Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Answer Me, Please

Do you have kids who are old enough to babysit?
Do you have younger kids?
Do you let your older kid babysit your younger kids?
Do you pay your older one to sit?

Jesse is 11. Jonah is 3. Jesse has watched Jonah for me 2 times recently. Both times I went to the school (remember, we share a fence with the school) for about 1/2 hour. I am trying to decide if he is actually old enough to do that sort of thing more often and when I am a tiny bit further away- but still in town.


Kat said...

Georgia actually has laws about this. About how old you have to be to be left alone. How old you have to be to be left with a sibling. Here I think it's 12 to watch someone younger. And no staying alone until you are 8 (and they just lowered that from 10). Not that we ever paid attention.

Every child is different. If you think the boys would be okay on their own, then do it. They can always reach you by cell. If you are having qualms or doubts...wait.

I would not pay Katie to watch Madalyn. But then again, I don't have the age difference that you do.

Sorry that I am not too much help!!

Trish said...

Okay, so here is the scoop.......

Washingtosn State DOES NOT have a "home alone law"........
meaning it is up to the parent to decide at what age a child can be left at home, however it is up to the courts to decide neglect.....

seeings as how you are not thinking of leaving Jonah at home alone, I don't think neglect is the issue.

Now, since I feel like I personally know your children better than 99% of you readership, I can say that I FEEL that it is perfectly fine to leave Jonah in the care of Jesse for a period of time up to two hours. I would not leave everyone home with Jesse in charge at this point though. And I would NEVER leave Jesse home in charge of Ben. That just reeks of ANARCHY.

Give it a try. Set it up so that you are not far away,say within 10 minutes drive, which gives you your whole town! And make sure to be reachable by cell. And do it at a time when you know that a trusted neighbor is going to be home and inform them of the situation also.
Give Jesse very specific instructions on what can and cannot be done while you are gone......such as can they play outside? what about cooking? video games? Set him up to succeed.

I would definitly pay him something, especially if you are heading out for something fun....lunch with friends or such.
If you are doing a chore or task like grocery shopping then maybe it is one of his family contributions.

Of course we all know that I am the resident parenting expert, so take this as you wish!!

Karen said...

My cousin and I were just talking about this yesterday and she said that with her two, she paid her older one to watch the younger one, and paid the younger one a less amount, but still enough, to behave for the older one. She said that she had a problem the first time and when neither of them got paid, they from then on got along. Sorry for the run on sentence!

Kris said...

We let our kids play with guns, knives, swords, fire, motorcycles, basically "dangerous stuff". (when we are home.)However I did not let them stay home alone till the ripe old age of 12.
Usually when I left, the video games "babysat" So I did not worry to much.
I came home the other day to see that 'B' was working on a project. I know he's not a baby anymore, (16)but I think that the chop saw and table saw should be off limits while Mom and Dad are gone! What do you think?

Gina said...

Um, I know he's not a baby, too. Maybe you should just make sure there is someone there to dial 911- and that they have both taken advanced first aid so that A can tie a tournequet.
How old was B the time we left him with my older 4? Wasn't that about 2 hours?

mer@lifeat7000feet said...

My oldest is 11 and my youngest is 6, and even if I wanted to leave the girls with their big brother, they wouldn't go for it. I leave him alone for brief periods (longest is one hour) but the girls refuse to stay with him.

Sorry...I'm no help.