Special Report: Swapping the Mower for Sitting - 14 News, WFIE, Evansville, Henderson, Owensboro

Special Report: Swapping the Mower for Sitting

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EVANSVILLE, IN (WFIE) -

Is your son looking for a summer job? You may want to suggest becoming a babysitter.

With Summer in full swing, boys have found that babysitting gigs can bring in big bucks. 

Babysitting isn't just fun and games for high school student Sam Latzsch. It's a paycheck.

Sam says, "all my friends think it's kind of interesting because they're not, like, very friendly with children, but they think it's cool that I am."

But Sam is on to a growing trend, according to the American Red Cross. 

"Gender roles are becoming less defined," says Grant Hansen with the American Red Cross. "We've seen an increase in teen boys and young males register for our babysitting courses."

And the numbers are expected to grow even more. So much that the Red Cross is making changes to the curriculum to reflect the new demographic.

Hansen says, "we wanted to make sure they're well represented in the classroom courses, so, so many of our videos now feature young males going through their instruction."

Author Cary Siegle says young men are beginning to see the multiple benefits to babysitting, compared to more traditional jobs for a teen boy.

"One of them is the fact that, you know what, it pays pretty good," says Siegle. Two is it's a lot easier than the manual labor.  Three, it's more flexible in terms of what they can do in terms of the hours and how do it. And you know what, four, it's probably a little bit more enjoyable."

But Grant Hansen of the American Red Cross points out babysitting brings its own challenges.

"It may not be sweating and grueling like digging a ditch or mowing a lawn or being behind a counter all day, but you're very hands on as a sitter," says Hansen. "You're playing with the kids. You're always mindful of safety and things like that."

He agrees it can be lucrative. The pay varies based on several factors, including where you live, your experience and safety training, but on average for teens.

"We've seen babysitters charge anywhere from 10 to 20 dollars an hour, depending on the amount of children they're sitting for," says Hansen. "So that's a great income when you think how it might compare to a fast food job or mowing lawns or things like that."

And sometimes, male sitters are preferred by parents. That's how Sam ended up watching Diana Cole's children, Ethan, Sasha, and Briana.

Cole's children say, "with Sam I can relate a little bit more ,and the girls also like him because they can also relate to him, I don't know how."
"Because he's a football player!"

"Ethan needs sometimes a lot of one-on-one time," says Cole. "As well as, it shows the girls that it's good- you know it's not just a female role, it's also a male role."

A role that Same suggests other guys seriously consider.

"I would absolutely recommend babysitting because it's really fun," says Sam. "It's really rewarding."


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