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In having a 13 year old watch ds?

46 replies

Loopyloppy · 30/06/2017 12:34

Ds is 3.5. A family friend who we know fairly well has just started to babysit. She's only 13 but has done two cpr (first aid courses) and a six month 'babysitting' course, whatever that is. She's a sensible girl.

I've hired her to start looking after ds a few hours a week. I thought for the first couple of months I'd stick around. Just so I can work in the garden more. (Ds is a fucking nightmare 'helping' with the weeding- i.e. pulling out seedlings and it would be a huge help to have someone do lego and play with him.)

I was telling a couple of friends last night and they were all pearl clutchy and ShockHmm saying how unsafe it would be and they wouldn't dream of it.

I'm not planning on just buggering off and leaving her with him, I'll be around outside. This is fine right?!

And what age do you think someone can be left with a (bouncy) 3.5 year old? Depends on both of them right? Would it be awful to leave her with him for a couple of hours in a couple of months when I'm sure she's competent?

OP posts:

TheLegendOfBeans · 30/06/2017 12:39

For me that's a child looking after another child. God forbid something bad happened I'd worry about a 13yo having the quick thinking and rationality to act without panic; I wouldn't want to put that responsibility on a young teen.

For me I'd rather have someone 18+ as that to me is an adult.


TheLegendOfBeans · 30/06/2017 12:41

Oops; missed this

I'm not planning on just buggering off and leaving her with him, I'll be around outside. This is fine right?!

Right yes! That's fine.

You're still "there". If you weren't it's a different ball game.


Mylittlesunshines · 30/06/2017 12:43

This reply has been deleted

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

DearMrDilkington · 30/06/2017 12:44

I don't see any issue with it. A sensible 13yr old with first aid knowledge is more than capable of looking after a nearly 4yo.


blueskyinmarch · 30/06/2017 12:44

So the 13yo is really just around as an extra pair of hands to amuse your DS? That sounds like an excellent compromise. The girl can hone her care skills and you can get on with other chores. When she is a little older you can then build up to leaving them both together for a while. Before you know it she will be 15/16 and you will be enjoying a new lease of life with a trusted sitter.


Loopyloppy · 30/06/2017 12:45

Right. I also feel that her life experience and reactions would be questionable in an emergency situation. I've sort of been bullied in to this by mil who initially was saying I should hire her every day in the summer so I could work but I shot that one down pretty quickly.

Of course having a three year old, large vegetable gardens and chickens (we're pretty much self sufficient in the summer at least) is me taking it easy. Grin

OP posts:

BarbarianMum · 30/06/2017 12:45

I think if you are on hand that's fine. I did similar from 13 (entertained kids as mum worked from home) and moved to sole care by 15.


Loopyloppy · 30/06/2017 12:46

Bluesky- this is my dream. Dh and I have only been out together once since ds was born and I'd love if in a few months/a year or so we could actually go out again! Grin

OP posts:

GreenHillsOfHome · 30/06/2017 12:47

Of course it's fine.

I leave ds1 'in charge' of ds3 when I run upstairs for a wee or go and hang the washing out. Ds1 is 9 and ds3 is 6 weeks Shock . Ds3 is on his play mat or in his bouncer and not about to toddle off anywhere and ds1 can be trusted to not try to pick him up or do anything other than talk or sing to him, which he loves doing.

I can well imagine leaving him for short periods to occupy a 3 year old when he's 12 and I'm cooking dinner or the I imagine is the norm in most families with similar age gaps.


notanevilstepmother · 30/06/2017 12:50

I think it's fine within limits. I'd leave a sensible 13 year old for a short time with a child and if I knew there was someone around (neighbours etc) but not for a full day.

However there are many kids that age who do look after their siblings for whole days at that age, not ideal, but not disastrous either or we would be hearing about it.

I used to babysit at that age, but I always knew my parents were just around the corner if there was an emergency. There never was, but it was reassuring.


AndNoneForGretchenWieners · 30/06/2017 12:50

I used to babysit the neighbours kids at 13 while their parents weren't there. My mum was nearby if anything happened but it was fine - you will be in yelling distance so can't see anything wrong with this.

DSS would look after DS too at a similar age, while DS was a baby. I appreciate with a sibling it's different though.


theymademejoin · 30/06/2017 12:55

Do your pearl clutching friends know you are still around? I wouldn't leave a 13 yo on their own with a 3 yo but what you are doing is perfectly fine.


Questioningeverything · 30/06/2017 12:56

Well I ask my ds (4) to watch ds2 (10months and cruising) while I put my washing out/ have a quick shower (3min job) or change sheets, make dinner etc.
Yeah ds1 is young and certainly not babysitting but stuff has to get done. I'd much sooner hire the 13yr old but there's no one I know available


Loopyloppy · 30/06/2017 12:57

When we do get to possibly leaving for a little while mil is next door and her parents are close by too.

As an aside, sil is leaving her 2 year old and 2 month old with a ten year old girl (who she doesn't know at all) for periods up to two hours. That I'm a bit ShockHmmConfused about.

OP posts:

Loopyloppy · 30/06/2017 12:58

Theymademejoin they do.

OP posts:

notanevilstepmother · 30/06/2017 13:01

If your MIL is next door and you know she is in I don't see an issue with it.


AndTakeYourHorseWithYou · 30/06/2017 13:14

As an aside, sil is leaving her 2 year old and 2 month old with a ten year old girl (who she doesn't know at all) for periods up to two hours

I don't think I've ever said this in all my years on MN, but I'd be calling social services about that. Dangerous for all the children involved.


nocake · 30/06/2017 13:20

I've met 13 year olds who are very sensible and trustworthy and 18 year olds I wouldn't leave in charge of a hamster. If she's made the effort to get some qualifications it sounds like she's one of the trustworthy ones.


JennyOnAPlate · 30/06/2017 13:24

If you're going to be around I think it's absolutely fine.

My dc are 7 and 9 and i wouldn't be comfortable leaving them alone with a 13 year old.


swingofthings · 30/06/2017 13:24

My DD was looking after her 2yo half sister when she was 13, even taking her to the park. She has always been a very mature girl and totally natural with little ones. There's a big difference in the maturity of girls at this age.


FeedMyFaceWithBattenberg · 30/06/2017 13:30

How times have changed.
I was walking my little brothers to school and nursery (6yrs and 11yrs younger than me) before putting myself on the school bus at 15!
And I'm only 26 now...
you're going to still be in the house, everything is fine!


AndTakeYourHorseWithYou · 30/06/2017 13:31

That's 15, big difference from 13.


Jellycatspyjamas · 30/06/2017 13:35

It's worth knowing that while legally you can leave the 13 year old to look after your little one, legally you are responsible for both of them because legally they are both children. At 16 a young person can take legal responsibility for the child they are looking after but up until then, if anything untoward did happen you'd be accountable for any harm to both children.


fannyanddick · 30/06/2017 13:41

I used to babysit a 4, 7, 11 and 12 (special needs) yo when I was 13/14 until 18. For a couple of hours 4-6 pm. For a bit I had six, a 5yo and 7yo. We all live to tell the tail! I think a capable, sensible and switched on 13 is fine to look after a 3year old in the house for short periods. Even if you are out.


Jellycatspyjamas · 30/06/2017 13:43

Sorry, I didn't preview my post - there's a hell of a lot of "legally" in there, no reason other than me not reading it before I typed...

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