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Babysitting teenagers

(62 Posts)
madasa Tue 02-Jul-13 20:24:24

My sister has just text me to say could I let her know when I am free to babysit my niece and nephew as she needs a night out.

They are 12 and 15 years old! AIBU to think they are old enough to look after themselves?

I am happy to do anything for her but this seems a little bit strange confused

sonatensatz Wed 03-Jul-13 18:53:14

I think it depends on the teenagers. When I was that age I would have been very happy for someone to come round and be in the house with me. I was fine to be at home alone during the day but once it was dark I was terrified. I used to close all the doors and curtains and then sit on the front room window sill shaking with fear until my parents came home.

LongDeadMotherofHorrors Wed 03-Jul-13 18:20:35


I refer you to :
"Cory - your 11 yo sounds like the daughter character in AbFab!"

"It was actually my ds. And I have to say I was very glad it was him in charge and not my dad who panics and gets flustered and makes everybody around him nervous."

I was worried that I had caused offence.

cory Wed 03-Jul-13 14:02:43

Are you on the right thread, Mother? confused

LongDeadMotherofHorrors Wed 03-Jul-13 13:48:38

Cory - I apologise for being flippant. blush

chocciebickie Wed 03-Jul-13 08:56:35

I was asked to "babysit" my friends 15 and 17 year old girls! Total madness grin I think at 12 and 15 they'd be fine while your sister had an evening have to trust them a bit at that age surely and if your sister isn't far away and has her mobile I can't see a problem.

IneedAsockamnesty Wed 03-Jul-13 08:43:33

Perhaps she left them a few days ago for a few hours and they messed up fighting or causing a noise problem and she does not wish to risk it again so soon.

teenagetantrums Wed 03-Jul-13 08:27:03

My 15 year old used to look after my 12 year old while I worked nights 4 nights a week, but they get on ok -when no one else is around anyway- I can see not leaving them if they are going to kill each other.

exoticfruits Wed 03-Jul-13 07:40:39

I always wonder what those with the 'irresponsible' children are doing to train them to be responsible? It always strikes me that they just write them off as 'irresponsible' and the situation is never resolved.

lustybusty Tue 02-Jul-13 23:17:28

mummytokatie aside from the small town bit you could've been my "referee"!!

BackforGood Tue 02-Jul-13 23:09:06

I will leave my 14 yr old with my 11 yr old - would be quite concerned about 'why not' if she can't leave a 15 and 12 yr old tbh.
If she won't go without though, I was going to suggest inviting them over to yours - might not be such an obvious 'babysit'

MummytoKatie Tue 02-Jul-13 23:05:51

When I was 15 I babysat a lot. Including for one pair of siblings where the older one (a girl) was in the year below me at school.

Neither of them had any additional needs as far as I know. (Grew up in a very small town where everyone knows everyone else's business.)

I think I was there to referee as they wound each other up like mad.

lola88 Tue 02-Jul-13 22:46:50

additional needs is obviously a different thing but since the op never mentioned that which I sure she would have had it applied i'm assuming that there are no additional needs in this case.

I stand by what I said 15 is almost an adult if they can't be in charge of a sibling for a few hours they are going to struggle when real life hits in a few years maybe sooner.

lustybusty Tue 02-Jul-13 22:45:38

I was babysitting next doors 4yo, 2yo and 6mo at 14. I think the first time me and my brother were allowed in the house together alone for more than an hour was... Erm... Last year? I'm now 27. grin seriously tho, I was a very mature 14 yo. My brother, who is now 22, can still press the buttons that incite me to almost physical violence (which I hate and loathe). My mum used to call the babysitter, when we were teens, "the referee", simply because that's all they were there for!

cory Tue 02-Jul-13 22:32:42

Obviously, a teen with SN is a very different kettle of fish and you have to allow for what they can and can't do.

But all (NT) teens in my (large) extended family would have been well capable of getting a younger sibling to bed in a pleasant manner, by playing games or telling them stories or whatever it took. At 15, quite a few teens are more than self sufficient; they take a hand in looking after younger siblings, they often have Saturday jobs which require a certain level of responsibility and ability to consider other people.

Mindyourownbusiness Tue 02-Jul-13 22:30:52

I am quite a lot older than my siblings (7 and 9 years respectively) and l remember my bitter resentment at never being allowed out with my mates at 15 and 16 on a Friday or Saturday night as that was the night mum and dad went to the local social club and - you've guessed it - l had to babysit.
Then to rub salt in the wounds my spinster Aunt who lived very near would roll up 'to keep me company' and stay till they came in.

Did you spot the deliberate mistake/irony ? angry

cory Tue 02-Jul-13 22:25:58

LongDeadMotherofHorrors Tue 02-Jul-13 21:25:19
"Cory - your 11 yo sounds like the daughter character in AbFab!"

It was actually my ds. And I have to say I was very glad it was him in charge and not my dad who panics and gets flustered and makes everybody around him nervous.

Garcia10 Tue 02-Jul-13 22:23:05

At 15 years old I was occasionally going to nightclubs with my friends and was working weekends in my parents' shop on a Saturday and Sunday. Sometimes I was left on my own to run the shop and was definitely on my own with my sister whilst my Mum and Dad went out at night. The 15 year old is more than old enough to look after their 12 year old sibling.

Your sister needs to realise her children aren't babies any more and needs to give them a sense of responsibility.

LesAnimaux Tue 02-Jul-13 22:15:27

Three is a big difference between being self sufficient, and dealing with an emergency situation. My teenager is self sufficient. Self sufficient. His idea of making sure my 7yo was going to bed would be to say "Go to bed." And maybe shout "GO TO BED" when she did't.

I think I would come home at 11pm to find them playing in the sprinkler in the garden, drinking my diet coke. If I was lucky.

mrsjay Tue 02-Jul-13 22:10:57

If people gave their teenagers more responsibility and credit for that matter maybe we wouldn't have so many feckless 20 somethings walking about, and this is coming from a 20 something.

well maybe when you have older children you will realise that kids do fight something, and my 20 yr old is not feckless just because she and her sister would squabble at 15 confused

megsmouse Tue 02-Jul-13 22:10:30

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

madasa Tue 02-Jul-13 22:07:56

I did ask my sister if she was joking ...but she wasn't.

Helpyourself no my sister is not staying out all night. It does concern me that my 15 yr old niece might be embarrassed by having a babysitter.
I have decided to ask if they would both like to come to ours and stay the night...have pizza, watch a film etc. that way it might not seem quite so strange

LesAnimaux Tue 02-Jul-13 22:03:35

Well, yes, it the OP's sister is planning a late night out, getting drunk, then effectively the DC (and they are DC at 12 and 15) would effectively be alone for quite a while.

If she is planning to to wander 100 yards down the road to the church hall participate in some t-total country dancing, then I wouldn't think a baby sitter was needed.

LesAnimaux Tue 02-Jul-13 22:00:16

And lola, I don't question my parenting, as my 14yo has additional needs. As do many, many teenagers.

TigOldBitties Tue 02-Jul-13 21:56:35

My 13 year old babysits, they do argue and fight sometimes but ultimately I know it won't go too far and DS would handle any issues responsibly if necessary.

She needs to have a bit more faith in he DC I think. I'd point out you can babysit the younger but surely the older doesn't need it.

Remotecontrolduck Tue 02-Jul-13 21:55:40

I think the 15 year old should be the babysitter, not be babysat!

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