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(8,312 posts)
Sat Jun 14, 2014, 12:23 AM Jun 2014

How many people feel a 10-year-old is responsible enough.... [View all]

... to care for a five-year-old sibling overnight, alone?

Given how many people here denigrate the Duggars and other Quiverfull families for making children take on responsibility way too early, I'm astonished at some of the vitriol directed at a person who felt that leaving these children alone overnight was neglectful enough to warrant engaging authorities. I did a lot at age 10 -- I rode public buses alone to get to school and to my grandparents' house, I let myself in to wait for my mother to get home from work, and I even babysat a younger child for a few hours occasionally with my grandmother actively supervising me (as preparation for babysitting as a teenager). But my mother NEVER left me alone overnight at that age, even for a few hours. Even when she took a night job on the weekends the summer I turned 10, she made sure my 19-year-old sister was there.

Here are some guidelines from different states about when the law says a kid can be left alone:


As an example: in Georgia, leaving a five year old child with a 10-year-old, even for an hour, is child neglect. They do not consider a 10-year-old to be a capable babysitter. They feel 8 is old enough to be a latchkey kid, but 13-and-up to babysit a child under 8. And 15 and up to be left alone overnight, by themselves or with another child.


Does this suck for parents who are struggling the best they can and having to work an odd schedule to support their family? Of course it does. The single moms I knew who were on graveyard had relatives taking care of their children while they were working -- it must be terrible to have no family to help.

But it's unacceptable to leave a child alone in that situation in my opinion, and if I'd been made aware of such a situation happening, I'd be obligated to report it to the proper authorities. It's called being a mandated reporter.

Mandated reporting laws are in place so that hopefully *someone* will report abuse and neglect -- not that we are the only people who have a moral responsibility to report.


Added "Depends" and "Other"

36 votes, 0 passes | Time left: Unlimited
A 10-year-old should not be left by themselves, period.
11 (31%)
A 10-year-old could be left by themselves during daylight or early evening hours, but not overnight or as a babysitter.
2 (6%)
A 10-year-old is capable of being a babysitter to a younger sibling for a few hours, but not overnight.
2 (6%)
A 10-year-old is capable of being a babysitter to a younger sibling overnight.
2 (6%)
Depends on the 10-year-old
19 (53%)
0 (0%)
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Disclaimer: This is an Internet poll
114 replies = new reply since forum marked as read
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given the choice between both being placed with foster parents CreekDog Jun 2014 #1
I was that 10 year old, and it was overnight a couple of times... Humanist_Activist Jun 2014 #2
You'd need an "it depends upon the 10-year-old" for me to vote in this poll. ScreamingMeemie Jun 2014 #3
There is a difference between what is best BainsBane Jun 2014 #4
Exactly. Hassin Bin Sober Jun 2014 #10
yup, and even with our criticisms of Duggars and others nobody is saying the cops JI7 Jun 2014 #14
The other poster was in Illinois -- 8 hours alone is felony child abandonment. moriah Jun 2014 #15
And? BainsBane Jun 2014 #16
If they're committing felony abandonment routinely to go smoke dope.... moriah Jun 2014 #19
I don't think you've read that thread very closely BainsBane Jun 2014 #21
I agree those are spurious reasons, but it boils down to abandonment.... moriah Jun 2014 #22
*SHE* says the kids are home alone all night laundry_queen Jun 2014 #29
and even more important if she wants to help why doesn't she pay for her utilities JI7 Jun 2014 #30
sounds like she is just Niceguy1 Jun 2014 #70
And CPS will investigate now to determine if it's still happening after this or not. moriah Jun 2014 #31
why can't you get that she doesn't have the fucking money for a babysitter ? JI7 Jun 2014 #38
There is free child care available in Chicago, along with Head Start. moriah Jun 2014 #66
Switching shifts isn't that easy gollygee Jun 2014 #105
Per the other poster, graveyard is for the shift premium. moriah Jun 2014 #107
I having seen personal attacks so much as calling out contradictory claims magical thyme Jun 2014 #86
that's right. A landlord isn't a social worker... magical thyme Jun 2014 #81
Hmm depends gollygee Jun 2014 #96
Of course there is etherealtruth Jun 2014 #88
+1 gollygee Jun 2014 #95
this is a case of a single mother who is struggling, one needs to consider all the factors JI7 Jun 2014 #5
Still, it's not right to force kids to grow up faster than they should. moriah Jun 2014 #23
it was wrong to report it because i don't believe the intentions were good JI7 Jun 2014 #25
I know they certainly wouldn't be growing up any faster boston bean Jun 2014 #85
I had to watch my sister overnight alone at that age. LeftyMom Jun 2014 #6
I was that 10 year old, Uncle Joe Jun 2014 #7
I babysat for other kids when I was ten BainsBane Jun 2014 #11
Some ten-year-olds are more reliable and more interested in taking care of babies or JDPriestly Jun 2014 #27
You had the 19-year-old sister. That's adult supervision. Not all moms have that option. arcane1 Jun 2014 #8
Yes, I was very lucky. moriah Jun 2014 #12
Indeed, the system should've already been there waiting for her. arcane1 Jun 2014 #13
Hard to believe social services wouldn't have some type of help treestar Jun 2014 #102
Depends on the 10 year old aint_no_life_nowhere Jun 2014 #9
There are no pat answers to the question. defacto7 Jun 2014 #17
At nine I was allowed to littlemissmartypants Jun 2014 #18
That was me. I was 10 and my sister was 6. I did it for two years riderinthestorm Jun 2014 #20
When I was 10, I took care of a very young baby after school, but my mother was JDPriestly Jun 2014 #24
Sounds about like my supervised babysitting at that age. moriah Jun 2014 #26
Children and babies really liked me, and I adored them. Still do. JDPriestly Jun 2014 #28
What was amazing about that thread? Le Taz Hot Jun 2014 #32
So all single parents should hand there kids over to others? If the spouse abandons them... Humanist_Activist Jun 2014 #34
If you think it was about being a single parent, wow. moriah Jun 2014 #35
My issue is that some don't have a choice, even after trying everything.... Humanist_Activist Jun 2014 #36
It is exactly about being a single parent in most cases. Gormy Cuss Jun 2014 #90
I'm with you. 840high Jun 2014 #114
you don't know her situation, why she ended up the way she has, and just handing off kids could be JI7 Jun 2014 #40
I see two children being unloved and neglected. Le Taz Hot Jun 2014 #42
No you don't, those are your assumptions. n/t Humanist_Activist Jun 2014 #43
i see 2 children whose mothers love them so much she is doing all she can JI7 Jun 2014 #45
What about the creepy person.... moriah Jun 2014 #46
put some bars or alarm system in place, talk to the mother JI7 Jun 2014 #50
I live in Florida. What sometimes happens to children who are sucked into the Florida djean111 Jun 2014 #74
10 and 5 year olds should NEVER Le Taz Hot Jun 2014 #78
The Amish down the road routinely allow 7-10 year olds operate tractors hexola Jun 2014 #33
What about drain cleaner? Rat poison? An electrical fire? Someone breaking into the house? moriah Jun 2014 #37
Actually yes, I remember learning a lot of that stuff in school. Were you not taught that? Humanist_Activist Jun 2014 #39
Message auto-removed Name removed Jun 2014 #65
In that society they are surely taught from a young age treestar Jun 2014 #104
I was a very mature 10 year old. Ad it depends on where you live, too. McCamy Taylor Jun 2014 #41
And in this case, there was abviously an adult watching this woman's living arrangements all the djean111 Jun 2014 #75
We know our neighbors all around us - TBF Jun 2014 #79
Was that ten year old. Egnever Jun 2014 #44
My mom also worked at an answering service and was similarly available to call riderinthestorm Jun 2014 #89
No davidpdx Jun 2014 #47
As a struggling single mother, I refused to leave my child overnight with a ten year old... Violet_Crumble Jun 2014 #48
Going for a night out is different from going to a job -- your only source of income. pnwmom Jun 2014 #49
So it would have been okay to leave my daughter with that ten year old if I was working that night? Violet_Crumble Jun 2014 #52
so how would you pay for home, food, etc if you didn't work ? JI7 Jun 2014 #55
Did you turn your friend in to the police because she was leaving her children alone pnwmom Jun 2014 #56
I did report her promptly to the Thought Police... Violet_Crumble Jun 2014 #59
Well, no one would have cared if the OP had reported the woman to the Thought Police. pnwmom Jun 2014 #62
also she kept mentioning the 5 year old but left out the 10 year old JI7 Jun 2014 #57
The complaint was leaving the five-year-old alone to take the 10-year-old to school.... moriah Jun 2014 #69
If she was wrong, DCFS should be able to determine that. moriah Jun 2014 #68
a night out for fun is different than working to provide for the family JI7 Jun 2014 #51
So a ten year old isn't a suitable option as babysitter for a night out? Violet_Crumble Jun 2014 #53
it's not about whether the kid is suitable, but needing to work JI7 Jun 2014 #54
I was poor and needed to work... Violet_Crumble Jun 2014 #58
the US doesn't have a good system in place, most likely the Kids ARE best off JI7 Jun 2014 #60
In the US we do not have "sole parent pensions." Welfare is for a very limited period of time, pnwmom Jun 2014 #61
In the United States you work or you go homeless... Humanist_Activist Jun 2014 #64
There is little or no help for the working poor in the US etherealtruth Jun 2014 #91
People who need to work are in a different level of desperation than people who want to gollygee Jun 2014 #99
What keeps going through my mind is a house fire a few years ago ucrdem Jun 2014 #63
And lighters. A 12-year-old babysitter was sued by the insurance company.... moriah Jun 2014 #67
Electric space heaters, candles, Christmas trees ucrdem Jun 2014 #71
10-year-olds are more mature than 7 or 8 gollygee Jun 2014 #103
Their Spawn, Their Life, Their Choice Exposethefrauds Jun 2014 #72
So society has no responsibility to ensure the welfare of children? moriah Jun 2014 #77
That was not the question you asked Exposethefrauds Jun 2014 #80
You said that parents could chose to do as they wish no matter the consequences to the kid. moriah Jun 2014 #82
where is the choice that states "10 year olds should not care for 5 year olds overnight" DrDan Jun 2014 #73
I thought it was choices 1-3... sorry. moriah Jun 2014 #76
Sure, they're "responsible," until something goes wrong... then it's your butt that's on the line. TheBlackAdder Jun 2014 #83
Thank you. n/t moriah Jun 2014 #84
good point about the 10 year old suffering guilt treestar Jun 2014 #100
In Minnesota, the age is 12. Younger than that is not considered MineralMan Jun 2014 #87
There's a huge difference with the Duggars et al. Mariana Jun 2014 #92
Overnight and getting the kiddo ready for school in the morning.... moriah Jun 2014 #108
Under no circumstances a 10 year old should be left with a younger sibling to baby sit. Harmony Blue Jun 2014 #93
Crime rates are down from when we were kids gollygee Jun 2014 #101
This is obviously related to yesterdays thread etherealtruth Jun 2014 #94
sorry, this is not a cut and dried situation Kali Jun 2014 #97
I would say 12 - that is the age at which we were hired to babysit treestar Jun 2014 #98
If you have some knowledge of how the system works. Wash. state Desk Jet Jun 2014 #106
If the parent has confidence in the child, a 10-year-old can babysit a younger sibling... AngryOldDem Jun 2014 #109
in wisconsin 2 12 year old girls are being tried as adults for attempted murder dembotoz Jun 2014 #110
Depends on the 10-year-old, really no name no slogan Jun 2014 #111
too young for overnight. couldnt make appropriate decision if emergency occured Liberal_in_LA Jun 2014 #112
I spent about an hour alone everyday after school, entering my home with my own key, at 5. morningfog Jun 2014 #113
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