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To let a 14 year old babysit

(19 Posts)
ElaineBenes Fri 19-Oct-12 19:15:01

I have 2 kids, nearly 9 and nearly 6. They're off school Monday and Tuesday. My friends 14 yr old daughter goes to same school and we've arranged for her to babysit for a few hours (8.30-12) both mornings due to unavoidable work commitments. I'll be bringing kids to her apartment which is a doorman building in a safe neighborhood so there is an adult that they can call on if needed. I'll be half an hour away. They'll be staying inside and my kids are pretty sensible and will be delighted to watch tv or play on the computer during this time because we don't let them during the school week normally.

Do you think this is safe? Would you let a 14 yr old babysit? I wonder if we're being too lax here?

Dededum Fri 19-Oct-12 19:18:20

I let a 14 and a half year old boy babysit my 11 and 9 year old boys. Know the family and they live less than half a mile away. That was from 7 - 12.

So yes, if you know the babysitter, know your kids feel secure then Yes.

FredFredGeorge Fri 19-Oct-12 19:18:30


ElaineBenes Fri 19-Oct-12 19:19:22

Seriously as in Yabu or yanbu fred?!

Pagwatch Fri 19-Oct-12 19:20:32

It depends on the child tbh.
I know that isn't helpful but it's true.
You get a huge range of simple common sense at that age.

Ds1 used to babysit but he was born middle aged smile

ElaineBenes Fri 19-Oct-12 19:21:41

The girl is lovely. Very sensible and very excited to be earning some money as well.

Pagwatch Fri 19-Oct-12 19:23:08

Ah then. Yes I would let her.

She has adults nearby. She has a phone. You trust her to be sensible.

Moominsarescary Fri 19-Oct-12 19:23:27

I baby sat from the age of 14 for much younger children, it depends on the girl and if your dc's will behave

ElaineBenes Fri 19-Oct-12 19:23:30

The reason I'm asking is that I was at school this morning and mentioned to some parents our arrangements and there were a couple of raised eyebrows. In fact, one parent mentioned that it's illegal in new jersey but should be ok in new York (where we are). Maybe its cultural differences but I started wondering if I might be wrong in my judgement!

CaliforniaLeaving Fri 19-Oct-12 19:24:19

Yes I would let a 14 year old babysit, it's only for a short while, just make sure she has contact phone numbers pinned up somewhere.

Dededum Fri 19-Oct-12 19:24:44

The 14 year old who babysits my boys has grown up so much. He is eminently sensible.

There is an adult in the building, the babysitter knows the building as its her home. Your kids will be playing computer games.

5madthings Fri 19-Oct-12 19:26:44

I babysat loads from.age 13/14 and as you say she is sensible etc, you know your children and the 14yr olds parents are presumably.fine with it? So no yanbu.

5madthings Fri 19-Oct-12 19:27:51

Oh yrs meant to.say make sure she has emergency contacts etc, but you know that already.

Stop doubting your own judgement!

ElaineBenes Fri 19-Oct-12 19:28:01

Thank you mumsnet for counter balancing neurotic New York parents, my mind is at ease again smile

Pagwatch Fri 19-Oct-12 19:28:13

I would trust your own judgement.
There is a huge contingent of 'but what if the apartment explodes and aliens land and the world crashes and you are not there holding your child ITWILLBEALLYOURFAULT! ' types.

Don't forget some parents don't let their children do sleepovers/go out alone/stay in alone until they are 27.

I have to leave my disabled son alone at times. I suspect some people think I am Satan.

Pagwatch Fri 19-Oct-12 19:29:15

Massive neurotic sounding x-post

GhostofMammaTJ Fri 19-Oct-12 19:29:33

I would. Over here though, it has to be in your own home. If you take them to theirs they have to be going to a registered childminder.

I need a new babysitter as all mine have grown up and have go out and get pissed more than I do have lives!

BackforGood Fri 19-Oct-12 19:41:02

Yes, of course I would.
I'd have let my children at that age "be babysat" in this arrangement, and I'd also be happy for my own 14 yr old to take on a job like this. I know she'd be good at it and trustworthy and reliable.
Trust your own judgement - it's not age, it's maturity. I wouldn't have been happy at my ds being given the responsibility at 14, but, to be frank, I'd have been happy with dd1 doing this at 12, she's just such a different character.

FredFredGeorge Fri 19-Oct-12 20:00:07

As in YANBU, of course it's okay if you know the 14year old etc. Obviously as others have said it's about the maturity of the sitter, but it's really good for them to have the responsibility, and good for your children to see how mature and responsible other children can be, rather than there being a shock as they turn 18.

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