Age for Babysitting
It is hard to find solid and reliable information on the minimum age for babysitting. It changes depending not only where in the world you live but also from state to state in America. Instead of thinking, ďAm I legally old enough to babysit these children?Ē ask yourself ďAm I mature and responsible enough to babysit these children?Ē Again this also changes depending on who you are babysitting and for how long. Remember itís a good thing if you realize you arenít able to cope with certain children, due to age or number.
Taking care of younger children is not something that should be taken lightly. You should probably be 16 plus before considering babysitting toddlers and babies. Older children are generally more capable of keeping out of trouble and of entertaining themselves. However it is vital to know exactly where the children are and what they are doing all the time they are in your care no matter how old they are.
The number of children is a factor, too. You may be comfortable and capable of caring for a 6 year old, yet two children aged 10 might be too much right now. This is where knowing the children can really help. Babysitting siblings is most often easier than sitting neighborsí children, and especially children you donít know. The general rule of thumb is the more you know a child the easier it will likely be to look after them. You know what they like and dislike and how to keep them entertained and also whether you can cope with the demands.
Ultimately, it will be up the parent of the children to decide if you are old enough and mature enough. Even so, make sure you are comfortable with it. They might assume you are able to deal with 4 children at once. If youíre not then make sure you tell them. Do not feel it wrong to know your limits, parents will respect you more for it, and itís the safest thing to do. People will hold you responsible for anything that might happen; make sure you are comfortable with accepting that responsibility.
There are legal ages in some countries and states. However your maturity and ability is just as important. Just because itís legal doesnít mean itís wise! The age for babysitting is something you should consider for yourself on a child by child basis and something you should discuss with each parent. It also helps to take a babysitting class many are offered by local hospitals and other civic organizations.