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3 Bumps

Is it ok for a 14 year old to babysit a 5 year old for 1 to 2 hours?

Ok, I've been accused of being overprotective. I have a 14 year old boy and a 5 year old girl. There are times when I need to make a 15 minute trip to the store and dd don't want to go or my husband wants me to bring him something at work. My 5 year old fell asleep (I didn't think about this when he asked because she kind of fell asleep on the couch and usually don't take naps) Anyway she didn't want to wake up and I considered letting my 14 year old babysit while I was away for about 45 minutes.I have my cell phone and would tell him to call if needed.Normally I wouldn't consider this but I hear of people saying this age is ok to babysit , even my husband but I just feel uncomfortable with it probably because my family was overprotective when I was a child. So whats the norm?I do feel my son is capable.

Answer Question

Asked by Anonymous at 4:24 PM on Jan. 3, 2011 in General Parenting

Answers (16)
  • I was 12 and left alone for a couple of hours with my younger siblings and a couple of them were younger then 5

    Answer by Gnomeofmyheart at 4:25 PM on Jan. 3, 2011

  • You're the best judge of whethe or not your son is capable.

    If your son feels comfortable and you feel comfortable then it's really nobodys business.

    Answer by UpSheRises at 4:26 PM on Jan. 3, 2011

  • i dont see why not

    Answer by pookipoo at 4:27 PM on Jan. 3, 2011

  • If the 14 yr old is responsible, then I don't see a problem with it.Your man needs to get over it.And he will.

    Answer by evelynwest at 4:28 PM on Jan. 3, 2011

  • If you believe she is mature enough and responsible then I dont see the problem with it

    Answer by mommy_of_two388 at 4:29 PM on Jan. 3, 2011

  • If you do not think your 14 year old is mature enough. Don't let people push you to do it.

    Answer by louise2 at 4:29 PM on Jan. 3, 2011

  • depends 100% on the personality of the kids. Some 14 yr old boys are NOT responsible enough and will not take it seriously. Some 5 yr olds are holy terrors and need an adult to keep them in line.

    YOU know best. I would guess that most 14/5 yr olds would do fine alone for 1-2 hours... but I dont know your kids.


    Answer by Anonymous at 4:30 PM on Jan. 3, 2011

  • As long as your son knows the proper things to do in an emergency, like call 911, and he knows of any thing to be careful of, like a food allergy or something, then I think it is fine. I babysat starting at age 13 for kids much younger than 5 and for time periods longer than 1 to 2 hours. If you and your son are both comfortable with this then I think it is fine. I would make sure he understands that he needs to be with his sister and can't just spend the time playing video games and leaving her to her own devices, and it may be helpful to pay him a few dollars an hour or something to help him feel like this is a responsibility for him to take seriously. Start with a few short trials and see how it goes. Good luck.

    Answer by MaryMW at 4:31 PM on Jan. 3, 2011

  • aslong as you find them meture enough and able to take care of your child and trust them fully then yes.

    Answer by Lynnsae at 4:34 PM on Jan. 3, 2011

  • I was babysitting several children at a time by age 14. One long weekend I babysat 3 horrible boys by myself at age 14.

    I think it has to do with how mature he is.

    Answer by SleepingBeautee at 4:34 PM on Jan. 3, 2011

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