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Old 02-20-2014, 10:52 PM
 
Location: Aliso Viejo, Orange County, CA
4,288 posts, read 5,179,296 times
Reputation: 3214

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ultrarunner View Post
Funny my recently deceased neighbor won a car and drove it to school at age 12 and she was the sole school teacher in Minden Nevada at age 17... she was 104 when she died. She sold the most newspaper subscriptions to win the Model T

As modern as society has become... it seems we really have not gained much in the maturity department... at least not enough to have age the only factor.
I agree. I was babysitting at the age of eleven. At 12, I began babysitting for some kids who were either my age, or very close to it. I didn't babysit for them alone, but for them and their younger siblings. I was pretty mature for my age, but I also suspect that my height (5'8") at age 12 (female) helped me to establish authority. I also knew how to handle emergencies, and my parents let me know they were just a phone call away if I ever needed them.

I also sat for a 70 year-old woman for most of one summer when I was fifteen.

I was a hall monitor and, additionally, I belonged to Future Teachers (never became a teacher) when I was in elementary school. So, as a "future teacher," it was my responsibility to occasionally help teachers, including sometimes watching a classroom full of younger students for short periods of time.

I never had a problem.

The only time a student ever openly questioned my age, was when I was working at age 20 as a substitute teacher. I remember that one little 3rd grader asked, "Teacher, are you a teenager?"

Last edited by pacific2; 02-20-2014 at 11:17 PM..
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Old 02-20-2014, 11:47 PM
 
842 posts, read 2,929,252 times
Reputation: 643
When I was 16 I was babysitting for a toddler who I babysat for regularly. I took him to the playground and he wanted to run under the bleachers, the kind with raised slats every few feet (easy to trip over) and there was broken glass under there too.

Did I stop him and take charge because I knew it was dangerous like I should have? No! I let him run, at least for a minute (and I am not sure if I saw the glass at first, but still), and I was an experienced babysitter for my age, and considered responsible.

So, when I became a mother (years later) and saw all that was involved with keeping toddlers safe, I thought back to the day at the park, and decided that if I was that stupid, any kid could be! And as a result, I never was comfortable with teens (or younger) babysitting my kids when my kids were toddlers due to safety concerns.

In the bleacher incident, he wasn't hurt, luckily. And I think I must have stopped him and realized it was a bad decision or I wouldn't still remember it to this day.
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Old 02-21-2014, 02:20 AM
 
23,824 posts, read 45,485,046 times
Reputation: 16558
Kids mature at different rates and talents vary...

I was working in the family car business and trouble shooting and driving cars around the yard at age 12...

It was anti-climatic by the time I got my license... had the parking, 3 point turns and backing up down cold years before.

If anything, I would think sitting would be safer today... any newborn's home is childproofed, everyone carries a cell and just about every community has EMTs.

A lot also depends on the child being sat... some are terrors and others just love the company.

My now 12 year old niece has neighborhood sitting jobs... sometimes it is just to watch the kids so the work at home Mom can get some work done and other times it is so she can run a couple of errands.

As far as knowing the circuit breaker box and water shut off or changing a tire... my niece has it down cold... she asked for a tool box for her 7th birthday and that is what she got

On the other hand I know a husband that is not allowed to take the baby anywhere alone... wife actually takes the car seat with her... honest truth.... the mom had a dream her baby was in a car wreck and she was not there.

The father is a top company executive and the mom is a MD... go figure! They are 40 and 42.

PS... she hires a retired RN to babysit when necessary...
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Old 02-21-2014, 08:26 AM
 
2,763 posts, read 4,027,464 times
Reputation: 2754
Quote:
Originally Posted by germaine2626 View Post
What people may be forgetting is that a 12 year old or young teen can be responsible for most things but not be prepared for emergencies.

As I posted earlier we generally hired women in their 20s as babysitters, although we did use some 14/15 and older teens at times (for example, while we were home, in the afternoons or for early evenings). We actually had several situations that may or may not have been a problem for a younger person. Once a circuit breaker went off and the lights went off in part of our house. Our sitter, a woman about 25, immediately knew to go to the basement and check the fuse box. Would a 12 year old know that? Another time the toilet started over flowing and the same sitter knew how to turn off the water. Again would a 12 year old know what to do?

One of our teenage sitters didn't know that you couldn't put metal in a microwave and it started sparking (she did know to turn off the microwave). Another teen didn't know how to turn off a smoke detector after she burned something on the stove (she did know to open the windows but not how to stop the beeping) and these were "very responsible" sitters, who had taken Red Cross babysitting classes. And these were the incidents that we knew about Of course, these ended up being fairly minor but think about what kind of emergencies happen every day in the US.

For the posters who would prefer to hire a 12 year old to babysit their children rather than an adult, we will just have to "agree to disagree".
This is why i only use adults too.
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Old 02-21-2014, 09:16 AM
 
Location: Mt. Lebanon
1,359 posts, read 1,568,480 times
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No, it is way too young.
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Old 02-21-2014, 09:19 AM
 
3,073 posts, read 3,666,939 times
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Well, she came over today and has decided to hire her on as a mother's helper for now as she's getting big and hard to move, so will take it from there before moving to nights/longer outings. Thanks for the advice!
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Old 02-21-2014, 11:26 AM
 
Location: Deep In The Heart of Texas
1,488 posts, read 1,060,864 times
Reputation: 2708
I think 12 is way to young to be responsible for a 2 year old. Two years old toddles are a handful, getting into everything. Too much risk in my opinion.
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Old 02-21-2014, 12:58 PM
 
Location: San Antonio-Westover Hills
6,879 posts, read 17,114,554 times
Reputation: 5125
Quote:
Originally Posted by germaine2626 View Post
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.
It's sad, isn't it? We've allowed the media and rare instances of babysitter abuse to infiltrate our common sense and scare the dickens out of us.

I'd let my 75 year old neighbor, who is a former RN, babysit my kid any day over the 13 year old girl across the street.

She has an active interest in them and treats them like her own grandchildren. I love that!

I don't see how a degree has anything to do with it. You could be retired or perhaps a SAHM, or you could be a graduate student. I mean, what in the world does a master's have to do with anything!?!
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Old 02-21-2014, 02:12 PM
Status: "On Break" (set 8 days ago)
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
81,413 posts, read 91,871,964 times
Reputation: 28071
I think for the situation the OP described, going out to dinner, it would be fine if the 12 year old has some experience, the couple doesn't go *too* far away, limits their time away to ~ 2 hours and they have cell phones.

As for this stuff below, there is no guarantee that a 25 yo or even a 40 yo would know what to do. I never expected babysitters to cook, in fact, I preferred that they didn't. If we were gone over a meal, we'd order a pizza or something for the sitter. For the two year old, I'd probably have mac n cheese already made up, or something similar. I did ask if they knew how to use the microwave if they wanted to make themselves a cup of tea or something. If the parents are available by cell (or otherwise by phone) the sitter could call and ask where the shutoff was to the toilet, where the circuit breaker is, etc. I mean really, you can't plan for every possible problem.

Quote:
Originally Posted by germaine2626 View Post
What people may be forgetting is that a 12 year old or young teen can be responsible for most things but not be prepared for emergencies.

As I posted earlier we generally hired women in their 20s as babysitters, although we did use some 14/15 and older teens at times (for example, while we were home, in the afternoons or for early evenings). We actually had several situations that may or may not have been a problem for a younger person. Once a circuit breaker went off and the lights went off in part of our house. Our sitter, a woman about 25, immediately knew to go to the basement and check the fuse box. Would a 12 year old know that? Another time the toilet started over flowing and the same sitter knew how to turn off the water. Again would a 12 year old know what to do?

One of our teenage sitters didn't know that you couldn't put metal in a microwave and it started sparking (she did know to turn off the microwave). Another teen didn't know how to turn off a smoke detector after she burned something on the stove (she did know to open the windows but not how to stop the beeping) and these were "very responsible" sitters, who had taken Red Cross babysitting classes. And these were the incidents that we knew about Of course, these ended up being fairly minor but think about what kind of emergencies happen every day in the US.

For the posters who would prefer to hire a 12 year old to babysit their children rather than an adult, we will just have to "agree to disagree".
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Old 02-21-2014, 02:19 PM
 
Location: Geneva, IL
12,954 posts, read 10,884,954 times
Reputation: 14553
Quote:
Originally Posted by Katiana View Post
I think for the situation the OP described, going out to dinner, it would be fine if the 12 year old has some experience, the couple doesn't go *too* far away, limits their time away to ~ 2 hours and they have cell phones.

As for this stuff below, there is no guarantee that a 25 yo or even a 40 yo would know what to do. I never expected babysitters to cook, in fact, I preferred that they didn't. If we were gone over a meal, we'd order a pizza or something for the sitter. For the two year old, I'd probably have mac n cheese already made up, or something similar. I did ask if they knew how to use the microwave if they wanted to make themselves a cup of tea or something. If the parents are available by cell (or otherwise by phone) the sitter could call and ask where the shutoff was to the toilet, where the circuit breaker is, etc. I mean really, you can't plan for every possible problem.
Exactly, common sense still applies.

I never expected the younger babysitters to bathe the kids. We had a food allergy, so we were strict about sitters not bringing food into the house, we specified what snacks were to be given, etc. We usually organized things so the kids were bathed and fed by the time the babysitter arrived. All they had to do was read stories and put the kids to bed.
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