Weekly Question: How Young Can Kids Start Babysitting?

Back in the day (25 years ago!), when I was a kid and had to walk seven miles uphill in the snow to get to school…

Ugh. I never thought I’d be able to relate to my parents/grandparents while reminiscing on my childhood, but there you have it. lol Them’s the facts! Anywho, when I was younger, I remember getting left alone with my older siblings without a second thought. It was common occurrence then and no one thought a thing about it. Today, however, things are different. Much more dangerous, many more official rules.

In Missouri, where I live, the legal age for babysitting is 11 years old . If you’re not sure the age limit for where you live, check with your local police department or municipality. BUT, laws aside, I’m asking how young do YOU think kids can start babysitting? 

My answer is easy. Despite the maturity of the child, I think kids shouldn’t start babysitting until they can manhandle the younger kids. I know, I know, I should have worded that better. But what I mean is that when they’re old/big/strong enough to pick the kid they’re babysitting up and carry them outside of a burning house, then they’re ready. If the kid can’t physically drag the younger kid to safety, then it’s not okay, in my book. 

Now, in saying that, I’m speaking from a protective parent’s point of view. I always try to think safety first. My oldest, Aliya, is 11 and I 100% trust her to watch any of my children. Buuuuut, I won’t let her until she can sling them over her shoulder and flee an erupting volcano.  


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One Comment on “Weekly Question: How Young Can Kids Start Babysitting?

  1. Hmm. Never thought about this. My parents used to leave me home alone as soon as I turned 13, but never left me to babysit my siblings unless they were home but unavailable. There were also no younger kids in the neighborhood, so there wasn’t even an opportunity to babysit even if I had wanted to. Because of this, I’ve never really thought of my kids babysitting, but maybe I should as my oldest will legally be old enough to stay home alone and to babysit before I know it.

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