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Re: siblings looking after younger siblings - ok or not

(46 Posts)
WhatInTheWorld76 Sat 23-Jul-16 18:40:41

Is it all right to leave a 14 yr old girl in charge of a 7 yr old boy for two hours during the day?

What do you think? I think it's OK all things considered but my friend thinks it's neglectful and asking for trouble.

I'm unsure about the legalities vs the reality.Does anyone leave similar aged children alone like this or do people book the childminder for two hours only?

I doubt anyone would be brave enough to admit it but if you have then please share why! Or alternatively why not? I hope this isn't going to turn into a thread like the seatbelts debate......

AIBU to say that if the children are sensible and responsible then two hours is acceptable?

WibblyWobblyJellyHead Sat 23-Jul-16 18:41:32

I was babysitting at 14.

Do they get on? Mine would fight.

ParadiseCity Sat 23-Jul-16 18:41:53

I'm sure it's fine. We had a 13 babysitter for 7& 9 yos. They are all slightly bigger now, but obv the age gap is the same.

WhatInTheWorld76 Sat 23-Jul-16 18:42:59

Yes they get on great. Normally just do their own things in their own bedrooms anyway.

HairySubject Sat 23-Jul-16 18:43:01

Mine arent that old yet but I dont see a problem with 2 hours in the day. I am sure they would be glued to seperate devices and barely move anyway.
Obviously depends on the children being usually responsible and well behaved.

ElsaAintAsColdAsMe Sat 23-Jul-16 18:43:27

I leave my teen babysitting on occasion, I pay him for it and don't leave him too often. It's always been fine, I have a lot of rules in place.

CecilyP Sat 23-Jul-16 18:44:35

If the 14 year old is sensible and trustworthy and happy with the arrangement, I don't see why not.

WhatInTheWorld76 Sat 23-Jul-16 18:44:39

This is a one off, not a regular occurrence.

Nanasueathome Sat 23-Jul-16 18:45:43

It really depends on how mature the 14 year old is
I regularly used to babysit a 6 and 8 year old when I was that age

My daughters step daughter is almost 14 and I would not leave her in charge of a goldfish
Very immature and unable to do anything for herself ( although I blame bad parenting by her mum and dad over the years for that) so would hate for her to be left in charge of a younger child

PNGirl Sat 23-Jul-16 18:45:52

Depends. If the 14 year old is willing to wander round the house after said 7 year old or keep sticking their head round his bedroom door, then it's fine. If she's going to disappear into her room on her phone or iPad for 2 hours and generally ignores him then maybe not.

AppleSetsSail Sat 23-Jul-16 18:46:19

Of course it's OK.

WhatInTheWorld76 Sat 23-Jul-16 18:46:28

That's exactly the case, HairySubject

Ilovenannyplum Sat 23-Jul-16 18:47:11

DM used to let me look after my sister when I was 12 and she was one.

I think a 14yr old in charge of a 7yr old is fine

EdmundCleverClogs Sat 23-Jul-16 18:47:19

1. Do they get along?

2. For how long - are we talking a couple of days (not unreasonable) or all summer (certainly unreasonable)

3. Are you offering the older one 'extras' for doing so, or is it just 'expected'?

I did it at that age. Hated it, only did it for extra money. Then again, in my case it was a piss-take of constantly expected to (sometimes at a drop of a hat).

WibblyWobblyJellyHead Sat 23-Jul-16 18:47:55

I've left 13yo Ds1 in charge of 4yo Ds2 a few times. He's very sensible and they get on well. There's no way I could leave DD (12) in the mix as well though, it would be carnage.

DragonsEggsAreAllMine Sat 23-Jul-16 18:48:29

If they are sensible enough and are being paid for it. Being expected to do it simply as they are older I disagree with.

EdmundCleverClogs Sat 23-Jul-16 18:48:36

X-post. A one off is fine if they get along! Would still offer something to the 'babysitter', and something for the younger if they behave the whole time.

WhatInTheWorld76 Sat 23-Jul-16 18:49:18

It's a one-off. This is too much info but I have a smear test and don't want either of them around.

LockedOutOfMN Sat 23-Jul-16 18:50:12

OP, obviously we don't know the personalities involved (e.g. if one of the children is unreliable or erratic for some reason) but if both children are happy with the arrangement then yes it sounds fine.

If in doubt, write down some rules (e.g. no using the oven, no baths/showers, don't answer the door, or whatever) and emergency numbers.

Poptart27 Sat 23-Jul-16 18:50:41

Absolutely fine. I keno parents who leave their 14 year old in charge of an 11, 7, and 6 yo all day everyday throughout the summer. And yes, I called child protection and it's fine. HTH.

TheTartOfAsgard Sat 23-Jul-16 18:51:15

I leave my 12 and 13 year old home whilst I work. My neighbour sometimes drops her 7 year old in with them for a few hours and gives them a fiver each. I see no problem with this as they're sensible. I think it all depends on the child. As long as they know what to do in an emergency and you trust them then it should be fine. There are no specific 'rules' about what age you should be leaving kids at home.

WhatInTheWorld76 Sat 23-Jul-16 18:52:06

Yy to rules, phone numbers and treats for behaving.

LockedOutOfMN Sat 23-Jul-16 18:52:11

I looked after my newborn sister when I was 9 for short periods (like up to one hour) and my 4 year old brother from when I was 8 for a couple of hours at a time (but not brother and sister at the same time until I was a a bit older, around 10 or 11). And my big brother looked after me from the same age.

LockedOutOfMN Sat 23-Jul-16 18:52:50

( Forgot to say, that was in the 1980s/90s. Things seem to have changed nowadays, I think largely for the better ).

AndNowItsSeven Sat 23-Jul-16 18:52:52

You called child protection? Why?

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