At what age did you stop getting babysitters for your (only) child?

(13 Posts)
mumblechum1 Fri 23-Nov-12 02:36:33

Just musing on differing parenting styles really, my friend's dd is 13.5 and when my friend and I go out she still either hires a babysitter if her dh isn't around, or we can't go out till her dh is back from work. We normally just go to the pub which is next to my house and across the road from hers.

I was a lot more laid back with my ds, leaving him for an evening when we were just elsewhere in the village from 11, but if we were going any distance away from 12.5 iirc.

Is it usual to get a babysitter for a 13.5 yr old or was I just a lax parent?

ChippingInLovesAutumn Fri 23-Nov-12 02:56:20

It really depends on the situation I think.

Across the road at the pub or at a friends in the village - 12/13 sounds about right, depending on the child and how happy the child is to be left, for an evening but not home terribly late (11/midnight).

A proper night out (in another village/town) I'd probably say 14 or so if there are good neighbours and/or you can be home fairly quickly.

Isolated location, you going a long way away - about 30 grin

It is hard but I think she's being a bit over cautious - but not knowing her DD it's difficult.

Maryz Cote D'Ivoire Fri 23-Nov-12 09:05:27

Around here, most baby sitters are about 14, so leaving a 14 year old babysitter with your 13 year old would be embarrassing for both (unless of course they were a boy/girl combination, in which case it might be rather too much fun).

ds2 has been happy alone since he was 12, dd was a bit more cautious. But whenever we leave them alone we would always be somewhere we can get home quickly.

I think your friend is bonkers. Unless, of course, her son is a pyromaniac which is possible as he is a teenage boy.

mumblechum1 Fri 23-Nov-12 09:07:36

It's actually a girl, she's 5 foot 6 and looks about 16! My son, who's 18, often babysits for her which he finds faintly ridiculous; they go to the same school so sit there slagging off various teachers and he gets paid for it.

Maryz Cote D'Ivoire Fri 23-Nov-12 09:10:37

Ooh, a 16 year old girl and a 13 1/2 year old boy shock.

Your neighbour is definitely bonkers.

Is there a reason he can't be left? Is she more worried about the house than about him? Or worried he will have friends over?

Or is she just ridiculously over-protective?

When I said 12, by the way, I mean I would leave them alone for an evening from 12. I had been leaving one or other alone while I collect the other long before that blush

Ragwort Fri 23-Nov-12 09:11:02

Sounds a bit extreme unless your friend's DD is totally nervous about being left alone but doesn't want anyone to know?

My DS is 11 and I do leave him for about an hour and half in the evening but otherwise I have a very good friend who will come and stay the night - bit difficult to employ the teenage sister of his friends' who are the local babysitters round here grin and I am too mean to pay.

mumblechum1 Fri 23-Nov-12 09:11:29

No Maryz, the child in question is 13.5 but looks 16. She's a girl.

My ds babysits for her. He's 18.

sausagesandwich34 Fri 23-Nov-12 09:14:36

mine are a bit younger but I envisage leaving the eldest when she is 13

my sis doesn't leave her 14 yo as 'I trust her but I don't trust her friends not to come round' -err so actually you don't trust your dd do you sis?

JackThePumpkinKing Fri 23-Nov-12 09:20:54

I think 13.5 is too old to need a babysitter, surely she's old enough to babysit other children at that age (well, 14 ish)

?

Maryz Cote D'Ivoire Fri 23-Nov-12 10:22:01

Sorry, I misread that. You know mumble, I think I would be careful about letting your ds babysit for her at those ages.

He could be in real trouble if she decided to accuse him of inappropriate behaviour. I know that sounds over-anxious (and I'm not usually like that), but if your friend is as pfb-ish as she sounds her dd could be too.

I've told my sons not to be alone with younger girls after an episode in school where a boy was accused of assault when he had genuinely done nothing at all. Fortunately the girl spoke up and admitted to making it all up, but it got very nasty for a bit sad.

mumblechum1 Fri 23-Nov-12 10:35:41

God, how awful Mary.

As it happens, ds is out every weekend now so not sitting very frequently, but you're right.

JackThePumpkinKing Fri 23-Nov-12 13:06:01

Agree with Maryz (and wondered that, but couldn't think how to put it without sounding awful).

stopcallingmefrank Fri 23-Nov-12 13:35:00

13 was the age my dd started staying home on her own in the evenings. Before that, if dp and I were both going out, we would arrange for dd to have a sleepover at one of her friends. She hasn't had a babysitter as such since she was 9 or 10.

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