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from how old can I leave my eldest dc to babysit siblings?

(9 Posts)
ErnesttheBavarian Tue 06-Sep-11 22:43:24

Eldest is now 12, youngest 3, also a 10 yr old and 7 yr old. they all get on pretty well and are reasonably mature and sensible.

Once 3yr old asleep, that's it for the night. I was wondering how long I would have to wait before I can leave eldest to babysit? (with me say just 5 mins away)

Now? or when he's 13/she's 4.
Or he's 14/she's 5.
Or he's 15/she's 6?

tbh, I would feel comfortable with doing it now, but I don't want to get into trouble, but of course, the law is gray.
I used to babysit when I was 13. Dunno what's acceptable now?

ErnesttheBavarian Wed 07-Sep-11 10:20:54


sarahtigh Wed 07-Sep-11 11:02:22

i think it is ok so long as he can call yuo what does he think, do be honest i would be more worried about 10 and 7 year old arguing than sleeping 3 year old. i mean once your 3 year old asleep to you actually go into their room before morning,

try going for 30 minutes first time, I presume you going to a friends house or shop just down road , 5 minute walk sounds better than 5 minute drive

it is not illegal but you are responsible for your arrangements

just sensible things don't answer door , do not tell anyone who phones you are out just mum is busy now, knows how to call dial 999 etc promises to call you if he feels can't cope ie younger ones doing dangerous stuff and wont stop when he says so

ErnesttheBavarian Wed 07-Sep-11 13:23:44

thanks. I'm fine leaving the 3 boys, like I said, they are pretty sensible and get along ok, don't have a problem leaving them, just concerned re how ok it is to leave the youngest. she sleeps deeply and doesn't wander. I wouldn't consider going if she was awake, not at this stage, but then I don't want to do it at all if it's #wrong# iyswim, but I am confident the kids would be fine. It's just odd after so many years of looking after little ones and arranging babysitters I'm starting to enter the unknown world of the older child.

Octaviapink Wed 07-Sep-11 13:27:50

The youngest age at which you can babysit other people's children is 14 - I'd be inclined to leave it until your eldest is that age unless you're literally popping next door or something. Unless they know what to do in a variety of crises I don't think I'd be comfortable leaving them.

lubeybooby Wed 07-Sep-11 13:29:59

I babysat for my brother from 14 and was fine and very responsible... dealt with him fine even when he was ill/not in bed yet/playing up. Doubt I'd have been as good at it any younger than that.

seeker Wed 07-Sep-11 13:36:20

I would leave them now. But I wouldn't call it baby sitting- it is possible that the 12 year old might go a bit power mad and younger ones mightnget resentful qnd uncooperative. When I leave mine, I say "look after each other, but if there's a problem what [eldest] says goes" Subtly different, Infeel.

ErnesttheBavarian Wed 07-Sep-11 13:58:02

yes, I wouldn't ask ds1 to babysit his siblings as such. There's only 17 months bwn him and ds2, so I doubt it would go down too well. To them, I would say I was popping out, let them know where and they know to call me. All 3 boys walk/ride bikes alone to school, and ds1 and 2 finish at totally random times, sometimes 12, sometimes 1, never any warning, so can't always plan to be here, so they are used to being by themselves sometimes and have quite a lot of freedom and are therefore pretty responsible.

Like I said, I've not done anything yet, it's just with ds1 turning 12, then I was visiting people and where they are, there are baby sitting courses run by the red cross for 13 yr olds, so I was wondering, a naive 13 yr old who has little experience with kids and doesn't even know them, vs. a mature 12 yr old (and 10 yr old), think in those circs the ds would be the better, safer bet anyway.

But as I've never done it, I'm not sure if I am #allowed# at this stage.

sarahtigh Wed 07-Sep-11 17:36:31

looking after siblings for a brief period is not technically baby sitting above post is correct 14 is minimum for looking after someones elses child and being paid
there is no legal limit for leaving children alone some guidelines but whhat you plan is not illegal at all

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