with the OP for calling the authorities. He expressed his displeasure loudly, and presently, he remains very upset with her.

So, what's the verdict? Is the OP the AH? Keep scrolling to hear what fellow Redditors have to say!

Redditors criticized the parents for not answering their phones.

The now-viral post, which was posted on Dec. 10, 2023, received over 2,500 comments from many fellow Redditors expressing disapproval of the parents' failure to respond to the OP's calls and text messages.

"NTA, it's [2023], they should know how to answer a cellphone," reads the top comment.

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A second Reddit user agreed, writing, "By 2023, there's no excuse for showing up three hours late and going ballistic on a 16-year-old girl for panicking and calling the police when she is 16, responsible for the safety and welfare of three children, the parents are three hours late, it's 11:30 pm, and she hasn't been able to reach the parents for hours."

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"If the parents were going to be later than planned, then why didn't they call OP to let her know?" a third Reddit user wondered. "That, to me, is disrespectful of the OP's time, whether she is 16 or 26."

Another person said, "You did everything right. I babysat (many years ago) when I was your age. The parents being three hours late and three hours unreachable is a babysitting emergency. They should ALWAYS be reachable in case there's an emergency with their kids or you or the house."

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"Three hours late and no contact? What if they had been in a drunk driving accident?" someone else shared. "What if they were at the ER? What if they were dead? Absolutely [calling the] police was the correct third step."

"I don't know what the parents were doing for those three hours, but they could have avoided OP calling the police if at any point prior ... they had acted like the adults that they are and called to let OP know that they were going to be running late with [a] new estimate of time of return," a Redditor pointed out.

What do you think? Was the OP wrong for calling the police? Let us know!

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