Jump to content

Would you let your 12 year old look after your 5 year old?

  • Please log in to reply
81 replies to this topic

#1 ChunkyChook

Posted 13 November 2012 - 03:20 PM

I know every child is different, but would you let your year 7 child collect their sibling from Prep (schools are opposite each other) and walk home 15 minutes and then be at home together for an hour until you or hubby got home from work???

Is it even legal?

#2 Feral Becky

Posted 13 November 2012 - 03:24 PM

Yes I would do it.

Edited by LindsayMK, 13 November 2012 - 03:25 PM.

#3 Jen the hen

Posted 13 November 2012 - 03:32 PM

Yep! As long as the 12 year old is a responsible sort. You could always get them to call you when they got safe home?

#4 nouveauxmum

Posted 13 November 2012 - 03:35 PM

i wouldn't ..it just feels like too much responsibility at such a young age but that's just my opinion unsure.gif

#5 PinkPaper

Posted 13 November 2012 - 03:36 PM

I'm asking this same question now.  My DSD is 12 and my DS is almost 6 (in prep)...DSD is asking for babysitting duties and DS is asking for DSD to walk him home from school!

#6 JustBeige

Posted 13 November 2012 - 03:36 PM

With my two, Nope, because they fight like lunatics sometimes.  The younger thinks the elder is "bossy" and it all goes downhill from there.

TBH, I know quite a few people who do do this because they have very compliant children and no other option.

#7 FeralLIfeHacker

Posted 13 November 2012 - 03:38 PM


#8 BlackBetty

Posted 13 November 2012 - 03:40 PM

No, my five year old still gets excited and I think it would be quite easy to loose them at pick up, such as if the elder child stopped to chat to a friend.

I always think of these questions in the way of would you and the 12 year old be able to handle the fall out if anything did go wrong. I don't think I could put that onto a 12 year old.

I would probably trust them at home but it is the walk home and crossing roads that would concern me.


#9 Jenflea

Posted 13 November 2012 - 03:40 PM

My sister and myself and my twin brother used to walk home a pretty fair way after school(or ride bikes more often) and be home by ourselves for a few hours. Nothing bad happened.
We were 12 and 10.
I'd do it.

#10 MrsLexiK

Posted 13 November 2012 - 03:42 PM

QUOTE (PinkPaper @ 13/11/2012, 04:36 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I'm asking this same question now.  My DSD is 12 and my DS is almost 6 (in prep)...DSD is asking for babysitting duties and DS is asking for DSD to walk him home from school!

I think in this case I would feel comfortable as both children feel comfortable.  If both children didn't feel comfortable I wouldn't.

#11 whatnamenow

Posted 13 November 2012 - 03:43 PM

Would i let the first half of that happen?  Yes.  The bit that would worry me is staying at home for an hour on their own.

#12 Funwith3

Posted 13 November 2012 - 03:48 PM

Yes I would. But I would have the older one call to say they had arrived home safely.

Edited by Funwith3, 13 November 2012 - 03:50 PM.

#13 idignantlyright

Posted 13 November 2012 - 03:50 PM

Not my 13yr old & 8yr olds. DD8 would probably kill DD13 before we got home.

Thought I would add. My brothers and I used to walk home from school and just walk up the back stairs and let ourselves in, because mum would leave the back door unlocked if she went out.
We would just make something to eat and then go downstairs and play on the pool table until mum or dad got home. There was the odd occasion where someone got injured by a flying pool ball, but a packet of frozen peas and we were fine.

Edited by idignantlyright, 13 November 2012 - 03:57 PM.

#14 Illiterati

Posted 13 November 2012 - 03:53 PM


#15 Bam1

Posted 13 November 2012 - 03:58 PM

I do this already with my 13yo and 5yo and it is fine. It is only once a week as it is quite a thrill for my 5yo to be picked up by her big sister but I don't think it is fair on my 13yo to have to babysit every school day.

It does depend on the children involved though.

#16 laridae

Posted 13 November 2012 - 03:58 PM

Sure.  My brother and sister (who are 5 and 6 years older than me) walked home with me from prep (they were grade 5 and 6), until they left primary school, after that I walked home by myself!  It was about a 1-2km and crossed about 6 roads, including 2 main roads (one was outside the school so had a crossing guard, the other we crossed at lights).
Can't remember if we arrived to no one home - but I suspect we did on more than one occasion.

#17 Feral Grey Mare

Posted 13 November 2012 - 04:02 PM

Totally depends on the individual kids. If Miss 12 is responsible and likes spending time with Miss 6  and Miss 6 is the sort of kid who will do as she is told then go for it. I wouldn't have but mine used to have WWIII if left in the same house together.

#18 opethmum

Posted 13 November 2012 - 04:02 PM

Yes I would.

Perhaps do a trial period and see if they actually cope with the demands of it and if they don't then maybe try it again at a later time e.g. next year etc. Set some ground rules for them and have them stick to it and really drive it home to them that safety is paramount.

#19 wombat

Posted 13 November 2012 - 04:04 PM

No.  Not because I don't think a lot of 12 year olds are capable of doing it, just because I think it is a huge responsibility to place on a 12 year old.  I have never been of the opinion that it is the resposibility of older siblings to care for younger ones.

#20 Turn left

Posted 13 November 2012 - 04:06 PM

No.  Absolutely not.

#21 2 Gorgeous Girls

Posted 13 November 2012 - 04:14 PM

I think that by the time she is 12 my 7 year would be able to look after her younger sister (who is now 2).

So for me it would be entirely dependant on how my two year old is in 5 years. If she carries on her current trajectory I think she might be too much of a handful for even the most responsible 12 year old.

Totally child dependant.

#22 Nicole-Bris

Posted 13 November 2012 - 04:14 PM

No but thats because I know my children and I can't have a shower without huge dramas.  I think it depends on the children you have but even then I think I would be too nervous to do it.

#23 peking homunculus

Posted 13 November 2012 - 04:14 PM

I'd do it. There are a lot of kids at our school who get picked up by elder siblings from the local high school

#24 katrina24

Posted 13 November 2012 - 04:20 PM

No.  I would probably let a 12 year old walk home and also spend up to an hour at home unsupervised.  But, I would not be comfortable with them being responsible for a five year old.

#25 tle

Posted 13 November 2012 - 04:20 PM

I've struggled with a similar dilema myself.

Sometimes I need to drop one of the kids off at sport or something I have to decide whether to leave the other kids home alone. I haven't done it so far but I'm thinking maybe I should. My oldest are 13 and 12 and very responsible. The younger ones are 9, and 7 yr old twins.

0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users


The device that allows you to bottle feed and use your phone at the same time

"It dawned on me that I could do some catch-up work while he fed, but I needed something to help me hold a bottle and my smartphone."

Mum posts photo of c-section scar to prove she gave birth

A new mum angered by people suggesting women who deliver their babies via caesarean section have not "given birth" has challenged that misconception by sharing a photograph of her scar.

Olivia Wilde and Jason Sudeikis welcome daughter

Actress Olivia Wilde and her fiance Jason Sudeikis are parents again.

Nurse cuts off part of newborn's finger

A newborn baby is without the tip of one finger after a nurse accidentally cut it off with scissors.

See the new Thomas & Friends clothing range for girls

It's a long overdue move for kids and parents alike.

Finally, someone's come up with a way to stop doona thieves

If you've ever shared a bed with a dyed-in-the-wool doona stealer you'll know how frustrating it can be.

Family rituals to make mealtimes easier: mums share their tips

Special rituals, as well as favourite cutlery and plates, can make dinner times less challenging and a lot more fun!

Toddler pours entire bag of dog biscuits down the toilet

Most mums of toddlers have a funny horror story about the time they turned their back for 30 seconds only to find mayhem on their return.

Surgeons successfully separate 13-month-old twins conjoined at head

Surgeons at a New York City hospital have separated a pair of 13-month-old boys who were congenitally joined at the head, completing a rare operation that carried a risk of death and severe brain damage, their mother said.

'Do I call the parents or an exorcist?'

Babies can sometimes get themselves into unusual positions while sleeping, but this youngster has the makings of an acrobat.

The complicated grief of losing your babies

In the park near our house my partner and I have a bench. We paid to have it put there last year after our twin boys Fred and John died.

How the way you’re born and fed can affect your immune system

Vaginal or caesarean, bottle- or breastfed: it all influences our gut microbes and future health.

Depression made me a crummy friend - but I'm working on it

Getting well and falling in love with my son has brought a feeling words simply can't describe. But I didn't expect it to be a little heartbreaking, too.

Mountain Buggy Bagrider makes travel so much easier with baby

Haven't we all needed more hands when travelling with babies and toddlers?

'I look like a troll!': mum shares postpartum hair regrowth woes

Rather than hiding her postpartum hair regrowth, author Giovana Fletcher has photographed and shared it.

A police officer saved a baby's life, forever changing his own

With his bald head, light goatee and bulging arms covered in dark tattoos, Officer Kenneth Knox is an imposing figure.

The tandem breastfeeding photo that got a mum's Facebook account shut down

A mother of six from the US claims that Facebook disabled her account because she posted a photograph of herself tandem breastfeeding a stranger's baby along with her own.


Top 5 Articles


What's hot on EB

What pregnancy is really like: mums share their honest opinions

We asked real women what surprised them during their pregnancy. They've shared their experiences in the hope of preparing the rest of us better for the ride

A breastfeeding emoji may be on its way

It's how many new mums spend much of their time, so it makes sense that a breastfeeding emoji is being considered for inclusion in the next round of updates.

10 things to consider before trying for a baby

Here are a few things for you and your partner to discuss as you start trying for a bub of your own.


Vintage Toys

The toys of your childhood

Take a trip down memory lane with these vinage and retro toys that you may have had in your childhood or your parent's childhood.

Essential Baby and Essential Kids is the place to find parenting information and parenting support relating to conception, pregnancy, birth, babies, toddlers, kids, maternity, family budgeting, family travel, nutrition and wellbeing, family entertainment, kids entertainment, tips for the family home, child-friendly recipes and parenting. Try our pregnancy due date calculator to determine your due date, or our ovulation calculator to predict ovulation and your fertile period. Our pregnancy week by week guide shows your baby's stages of development. Access our very active mum's discussion groups in the Essential Baby forums or the Essential Kids forums to talk to mums about conception, pregnancy, birth, babies, toddlers, kids and parenting lifestyle. Essential Baby also offers a baby names database of more than 22,000 baby names, popular baby names, boys' names, girls' names and baby names advice in our baby names forum. Essential Kids features a range of free printable worksheets for kids from preschool years through to primary school years. For the latest baby clothes, maternity clothes, maternity accessories, toddler products, kids toys and kids clothing, breastfeeding and other parenting resources, check out Essential Baby and Essential Kids.