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Tween Titans Tween Titans

Tween home alone ?

Posted by on Feb. 4, 2013 at 3:25 PM
  • 11 Replies

My son is going to be 12 years old soon. I am a single mom with no family here.. I also have a 5 year old son. I would like at some point to begin dating. Do you think it is acceptable for my 12 year old to watch my 5 year old if the 5 year old is asleep? It would obviously be at night while my youngest is sleeping, and I would never go more then a few minutes away from the home as I live in an area where everything is very close. My oldest is a mature kid, he has been latchkey since he was 10 and I have never had any issues. But I feel like him being alone for a couple hours while Im working is different then me going out while his brother is sleeping. So I was wondering everyones thoughts! Thanks!

by on Feb. 4, 2013 at 3:25 PM
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Replies (1-10):
mamarj
by Member on Feb. 4, 2013 at 4:00 PM
I know several people with kids that age that babysit their siblings. I've been thinking about doing the same thing with DD. Have her get used to babysitting after bedtime before having her do it during the day. The only thing is my youngest is a toddler and I think it is harder to babysit a toddler (in diapers and as needy as they are) then a 5 year old. If you feel your 12 year old is responsible I think it would be a piece of cake for him to babysit with the 5 year old awake OR asleep.
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domsmom1026
by on Feb. 4, 2013 at 4:07 PM

The only reason I think I would wait until he is asleep is because I dont think he would go to bed for my oldest. And I think it would be a less stressful situation if he was in bed. I have considered saving money and having my oldest even start getting him off the bus. But I think we are going to take baby steps. Maybe next year we will graduate to babysitting while he is awake. Thank you for the input!

TwinSoccerMom
by on Feb. 4, 2013 at 4:35 PM

If your local Red Cross offers a babysitters class, you may want to consider enrolling your son in it.  Our kids took it at that age and it was a very in-depth class where they learned not only the basics of child care (from infant to elementary age) but are now also certified in CPR and first aid.  It was something like a 10 hour course that took place over 3-4 evenings.  It was a little pricey but well worth it.

I would not be real comfortable leaving a 12-year-old home (essentially alone) at night but I can see why you would want to try it then due to not having as much for him to have to do. I would just make sure that you are always available by phone and maybe even have a back up adult to contact in case you don't hear your phone or are in a movie theater or something.

wakymom
by Silver Member on Feb. 4, 2013 at 4:39 PM

 I'd have him take a Safe Sitter course first. It gives kids 11-13 y/o ideas for entertaining various ages, tells do's/don'ts while on the job, teaches how to change a diaper, and, of course, basic first aid, and how to deal w/ various situations.

We had ds1 watch his siblings for a short time during the day at 12, and we were comfortable w/ that, but we're even more comfortable w/ it now that we've had him take that class. And he was not the only boy in that class.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

catngabsmom
by Erica on Feb. 4, 2013 at 5:32 PM

i would do it, but i would have him take the babysitter course first. i would also consider paying him for those occasions, i think paying him a small fee for watching his brother on occasions you go out socially would be good, getting his brother off the bus while you are working should be considered family responsibility.

M4LG5
by Valeri on Feb. 4, 2013 at 6:26 PM

I'm loving the ideas of a babysitting course.  I plan on having my 9 year old do that when she gets older so she can watch her sisters and maybe other children.

M4LG5
by Valeri on Feb. 4, 2013 at 6:27 PM

I would also start slow as in maybe an hour while you go to the store or pick up at the bus.  It's not only the older brother that needs to learn responsibility but also the younger sibling to respond to him even though you plan on only having him watch while he is asleep.  Who is to say that he won't wake up and the little one will freak out. 

mamavalor
by on Feb. 5, 2013 at 8:28 AM

DD1(12) looks after her younger siblings (10 and 5) sometimes when I need to run out to do an errand.  I usually have my phone should she have the need to call me.   Hubby and I went out to dinner a couple of months ago.  We did let our neighbors know just in case they needed someone there in a jiffy.  If the child is mature and they are comfortable taking on the responsibility, then I don't see the problem with it so long everything is explained and the child will know what to do in an emergency.

Lorelai_Nicole
by Lorelai on Feb. 6, 2013 at 12:41 AM
Are you friendly with your neighbors? I have let my oldest (13) babysit for her younger siblings (8, 5, and 9mo twins), but I always make sure the next-door neighbor is home in case of emergency. At night, at least.
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mamarj
by Member on Feb. 6, 2013 at 10:42 AM
I have started having DD put my youngest in bed at night, change his clothes, help get him in the bath, etc. So that he is used to her being in charge when we decide to have her start babysitting. When she tells him no about something I back her up about it (she is such a good mommy helper!:) I also worry that he won't accept her as "authority" if we are gone so we are taking baby steps.
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