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Old 02-17-2008, 08:19 PM
Location: Chicago 'burbs'
1,022 posts, read 2,980,675 times
Reputation: 720


I leave my kids (11 and 9) home for short periods of time. They know the rules and we haven't had any problems. They feel proud of themselves for getting to stay home alone. Like they are grown ups! They are more responsible and do more of their chores and pick up after themselves when I'm gone! It's kind of cute.
They know to go to the neighbors if something happens, don't open the door, don't go outside, ect.
I'm planning on putting my 11 year old in the next babysitting class they have at the park district in March.
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Old 02-18-2008, 05:21 AM
Location: FL
1,943 posts, read 7,633,437 times
Reputation: 2237
Thannk you for everyone's comments. I am glad that someone didn't come and post about how I should re-examine parenthood like the advice given in another young babysitter post over in the "House" section. I appreciate how everyone gave their opinion on whether or not they would or wouldn't, and so on, without bashing that more or less, I wasn't doing something right in the parenting department.
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Old 02-18-2008, 08:31 AM
Location: Oz
2,238 posts, read 8,703,937 times
Reputation: 1368
What it comes down to is you as the parent deciding whether or not your son is old enough at 12 to watch his sibling. None of us can tell you whether or not that is the case, because we do not know your child. I have seen 8-yr-olds that would be perfectly reliable babysitting a younger child, and 18-yr-olds that I wouldn't let walk my dog, much less take care of a child. It's all about if he's mature enough to handle it.
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Old 02-18-2008, 02:03 PM
Location: Cumberland Co., TN
20,042 posts, read 20,541,910 times
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I got my first babysitting job at 11. I kept two neighborhood boys age 9 and 4 every evening after school and on weekends. I was a very responsible kid though and grew up with little brother and neices and nephews.
I would check the law in your state though. In some states it is illegal to leave kids under a certain age alone. Good luck.
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Old 02-18-2008, 06:27 PM
1,363 posts, read 5,345,781 times
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Have you talked to your boys and gotten their input on it? Does your oldest feel ready to watch his brother? What are the little guy's concerns? Will he listen to the older brother enforcing your rules? How have you approached it with them?

My sister and I are 15 months apart, and we were left alone after school from 5th grade on. I wasn't really in charge, but my sister hated that I would remind her what the rules were when our mother wasn't home and her "YOU'RE NOT THE BOSS OF ME" attitude got us both into a decent amount of trouble over the years. LOL. But no fires were ever set and the ambulance was never called.
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Old 02-19-2008, 11:37 AM
Location: Oregon
1,169 posts, read 3,305,431 times
Reputation: 572
I agree it depends on the child.
I was also the oldest, and left at home to watch my 2 sisters. I don't really think it was a good idea. Like another person mentioned I was scared to be alone at night. One time some neighbor boys rang the doorbell and set off a bunch of fireworks at the front door at 11 at night. I was so scared. I thought the house was on fire and promptly got everyone out and over to neighbors. Obviously a fire wouldn't ring the doorbell, but the point is I completely freaked and wasn't thinking clearly. During the day is another story, but things are scary at night. I wouldn't do it.
Good point about paying the older one for it, and asking how he feels about it. My other sister was also left alone with our youngest sister, and she would pick on her continually because no one bothered asking if she minded. Sometimes being the oldest sucks. If there are any signs of hostility while you are there I would never leave them alone.
Totally depends on the kids themselves though. I know it was very common back when I was a kid.
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