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What’s Going On Here? Camp Foster Babysitters are Unreliable, Red Cross Debate

By: Cass Kanevil

Date Posted: 2000-01-28

I read your article regarding teenage babysitters and I have a comment to make. I live on Camp Foster, and so far I have found that there are no reliable teenagers here that babysit.

My husband and I have used several teenagers for babysitting, having gotten their phone numbers from the CDC and word of mouth. Not a single one has done a good job. They either play on my computer and leave my daughter in her room to play by herself, they talk on the phone the entire time, or they're just plain irresponsible.

The most recent incident was this last weekend. I had a teenager planned to come over at seven o'clock on Saturday night. Saturday night rolls around and at 7:15 I get a phone call. The babysitter and her mother are at a party on Kadena Air Base and still have to eat dessert so they won't be at my house until 8:30 p.m.

First of all, this teenager has no sense of responsibility if she's going to give her word on something and then break it at the drop of a hat. Secondly, what kind of mother is this to allow her child to treat her responsibilities so poorly. This mother needs to learn how to parent!

I was so upset. My husband and I had already paid for this night out, we were already dressed and were expected by several people to meet them out. Luckily we have some friends that didn't mind us bursting in on the last minute and allowed our daughter to spend the night at their house.

There are no excuses for this teenager or her mother. It's parents like that that's the reason we have teenagers like her in our society. Why aren't they raising decent teenagers? Are there any half-way decent teenage babysitters on Camp Foster at all? I sure would like to know.

Please Help!!!
Terri Ann Camp Foster

RESPONSE By Cass Kanevil That's wild. I had just about exactly the same thing happen to me this last weekend! I haven't found one decent babysitter on Camp Foster either. There was a response a while ago from a teenager living on Kadena Air Base. She sounded like an exceptional babysitter and tried to stick up for her peers, but out here on Camp Foster it's like going through hell and high waters trying to find someone like her. I wonder what it is that makes some of the teenagers there so unreliable and irresponsible. In your case, it sounds like their parents share the blame. They aren't teaching their teens responsibility, respect for themselves and others, or the value of hard work. Perhaps their teachers aren't doing their jobs either, by not teaching these teens enough about commitment, pride, dignity. I have the list from the CDC on Camp Foster and I've called every number on the list. Half of the time, my phone calls were not returned. The ones that I did use seemed to despise having to baby-sit and I never used any of them more than once. They'd just sit and watch TV and pay no attention to my daughter. If I were to find any outstanding babysitters here on Foster, I'd use them quite often and I'd pay very well, as I'm sure you would. So, since we can't rely on the CDC for a recommendation of decent babysitters, how do we find them? Would it be possible for all of you teenagers that consider yourselves to be exceptionally responsible, want to make some money and really LIKE kids to advertise your services in the JAPAN UPDATE or write to me and I can get the word out for you? I would like to have some feedback from these teenagers and their parents.
Which parents actually care about what their teens are doing? Which parents take an active role in teaching their children about "LIFE" and responsibility? Apparently, not enough of them. In your case, that mother just taught her teenage daughter that it doesn't matter if you make commitments to others in your life; if there's something else you'd rather be doing, then go ahead and do it without considering anyone else but yourself. That teenager is going to be let out into the work force with NOTHING to offer. She won't know what "work ethics" are, nor will she care, and she'll have nobody else but her mother to thank. If you would like to offer your comments, please write to update@japanupdate.com or ckanevil@hotmail.com. I'd love to hear from you and would appreciate getting some names and phone numbers of teens on Foster that would like to advertise themselves as exceptional, reliable, and readily available babysitters.

Foster Red Cross Did No Wrong; D.C. Should Grow Up!
Dear Cass, I just read the letter in the 20 - 26 January issue, “Camp Foster Red Cross Did Me Wrong,” and was horrified by DC's attitude. Despite what she thinks, the world does NOT revolve around her and her husband’s schedule!

In canceling at the last minute, twice, she has taken up slots that others have needed. Possibly delaying their home day care license. Most, if not all, the others in the class also have a spouse that is on active duty. Yet they could make the class. It's just another case of the "wahs". When things don't go exactly the way she wants them she cries.

I feel the Assistant Station Manager at Foster was and is in the right by making her pay for another class. If she had taken a class through the education center would they refund her money or let her reschedule the class just because her husband had to work?

Get real, DC! I would not chose you as a provider for my kids because you have proved to be undependable. I applaud the Foster Red Cross for standing up to you. Grow up! Next time come up with a real reason for not making the class!

Marie Weis

RESPONSE By Cass Kanevil
Marie, thank you very much for your input. I, as a military spouse, appreciate having a column such as this solely devoted to us to air our problems, concerns, issues, and positive aspects of living in Okinawa. I applaud D.C.'s decision to publicize the problems she felt she was having with the Red Cross. I'm sure that, in doing so, she made the manager of the Red Cross, Mr. Joyner, more aware of the community and its needs, and brought to his attention that there was a problem he may not have known about.

We should all be able to complain if we feel we have been wronged. But, while we are doing it, we SHOULDN'T be told we are "whiners". I don't consider it whining and I didn't consider her "crying because she didn't get what she wanted.” She had a valid argument, and I agree that she shouldn't have been treated like she was, no matter what the policies and procedures of the Red Cross are. D.C., if you're reading - you seem pretty "grown up" and "real" to me. It's people like Marie that don't try to understand others that really upset me.

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