Thanks for all your replies, it is interesting to see how many different opinions there are. I guess it is not all black and white.
To address some of the issues. We are at my neighbors house almost every day and my daughter is as comfortable there as she is at home. She has napped there and slept overnight many times. She also knows the girl who will be babysitting. If, and it is a big if she were to wake up, she wouldn't be upset at all. Worst case scenario, she gets her parents who are next door or calls me and I am home in 5 minutes, so I have zero concerns about her. The boys are really good with rules. They even come and ask me if they can have a lolly from their lolly bag instead of just eating one like a lot of kids. They won't be using the oven or anything like that. We also live in a nice small town in a safe cul de sac. However, having said all that I am still a bit unsettled about it. I know they would be fine though and I really want to have a few hours of adult time. So, I think I will stick to my plan of leaving at half time. I am only going to have a couple drinks so I won't be drunk either. Plus I have to work the next day.
I would leave them all in the one place. Can the 12yo go with you? Is it strictly adults only?
I would let my friends 14yo look after my 19mo, but not my own 14yo.
It depends completely on the maturity and experience of the person.
Coming from a family of alot of kids... My 10yo dd and 13yo dsd are capable of looking after there younger siblings together without us... 1, 3, 5, 6.
They have been raised to help in the house and there CHOSEN (by them) jobs are to cook dinner (10yo) and bath the kids and get them dressed.
They know what to do in an emergency and beg us to leave them
To look after the kids and try to send us out for a nice dinner.
They are fine to change nappies , which they also ask to do and
Make bottles etc.
That said, I have only left them to go next door for half an hour or to do a grocery shop and 8/10 times its when the younger ones have gone to bed.
If the need should arise, I know they could do it without a problem.
Actually, I have done it - in emergency situations - ie. running up the road to get nappies, getting my 5yo from bus stop (13yo brings them home usually but sometimes 5yo plays up and refuses to go so 10yo comes and watches kids while 13yo stays with 5yo and I go get them).
Anyway, in my house it works - if you think it will in yours then do it. (mind you, 17yo looking after any of them.... We tried that and came home to 1yo sitting in the kitchen sink in a poo nappy holding a butcher knife while 17yo slept on lounge) so ahhh.. Yeah... My younger girls are way too hands on so I know that would never happen in their care, but 17yo is never babysitting again - EVER!!!!
Best advise : you be the judge
I would be happy with that.
If the parents are right next door.
If this were in another country where siblings are commonly known to care for their younger siblings, this little rah-rah of leaving young kids with other young kids or alone, wouldn't be happening.
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