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Old 02-19-2014, 02:35 PM
 
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I'm not a parent, but I was once a very scatter-brained 12-year-old. I wouldn't do it unless i knew the 12 year old very well and they had demonstrated significant maturity. I also wouldn't have them sit for an extended period of time.

My cousins were babysitting their younger siblings at 12, but they were siblings and those kids were around babies all the time. They were veritable experts.
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Old 02-19-2014, 02:38 PM
 
3,072 posts, read 4,050,871 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ScarletG View Post
Who else are you going to get? Older teens have other options and commitments and if the girl has taken a baby-sitting course and is of typical maturity for a 12 year old....why wouldn't you use her? Even yourself said you were babysitting at that age.
Why the head smack?

I don't need a babysitter, I have relatives. It's my girlfriend, who is pregnant and needs just a dinner out with her husband once in a while before the baby comes.

I think 12 is fine but she's a bit nervous about it.
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Old 02-19-2014, 02:56 PM
 
Location: Chapel Hill, N.C.
36,431 posts, read 41,554,336 times
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I think the head smack was meant for emphasis that older teens are too busy to be available for baby sitting. That is the way I took it. Several other posters have said the same thing.

I would suggest to your girlfriend that they arrange for an hour or two afternoon at home with the girl and the 2 year old to see how it goes. Give them some time and space apart so the kid does not go running to mom all the time. Then at least the kid will have seen the girl before she is left alone with her at night.
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Old 02-19-2014, 03:17 PM
 
10,608 posts, read 13,354,093 times
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Call me crazy but I say no, never in a million years. Not unless the 12 year old is a friend of the family and the mother of the baby KNOWS the family well. And even then, it's high risk. I thought I KNEW plenty of my son's friend's parents and when I allowed him to sleep over there, I found out what they were REALLY like and said NEVER AGAIN.

WHAT is MORE important than the safety and wellbeing of the two year old? She'd never forgive herself if something happened. So I agree with her being afraid/cautious.

Also, two year olds are not easy.

I say this as a PET sitter who's heard NIGHTMARES from clients who hired people of all ages including "professional pet sitters" for their pets.

Just a simple thing like leaving a patio door open by mistake.
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Old 02-19-2014, 03:56 PM
 
Location: SLC, UT
1,571 posts, read 2,149,312 times
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I was babysitting at ten, and I was a great babysitter who was very attentive to the kids. If she's nervous, then have her start out slow. See if the 12 year old would come to babysit for an hour in the daytime. Then maybe 2 hours one day. Then if all is good, go for 1 1/2 at night, or something. Out to dinner doesn't take that long. If she's extra nervous, she could always buy a babycam, to basically see if the babysitter is up to snuff.
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Old 02-19-2014, 04:38 PM
 
Location: Wisconsin
16,444 posts, read 15,869,541 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by golfgal View Post
In our area if you don't use the 12 year old babysitters, you don't have babysitters. It would depend on the 12 year old but yes, I would use her if she was good. Age doesn't always correspond to how good they are at babysitting. If the 12 year old has done the Red Cross Babysitting courses, is CPR certified, has older siblings that babysat, I would give her a chance for sure.
Quote:
Originally Posted by ScarletG View Post
Who else are you going to get? Older teens have other options and commitments and if the girl has taken a baby-sitting course and is of typical maturity for a 12 year old....why wouldn't you use her? Even yourself said you were babysitting at that age.
I had to laugh out loud at these comments.

I'm a retired teacher and have an empty nest. For years and years I have heard parents in my school complain about how difficult it was to find high quality babysitters (especially for late nights or long events like weddings). So after I retired I decided to do occasional babysitting to earn a little extra money. You would think that I would be swamped with business. Well, no I am not.

I charge the same amount as the experienced older teen age sitters charge in my area. But, of course, I have years of teaching experience and a Master's degree in Early Childhood Development. I advertise on Craigslist and Care.com and the few people who do hire me absolute love me.

I have come to the conclusion that some/many of those parents who kept complaining to me about not finding quality babysitters were actually just hinting for me to volunteer to babysit their children for free. Yikes!

Some of the people who contact me now, offer to pay me the same amount per hour that I paid teenagers to babysit my children 20 years ago. Well, the cost of living, minimum wage, etc. has certainly gone up in the past 20 years so wouldn't they expect the price of babysitters to go up as well?

I know that this is off the immediate subject of hiring 12 year old babysitters but I mainly wanted to point out that people could "look outside the box". There may be an empty nest neighbor that would jump at the chance to spend time with children and earn a little extra cash at the same time. Just something to consider.
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Old 02-19-2014, 04:46 PM
 
5,413 posts, read 4,806,889 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by germaine2626 View Post
I had to laugh out loud at these comments.

I'm a retired teacher and have an empty nest. For years and years I have heard parents in my school complain about how difficult it was to find high quality babysitters (especially for late nights or long events like weddings). So after I retired I decided to do occasional babysitting to earn a little extra money. You would think that I would be swamped with business. Well, no I am not.

I charge the same amount as the experienced older teen age sitters charge in my area. But, of course, I have years of teaching experience and a Master's degree in Early Childhood Development. I advertise on Craigslist and Care.com and the few people who do hire me absolute love me.

I have come to the conclusion that some/many of those parents who kept complaining to me about not finding quality babysitters were actually just hinting for me to volunteer to babysit their children for free.

Some of the people who contact me now, offer to pay me the same amount per hour that I paid teenagers to babysit my children 20 years ago. Well, the cost of living has certainly gone up in the past 20 years so wouldn't they expect the price of babysitters to go up as well?

I know that this is off the immediate subject of hiring 12 year old babysitters but I mainly wanted to point out that people could "look outside the box". There may be an empty nest neighbor that would jump at the chance to spend time with children and earn a little extra cash at the same time. Just something to consider.
Sorry, I would hire a responsible 12 year old before I hired an adult to baby-sit. I would wonder why an adult would want to and what their angle is....especially someone with a master's degree.

I expect baby-sitters to keep the kid entertained, eat some pizza....with older kids that stay up later - watch a movie and serve ice cream...and keep them alive....not evaluate and instruct them.
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Old 02-19-2014, 05:03 PM
 
Location: Wisconsin
16,444 posts, read 15,869,541 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ScarletG View Post
Sorry, I would hire a responsible 12 year old before I hired an adult to baby-sit. I would wonder why an adult would want to and what their angle is....especially someone with a master's degree.

I expect baby-sitters to keep the kid entertained, eat some pizza....with older kids that stay up later - watch a movie and serve ice cream...and keep them alive....not evaluate and instruct them.
We are so different! I would have loved to only have responsible adults to babysit for my own children, especially when they were infants. My husband and I never left the house for even one date night until our babies were six to eight months old as we couldn't find someone that we trusted. There were plenty of elementary & middle school girls looking for babysitting jobs but none with experience with newborns or babies.

Later, we were lucky to mainly use adults in their mid to late 20s for weekend & evening child care. If I would have found a "Grandma type" or a woman who had raised her own children I would gladly have paid her top dollar.

I could share a few horror stories about situations with various 14 & 15 year old sitters, things that would not have gone wrong with a responsible adult in charge. Luckily nothing really serious ever happened but I still felt that adults provided the best and most reliable care.

It never occurred to me that people might think that an adult woman who wants to babysit is suspicious or has an ulterior motive or "angle". Especially, since almost all the people on Care.com providing babysitting are adults.

Probably most of the woman are just like me, I love children, love reading to them, love singing with them and love to do crafts with them. Plus, I can earn a little extra money to save up to see my grandchild, who lives 1,000 miles away so I rarely get to see him.

If you would rather hire a 6th grader than an experienced mother & teacher please do that however I always chose the person with more training and experience when I looked for a babysitter for my children.

Last edited by germaine2626; 02-19-2014 at 05:26 PM..
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Old 02-19-2014, 07:11 PM
 
Location: Dallas TX
14,269 posts, read 20,506,780 times
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It definitely depends in the kid. When we first started getting sitters for our kids a gilt down the street was 12, probably the most responsible sitter we had. She wanted to make a good impression and she wasn't distracted by boys
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Old 02-19-2014, 08:44 PM
 
1,193 posts, read 1,465,562 times
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It really depends on the 12 year old. Many are extremely responsible and would do a great job. Others are too flighty at that age and might make a serious mistake even without intending to. I would judge the 12 year old on her own merits. Is she a good student at school? Is she a nice girl? Does she have younger siblings or cousins she's already used to caring for? Are you familiar with the family? Could she try out babysitting for a few short stints to see if it works out before a late night or long gig?
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