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Age to begin babysitting?

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June 25th, 2006, 05:40 PM
Mega Super Mommy
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 4,201
Do you think there should be a certain age cut off for babysitting?

I do homedaycare and I have an 8 month old and her 3 year old sister. Now I know their parents have a 13 y/o babysitter. As much as Im sure the baby sitter has her course certification etc I just think thats a little too young. They may be mature, but some situations Im not quite sure if a 13 year old is mature enough to handle. JMO. I know legally here I think the legal age to babysit is 11.

What do you guys think?
Kris and Eric Expecting Our First Stubborn Baby!!

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June 25th, 2006, 05:54 PM
Mega Super Mommy
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 3,496
Call me sexist, but I would almost NEVER hire a male babysitter. The statistics are too far stacked against him from the get go. ( I say "almost" because my brothers have watched our kids a lot ).

Beyond that, it depends on what certifications they have, how their references check out and how they answer my questions. I got a GREAT list of questions from "Protecting the Gift" (I know I talk about this book way too much!) After the legal age, I'm open to any female who answers the questions right, has CPR/first aid and babysitting course certification, and references check out.
taking jm breaks if you don't see me around much
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June 25th, 2006, 05:56 PM
Ukmum's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Staffordshire, uk
Posts: 3,474
18 plus

m/c 86, May 04, July 04, m/c Sep 04

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June 25th, 2006, 06:01 PM
Platinum Supermommy
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 6,966
Well I do not think I would be all that comfortable with a 13 yr old babysitting my kids.
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June 25th, 2006, 06:27 PM
Posts: n/a
I think it all depends on the person. I used to have a 13 year old girl that babysat Zach when he was little. She was very responsible. Someone I knew recommended her. She had babysat for a lot of different people and everyone had nothing but nice things to say about her.
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June 25th, 2006, 07:37 PM
MommieinNC's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 3,119
18+ with a background check and references out the ying yang for me... You hear of way too many babysitter related rapes/murders/kidnappings/etc...
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June 25th, 2006, 09:25 PM
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 5,429
I was just thinking about this-- I've decided I won't leave my daughter with anyone who has never had a child, well at this young age anyways.

I just don't think someone who hasn't experienced it before would catch the little stuff, Elizabeth would find all kinds of stuff on the floor and stick it in her mouth before a non-mommy would notice. You just don't think about some things until you have a child.
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June 25th, 2006, 09:47 PM
Posts: n/a
I was baby sitting at 9!!! I watched our neighbors two kids after school every day. The girl was 3, and the little boy was 6 or 7 months (when I started). Their mom left for work as soon as I got home from school, and I stayed with them two hours until their dad got home. My parents weren't home, either. I was one of those kids that stayed home alone with my siblings ever since I could remember. My oldest brother is 6 years older than me, then my sister that's four years older, and then my brother that's two years older... we were alone ever since I can remember, as I said... and I started earning money at 9 by watching the neighbor kids. I was pretty mature, though... there is no way in heck that I'd leave my baby with my daughter (that will be 9 in September) until she's older. I don't know what my neighbors were thinkin'.

Yes I do... they were thinkin' cheap labor. They paid me 10 dollars a week, I think.
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June 25th, 2006, 11:43 PM
Chunky Monkey's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Sylvania Township, Ohio
Posts: 22,176
I have a couple of different takes on it, all good arguments.

Here in the state of Ohio, there is no minimum age of leaving your kids home alone, let alone a babysitter of a certain age. I would never leave my 3 y/o home alone of course but we have been toying with the idea of MAYBE leaving my DD home alone when she reaches 11 or 12. MAYBE. She is responsible but anything can happen. The only problem we have with her is she won't clean her room. GAHH! But that is something different. She is getting a little older now and sometimes she does not want to go to the store or something with us. But her grandfather lives right down the street from us so I think if we do that, she can go to him for anything. Most of the time she wants to stay with him anyways when she does not want to go with us but he is in charge and she has to check in with him because she is always outside with her friends.
My 2 older kids do know we have a hide-a-key for emergencies. Say we have an afternoon appt. and for some reason we are not home by the time they get home from school, they can let themselves in to wait for us. There are emergency #s posted, they know not to answer the door or to let their friends in. They CAN answer the phone but we instructed them to tell the person that we can't come to the phone and for them to take a message but are not to tell them we are not home. They have only had to use the hide-a-key ONCE during last school year.
Also at the school my kids go to, if they are in the 5th grade before they go to middle school, the parents have the option of sending the child through a babysitter training. They get basic first aid, CPR and everything and even get certificates of completion to show to potential clients. I do know about this because after kids go through it, the school newsletter will name the kids who have completed this, hoping to get these children jobs babysitting. I think that is an excellent idea for the school.

When I was younger, I started babysitting around 12 years old for a 1 y/o. It was a pretty easy job because my dad was around to help me if needed but I did just fine.
My 1st BIG babysitting job came when I was 14 years old. My dad was dating a girl who had 4 kids. I was supposed to watch them but then it ended up also being her cousins 4 and her best friends 2 so they all could go to a comedy club....TEN KIDS! It also did not help my dad's ex had given all her kids cough syrup with codeine and the 2 y/o slipped and fell going up the stairs and cut her chin open. I WAS FLIPPING OUT! I was getting ready to call 9-1-1 when all the adults came strolling through the door and when I told the mother, she said "oh don't call 9-1-1 unless there is blood gushing or a broken bone." GAHHH!

So I do think there should be a cap on HOW MANY kids a teen watches. The youngest person I have ever had watching my kids is 17 but that is because I don't think a teenager can handle my 3 y/o who has some developmental delays and needs CONSTANT care.
Thank you KimberlyD0 for my absolutely beautiful siggy!

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June 26th, 2006, 05:29 AM
frgsonmysox's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Offutt AFB, NE
Posts: 19,799
I think it depends on the person, and the age of the children being babysat. There are some adults I don't trust watching Anthony, and yet I know a 13 year old (male, mind you) that I would trust in an instant (if only he would change diapers!). I would never leave a newborn with a teenager. I was professionally babysitting since I was 12. Some kids that young can and some can't.
~Beth~ Wife to my Airman Chris, and mommy to: Anthony Nathaniel (8/31/04), Anastasia Fae (8/01/06), Baby C (lost on 10/12/07), David Cillian (7/31/08), Charles George (4/29/10), and Alan Christopher (2/22/12)

My BLOG - A Day In The Life of a Freg (it's a little bit of everything!)
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June 26th, 2006, 06:33 AM
Mega Super Mommy
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 2,667
There are many factors to consider--the age of the babysitter, her maturity level, the number and ages of the children, how long the babysitting will last, etc. If a younger teen--maybe 13-14--were keeping one child who was 5 or older, for a couple of hours in the day or early evening, that would probably be all right.. But I would never leave a younger teen with an infant or more than one child, or for a very long period of time. That being said, I was 13 when I started babysitting. But I babysat older children (not babies) in our own neighborhood and my mother was 2-3 minutes away. I also had lots of experience taking care of a younger brother and sister. As I got older I started taking on more responsibility--once I babysat for 5 children who ranged from 2-10, but that was probably when I was in college.

Our last babysitter was 16/17 and was very mature and the best thing was she could drive herself to our house (that is a big deciding factor to me). We loved her but we moved away and haven't been able to find someone else like her down here.

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June 26th, 2006, 09:04 AM
rachna's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 26,485
I think it depends on the babysitter. I was babysitting at 11. For my children it will depend on who it is. There are adults I would not allow to babysit my child and I am sure thre are younger teens I would be fine having babysit. There are a few who *I* babysat from birth on who are about 15 now who would make fabulous babysitters for my kids
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June 26th, 2006, 11:20 AM
Mega Super Mommy
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: New York
Posts: 4,307
I have an anecdote to add. Last year, we read in the paper at xmas time about a dad who came home from work early and found his 2 1/2 year old home alone. She was fine, but the nanny was no where to be found.

Well, she was at Lord & Taylor's doing some last monute shopping, and she figured the kid would be ok.

Now, we just moved in May, and our friend is a cop in our town. Turns out that those people live ACROSS the street from us. The daughter is Sydney's age and they have another child on the way. When we first moved in, they came over to say hi, and said if the girls ever wanted to have a playdate that they have a FABULOUS nanny. I am hoping it is not the same one!! ( I did not know this at that point!!). Needless to say, I never leave my child alone for playdates, I always stay or have them at my house.
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June 26th, 2006, 12:52 PM
greenjeans's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Galveston, TX
Posts: 1,731
I babysat from a very young age. It started with a walk home service, walking kids home from school in my neighborhood (I was in 5 and 6th grade) and then I started staying after school with one of the kids when I went into middle school. Most of my clients for babysitting were my mom's clients for daycare so they knew me very well and also from my church. The only infant (when I was younger, middle school age) I watched was one of my mom's clients and lived across the street from us so my parents were right there.

I think you should go with your gut, if there is someone young that you know you could trust, give them a shot

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June 27th, 2006, 09:31 PM
Platinum Supermommy
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 5,597
I started babysitting when I was 11 years old, and it was for a 5 month old and a 2 year old. The family was in a bind, and so my parents figured that I could handle it. I was always good with kids, but my goodness they were a handful, plus the parents were like 6 hours late in coming home. My parents weren't happy, cuz I was stuck with their kids until like 2am when I was suppose to be home by 8pm. Go figure!

Anyways, I would never leave my kids with anyone who is not like 16 years old or older, plus practically family. To prove it....I am flying my 16 year old sister down to stay with us to babysit my DD while I'm in the hospital having this baby, cuz I want someone who I can trust.

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June 27th, 2006, 09:44 PM
AbbyHannahsMom's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Oregon
Posts: 1,497
I would never leave my children with someone younger than 18. I also would never leave my infant with anyone that has never had a child. It doesnt matter if your 18 or 30... if you have never taken care of an infant baby before most the time you won't have a clue on what to do.

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