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Mother Arrested for Using 13-yr-old as Babysitter

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Mother Arrested for Using 13-yr-old as Babysitter

Wednesday, May 30, 2012 by Kim Shannon from Buzzworthy Bulletins

When does one become qualified to babysit? Is there a specific age or grade level that accurately measures the aptness of a sitter?

A 39-year-old woman was arrested for leaving her four children – ages 13, 10, 4, and 1 1/2 – alone at home while she attended church. According to this article, she left the children in the care of her eldest child; but when a neighbor called the police, stating that the 4-year-old wandered into the yard across the street alone, this mother was charged with “risk of injury to a minor.”

Some people are criticizing the mom, while others are pointing fingers at the neighbor, “accusing her of acting in anything but a neighborly way.”

When I was 13 years old, my parents felt I was qualified enough to be entrusted with my 9-year old sister and 5-year-old brother while my mom went to the grocery store, or while my parents went out to dinner for a Friday-evening date. I don’t know if they would have done the same if I’d had an even younger sibling; but regardless, they were never gone that long, and they were never too far away. If my younger brother had wandered out into a neighbor’s yard, I think that neighbor would’ve walked him back over to my house and then, perhaps, stayed until my parents returned. Or, that neighbor may have just returned him and scolded me, warning me about the possible dangers, and would’ve later told my parents what had happened.

I also don’t think my little brother would’ve wandered off without my knowledge. I was a bossy 13-year-old, and I loved authority and responsibility. My siblings probably hated when I was left in charge. I was a helicopter babysitter, just as I am a helicopter mom (I make no apologies for my hover-hover-hovering).

Times have definitely changed since I was 13 and children wandering out in streets or into neighbors’ yards can lead to much more dangerous situations than they once would have; but have the times changed so much that using a 13-year-old babysitter is considered child neglect, or “risk of injury to a minor”?

When does one become qualified to babysit? What do you think?

by on Jan. 18, 2013 at 10:06 PM
Replies (111-120):
by on Jan. 20, 2013 at 12:16 AM
Why is no one asking about the 4 yr old? My nephew was a sneaky one and he could get away from me in a heart beat and I was in my 30's. the neighbor she have brought the little guy back and warned the sister. My daughter is 12 and she babysits often,
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by AllieCat on Jan. 20, 2013 at 12:23 AM

Going to read the thread, see if there is more info.

She obviously wasn't paying enough attention to her brother.  The neighbor could have taken the time to find out what the situation was rather than immediately calling the police.

Do not agree with the mom being arrested.

That is too much responsibility for a 13 year old, however.  Although, I will say, if mom was only at church, hopefully it was not for that long.  Yep, I do wonder why the kiddos were not with mom at Church.

by Whoopie on Jan. 20, 2013 at 12:27 AM

While I agree 13 is old enough, this girl obviously was not prepared to take on this number of kids. The mother should not have been arrested though, that's ridiculous.

by Bronze Member on Jan. 20, 2013 at 1:20 AM

I would not leave my 1.5 year old alone with my 13 yo and then 2 other kids on top of that. This mother crossed the line.

by Bronze Member on Jan. 20, 2013 at 10:18 AM

when i was thirteen it was a different time . people where different . i watched my sister and brother . i watched neghbor children . . now its a more dangerous time . drug use and peple whom rape and kill younger children . they did back then also but not as reported as much .

by Bronze Member on Jan. 20, 2013 at 1:52 PM

I babysat at 10 yo for my older sister.  I didn't let the kids run around though.  However, it appears that the 13 yo was not watching the child, so I can see why she got in trouble. 

by on Jan. 20, 2013 at 1:53 PM

Wow, I was watching both my brother and sister at that age during the summer when both of my parents were at work.  

by on Jan. 20, 2013 at 1:55 PM

I started my first babysitting job at twelve.  I don't understand why this woman is being prosecuted.

by Platinum Member on Jan. 20, 2013 at 1:57 PM

either a 13 year old is mature enough to sit, or not. if not, being in church shouldn't be a pass.

Quoting Homeschoolmom99:

She was at church not in a truck doing drugs! I was raising my brother going on three years by the time I was 13! Do they not have better things to charge folks with?

by Platinum Member on Jan. 20, 2013 at 1:59 PM

wow. church just makes EVERYTHING ok. eye rolling

Quoting mlg1989:

In a lot if states 13 is the legal age you can babysit your own siblings anyway. :/ I think its ridiculous! She was at church not a club.

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