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

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#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 Marchioness Flea

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 Crinkle cut

Posted 13 November 2012 - 03:50 PM

No way.  Not unless you have a very responsible 12 year old and a very compliant 5 year old.

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 is very different to 5.  At 10, the 12 year old is not taking the bulk of the responsibility - they are more equals.  Not so with a 5 year old.

Edited by ~maryanne~, 13 November 2012 - 03:52 PM.

#14 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.

#15 Illiterati

Posted 13 November 2012 - 03:53 PM


#16 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.

#17 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.

#18 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.

#19 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.

#20 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.

#21 Turn left

Posted 13 November 2012 - 04:06 PM

No.  Absolutely not.

#22 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.

#23 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.

#24 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

#25 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.

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