When 16-year-old Kirstin Rausch of Southlake got in trouble for throwing a late-night party, her parents came up with a creative punishment: 30 hours of free babysitting, complete with an advertisement in the local newspaper.
“Want a free babysitter for a night out?” read the headline in the Southlake Journal. Under Kirstin’s picture, it said: “I’m in BIG trouble for missing my curfew, and my parents are making me provide 30 hours of free babysitting as punishment. My pain is your gain, so call.”
The trouble started when Kirstin had several friends sneak into her house late at night while her parents were sleeping.
Kirstin admits the party got a little out of control -- and her parents woke up.
Want a Free Babysitter?
"They walked upstairs, and they weren't too pleased,” she said.
"It was way late, way late,” said Kirstin’s father Robert, a project manager who supervises computer installations.
Her normal curfew is 11 p.m.
He said he and his wife struggled to come up with an appropriate punishment and decided against grounding her or taking away her cell phone.
"I think sometimes, as parents, we start sounding like Charlie Brown's teacher -- wa wa wa,” he said. “And they just stop listening. And if nothing else, I hope this got her attention."
Kristin said it did.
"It was deserved,” she said.
Kirstin is about six hours into her 30-hour babysitting sentence. Her calendar is filling up fast.
"If we can do something that not only teaches her a lesson but helps out some other folks as well, then it's a good idea,” her father said.
But will it work? Will Kirstin ever violate curfew again or throw any more late-night parties?
"No, probably not,” Kirstin said.
“Probably?” her dad asked.
“No, no, I’m not,” she answered.