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To let DS 'babysit'?

(43 Posts)
Beaubeagle Sat 04-Feb-17 11:21:18

First time posting but long time lurker. Please be kind! 😊

I've recently gone NC with my mother (long story for another thread) but it has left me with a problem with childcare. I have 3 DS's aged 14, 10 & 5. 10yr old DS has SN.

I attend college 2 evenings a week for 3 hours. DH is self employed so works erratic/long hours and never knows what time he'll be home. I now have no guaranteed childcare for one of the evenings as my mother used to come and sit with them (DS14 would give the younger two a bath, supper and put them to bed. My mother was just literally in the house as a responsible adult). I do have a local lady that I use as a sitter for the other evening but she can't cover my second evening.

Wibu to let me DS14 (15 in the summer) look after the younger two boys from 5:30pm until potentially 9:10pm one night a week? He's very responsible and the other two get on well with him. My BF lives less than 5 mins away too if there was a problem and my college is only a 10-15 min drive away. I think I'm more worried about what others would think TBH. Wwyd?

Btw, it was my DS14's idea to babysit and he's happy to do it. I will pay extra pocket money accordingly.

Sorry for the long post!

Crumbs1 Sat 04-Feb-17 11:25:24

I would think it was fine assuming you were contactable, not too distant and they got on reasonably well. Sounds like gap is big enough for there to be no question about pecking order and control. Assuming lad is half sensible it seems like good idea. Plenty of youngsters babysit for others at 14.

MommaGee Sat 04-Feb-17 11:29:52

I think if you feel comfortable give it a try with emphasis on DH getting back as early as possible. Call in your break to check in. Could BF also pop by even if its just for 10 minutes? I'm assuming BestFriend not BoyFriend so that would be less weird her popping over

rightsofwomen Sat 04-Feb-17 11:34:44

Sounds ideal to me. As long as your DS knows that he can change his mind in the future it sounds like everyone's happy.

I do like that your friend is easily contactable (and you of course).

rollonthesummer Sat 04-Feb-17 11:34:50

I'm not sure, how severe are the special needs of your ten year old?

Trifleorbust Sat 04-Feb-17 11:36:39

I would do it, providing the 10 year old would be able to cope with minimal 'care' from the 14 year old.

Somerville Sat 04-Feb-17 11:39:21

It is entirely socially acceptable for a 14.5 year old to babysit for younger (but not baby) siblings. My 15 year old has been babysitting for me since aged 14. She did do a first aid course first, which gave her more confidence.

Beaubeagle Sat 04-Feb-17 11:40:00

My DS10's SN would probably make him easier to look after than a 'typical' 10yr old in a funny sort of way. He's really happy and amenable and never answers back. He's probably closer in development terms to my DS5, although my 5 yr old is extremely bright and articulate. So much so that he'd probably be the one to make sure everyone did as they were told! 😂

Funnyonion17 Sat 04-Feb-17 11:41:30

Me personally, no. I'd let him watch them for maybe 20 minutes but it's too much at that age.

Allthewaves Sat 04-Feb-17 11:44:49

depend on 10yr old sen and maturity on 14 yr old. My boys are younger so couldn't imagine oldest one minding them but my middle ones sen isn't coped with very well by his brother

19lottie82 Sat 04-Feb-17 11:45:29

It really depends on the child. If you think your DS is responsible enough then go for it, I don't see there being a problem.

haveacupoftea Sat 04-Feb-17 11:46:44

I'm not sure how fair it is on him, but when I think back age 14/15 my mum had depression and I was practically running the house, cleaning and going to school, and looking after my sister of toddler age.

Girls get given so much more responsibility than boys at that age. So yeah, it can be done, but probably not much fun for DS.

Trifleorbust Sat 04-Feb-17 11:47:37

Sounds fine to me as long as you are contactable and within a reasonable distance.

sparepantsandtoothbrush Sat 04-Feb-17 11:49:15

I would but would probably skip the bath for one night for safety reasons.

Astoria7974 Sat 04-Feb-17 11:50:05

I was taking care of the kids, cleaning, making meals from 10. 14/15 is definitely ok provided he's responsible enough and you don't force him to babysit when he needs to study etc

Olympiathequeen Sat 04-Feb-17 11:53:32

Sounds like a very good idea. Lots of safeguards in place. Backup plans. Perhaps a neighbour willing to step in if an emergency arises. Everyone contactable

Latenightthoughts Sat 04-Feb-17 11:55:44

Yes. Without a doubt

My 11 yr old DD watches DD 6 and DD 1 for up to 2 hrs. Longer if I have younger DD with me.

Beaubeagle Sat 04-Feb-17 11:57:03

Thank you for the replies.

I would never force my son to babysit, he was the one to offer. It would be term time only and realistically my DH would probably be home after an hour or so anyway most of the time.

My DS is very grown up for his age and I have no worries about his ability to care for his brothers.

Obviously the situation is not ideal but I'm working hard to start a new career so that I can provide a comfortable life for my children. I'm so close now that I really don't want to drop out of my course if I can help it.

ModreB Sat 04-Feb-17 11:57:41

Yes, we did this. DS1 was 9 years older than DS3, so by the time DS3 was 5 DS1 was 14. It worked really well, and they have a great relationship. We also have a DS2, who was 12yo at the time, with ASD who liked the fact that there was structure and no strangers in the house.

Mrsglitterfairy Sat 04-Feb-17 11:58:38

Only you know how mature your DS is but if you feel confident and will be contactable at all times then I would say go for it

Ilovecaindingle Sat 04-Feb-17 11:59:04

They are his siblings. Of course it's OK. . My ds was 14 and watched his siblings in short bursts here and there. . His idea and they have a great relationship. .

PovertyPain Sat 04-Feb-17 12:02:57

Sweetheart, you need a life outside the home. I know you say your wee soul is an easy child to look after and I can relate to that as I have a 21yr old with a gorgeous personality. I wouldn't be on this earth if it wasn't for her, however, even I need time out now and again.

Your oldest will be fine and you have the benefit of having you bf close by. Speak to your tutor, privately, about needing to have your phone on in case of emergency. Point out you will have it on vibrate and only answer, out of the room, it if it's your emergency contact. I found that tutors were always very understanding.

Your oldest sounds like a very supportive big brother and I'm sure his siblings adore him.

ghostyslovesheets Sat 04-Feb-17 12:06:06

I do - Mine are 14, 12 and 8 - I pay 14 to watch my 8 year old (and by default her 12 year old sister as well) for 2 hours on a Sat as I do a Park run

I also pay DD2 who is 12 to watch DD3 for an hour on a Monday when I have a class

They are fine - the older two can cook basic meals and manage quiet well

I wouldn't leave the younger 2 alone for more than an hour though as DD3 is a bit of a sod at the moment!

SuperFlyHigh Sat 04-Feb-17 12:07:15

Yes definitely as long as he knows what to do esp re the SEN DS.

I'd make it easier eg prepare dinner (lasagne etc) the night before so he knows how to prepare the meal or ready meals or feed them yourself if you're home early enough.

Also have a second person available for emergencies (neighbour?) as well as your friend.

But yes, could be ideal on all counts.

Madcats Sat 04-Feb-17 12:07:27

It would have happened to me when I was a kid without anybody blinking an eyelid.

I would do a "trial run" so that you and eldest both have all angles covered. Go through the "get the supper and put the younger 2 to bed" routine.

Assuming that you are going to get the food ready and make sure DS(14) has an array of numbers to phone if he gets worried I am sure he'll be fine.

Leave him and strict instructions about what's allowed on TV etc before the younger ones go to bed (to avoid scary things etc).

Also have a think about making sure your eldest isn't left with a ton of homework to complete on the night he babysits.

I hope it all works out for you.

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