14 Too Young to Baby-Sit?!

on Mar 23, 2011 @ 02:44 pm

I came across an article today that said a woman in the UK left her 14 year-old-son in the care of her 3 year-old for a half hour while she ran to the grocery store. For doing this, she has received a "caution" or like a citation. I'm sure what this is exactly but apparently it ends up on your criminal record?


Anyway, what on earth is the fuss?! The carer is 14 and the caree is 3 YEARS, not months, YEARS. I think we were all baby-sitting for whole evenings when we were at least 12, not just a half hour. And if I am not mistaken, at age 11 you are legally able to baby-sit your younger siblings for a short time. I am aware that we're in Canada and this incident is in the UK but I think the allegations against this lady are ridiculous.

Any thoughts or comments?

6 Replies

It's a bit much.. on Mar 23, 2011 @ 03:41 pm

Now before I say this, I know I'm going to be a super cautious mom and I'll trust very few people to take care of my kids - especially a young teen. But I'm with you on thinking this is a little extreme. I was babysitting when I was 12 and I WAS taking care of some babies.


that is ridiculous on Mar 23, 2011 @ 03:54 pm

I was babysitting for family members at age 12 and for neighbours at age 13/14. That is completely silly. You can attend a babysitting class through many community centres which teaches you quite a bit about caring for young kids. I think that a mature and responsible 12-yr old is perfectly capable of babysitting for a few hours.

A little overcautious on Mar 23, 2011 @ 04:20 pm

I suppose that if an emergency were to happen the 13 year old might not know how to handle it properly. But at the same time, if a 13 year old were at home with an older sibling and something happened with the older sibling, the 13 year old still might not know what to do!

yes and no on Mar 23, 2011 @ 04:32 pm

A properly trained babysitter (whether he/she's attended a class or has been given good safety instruction by his/her parents) will at the very least know to call 911 and the parents should have provided emergency contacts (cell phone, grandparents, doctor, etc).

Because really - unless one of us adults has gone through a 1st aid program, would we know what to do in the case of a serious injury or emergency like a seizure or something? No! But most 12/13-year old kids know that if you smell smoke for example, you leave the house and call 911.

What about adults? on Mar 23, 2011 @ 04:38 pm

I agree, and even in the case of a serious emergency I think even plenty of adults would panic and not know what to do either - other than call 911 right away.

At the end of the day, if it's a teen you know and trust to be responsible (especially if it's your own kid!) then go for it.

Ali de Bold
I started babysitting at 11 years old on Mar 23, 2011 @ 11:32 pm

Unless the 14 year old is known to the parents as reckless and irresponsible I can't understand what the problem here is. At 15 we let them behind the wheel of a car on the highway for learners permits. A 14 year old is more than capable of babysitting a small child.

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