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What age do you think is old enough to babysit?

I was thinking back about how I was a mother's helper at 9, babysitting neighborhood kids by 12, and had a regular after school babysitting job for 3 hours twice a week at 13. This seems so young to me now. I don't know that I would have a 12 or 13 year old watching my kids. How old do you think is appropriate?

Answer Question
 
mybella81

Asked by mybella81 at 6:11 PM on Apr. 9, 2011 in General Parenting

Level 17 (4,022 Credits)
Answers (10)
  • AT 15 I allowed my niece to watch my kids for a couple of hours. Not before then.
    But_Mommie

    Answer by But_Mommie at 6:14 PM on Apr. 9, 2011

  • I think it depends on the child. My daughter is ten and she'd be a great babysitter for a 3 and above year old, however my neice is 13 and is way too immature. But i believe legally in most states you have to be at least 13 to babysit alone.
    rhonda111787

    Answer by rhonda111787 at 6:15 PM on Apr. 9, 2011

  • I remember the same situations although I never babysat (never wanted to I didnt like kids lol). For me though as a mom I would not hire someone under 16 to babysit my kids. I had a live in nanny who was 18 and was a bit paranoid at times with her. I dont think kids today are as mature as they were in the past.
    gemgem

    Answer by gemgem at 6:29 PM on Apr. 9, 2011

  • Me personally, i dont feel comfortable with anyone younger than me watching my kids.
    dfwhite

    Answer by dfwhite at 6:53 PM on Apr. 9, 2011

  • Depends on the kid. I had my nephew watch the kids for me when he was 12. Technically my dad was in the house but he was asleep upstairs. The kids were asleep, too. I had to rush my husband to the ER when he had an allergic reaction to a sunburn in the middle of the night.
    My older kids babysit my youngest (8 months) usually while I'm in the house but they've watched him a couple times when I had to run to the store. The oldest is 10 1/2. I trust them and they know how to take care of him. Many kids today don't have any experience with babies or even taking care of themselves so they shouldn't be babysitting. My kids I trust.
    justanotherjen

    Answer by justanotherjen at 7:03 PM on Apr. 9, 2011

  • All the babysitters I have are over 21. I would not let a teenager watch my kids.
    Syphon

    Answer by Syphon at 7:11 PM on Apr. 9, 2011

  • I will allow my son to baby sit 2 kids at a time when he is 11 and has had the Red Cross babysitting course. No need to bash me or vote me down, I know my child.
    matthewscandi

    Answer by matthewscandi at 7:22 PM on Apr. 9, 2011

  • I think it depends on the child, how well you know them, and if they have siblings they've cared for. i was the oldest of four and very responsible. I started baby sitting at the age of 12.
    toykeymama

    Answer by toykeymama at 7:49 PM on Apr. 9, 2011

  • I started babysitting at 12, but I would never let a 12 year old keep my kids! My 11 yo son has watched my 2yo for a maximum of 30 minutes at a time, but never longer than that but in the next couple of years I can see leaving him in charge for an hour or two during the day. However, if I were to hire an outside babysitter they would have to be at least 18 for now - until my youngest is 3 and then I would go with 16 but never younger than that.
    missanc

    Answer by missanc at 8:21 PM on Apr. 9, 2011

  • I personally dont think it would be ok to have a 13 year old watch my son I just think kids these days are immature no matter what age
    christinahenry

    Answer by christinahenry at 2:18 AM on Apr. 10, 2011

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