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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

BellaVita Tue 02-Jul-13 20:28:22

They are old enough to be on their own for an evening.

I left mine for a night out at that age.

LesAnimaux Tue 02-Jul-13 20:28:44


Oh, I'm 15, and can look after myself, and drink all the cans of Fosters in the fridge when mum and dad are out. I think I may also invite my boyfriend/girlfrind around for a cozy time in my bedroom.

I'm 12, and while my parents are out, I'm going to annoy the hell out of my older sibling,just for a laugh, until they are so angry they punch me. Whe n I've done that I'm going to try a semi-permanent colour on my hair.

LineRunner Tue 02-Jul-13 20:30:15

She must have been reading the NSPCC's 'helpful advice'...

Tbh, I think it depends on how long they are planning to be out for, how far away they are going to be, what the teens are like, etc.

If they are simply going for a local meal, for example, they should be fine.

My 15yo babysits for my 13yo and 10yo with no problems. Does depend on the DC and their relationship and how much you trust them. My DS1 is very sensible.

mrsjay Tue 02-Jul-13 20:33:51

she maybe doesnt trust them on their own you either do it or not Id not have left my youngest dd(who was 10) with my eldest when she was 15 it would have been a disaster say you will look after the 12 yr old

LoveBeingUpAt4InTheMorning Tue 02-Jul-13 20:35:41

I wouldn't have been left at that age but only cause we would have killed each orger

Belchica Tue 02-Jul-13 20:38:22

YANBU but do it this time and enjoy an evening with your niece and nephew without your sis around. Then you'll feel qualified to tell her that they are very mature/independent/sensible etc and could look after themselves in future. Your sis may know this but will benefit from hearing it from you to to alleviate any doubts.

littlewhitebag Tue 02-Jul-13 20:39:54

Blimey both are well able to look after themselves for an evening. At 15 lots of kids are offering babysitting services. She is bonkers.

madasa Tue 02-Jul-13 20:40:09

Thank you for your replies.

Maybe they could not be trusted to not kill each other....I hadn't really thought about it like that.

I will do it....she deserves a night out.

I just wondered if I was alone in thinking it odd to babysit teenagers this age.

(I did leave home when I was 15 so maybe that skews my judgement!)

mrsjay Tue 02-Jul-13 20:41:59

I was baby sitting at 14 and looking after my sister who was 3 at 15 while my parents worked

mrsjay Tue 02-Jul-13 20:42:29

get int he cider and 18 films for them to watch be the cool auntie she wont ask you again grin

littlewhitebag Tue 02-Jul-13 20:43:05

lesanimeaux That is a bit of a wild generalisation. My DD (age 15) would be really upset and angry at the suggestions that she might drink alcohol or have boys over when we are out.

mrsjay Tue 02-Jul-13 20:44:26

Little i think it was a wee bit tongue in cheek that post

LongDeadMotherofHorrors Tue 02-Jul-13 20:54:50

I have a 15 y, 12 y and 9 y. I can leave the two eldest without risk of coming back to a dead body, but if the 9 y old is there then you can pre book the mortuary and prison.

That said, I feel it is a big ask of a 15 y old to take responsibility for siblings who may not recognise the 15 y old's authority. Also, I babysat as a teenager and looking back, despite my being very conscientious, I'm jolly glad my real skills in an emergency/crisis/tricky situation were never tested e.g. extracting 3 children at once from a burning house, finding the fuse box in a power cut, dealing with a severed artery from an over zealous 9 y old doing some balsa wood whittling in the bedroom, sleepwalking out of a 3 storey bedroom window, frightening temperature with rash, asthma attacks...need I go on?

mrsjay Tue 02-Jul-13 20:57:41

I once lost the little girl i was babysitting she was 4 her mum had let her stay up late (8) I puet her to bed went up to the toilet looked in and she was gone shock i searched everywhere she was in her wardrobe she thought it was hilarious hmm

littlewhitebag Tue 02-Jul-13 20:59:43

mrsjay DD2 doesn't do tongue in cheek - she is one serious girl. She really wouldn't have found that funny.

wigglybeezer Tue 02-Jul-13 21:01:30

My three are the same ages as yours Longdead and I leave them but only if I am out locally or,if further away, it is for a short time during the day only. They have to stay in, with restrictions on activities. I wouldn't go out for the evening in the city an hour away, but would go to a neighbours for a meal.

mrsjay Tue 02-Jul-13 21:01:39

I think the poster was just being a bit silly

littlewhitebag Tue 02-Jul-13 21:03:20

I do realise this. I am just trying to see things from a 15yo pov. I am pretty chilled about these things.

LongDeadMotherofHorrors Tue 02-Jul-13 21:03:38

Wiggly - just couldn't enjoy the evening out knowing that murder might be afoot. We know our kids and respond accordingly. Let us not judge lest we be judged!

cory Tue 02-Jul-13 21:17:13

I have certainly left 15yo and 12yo together in the evening; they are reliable. And fwiw when the 15yo was injured (in the daytime) the then 11yo was well capable of ringing an ambulance and keeping her warm and comforted. Not sure I would have handled it better in my mid-20s. In fact, when it comes to serious accidents, I'm not sure I'd be more use than him. And my dad would be considerably less use.

LongDeadMotherofHorrors Tue 02-Jul-13 21:25:19

Cory - your 11 yo sounds like the daughter character in AbFab!

lola88 Tue 02-Jul-13 21:27:35

I would be questioning my parenting if I could not trust my teenagers to be alone while I go out. I was babysitting for other people small children by 14 and could be left in change of my sister at 11 for 2 hours until my mum came home from work.

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.

Startail Tue 02-Jul-13 21:32:21

I haven't left them both together yet, but have left both my 12 and 15y on their own separately.

They would be fine, together.

Next door left their older teen, but took younger one to Gran's. He said Mum didn't trust them not to fight.

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