I don't always have an option for a babysitter. They are both out of school and my son is very mature for his age. Am I wrong for allowing them to stay home alone being that they're both under the age of 18?

I do have video surveillance in my home, which is connected to my i-phone, so I can see exactly what they're doing at any given moment.

  • 1
    I hope so, because I've left my younger children at home alone with a 16 year old babysitter all day. (Not their sibling)
    – stannius
    Sep 1, 2015 at 20:47
  • 8
    I find it sort of depressing that people actually feel like it might be wrong to allow older siblings to watch younger ones. Unless you have some specific reason to distrust your older child, there's nothing unethical or immoral about doing this.
    – barbecue
    Sep 1, 2015 at 23:58
  • 1
    What country are you in?
    – DanBeale
    Sep 2, 2015 at 7:37
  • 2
    I think it's a bit of a judgement call, based on the individual 16-year-old, and no one is better suited to make that judgement than those who've spent more time around the children than anyone else - their parents. Sep 3, 2015 at 12:06
  • 1
    Related questions: At what age or developmental milestones is it safe to leave children unattended? (asked about a significantly younger child [7!], but the answers include some factors to consider about legality, maturity, and safety) and What is considered to be a safe age to be a babysitter? (since your son would be "babysitting" his sister).
    – Acire
    Sep 3, 2015 at 12:30

1 Answer 1


If you trust them not to fight and to listen to each other, sure.

I've been a babysitter since as young as 13, and there's 6 years of difference which should give enough additional overweight for the older one. As long as you explain that this is actually baby-sitting (meaning he can't just go out with his friends while "on duty") and your son agrees with that, it shouldn't be a problem.

I'd be careful about doing this too often, though. Your son has a life of his own and unless he happens to enjoy being an unpaid babysitter probably has other stuff he wants to do during vacations and the like.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .