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Is 10 years old, old enough?

At my ex's house his new wife gave our 10 yr old dd a house key. She is the oldest of 3, our other two are 7 and 6. Our ds (7) can be VERY strong willed and sometimes doesn't listen to adults; our dd2 (6) has mild ADHD. Our oldest doesn't like to speak up when her siblings have done something wrong because she is scared SHE will get punished.

Background aside, I don't think she is old enough to be given responsibility over her siblings. This is my oldest, she has cardiac issues since birth and only one kidney, sometimes she herself "forgets" to stop what she's doing and go to the potty. She cannot be expected to look after TWO younger siblings.

Agree or disagree?


Asked by NEMommaOf3 at 6:09 PM on Oct. 27, 2010 in Tweens (9-12)

Level 12 (789 Credits)
This question is closed.
Answers (17)
  • I have a 10 year old and I have never left him totally alone and in charge. He's barely old enough to take care of himself, let alone younger siblings!! I have left him while his dad is sleeping - he works 3rd shift and sleeps during the day. I have gone to get groceries or something - an hour or two - and he knows the rules and knows what he should do if the phone rings or someone comes. As far as the key - I think it's a good idea for her to have one. I am a SAHM and there are times when I either cut myself short cuz I'm not paying attention or maybe a line is too long somewhere - I do my best to get home on time, but there are occasions when I mess up. BUT it is NOT a regular thing!! Not enough that I would want him to have a key all the time, but he DOES know where the "extra" one is hidden in case he ever does come home and I'm not here.I think having an extra one hidden is a better idea as long as she doesn't tell anyone

    Answer by mama2000_1 at 10:31 PM on Oct. 27, 2010

  • Did she get the house key to babysit the others? If so, she is way too young. I live in Florida and I believe you have to 12 with a certificate from Red Cross to babysit.

    Answer by goldengrl65 at 6:19 PM on Oct. 27, 2010

  • Agree, and 2nd poster is right. I'd look at your state laws to see what the age is.

    Answer by SalemWitchChild at 6:19 PM on Oct. 27, 2010

  • agree

    Answer by josiesmommy00 at 6:10 PM on Oct. 27, 2010

  • In most states like here in oklahoma kids are not allowed to stay home alone til they are atleast 13 and arent allowed to babysit til atleast 15....

    Answer by 405mom at 6:12 PM on Oct. 27, 2010

  • Agree. Have a talk with your EX about it.

    Answer by louise2 at 6:13 PM on Oct. 27, 2010

  • agree

    Answer by pisces72 at 6:21 PM on Oct. 27, 2010

  • OP here, Thank you, I will! My ex-h also told me about like it was a grand thing.

    Her stepmother told me about it first and used a VERY boastful tone. My dd forgot to leave it behind on Friday and I sorta blew my stack, LOL...she said, "Its in case our other mom isn't home when we get home from school." School is three blocks from 'home' (dad's house), she is in charge of shepherding the younger two there and back again along a busy city sidewalk (not NYC but these kids spent the bulk of their lives down a dirt road until the last week of August when their dad's household moved into the city).

    I said "THERE'S NO EXCUSE!! She KNOWS when you are supposed to be home, if your father is out in the truck then she NEEDS to keep her butt home and be there for you!!!" LOL now but I was livid...I haven't said anything to them because we have court Nov. 16th and I am going to bring it up then, one of my little "lynch-pins"

    Comment by NEMommaOf3 (original poster) at 6:24 PM on Oct. 27, 2010

  • agree. my oldest is 18 and i still worry about leaving my younger ones with him. He did not start til 17

    Answer by kileighsmommie at 6:28 PM on Oct. 27, 2010

  • Yes, I agree with you. They need an adult, or at least an older sitter, who knows how to react in an emergency.  I also agree with goldengrl65.  You should find out what the legalities are in this situation.


    Answer by earlgrey at 6:31 PM on Oct. 27, 2010