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Old 12-30-2011, 05:32 PM
 
Location: North America
14,212 posts, read 9,614,142 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by irishmom View Post
Here in Maryland the law is that you have to be 13 to babysit. You can however leave your 8 year old at home unattended by law. I totally think 8 is too young to be left at home alone, but unfortunately I do know moms that do it.

I do believe we are the only state with a law as well.
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Old 12-30-2011, 06:23 PM
Status: "Even better than okay" (set 8 days ago)
 
Location: Coastal New Jersey
51,209 posts, read 50,499,962 times
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I babysat all the time when I was 12 years old. For infants. My mother had one of my brothers when I was 8 and the other when I was 11. She taught me how to change the diapers, putting my hand between the pin and the baby so the baby wouldn't get stuck (this was pre-Pampers) and how to check to make sure the temperature of a bottle was right by putting some drops on your wrist (if you feel neither hot nor cold, the temp is correct).

I was very tall, so some people probably didn't realize I was only 12 when I started, but I quickly got a rep for knowing how to take care of kids, and the kids liked me, and within months I had control of the babysitting industry in my neighborhood. I had jobs every weekend and some during the week and that's how I made money until I was almost 16 and was able to get a job in a store.

It does depend on the kid, what they know, and how smart they are. I had to put TV dinners in the oven once for dinner for a set of twins I sat for. They were about 9. Unbeknownst to me, the mother had left a broiler pan and foil full of grease from pork chops in the broiler beneath the oven, and flames started shooting out of the oven. I'd read somewhere that the first thing you do in an oven grease fire is turn off the oven, so I did that, got the kids and the dog out of the house, and called the fire department. I was 13 or 14. Everything was cool, so I didn't call the parents, who were at a dinner in NYC about 30 miles away, but I told them when they got home. Turned out the mother's father had died in a house fire and she was grateful to me for acting quickly and not calling her because she might have freaked.
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Old 02-17-2012, 02:34 PM
 
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I grew up in a very rural setting. I was one of thirteen children, and took care of five of my younger siblings at the age of nine. It is incredible to me that children are not taught first aid and how to deal with emergency situations whether they are home alone or not. There are so many people spouting that children are not responsible at certain ages...however, responsibility is taught and developed at younger ages than emotional maturity actually occurs. It shocks me when a perfectly healthy thirteen year old child is not responsible enough to be trusted home alone. I also babysat smaller children for extra money at the age of eleven. Perhaps people should be looking at the societal problems that contribute to irresponsibility of both adults and children in this day and age. Perhaps we should all build stronger communities that aide parents that can't afford daycare for younger children instead of wagging our fingers at them. I have met many young adults I trust absolutely over many adults.
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Old 02-17-2012, 07:10 PM
 
Location: 60630
11,628 posts, read 17,040,226 times
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It depends on the Kid. Stop Judging
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Old 11-30-2013, 02:42 PM
 
278 posts, read 229,475 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SmerkyGrl View Post
Would a 12 year old know what to do if a kid has a seizure? Or if a kitchen fire starts? What about if there is a gas leak in the house? Not trying to scare anyone off here but while it is true there are exceptions, the general rule of thumb still applies. I mean, its your kids, your life but PERSONALLY I'd rather give the responsibility to the average 16 year old who is likely to be responsible than the exceptional 12 year old who may or may not be.
Uhm. I babysat at 16 and did not know what to do in case of a seizure...i also babysat at 12 for very short stretches of time though, certainly not past 9pm!
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Old 11-30-2013, 02:54 PM
 
12,913 posts, read 19,787,452 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HeyHowdy View Post
Uhm. I babysat at 16 and did not know what to do in case of a seizure...i also babysat at 12 for very short stretches of time though, certainly not past 9pm!
The original thread is from 2007. But, since I never responded to it way back when, I will say I was babysitting overnight by 12, for an emergency room pediatrician (widowed) with 5 kids. I grew up in a large family, and learned responsibility early. It isn't brain surgery, and I think kids can surprise us with their savvy if given the chance.
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Old 11-30-2013, 04:02 PM
 
Location: Chapel Hill, N.C.
36,434 posts, read 41,620,437 times
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I was a more responsible baby sitter at 12-15 than I ever was at 16-18. I was a bit boy crazy and stayed on the phone too much, ate up all the food and was more inclined to cancel at the last minute if something more fun came along. Plus when I was younger I was more nurturing and really liked playing with the kids. As a mid and late teen I only did it for the money.
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Old 03-19-2015, 05:42 AM
 
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I have five kids between 6 and 15. My 12 and 15yr old is mature. However they have different qualities of their maturity. I May go a few houses down and spend the night. My 12yr old will watch them. 11Pm to 6am.
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Old 03-19-2015, 08:13 AM
 
875 posts, read 643,683 times
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I know this thread is ancient, but the topic is probably still relevant in a general sense.

I do think a 12-year old can be a good night-time babysitter, but it's a grey area, because not all kids that age would be mature enough. You have to judge it on a case by case basis.

Our most recent regular sitter was 13 years old, and she was great. She was #2 in a family of 5 kids, and happened to have young siblings the same ages as my own kids, so she was accustomed to dealing with them. She was very engaged and willing to play with my kids, unlike some older ones. She was highly intelligent and responsible, and I trusted her. I was sad when her family moved last year and haven't found a good replacement yet.

My oldest child is now 10 years old and she's pretty responsible too. Not so much that I'd have her babysitting at night time, but I can definitely see her doing so in 2 more years. Right now, at age 10, she can get her 4-year old brother ready for bed all on her own (bath, vitamins, brush teeth, PJs, read books, sing songs). She does this on her own, I don't require it, but it is a great help to me, if I'm busy with another sick child, or we're running late on our typical routine, and I need an extra set of hands.
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Old 03-19-2015, 04:17 PM
 
Location: Puyallup, WA
63 posts, read 47,226 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SmerkyGrl View Post
Would a 12 year old know what to do if a kid has a seizure? Or if a kitchen fire starts? What about if there is a gas leak in the house? Not trying to scare anyone off here but while it is true there are exceptions, the general rule of thumb still applies. I mean, its your kids, your life but PERSONALLY I'd rather give the responsibility to the average 16 year old who is likely to be responsible than the exceptional 12 year old who may or may not be.
I am from asia and my parents have 8 kids, I start babysit my little bro & sis when I am 9 years old, after school I will help them change diaper and make them foods, and put all dirty clothes to washing machine, put them in bed, and start my shcool works.

my dad had full time job and mom will only go to work after I'm home. We have no problem on it; till I started my secondary school and tuition, my younger sister taken my role to babysit the little one. We train to take care of our little brothers and sisters since 8 or 9 and many families practice the same in my home country.

I don't see any problem. if gas leak and fire incident we taught to bring the brothers and sisters to neighbour's home, call 999 then let the neighbour know what had happened. Neighbours all lovely and caring, we help and support each others, sometime if neighbour unable to take care their kids, away from home for maybe 30mins or so, they will bring their kids to our home, to have fun with us. I am sure kids now like spoiled child, 18 year old may don't know how to handle certain situations. Highest numbers I take care at once is 9 kids at home (with my neighbour's kids), they all very disciplines and non of them act like monster...
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