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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 (41-50):
by Ruby Member on Jan. 19, 2013 at 1:19 AM
First of all the blog never actually says mom was arrested, just the title. She wasn't charged for the age of her eldest daughter. She was charged for her son going across the street without anyone knowing where he was. Every child death gets reported to CPS in TX. Not everyone involves charges. Obviously this was serious enough.

I know some people who work for CPS who care quite a bit & some who don't.

Some child deaths are accidents. In this case, of which we clearly do not know all the details, this child was at risk of injury but didn't suffer any, thank goodness. I do know in TX 4yo is considered awfully young & CPS probably would have had a highest priority involvement due to that. But I may be wrong since he didn't get hurt. No one is perfect & maybe this will get dropped, ruled out, she'll be found innocent, etc. But its worth investigating at least.

Quoting Proud2BWeird:

So you're stating that no responsible person has ever had something like this happen?

I guess "the state"needs to arrest any parent whose children have been killed when struck by a car. After all, it must mean they were behaving irresponsibly.

It's nice you want to live in a Big Brother state. Most of us don't, so count us out!

BTW- "they" can't guarantee our or our children's safety any better than we can. Worse, actually, since in reality they don't give a flying f.

Quoting Bookwormy:

My big issue isn't the age of the babysitter. Its the irresponsibility of this particular babysitter, whom the mom has known for 13 yrs! What if the 4yo had gotten hit & killed by a vehicle? Honestly, I think that a wandering 4yo crossing a street is lethal & terrifying. I'm stunned how few of you agree. I think the state has every right to get involved. They need to make sure all the children are safe. & now y'all are going to threaten to not support me when my DD wanders off, chas v'shalom. Okey dokey then.

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by Mahinaarangi on Jan. 19, 2013 at 4:43 AM
1 mom liked this

 Each kid is different.  I was making quite a lucrative amount of money when I was 10 and babysitting (yes 10)  I was in hot demand because I was a great babysitter / cleaner and cook.  I used to get driving lessons in exchange for babysitting LOL.

My daughter at 23 wouldnt be left in charge of a rock!

by Platinum Member on Jan. 19, 2013 at 4:56 AM

I know a neighbor called my parents one morning when they found my brother walking the dotted line of a busy street early one morning. He had gotten out of the house while they sleep. There are a couple stories of him getting out and they actually started locking him in his room. I guess that would get you arrested now too but this was back in the 60's. I have had my DS get out on me once. Freaked me out when I found him talking to a guy delivering mulch on our front porch. I hope there is more to this story. 

by on Jan. 19, 2013 at 5:24 AM

I don't see a problem with what she was doing at all.  Young teens have traditionally been babysitters for eons.  When I was 13 I was "babysitting" my grandmother who had dementia for heaven's sake!  People really jump the gun in crazy ways these days.

by Judy on Jan. 19, 2013 at 6:21 AM

I was getting paid to babysit the neighbor kids when I was 11.   13 is certainly old enough.  Things happen.

by Kellie on Jan. 19, 2013 at 6:39 AM
I was getting paid to baby sit at that age! The summer I was 13 I watched a 6&9 year old all day while their parents were at work!
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by on Jan. 19, 2013 at 6:41 AM
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I think it's all dependent on the child. My oldest I wouldn't have trusted at 12 even though he took babysitting classes. My now 17 yr old I would have trusted in a heartbeat. My now 12 yr old, I don't trust to babysit.

by on Jan. 19, 2013 at 8:27 AM
I started babysitting when I was 12. We started using our next door neighbor as a babysitter when she was 12. She is 13 now. I cannot help but wonder what is up with neighbor who called that cops rather walk the 4 yr old back across the street to find out what is going on.
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by Woodie on Jan. 19, 2013 at 8:30 AM
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What a load of crap...The American Red Cross Babysitter's Course is taken by 13 year olds all the time!

And as IF a toddler has never escaped from a grown up...

by on Jan. 19, 2013 at 8:36 AM

Babysitters do not let a 4 year old cross the street unsupervised. Obviously she is not mature enough to do the job. But to arrest the mother? I'm unsure about that.

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