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What do you think..

(30 Posts)
Littlenellie Sun 07-Oct-12 10:18:40

E has been asked to do babysitting...
The facts follow,
T is a friend of my daughter who passed away,she has been in E's life since she was small although not for a few years and has moved nearby to us and rest abolished contact,she was a witness at K's trial and instrumental in getting a conviction.
She is a single parent with two boys aged 4 and 9,some people she mixes with are 'worrying',but feel sure this does not happen in front of her boys,she is a good parent.
T has asked E to babysit all night in her house on an as and when basis for pocket money which she wants to do.
E. does not like the dark,has to have all windows covered,she has her own problems,but she is sensible.
T has suggested a friend can go with her,but I don't feel that is a good idea,too much play acting etc..
I have suggested I be "on call" OH not happy with this
It would be an overnight session,T would be out all night
E is 131/2 and seems to be aware of what to do if...
She is studying childcare and development as her options at school,the 4year old will be her case study next year.
I do not want to prevent E from having some responsibility and the chance to earn her own pocket money,but am feeling this is a year too soon.
Over to my wise friends......

Littlenellie Sun 07-Oct-12 10:20:02

That should read re established contact flipping I pad ..

Bags Sun 07-Oct-12 10:22:40

I don't think E is old enough, legally, to be entrusted with that level of responsibility. When DD3 was little, I asked my neighbour if her fourteen year old daughter could babysit, but it was only for half an hour or so initially, and later for an evening. She had her mum on call next door and didn't, so far as I was aware, have any 'issues' of her own.

absentgrana Sun 07-Oct-12 10:25:46

Overnight baby sitting seems a large responsibility for a child of 13, especially if she is nervous in the dark. I wouldn't even leave a 13-year-old on her own at home overnight, let alone in charge of two younger children, however sensible and mature she seems. Maybe some baby sitting in the evening but not all night.

wisewoman Sun 07-Oct-12 10:27:07

That seems like far too much responsibility for a 13 1/2 year old. Maybe if she was babysitting for an hour while parents were close at hand it would be ok. I think they are asking too much of her and if you have to be the "bad guy" and say no, it will let her off the hook.

Littlenellie Sun 07-Oct-12 10:27:39

Thanks bags have already decided I think she is too young but just wanted some other opinions in case I am being over protective as I was with my children,and it interfered with their confidence,don't want to make the same mistakes again this time roundxx

absentgrana Sun 07-Oct-12 10:28:31

Bags Strangely, there is no legal age limit for a child to be left without an adult or for a person to baby sit a child (unless the law has changed recently). Common sense is meant to apply although it doesn't always by any means.

Ana Sun 07-Oct-12 10:29:58

I have to agree with the other posts, nellie - 13 is too young, and I'd also be a bit concerned about the 'worrying' company the mother in question keeps. It does not sound safe to me.

Littlenellie Sun 07-Oct-12 10:32:00

Thanks everyone my feelings exactly,my confidence seems to be letting me down,my feelings with own kids where instinctive,but my mothering instincts,are kind of more laboured as I am not as "intune" as I was with mine...and 20 years out of date confused

Littlenellie Sun 07-Oct-12 10:35:16

bags when I was doing some childcare courses a few months back,there is no legal age for leaving a child but in allowing T to leave her children she is responsible for any harm that happens or is caused and I believe that I allow E to be responsible ultimately any harm that happens is down then to me,so thanks you all have just confirmed in my mind the right answer.

baubles Sun 07-Oct-12 10:36:14

It seems a huge responsibility for a 13 year old to take on. Could E try being in charge for a couple of hours in the early evening to give her a taste? I wouldn't have left my own children alone overnight at 13 far less expected them to be responsible for younger children.

baubles Sun 07-Oct-12 10:38:25

This was the page I left my iPad open on after OP so just posted when I came back to it. Realise now that lots of others have already answered doh!

Littlenellie Sun 07-Oct-12 10:42:33

baubles you can still say have your two pennorth grinxx

harrigran Sun 07-Oct-12 10:42:37

I think 13 is way to young to have that kind of responsibility. Watching a child for half an hour whilst they play is one thing but all evening and overnight would be definitely a no in my book.

janeainsworth Sun 07-Oct-12 10:49:55
This might put your mind at rest nellie that you have made the right decision [ flowers]

janeainsworth Sun 07-Oct-12 10:56:38
Sorry forgot to blue it.

Granny23 Sun 07-Oct-12 10:57:16

I do not want to be alarmist but your post set warning bells ringing loudly. A whole list of 'what ifs' occured to me e.g. What if one of the 'worrying' friends turned up at T's house? what if E got in a panic in the dark? What if Social Services got wind of this? Also wondering why T (who is a good parent) thinks this is a suitable arrangement for care of her children. E is only four years older than her eldest son. Perhaps she is trying to be kind to E, perhaps she is desperate for a 'night out' (and who can blame her for that) but this is, as your instincts are telling you, too much, too soon for E. If the babysitting did not go well it would set E back considerably. An hour or so in the daytime would be a different matter and one I would have insisted upon as a parent as a trial run with any babysitter before leaving my children in their charge for a longer period.

Nellie - I think you have serious doubts too, otherwise you would not have posted but now the offer has been made you will have a difficult job saying NO and explaining why without giving offence.

Littlenellie Sun 07-Oct-12 10:59:32

A big thanks to all of you,I had decided to say NO,as I still try to preserve E's remaining childhood as she had a lot of her innocence taken from her,she mixes with girls who have parents from a younger generation who have different views on things and do allow their girls to grow up a lot quicker,I don't want to hold E back but neither do I want her growing up to be accelerated in my eyes she is still a child,I certainly wouldn't leave her,and still feel she needs a babysitter at times if we go out ,but she always comes with us or we don't go.
I am quite perturbed that T asked E direct,am giving the benefit of the doubt that she might make her own decisions,but think she should have asked me before speaking to E.

Granny23 Sun 07-Oct-12 11:01:16

Doh! me too Baubles - I was called away in the middle of posting - I apologise Nellie - a bad case of trying to teach Granny to suck eggs blush

Ella46 Sun 07-Oct-12 11:01:42

I agree with everyone nellie. I also think two young teenagers could have difficulties controlling boisterous boys if and when they got a bit giddy.
Yes,T should have asked you first, but you've made the right decision flowers

JessM Sun 07-Oct-12 11:09:23

Absolutely, good call nellie. If you want her to have responsibility a little job helping in an environment where there are some other adults around would be a good thing for her. Or helping in a day nursery in the holidays, ditto, other adults taking responsibility. 13 yr olds all too young to babysit in my opinion.

Littlenellie Sun 07-Oct-12 11:16:04

Thank you jane the link just confirmed all my feelings and thoughts,think I have been made to look at E in a different light as I have always thought of her that is the 'baby' I think she is just right for a 13 year old dosent need to grow up any quicker.
This is the 2nd time T has contacted E directly ,the first time was to make arrangements without consulting me first ,the first time I was unhappy about about and the argument with E was very upsetting for both of us.
T was very good friends with Kate,E is very much like Kate I wonder if unwittingly T is seeing E as Kate ,it is hard to accuse her of being underhand if she honestly is feeling connected to E this way,Imust admit to having doubts about the contact,when originally this was restablished there was a 30 mile distance between us now there is a two mile distance,I don't feel this was deliberate,but a coincidence as it was a house swap and T had been eager to move anywhere to get away from the 'worrying' company she kept.

Bags Sun 07-Oct-12 11:17:28

Good on you, nellie. Your instincts are guiding you wisely. BTW, when my neighbour's daughter babysat for me, DD was already in bed asleep by the time she came, and could be relied on to stay asleep. I wouldn't have expected the girl to put her to bed. All I was expecting of babysitter was that she could get help if any was needed. Her mum had a key and could come and check up anytime too.

Thanks for the article, jane. I think that what I was thinking of was the fact that if the babysitter is under 16, the absent parent is still fully responsible.

Bags Sun 07-Oct-12 11:18:51

The mother should go through you with requests too. It's only polite and proper as you are responsible for E.

absentgrana Sun 07-Oct-12 11:24:18

Littlernellie Would it be possible to have a gentle word with T to the effect that if she wishes to make these sorts of arrangements, could she check them with you before speaking to E given E's age?