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Minimum age for a sibling to babysit other siblings

(7 Posts)
MrRected Fri 04-Apr-14 05:26:06

DS1 is nearly 13 - he's a big, strapping lad, very mature.

DS2 is 9, DD is 7.

I haven't left him to watch his siblings, but am starting to think we might not be that far away. How old was your oldest before you asked them to babysit?

Am thinking of going to the cinema after the younger ones are in bed. Not leaving them for the entire day.

wheresthelight Fri 04-Apr-14 08:21:31

I was 14 I think (it was a long time ago) but if you think he is mature enough and would know what to do in an emergency then I would say go for it

Martorana Fri 04-Apr-14 08:26:29

I don't think it's an age thing. I think it's more an are they all happy with the idea thing? Do they get on well? They're quite close in age- will the younger ones do what the older one tells them? And I'd try during the day first- everything looks very different in the dark!

Nocomet Fri 04-Apr-14 08:44:58

I would say 13 if there is a reasonable age gap.

DD2 was quite happy to be left on her own at 10, so I'd never suggest her 13y big sister was 'baby sitting' on the very rare occasions they are left together.

Generally in this house one wants to stay home while the other is being taken to music, gymnastics etc.

It's far more likely they'll go off shopping together.

Both at home and out and about there is no official pecking order. Generally DD2 likes to be the boss. However in a real emergency she'd do as DD1 says.

Nothing to do with age, it's DD1 who keeps a cool head and doesn't panic.

survivingthechildren Fri 04-Apr-14 11:53:41

We are a little different as I have 5 children - 4 siblings is a lot for my oldest DS to manage, especially as when we was 13, the youngest was about 3.

He's now 16, and of course I would leave him alone with his siblings. We live in NZ and the legal age to babysit is 14, which we will be allowing my DS2 to do once he turns 14.

cory Fri 04-Apr-14 15:16:11

What Martorana said.

Also about how much baby sitting the younger ones would require. If sensible and generally well behaved that might be very little.

I'd be happy for my own 13yo to do this if he wanted to.

But I have a friend whose dc fight physically and I can very well see why she doesn't do it.

MrRected Sat 05-Apr-14 01:23:08

Thanks all. DS1 is quite happy to watch the little ones and they generally rub along quite well.

I am 100% certain that DS1 could manage an emergency. So perhaps after his 13th birthday, we might trial a quick meal at a local restaurant after the younger ones are in bed.

It is going to be very strange, after all these years, to finally start getting some of our own independence back. A meal out, without paying a fortune for a sitter. Now I know what it means to be grateful for the small things in life :-)!

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