How young is too young to be babysitting? Are pre-teens mature and responsible enough to take care of the younger kids? A new study from the American Academy of Pediatrics has good and bad news. After examining the babysitting of 700 pre-teens ages 11 to 13, the large majority of them knew who to contact in the event there was an intruder, the child was injured, and if the child was poisoned.
Unfortunately, 40% said they had left children unattended while babysitting, and 20% said they had opened the door to strangers.
Sandy at Strollerderby summarizes these findings best: “What this says to me is that the average pre-teen is highly trainable and can be counted on to act appropriately in case of an emergency. It also reveals that pre-teens lack the maturity to exercise good judgment when the choices aren’t so clear cut. Knowing what to do when your little charge gets hurt is good. But leaving your charge alone and opening the door to strangers is not.”
Would you let your pre-teen babysit? Or hire a pre-teen to babysit your kids?