To leave my 10 year old in charge of my 4 year old?

(52 Posts)
GallopingTrots Mon 18-Aug-14 23:18:36

Ok..I know how it sounds. But hear me out!

My 10 year old is very sensible and mature for her age. She is also lazy beyond belief so I have left her at home alone for periods of time knowing there is absolutely no way she will do anything silly as that would involve moving! My 4 year old is obviously, at age 4, not so sensible, however she is a very good sleeper, and since the nightmare baby days she has not woken up, ever, once she has gone to sleep until the morning.

So I was thinking, if my 10 year old was fully briefed and left with her mobile next to her with the instructions to call me if dd2 woke up, would there be any harm in leaving them for a couple of hours once dd2 was asleep, if I was staying very local and could be back within 5 minutes? Also, my ndn, whose dd pretty much lives at our house during the day, has said that if I ever did want to go out dd1 could just give her a shout if dd2 did wake up - our back gardens are actually linked by a small gate so it wouldn't be hard for dd1 to call for her.

Am I being nuts? I am very skint and a LP and haven't been out anywhere socially for at least 4 months as I just can't afford a babysitter.

SpaceInvaders Mon 18-Aug-14 23:21:34

No way would I leave a 10 year old in charge of a 4 year old. Sorry. Way too much responsibility when they're still essentially a child themselves.

ICanSeeTheSun Mon 18-Aug-14 23:21:37

I think its too much responsibility, how old is the NDN could you pay her £10 and give her the wifi password and get some nice snack.

LynetteScavo Mon 18-Aug-14 23:21:39

Can't the neighbor baby sit.....or at least keep popping in to check on the DC?

LadyLuck10 Mon 18-Aug-14 23:21:41

Absolutely not. I'm shocked you're asking this shock

MargotLovedTom Mon 18-Aug-14 23:22:17

Realistically nothing would probably happen but there is absorabsolutely no way I'd do that with children of that age.

Can't your ndn babysit one night for you if you'll reciprocate by having her kids at yours so she can go out if necessary?

MargotLovedTom Mon 18-Aug-14 23:22:47


helensburgh Mon 18-Aug-14 23:22:49

I wouldn't. Lots of reasons.

I think you are just going to have to save up a bit longer to have enough for. Babysitter and money to socialise.

I'm skint too so I know how hard that is, but safety of my kids would come first.

IsChippyMintonExDirectory Mon 18-Aug-14 23:23:19

How old is the neighbour? Can she babysit?

Sorry but I think they're too young. Find a babysitter and at least that way you can relax on your evening out and not be clock watching

KneeQuestion Mon 18-Aug-14 23:23:26

I wouldn't. I am also a LP, but no way would I leave a child that age to be responsible for a 4 yr old.

I think it would be very ill judged thing to do.

If your DD mentioned it at school you would be in the shit.

Nanny0gg Mon 18-Aug-14 23:23:31


Nothing else.

Just. No.

AnyFucker Mon 18-Aug-14 23:24:39

how low, how low can you go ....

Fairylea Mon 18-Aug-14 23:24:47

Far too young sorry! There's no way I'd go out.

I'd suggest a babysit swap with the ndn.

ChoccaDoobie Mon 18-Aug-14 23:24:57

I might consider this if I was literally going next door for a coffee or directly opposite my house during the day and I am pretty laid back compared to most of my friends.

I have a very, very sensible nearly 12 year old and although she goes out and about with friends, obviously walks to school on her own and is sometimes left at home for a few hours during the day I would not leave her at night yet and especially not in charge of younger DC.

chickydoo Mon 18-Aug-14 23:25:53

Not in a million years!

EBearhug Mon 18-Aug-14 23:26:41

I thought the advice was that the older child should be at least 13, in case there was an emergency?

Littlefish Mon 18-Aug-14 23:26:51

Definitely not.
Not under any circumstances.

If a 10 year old child at school told us that they had been left alone at night with a 4 year old sibling we would consider it a safeguarding issue and would contact social services for their advice.

Dancergirl Mon 18-Aug-14 23:26:52

Agree with others, too young.

Just out of interest, at what age do you think it's ok? We have 3 dc, aged 13, 11 and 7.5. We still use babysitters but when I could start leaving them for 3 hours or so in the evening?

arethereanyleftatall Mon 18-Aug-14 23:27:34

No. Too young. But how about reciprocating babysitting with ndn/another friend? They could do an evening and you could have theirs for a sleepover or day time play date?

AnyFucker Mon 18-Aug-14 23:28:29

DG, in your situation I would wait until the eldest was 16

Springcleanish Mon 18-Aug-14 23:29:46

No - nothing more to add!

ChoccaDoobie Mon 18-Aug-14 23:30:02

I think 10 is much to young to leave a child on their own at home at night and that is without the 4 year old to consider .

AlfAlf Mon 18-Aug-14 23:30:31

I wouldn't, a 10 year old probably couldn't cope if one of them had an accident. Also, you might get in trouble with social services.

What about swapping babysitting with a friend who also has dc? You do it for her one evening, and she does it for you in return? I've done that before, great way to make going out more affordable smile

QuietBeforeTheStorm Mon 18-Aug-14 23:30:54

I agree with others. Absolutely not but maybe speak to your neighbour about babysitting.

GallopingTrots Mon 18-Aug-14 23:32:37

I thought that would be the consensus! Tbh I wouldn't have even considered it, but the ndn suggested it the other day and it got me thinking. Our houses are tiny, and like I said our back gardens are joined and our dc are constantly in and out of each other's houses, so sometimes it feels like we are living in the same house. Ndn is late thirties, for those who asked, so well old enough to babysit but her Dh works nights so if she came here she would be abandoning her dd with no one else in the house, so that's not an option.

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