• Mother Arrested For Letting Her 13 Year Old Babysit

  • When is it the right age to allow your eldest child to babysit your younger child? I would say this depends completely on the individual child and their responsibility level.

    But let's say you thought your 13 year old was ready, just like this Connecticut mother did, and they mess up letting your 4 year old out of their sight and into a neighbor's yard. Can you image being arrested for that?

    In a case that's disturbing parenting bloggers, a Connecticut mom was arrested and charged with “risk of injury to a minor” after leaving her children alone at home.  The 39-year-old woman, Rebecca Young, left her 13-year-old in charge of her younger children, ages 10, 4, and 1 and a half, while she went to church. A neighbor called police to report that the 4-year-old had wandered across the street into her yard. Some people are criticizing the mom, while others are pointing fingers at the neighbor, “accusing her of acting anything but in a neighborly way.” Plenty of kids start babysitting in their early teens, but is 13 too young?

    Source: The Week.com

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    712 Responses to “Mother Arrested For Letting Her 13 Year Old Babysit”

    1. Yeah… thats what I was going to say… she is by no means “to young” to babysit but all three kids at once was a little much… the youngest being a baby and the second youngest a preschooler.

    2. I was that age and babysat. Unless they are mature at 13 then that’s fine I think.

    3. Messed up.that neighbor has issues! She is old enough, church is 2 hours, not like she left for the night to go party. That has happened to me, I’m in my forties my child snuck out front, but my neighbor brought back..

    4. I thought 12 was legal age to babysit other children

      • 12 is under reason witch means depending o the age of the child 1 is to young but i dont think this mother should be charged for this i would think my 13 and 10 year old could ban together and take care of each other for a couple hours

    5. I watched my infant sister at 13. It all depends on the maturity of the child. Most can handle watching a younger sibling.

    6. 12 years old I was baby sitting. The law is trying to run our lives. When I was younger I was doing chores at the age of 8.

    7. Wow…I would have been in trouble!

    8. I am totally okay with letting kids babysit. My only problem was how many kids she left. A one year old is work enough for a parent, but to leave a 13 year old in charge (even a responsible one) on a one year old and 2 other children seemed a bit much. That can get overwhelming for an adult. Now my 9 year old is the most mature kid I have ever met, but even I wouldn’t leave her with my 4 year old because he’s a terror. But I would leave her with my 6 year old. It depends on each child in the situation. Do I think the mom should have been arrested hell no. Way to over react.

    9. I started babysitting a 6 month old when I was 9. My kids that are still living at home (my oldest is 18 and moved out ) are 14 and 8. I work and go to school so they are home by themselves a lot. I do not leave them home at night for very long.. 9 pm is my cut off, even if it means leaving class early.
      I think at 13, especially with a 10 yr old there, is old enough. The 10 yr old is old enough to help out some. I don’t think the mother should have been arrested for it. It could have happened to anybody.

    10. This is stupid was babysitting at 10

    11. Ten years ago..probably not too young. But for whatever reason anymore 13 year olds are not responsible enough to babysit. Just my own opinion -as a mom of both a teenager and a toddler. I know my daughter (and her friends) while I love them dearly..no way would I let them baby sit.

    12. I started babysitting for a family of five young kids ranging in ages 6yr to 4 months old when I was only 12 years old. I was their regular babysitter for years. Heck, those kids are all grown with babies on their own and still call my parents to see if I can watch their kids now and she has to tell them I don’t even live in the state. If your maturity level can handle it then it is okay. Freaking police, CPS, DHS, government, etc needs to stop invading our lives. I understand there is a need at times but this story is just ridiculous.

    13. I started babysitting when I was twelve…

    14. I was 13 watching twins, cooking, cleaning, ect. And 16 i stayed with them for about a week.

    15. First off it depends on the maturity level of the kid…. And honestly it depends on the neighbors!! My older kids watch the babies, but they also know in an emergency neighbors will HELP them, not put their mother ( me!!!) in jail!! That’s what’s wrong with the world, instead of all pitching in and helping each other, people wanna call cops and tear families apart….. Damn shame for sure!!

    16. My 1st job was babysitting and I was 13!!!!!

    17. Laws vary in every state. It’s really easy to Google the laws on this. Also local police can meet your kids n give permission to let your kids babysit depending on kids maturity. I started babysitting at age 8 n home alone at age 5 but that was in the 80’s lol. My daughter babysat her brother at age 10 n he was like 1-2 years but I had the OK by an officer cuz I was alone with no help.

    18. I started at 12…yes depends on maturity of child, for sure!!! I i always key neighbors know as well!!!! I allowed my daughter to start at 12, she babysits for several families and it now 14…she is very responsible!!! So idk about arresting the mother….its a shame!!!!

    19. The law in Maryland is that children under the age of 8 can not be left alone in a dwelling unless they are with a child who is at least 13 years old.

      Also, I think I started babysitting around that age.

    20. I was 11 when I started watching babies and kids. Nothing ever went wrong that I couldn’t handle. If it is a nasty day outside or if I need to take one of the kids to the doctor I trust my twelve year old to watch his brothers. He knows not to go to the door and if a fire starts to get him and his brothers out and to the neighbors. He is like me and really good with kids and babies. It does depend on the maturity of the child.

    21. I was a paid babysitter at 13. I watched infants and small kids.

    22. Jessly Guzman! This is exactly what we were talking about the other night.

    23. When I was a kid 13 was the average age to begin babysitting…I started at 12.

    24. But just to be safe I might fund that 13yo’s babysitting cert. Wouldn’t want that bull happening to another mom.

    25. And if you did leave your 7 year old alone you wouldn’t post it because people are now crazy and would call the cops. Lol 🙂 not that you really do. I was just sayin.

    26. It’s too young to be in charge of three other children !! Obviously to young for this 13 yr old

    27. 13 is old enough especially if your a single working mom with no other choice

    28. I started babysitting when I was 12!

    29. The neighbor was just being a b***h. Yes crossing the road is definitely dangerous, but damn don’t think the police needed involved. I have complete confidence in my 13 year old daughter if I needed her to watch her siblings. Ridiculous.

    30. I remember kids being that age baby sitting all the time for people. I mean it is legal for a 14 year old to get a regular job if I that is still the minimum age. I also think yes it depends on their maturity level too, some may be able to handle it but I think that many kids at once in those age groups was a little much all at once. Stuff like that happens though even to adults and the neighbor didn’t have to call the cops immediately. I suppose a little one crossing the road unattended is worrisome though also, so this is a tough one.

    31. I was babysitting at the age of 13 as well it is the legal age in the state of georgia and my son was babysitting my younger kids his siblings at the age of 13 as well but i do agree some kids arent ready to to babysit even at 15. The neighbor did jump the gun and shouldnt have called the cops. Maybe they should have walked the little girl back home and then if things wernt ok then do something. If i was the neighbor i would have sat on my front porch and kept an eye on them but then down here in georgia thats what being a good neighbor is all about…

    32. This is ridiculous. I was babysitting my younger siblings at 8years old but my parents were either out in the garage or they were just a house next door there is absolutely nothing wrong with letting a 13yr old babysit. A 10year old is able to babysit and help the 13year old with the little ones! Not like the 10year old can’t help, duh!!!

    33. I think it depends on the child. When I was 9. My mother had me watch my 6 year old sister, but not my then 1 year old baby sister. I wasn’t asked to watch her until she was about 3 or 4. My mom said it was because then she could talk and tell me explain what she wanted/needed better. But now being a parent myself, I am having difficulty deciding if my 11 year old is ready for the responsibility of watching her 6, and 5 year old siblings.

    34. I left my 7, 5.5, and 3 year old with our Mother’s Helper who is 13. I was only going down the street to the grocery store and My Mom was due home in 10 minutes…But even so, I would trust her to know how to care for them for an hour or so.
      I think though that if I were leaving those ages every one would be instructed to stay inside, movies on to help occupy, and safety locks would be on the doors to insure that little ones couldn’t leave the house with out being noticed.

    35. It depends on the older one’s maturity, but DUH, this is old enough! Come on, people! I was baby-sitting my little brother when I was 9 and he was 4. It’s up to the discretion of the parents and also their responsibility to train the older one what to do in an emergency, or whom to call for help. We don’t need to baby this generation or call CPS on each other! B.S.!!!

    36. Mature 13 yr old can do it. I have used a 13 yr. old as a babysitter for my 2 & 3 & 7 yr old daughters. Never had a problem.

    37. I was 10-11 when I started watching my younger siblings. 6,5,2. We were just fine my dad became a single dad and needed allot of help.

    38. I have 13 year old twin boys. The one boy is very responsible and cautious. The other 13 year old is not as responsible. They both do well with my 2 year old for short periods of time (1/2 hour- 45 minutes). However, I also have an 8 1/2 year old boy who is very active. I will not let him with the 13 year olds and the 2 year old. I think it would be too much. I have left the the 13 year olds get the 8 1/2 year old off the school bus, but not with the 2 year old being home. I think it depends on the kids. I don’t think this mom was wrong. A 4 year old can get out of the house at anytime. I don’t think the neighbor did the neighborly thing. She should have taken the child back to the house and notified the mother of the incident. If they didn’t live on a highway or unsafe neighborhood then the child wasn’t in any immediate danger. I mean geez the mom went to church not out partying. In PA there is no laws stating the minimum age of a child in order to be left home alone. It suggest a minimum of age 10 and age 12 to babysit. It also suggests to consider the safety of your neighborhood, the time of day, and duration based on the maturity of the child/children. So I guess if everything goes well then you are fine, but if not you may go to jail. I mean the law in PA is vague. If they decide the child wasn’t mature enough then who knows.

    39. I started watching my sister at 11

    40. I think 13 is old enough. My daughter is 12 and she baby sits…..BUT I do think 13 yrs old is too young to watch 3 children at once! I am 35 yrs old and sometimes 3 kids is a handful for me to watch.
      Mom is in the wrong for allowing her daughter for watch too many children at once.

      • Not true. My daughter watches 3 or 4 at a time and does just fine at it. She has never had any problems and she is 14. Been doing it since 13.

    41. My 14 yr old daughter is a certified babysitter and has been since she was 13. The neighbor was in the wrong on this one and so were the cops. That is just ridiculous!!!

    42. I let my oldest who was 13 at the time babysit her 1 year old sibling, she’s now 15 and can handle a 3 year old and a 1 year old. My other older child is currently 13 and she can only handle the 3 year old but not both. It all depends on dynamics of the older and younger siblings as well as maturity and responsibility. We have had our older girls watch their younger siblings and had to be the judge if they could handle it. The neighbor wouldn’t necessarily understand the dynamics between the kids. There’s not even a law in some states that specify when a kid can stay by themselves, it’s based on responsibility and the basic well being of the kid. Nosy neighbors need to back off unless they would like to tend to the children for free, since in my case, finances are an issue for childcare.

    43. I feel it depends on the kid. I have seen kids stay at home younger than that. But they are very good kids. I have seen 13 years old and have No business being by their self because he is very out of control. Cops didn’t pick her up.

    44. jasmine villela-lopez Reply March 17, 2015 at 10:30 pm

      13 is not too young. I babysat when I was 11 with siblings that were 9,4,and 1.

    45. Thirteen is a very appropriate age to babysit but the 13 yr old has to be mature enough to do it. That is the key. IMO I think the mom should have taken the one year old with her to church. Three kids is hard even for a grown adult esp with a 1 yr old in th bunch. That neighbor is an a*s. She should of just brought the child back to the home. Everyone is so quick to judge one another.

    46. My parents left me to babysit at 8 and by the time I was 10, it was every day before school for almost 2 hours and some evenings, my sibling was 2 by then. The first few times it was so my mom could go out and it was late in the evening.

      My 14-year-old started helping with the little ones more on his own. When we are not home, they are not to be outside the fenced in yard. Now last year, at 13, they were not allowed outside at all when we were not home.

      My only concerns for this mom is that the 13-year-old clearly had her hands full and they honestly shouldn’t be allowed outside when the parents aren’t home.