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Is 13 too young to watch siblings for a few hours a day?

I may have to return to work. Instead of putting my kids in daycare I was thinking of paying my 13 yr old to watch the youngers ones ages 8 and 6. I would prepare dinner early that he could warm up. Dad gets home at 7pm. They'd be alone for a few hours. Too much to ask him to do? He likes the idea but I'm not sure. I don't even know if this would happen as I don't even have a job yet. I'm just working out scenarios.


Asked by Anonymous at 11:43 AM on Apr. 12, 2010 in Teens (13-17)

This question is closed.
Answers (17)
  • as long as he is muture enough and you feel comfortable, i'd say go for it. maybe a neighbor could help out by being a emergency "go to"
    good luck:)

    Answer by racingirl at 11:50 AM on Apr. 12, 2010

  • Well by law he can. We just started letting our 13 yr old dd watche our 5 yr old dd - for a few hours during day is what we started with. if you feel he is mature and can handle the little fights that may occurr then go for it - pay him to watch might be a good idea too. We gave our dd $10 for the 3 1/2 hours she babysat.

    Answer by New2Florida at 11:45 AM on Apr. 12, 2010

  • depends on how mature he is. i watched my 3 & 4 yr old brother & sister when i was 11 & 12..

    Answer by PURPULbutterfly at 11:47 AM on Apr. 12, 2010

  • You need to ask yourself that question. Do you trust him? For me it would all depend on how responsible my child was...and what age his siblings were..

    Answer by Anonymous at 12:06 PM on Apr. 12, 2010

  • we have just started leaving our 13 daughter to watch her siblings..not every day about once every 2 weeks, we go to a coffee shop or out for lunch to have some time alone away from the house.. we stay within 5-10 minutes of the house, just incase we are needed back quickly.. we always make sure all them have just eaten,and they have something to watch on tv. the rules are they sit and watch tv, stay out of the kitchen, don't answer the door to anyone, only answer the phone if it is far it has worked out great.


    Answer by Anonymous at 12:52 PM on Apr. 12, 2010

  • If you trust that he can be responsible enough to watch his younger siblings, then there is your answer right there. Do make sure that you pay him because this is an above and beyond situation (above and beyond contributing to the family). Make sure that you have emergency contacts and someone that he can call if something happens that's not an emergency, but that they still need some help.


    Answer by twinsplus2more at 12:53 PM on Apr. 12, 2010

  • The other moms are right, take in consideration maturity and if you trust him well enough with your LO's, my teenagers watch my 9 year old and they take really good care of him. My 14 year old son is very mature for his age and is very responsible with him, they don't always get along when mom and dad are home but when he's taking care of him, he makes sure that he eats and does he chores before we get home.

    Answer by LuvmyFam6 at 1:43 PM on Apr. 12, 2010

  • Depends on his maturity, and how he handles an emergency. I was babysitting at 11 years old. There are some 16 yr olds that I wouldn't trust but I know 11 year olds that I would.

    Answer by tyfry7496 at 2:43 PM on Apr. 12, 2010

  • I'd be more concerned about how the 6 and 8 year old handle the situation more than the 13 year old. Will they do as they are told by him? I think it is alot to ask of a 13 year old unless you can trust the younger kids to do what their brother tells your homework, finish your chores, don't leave the yard, etc. If they are throwing the proverbial "you aren't the boss of me" statement out all the time it will be tough for him to handle.

    Answer by Dyndudes at 6:20 PM on Apr. 12, 2010

  • You know your children. I would make sure he has had the "baby sitting" class offered at the YMCA or something. I would make sure the rules are very strict and there is a safe house for them if needed. Is there a neighbor that can check on them at some point during the time? It is a lot for a 13 year old, but some 13 year olds are mature. We use to leave my oldest to baby sit but it wasn't every day.

    Answer by jesse123456 at 7:20 PM on Apr. 12, 2010