16 yr old boy babysitting

(14 Posts)
Auds12 Sun 18-Nov-12 11:11:20

My son has been babysitting for some while now for his godmother s children boy 9 and girl 13. I TOTALLY him and these kids are like cousins to him ,he knows them really well and I am not far away if there is a problem. The trouble is my friend has been allowing other children to stay while he is babysitting and I do have an issue with this especially with the 13 year old girls. I am not sure the parents of these kids know that they are being left with a teenage boy while my friend is out.Iknow I really wouldn't be happy unless I knew the babysitter well. My concern is for my son to be honest. With young impressionable teenager girls I feel it is leaving him quite vulnerable and now being 16 ........ It just worries me that he could be faced with a difficult situation and him not knowing how to react appropriately .......I am going to talk to my son and run through some scenarios and also chat tactfully to my friend about the fact that I feel that if she wants my son to babysit it should just be her children...... I may be over reacting BUT i am only protecting my son .....I would appreciate any thoughts on this matter .... Thanks

TheNebulousBoojum Sun 18-Nov-12 11:34:37

I have a 17 year old son and I completely agree that he may well need protection against unfounded accusations. Especially if the girls start flirting and teasing.
I'd only be happy with him looking after the original pair, or much younger friends, or if he was with another person to back him up.
I'd feel the same if my DD was babysitting 13 year old boys.
What would he have as a defence if they accused him of inappropriate behaviour? His word against theirs?

TheNebulousBoojum Sun 18-Nov-12 11:37:47

You could start a reverse thread in chat, worrying about your 13 year old DD staying over with a friend and a 16 year old male babysitter and watch it unroll.
Then see what the dangers he's facing are.

Sad as it is, he is very vulnerable here and I think you are right to want to protect him from the whims of 13 year old girls. I wouldn't let him go unless the parent says strictly no visitors.

claraschu Sun 18-Nov-12 15:50:08

13 year olds don't need babysitters, in my opinion. They should be responsible for themselves, with a parent at the end of a phone line, and a neighbour on call.

I think you really have to protect your son from what could go wrong in this scenario. The fact is that 13yo girls could well get a crush on a 16yo boy and either start flirting with him, which he may struggle to deal with while he is stuck in the house with them, or say that something has happened when it hasn't. Even if they are nice girls, they can get a bit over-dramatic about feelings at this age, and if they have any history of stuff happening to them elsewhere then they can be quite precocious. People like teachers get trining in how to distance themselves from the risks, but at 16 your son may well be vulnerable to rumours.

LongTimeLurking Sun 18-Nov-12 17:05:26

13 y/o shouldn't really need a baby sitter. I think you should not allow your son to do this baby sitting in those circumstances, either those girls outside the family are not allowed over when he sits or he doesn't babysit full stop.

Obviously you trust him 100% and know he wouldn't do anything inappropriate, but unfortunately that doesn't stop him from being put in a vulnerable / difficult position by the behaviour of these other kids. Plus 13 - 16 really isn't all that big an age gap, it would be a very difficult situation for a 16y/o boy to deal with if one of those girls developed a crush & started flirting or whatever.

Just not worth the risk in this day and age.

flow4 Sun 18-Nov-12 19:35:11

I think you're right to be concerned for your son, Aud. Can you talk to your friend?

Auds12 Mon 19-Nov-12 07:35:51

I have spoken to my friend and explained how I feel. She says she understands But i dont feel fully from my point of view ..... She says that she chose a 'nice' friend that she would know would be fine And they stayed upstairs all the time. As we know 'nice' girls can be just as promiscuous ..... She says her daughter has a friend because she gets bored as my son and the 9 yr old boy play ps games . She is going to talk to her daughter But im not sure anything will change...But working in childcare and child protection being to the fore I am really not comfortable with this. - I will just have to put a stop to him going round there if there are others. I also think that it is wrong for her to assume that my son is ok to have extras there to be honest .... Extra responsibility is too much. It's very difficult as she is my sons godmother and a good friend.....

TheNebulousBoojum Mon 19-Nov-12 07:47:56

If she's your friend, then she should respect your concerns and wish to protect your son. Even if she thinks that you are OTT, she should smile and say ok.
Otherwise she's not much of a friend.

flow4 Mon 19-Nov-12 08:10:14

Oh dear. I think your friend just doesn't understand. IME no-one really understands the issues and complexities of having a teen until they have one themselves... And her DD is only 13, so your friend is very new to this.

It is tricky having a big age gap between kids, as she does. The 13yo may not need a sitter, but that depends on her maturity, and the 9yo definitely does. The 13yo is not quite old enough to be left in charge, especially since siblings often don't get on (I still can't leave my 17yo with my 12-almost-13yo sad )

She's right about her DD getting bored, but you're right about your son being vulnerable if there are other girls there. It's just one of those situations where people's different needs don't match up.

I think you are just going to have to tell her: "I'm sorry, I know you don't think this is a problem, but I do. I am not happy to let DS babysit for 13yo girls. I think you are going to have to get an older sitter".

YerMaw1989 Mon 19-Nov-12 08:59:58

Why can't the 13 year old look after the 9 year old?

At that age I was caring for my severely disabled 12 year old sister so my parents could work, deary me things have changed (old gimmer).

Erm but yeah I can totally understand your concern OP, maybe speak to her again?.

I would leave a sensible 13 year old on her own for a short time but most definitely not with a 9 year old sibling.
However nice the friend is I agree with muminscotland about the temptation for girls of that age to dramatise.
To be blunt, how would your son defend himself if she accused him of kissing/groping her? As Flow says your friend has not really seen your point and I would stop him going.

Your friend doesn't get it at all I'm afraid, which is probably not that odd since she doesn't have the worries that a 16yo boy can bring and also I'd guess hasn't had the worries about child protection drummed into her. I started thinking a lot more about it when I used to go as a chaperone on trips and had to think about what could happen, and what I could reasonably prove had not happened, even though I'm a woman and a mother and most people would just assume that of course I'm a nice person. A couple of times I ended up minding a sleeping child/early teen with no-one else around and had to think about things like leaving the door open and making sure people knew where I was and would pop by from time to time.

If my DS (now 19) was being put in a situation like yours, frankly I'd be saying no, because lives can be utterly ruined by one false accusation, or even something not meant to be an accusation but which someone else misinterpreted.

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