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What age

at what age do you think its ok to let older siblings babysit the younger ones??


Asked by kimsmith22 at 10:59 PM on Apr. 29, 2011 in General Parenting

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Answers (11)
  • It would depend on the age of the younger sibling/siblings and THEIR responsibility levels on top of the older child's. My oldest was 12 when we let him stay at home in charge of his 10 1/2, 8 and 6 1/2yo brothers but we trusted ALL of them and we laid out the expectations before we left. My mom and both of my sisters were also just 1 street away and we didn't go far.

    Answer by tracylynnr31767 at 11:10 PM on Apr. 29, 2011

  • Hmm. Good question. I think my sis watched us for short periods of time at around 11 and I don't think she was old enough. She did alright unless she was in a mood to use it to bully us : /

    Answer by Anonymous at 11:00 PM on Apr. 29, 2011

  • I would let a very mature older sibling babysit at, say, 11 for a couple hours. There are lots of things to consider, though, besides age/maturity of the sibling and length of babysitting. How far away will you be? How old is the younger child and what will his/her needs be during that time? Are there trusted neighbors close by? What kind of neighborhood do you live in? How much of the youner sibling's care is the older one involved in on a regular basis? Lots of things to take into consideration.

    Answer by Adelicious at 11:02 PM on Apr. 29, 2011

  • I watched my sister from about 11 on.

    Answer by DomoniqueWS at 11:02 PM on Apr. 29, 2011

  • We have our 11 & 13 yr olds watch our 6 yr old for very short periods of time. It's mostly when the 6 yr old is asleep because he can be a handful and a half. They also keep an eye on him for me when they are out in the yard playing.

    Answer by balagan_imma at 11:07 PM on Apr. 29, 2011

  • My kids are 10, 9, 8 and 5 and they stay home together alone. No one is in charge, though. They are just all expected to behave as if an adult was there. And they do. If they didn't they lose the privilege of staying home while we run errands. Since they enjoy the freedom they behave. We've never had an issue.

    Answer by justanotherjen at 11:17 PM on Apr. 29, 2011

  • My oldest is nearly 10 and he's still not at the point I'd allow it. My state doesn't have a law against leaving your kids home alone when they're under a certain age, but I'd rather be safe than sorry. Just because there isn't a law on that doesn't mean they couldn't claim some other form of neglect - not that I think leaving a 12 year old home alone is neglect, but I wouldn't want it labeled as such.

    Answer by Ginger0104 at 11:29 PM on Apr. 29, 2011

  • I was watching my 5 yo sister at the age of 7. I have a friend with a VERY mature 11 yo that I have let help with my almost 3 yo and she has been a big help since she was born. She is just a very caring and nurturing kind of girl. She also watches her siblings but they are 5 and almost 9. My SO and I were talking about letting her babysit for an evening out, but we think that maybe the first few times it should be at her house with her parents available for help. Just in case.

    Answer by coala at 11:36 PM on Apr. 29, 2011

  • I wouldn't let an older child watch the younger children unless I felt that they had a certain level of maturity, and be a teenager. I remember growing up and my sister would watch me and I would hide behind the couch until my parents got home. She was ten yrs older than me. Make sure that you feel okay with your older child watching. Personally, I wouldn't leave my 18 yr old to watch my 12 yr old. He would go out the door in a heartbeat and leave him. I only allow two other people besides myself to watch him. My oldest daughter who is 23 and his Daddy. That's about it.

    Answer by amessageofhope at 11:45 PM on Apr. 29, 2011

  • I think it depends on the level of maturity and responsibility in each individual tween or teen, not the age. There are quite a few older teens I wouldn't trust any farther than I could throw them, but there are some younger teens who are very mature and responsible for their age who I would trust to babysit.

    Answer by ZBandMom at 12:24 AM on Apr. 30, 2011