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Babysitting age?
abennett1002 posted:
My daughter is 7 and a half and our neighbor just asked her to babysit for their 2 yr old and 4 yr old for 2 hours after school 2x a week! I was shocked!! My 7 yr old is my oldest, I also have a 4yr old, 2 yr old and 7 month old and I've never let her stay home alone to babysit ANY of them! I'm trying to figure out a polite way to tell the neighbor that I feel like my daughter is too young to babysit for her but then I started wondering if there are other 7 yr olds out there that babysit... Am I being to overprotective or naive?? What age should you be before you babysit?
Baby1at35 responded:
7 is way too young! There is no way I would have a 7 yr old babysit. That is crazy.
I babysat at 10 yrs old. I think that is too young honestly. I was mature for my age and had a brother 10 yrs younger so I had experience.
I would think around 12 or 13 babysit for a few hours
Laura2910 responded:
I agree, in fact I think in some states (that have these types of laws) seven is too young to be left home alone.

My son is 10 and my daughter 8. I recently let them stay home alone for about 10 minutes while I ran up the street to the little quick stop grocery store to get spaghetti sauce. They both know how to dial the phone, and I wrote my cell phone number next to the phone, and we've practiced 911 and what to do in a fire, etc. They are mature enough to handle these things, so I felt safe with my 10 minute trip (my biggest worry was that they'd get into a fight with each other! LOL!).

You can take babysitting classes at the Red Cross I believe at 12 years old. I'd say that's an age to START thinking about it.

Now, if the mom was going to be home and just wanted extra help in the afternoon - totally different story. That would be a cool little "job" for your daughter then.

I wouldn't feel bad about saying that you feel your daughter is too young to handle the pressure right now.
summer_is_here responded:
When a person is old enough to work by the state then they are old enough to babysit. I would not do any younger than that.
abennett1002 replied to Baby1at35's response:
That's what I was thinking too... that it would be a good job for a 13 yr old who technically isn't old enough to work somewhere else. I don't even leave my 7 yr old home alone!
abennett1002 replied to Laura2910's response:
I looked up if there was legal information about what age you need to be to stay home and this is what I found out. There is no legal requirement. They must be safe , feel safe and not scared, and know how to take care of any problems that may arise. Most authorities agree that a 13 year old can be left alone for a few hours during the day. [a style="COLOR: #000" class="h2heading h3" name=LEGAL_AGE itxtBad="1">LEGAL AGE [br>There are very few states in the U.S. with legal minimum ages, but many state agencies have published guidelines. Georgia, Illiniois, Maryland and Oregon are a few of the states with very specific ages. Typically 8 year olds and over can be left at home for up to several hours (usually after school before a parent gets home from work). [br>[br>12 years old appears to be the most common recommendation. provides a state by state comparison.
So I told my neighbor no that I wasn't comfortable with it and she was a little irritated but she'll get over it! There is just no way I would be okay with it, even with me just being down the street.

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