Can a 12-year-old legally watch my kids 9 hours a day?

My ex and I have discussed her situation a bit, and now we’re talking about the kids coming to live me for the summer and then re-evaluate the custody situation at the end of the summer. I mentioned that paying for daycare during the summer by myself would be very difficult and asked if she could help me financially with that.

She thought about it for a few days and on Friday, she informs me that she signed our oldest (who is 12) up for a ‘CPR for Babysitters’ class so she can watch our two younger children (who are 7 and 9) during the summer. I told her that I wasn’t sure if that was even legal - asking a 12-year-old to basically work 45 hours a week (the time I’m at work). I was un-able to continue communication with my ex as she became very belligerent at the suggestion that her idea might not work.

I realize that I’ll most likely have to pay for daycare on my own, but was wondering if it is legal to have a 12-year-old watch younger siblings for that many hours every day.

Calloway,You may have the most reliable, mature 12 year old, but this is not her responsibility.I’m with the others in that the legality of it is not the most important factor.First, no 12 year old should have that responsibility. Let her be a child, not a caretaker.Second, siblings are least likey to mind one another, so you are asking for more drama and fights (I had to babysit my cousins who were only a year and 4 years younger than me because they could not stop fighting). Her other siblings may begin to resent her and she will resent you.That’s an aweful lot of pressure on a 12 year old (no matter if she’s 12 or 16), she did not sign up to be a mom. Every once in a while if you are in a pinch might be acceptable, but not a full-time nanny.I say cough up the dough and stand up for your daughter’s rights. Kuddos to you for recognizing your ex-wife’s poor judgement!No need to argue with your ex, just tell her firmly that you will not be using that option. If she refuses to help you with the financial burden, that sucks, but don’t let that become your daughter’s problem.

When I was a child, the siblings and I needed a third party. Sometimes even now that we are in our thirties+ maybe we could use a mediator.

I don’t know that it is illegal…But legal and smart are two different things. I once had this same argument with my ex when my oldest was 14. I had actually hired a day nanny who had an 8 yr old sone of her own…my kids were 14, 12 and 7. My ex scoffed and said it was a waste of money, un-hired the nanny, and said our 14 yr old could do it. It was the biggest frickin’ fiasco you ever saw in your whole life. A few hours, once in a while, like from 3:30-5:30 after school, might be okay…but 45 hours a week? ARE YOU KIDDING ME? Bad, bad idea. Not only a bad idea, but putting wayyyy too much on the shoulders of a 12 yr old.

Maybe you can look into a daycamp for them because you said it’s for the summer maybe you could drop them off in the morning and pick them up after work maybe there something affordable many towns have such things something to look into

My parents had me watching my younger brothers at that age for just a few hours. My middle brother wasn’t a problem but the youngest was a hellion! He and I clashed over the smallest of things. I would recommend a certified babysitter with references, p/t nanny or day program/camp. 12 is not a responsible age no matter the maturity.