How old was your son/daughter when they started babysitting?

Sandy - posted on 11/15/2012 ( 6 moms have responded )

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My daughter met a single father in the neighborhood that needs a babysitter for his 6-year-old son. She met him while selling girl scout cookies with her sister. I did meet him and his son and they seem okay, but I was skeptical because his ex-wife and his family all live out of town (2 hours away). He does have a girl friend but I haven't met her yet. I did tell him my daughter could babysit at our house but now I'm thinking maybe I should just tell him she is not old enough to be alone babysitting yet and forget the whole "our house" babysitting idea. What do you think?

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How old is your daughter?



I never baby sat, and my son is only 8 years, but I did have a "mother's helper" when he was younger who grew into a baby sitter.

The girl who helped me out was about 13 when we met, and she would come over and help me clean, occupy J, etc, while I was home. After I got to know her family, I would leave J with her at her house as long as one of her parents were home. I never allowed anyone under 17 to babysit him.





The girl's mom knew me, and we met a couple of times before she let the girl stay at my house without her there--I'd have done the same. The dad is probably just as nervous about letting his little boy go to the home of someone he doesn't know as you are about letting your daughter go to his house. I would say, if your daughter really wants to do this, meet a few times first to get a better feel for the guy.

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Kayleen - posted on 12/05/2012

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Hi! I personally started to babysit when i was 13 because that what everyone thought an ideal age for babysitting was. Of course people were babysitting before that if they had younger siblings. It depends how close you are to the family that your daughter is babysitting for.

Gina - posted on 11/27/2012

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My daughter has been watching her brother since she was 10. I made her go through a class at the YMCA. They certified her and she is very responsible!! I am a single mother and didnt have the luxury of sending my son to daycare on saturdays while i worked...it worked out great!!

Desiree - posted on 11/25/2012

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I've only ever babysat for relatives, so don't have much experience. But if you're still skeptical about your daughter babysitting, especially if your daughter has never babysat alone before and/or is under 13, you probably should just wait a year or two before letting your daughter babysit.

Sally - posted on 11/25/2012

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How old is she and how much babysitting experience does she have? Some towns/states have laws about age limits for babysitting. Where I live you can watch your siblings at 12, but you have to be 13 to watch other people's children.

Is it really her age that's bothering you or is it him being a single dad? And if it's the single dad, why is it bothering you? The answers to those questions will tell you what to do.

Bonnie - posted on 11/16/2012

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I started babysitiing when I was 12 but my first gig was for a 2 month old baby who's mom worked in an office in their house so I wasn't really alone. I started babysitting alone when I was 13. Now that I'm a mom I can't believe anyone would let a teenager babysit thier baby but that's me being overly crazy and if parents don't have family in the area they may not have a choice but to find a sitter. I think the age depends on the child interested in babysitting. Some 13 year olds are mature enough to handle the responsibilities (and possible emergencies) and some just aren't ready yet. If your daughter has a good head on her shoulders and is about 12 or 13 maybe this is a good opportunity for her to learn some responsibility and start earning some money as she would still be in the neighborhood and could call you if she needed to. In my town the Red Cross offers a babysitting course with CPR starting for 12yo.

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