Do you think a thirteen year old is old enough to babysit for his seven year old siblings (you know, hypothetically speaking, asking for a friend) and does your answer change if the parents are planning to spend a couple of hours with neighbors vs an evening out across town? Assume the teenager in question is not generally prone to mayhem and the younger children are not usually mayhemable. Also, there is no applicable state law but state guidelines say that children aged 11 - 14 may care for younger children provided the adult plans to return later the same day; which I must say seems astonishingly casual for a childcare guideline. I mean, I plan to go through my closet and donate everything I haven't worn in a year. Of course, MN state guidelines also say that it is ok to make u-turns pretty much all over the place; so just because it isn't prohibited it doesn't mean it is advisable or even particularly safe.
Oh and I know what you're thinking because I was thinking the same thing while I typed this: when *I* was thirteen I had a lucrative babysitting business and when I was twelve my friend Mandy and I were part of a school fundraiser in which the sixth graders offered babysitting services one Saturday afternoon. Somehow we wound up being put in charge of TEN little boys between the ages of three and nine, each one a hell-born babe in his own right. I think we eventually had to tie the ring-leader to a chair.
But I have long since concluded that ours is the Last Somewhat Great or at least Durable Generation and the moment you turn your back on a modern child their arm falls off and the police show up.
What do you think?