Jump to content

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

  • Please log in to reply
83 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 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.

1 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 1 guests, 0 anonymous users


Join the Real Mums Test Drive Team

Five new mums will join the Essential Baby Test Drive Team and discover great new baby toys from Fisher-Price & write a review to be published on Essential Baby.

Two children fall from second storey window

Two young boys have been rushed to hospital after falling out a second-storey window of a home in Eastwood.

Victorian Labor to introduce same-sex adoption laws

Thousands of same-sex couples with children will have the right to be jointly recognised as parents by Victorian law.

Sneak peek: Maxomorra bee dress, t-shirt and romper for babies

Cutest snap find on the planet - bee rompers, tees and dresses for babies.

Toddler found two days after going missing

A two-year-old girl who disappeared on Friday night from her great-grandparents' home in rural Ohio was found alive Sunday evening in a nearby field.

Dad builds the ultimate bed for his toddler son

The transition from cot to big kid bed might be a little easier if every toddler had a bed like this one.

Is Woolworths now cheaper than Coles?

Woolworths appears to have taken the upper hand in its price battle with Coles after investing millions of dollars lowering the cost of groceries, according to new figures.

Aussie babies and parents stranded in Nepal after surrogacy ban

Parents say Australian babies are being "kept captive" and cannot come home after a ban on commercial surrogacy in Nepal.

Wannabe dads left behind in IVF debate

If virgin women can become mothers through IVF, maybe we're ready for another miracle - genuine equality for men in the parenting debate.

The health and fitness lessons I've learned

What I once assumed about health and fitness is wrong.

Our angel baby story: Hunter James

I have two children: one living, the next an angel baby.

Newlyweds send bill to no-show guests

Planning a wedding can be stressful – and, as most newlyweds can attest, it can be very costly, too.

Your choice or theirs: the tug-of-war over baby names

They had just decided on a name they both agreed on, but then the grandparents threw in an offer of $10,000 in exchange for choosing something else.

Dad-to-be's tearful reaction to pregnancy news goes viral

After 17 years of trying, this man had given up hope of having a family.

Claire Danes: acting out postnatal depression was difficult

Actress Claire Danes found it difficult pretending to have postnatal depression in Homeland, as she had just become a new mother herself.

The moment a 92-year-old meets her great grandaughter

It's a heart-warming photo this family will treasure forever.

How to prepare for breastfeeding when you're still pregnant

While every woman's breastfeeding journey is different, many hurdles are shared. Knowing what to expect will enable you to make informed decisions if - or when - you meet challenges along the way.

Sneak peek: new Love Mae bamboo dinnerware designs

We do love ourselves some brand new designs in tried and true products. The renowned bamboo dinnerware from Love Mae has just had several more members join the family, in addition to a brand new website.

Mum who killed paedophile gets reduced sentence

A mother-of-five who killed a paedophile has had her jail sentence reduced by a judge who described her case as a "truly exceptional" one.

Sneak peek: Geleeo self-cooling pram & high chair liners

We just spotted Geleeo, a brand new self-cooling pram liner you can buy in time for summer.

Toddler's silent debate with mum about naptime

He might not utter a single word - but this toddler is having a great debate with his mother about nap time.


What's hot on EB

Stella McCartney honours mum with lacy bra

Fashion designer Stella McCartney has honoured her late mum, Linda McCartney, by designing a special bra for post-mastectomy patients.

Don't panic: A granddad midwife's guide for dads-to-be

Mark Harris has helped deliver 500 babies. And he's now telling fathers what to expect.

How to be a calm parent when you're feeling anything but

Being a calm parent takes a lot of work, sometimes more than is obvious to those around us.

The joy and isolation of being a stay-at-home dad

It's cool, kind of like a second childhood. I love him to bits and think, on average, I'm an okay dad. But I also want to talk about the other stuff.

How baby Teddy's short life is helping save thousands of lives

He may have only lived for 100 minutes, but that didn't stop baby Teddy from saving the lives of others.

A heartbreaking trail of missed chances in death of baby forgotten in car

A haunting reminder to stay mindful about babies in cars, especially as we approach summer.

What to do if your baby has tongue-tie

Tongue-tie can cause feeding problems. However once it is diagnosed, the condition can be easily treated.

How to move house without losing your mind

Some people move frequently, while others like to stay put. But everyone finds it stressful.

'She had nowhere to go': how new mum's life began to unravel

The birth of her first child should have been happiest of times for Campsie mother Phuong Cao, but friends say it marked the beginning of when her life began to unravel. 

Women giving birth to a son keep some of his Y chromosomes

It was an experiment doomed to failure - they were looking for male cells in female bodies. And their search was stunningly successful.

Photos: How babies fit in the womb

A gorgeous photo series shows babies in the first hours after their birth - as they were positioned in the womb.

Baby tries to persuade stubborn bulldog to walk, fails

We don't know what he's saying, but this baby has a very clear message for his bulldog pal: let's walk - NOW.

The best toddler gift ever? Nine gender-neutral play kitchen picks

Without a doubt, one of the best gifts for a toddler turning two or three is a play kitchen.

9 easy steps to improve your baby photography

With a few simple tips you can take your images from random happy snaps to lovely clean images that create beautiful lasting memories.



Can't decide?

Check out the Essential Baby Names section for some inspiration

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.