Mother Arrested for Using 13-Year-Old as Babysitter

babysitter
Image via iStock

Some people are criticizing the mom, while others are pointing fingers at the neighbor.

When does one become qualified to babysit? Is there a specific age or grade level that accurately measures the aptness of a babysitter?

A 39-year-old woman was arrested for leaving her four children — ages 13, 10, 4, and 1 1/2 — alone at home while she attended church. According to this article, she left the children in the care of her eldest child, but when a neighbor called the police, stating that the 4-year-old wandered into the yard across the street alone, this mother was charged with “risk of injury to a minor.”

{ MORE: Bed Rest During Pregnancy }

Some people are criticizing the mom, while others are pointing fingers at the neighbor, “accusing her of acting in anything but a neighborly way.”

babysitter
Image via iStock

When I was 13 years old, my parents felt I was qualified enough to be entrusted with my 9-year-old sister and 5-year-old brother while my mom went to the grocery store or while my parents went out to dinner for a Friday-evening date. I don't know if they would have done the same if I'd had an even younger sibling, but regardless, they were never gone that long, and they were never too far away.

If my younger brother had wandered out into a neighbor's yard, I think that neighbor would've walked him back over to my house and then, perhaps, stayed until my parents returned. Or, that neighbor may have just returned him and scolded me, warning me about the possible dangers and would've later told my parents what had happened.

{ MORE: Girl Survives 11 Days in the Woods with Nothing but Her Dog }

I also don't think my little brother would've wandered off without my knowledge. I was a bossy 13-year-old, and I loved authority and responsibility. My siblings probably hated when I was left in charge. I was a helicopter babysitter, just as I am a helicopter mom (I make no apologies for my hover-hover-hovering).

Times have definitely changed since I was 13, and children wandering out in streets or into neighbors' yards can lead to much more dangerous situations than they once would have. But have the times changed so much that using a 13-year-old babysitter is considered child neglect or “risk of injury to a minor”?

When does one become qualified to babysit? What do you think?

ADVERTISEMENT

Read More

What do you think?

Mother Arrested for Using 13-Year-Old as Babysitter

Kimberly Shannon is a wife, a mother, an editor, a writer ... She is always working to find the perfect balance¹! After Kimberly received her bachelor’s degree in Journalism, she worked on two master’s degree programs (Creative Writing, and Marriage and Family Therapy). At various times in her life she has signed up to study Naturopathy, only to back out at the last minute, and humored the idea of returning full-time to the world of dance. Kimberly has also started 10 different children ... More

Tell us what you think!

6 comments

  1. Stacy says:

    It all boils down to the laws of the state they live in. In our state a 13 year old is considered an acceptable age to babysit

  2. Adelle says:

    My baby sister was born when I was 12 and I watched her with my 11 year old sister alone on weekends no problem. Apparently people can be arrested for anything nowdays.

  3. Summer says:

    Each state has their own laws about this, but what I find interesting is that now days, there are 13 year olds having kids of their own. Should they not be allowed alone with their kids?

  4. Ambur says:

    I was 12 when I started babysitting. I could handle younger kids no problem.

  5. Anneliese says:

    The age of a babysitter depends on the child. I have 4 children, one ond the way and 2 step. I would not just let any of them babysit the younger ones . If her 13 yr. Old is mature enough for a short time to babysit than the mom should be set free and cleared of all charges.

Advertisement
[x]
×

EverydayFamily.com Week-by-Week Newsletter

Receive weekly updates on your pregnancy or new baby’s development as well as Free Stuff, Special Offers, Product Samples, Coupons, Checklists and Tools you can use today, and more from EverydayFamily! Plus all new members are entered to win FREE diapers for a year! Receive weekly updates on your pregnancy or new baby’s development as well as Free Stuff, Special Offers, Product Samples, Coupons, Checklists and Tools you can use today, and more from EverydayFamily! Plus all new members are entered to win FREE diapers for a year!

Due Date or Baby's Birth Date


By clicking the "Join Now" button you are agreeing to the terms of use and privacy policy.

Send this to a friend