We all know, that as much as we love our children there will always be those times when you want to be out without your little angels, or even sometimes you just can’t take them with you
This can be a dilemma for some parents. Many of us will drop the children off at Grandma’s, or a favourite auntie will be available, but for those of us who do not have extended family living close by, or friends who are available, it’s not so easy.
Recently my eldest daughter started to babysit for some of our neighbours. Now, she is 16 and she has been brought up all her life with younger siblings. I would have no qualms about leaving her to look after our youngest and yet there was a situation that made me stop and wonder about babysitting. She was next door babysitting and I got a call to say that the little girl wouldn’t stop crying, I popped over gave a cuddle, sang a little song, read a story on the rocking chair and it was all smiles until Mummy and Daddy returned. It wasn’t that my singing is any better than my daughters – for sure! – but purely that as a mother of four I have lots of experience and have a thousand calming techniques up my sleeve. A teenager doesn’t have that life experience and it seems unfair to expect either child or teenager to be put in that situation. It was surprising to learn that there is actually no clear line to define when a child is legally allowed to care for another child or baby. And yet there have been cases of parents being prosecuted for leaving a child with another, which seemed not to be very helpful to parents who are trying to arrange their annual night out!
We found out several facts that might help parents, including details of a babysitting course - which on reflection perhaps every teenager who is considering babysitting should go on.