'The Babysitter's Club': Way Too Young to Babysit

For anyone else who remembers The Babysitter's Club, this blogger's amusing imagining of "where are they now?" with Kristi, Maryann, Claudia, and the gang is incredibly satisfying. I was a massive fan of the series by Ann M. Martin, which ran from the time I was about 8 to when I was far too old to read them anymore at 22.

When I started reading them, the girls were older than I was and they seemed very mature, but soon I overtook them and became an adult while they never aged past 13.

Now I am a mom and, looking back, I can't fathom what those parents were thinking leaving their tiny babies with children who had not yet left middle school. Or, is 12 just different than it used to be?


A friend of mine recently hired an 11-year-old mother's helper to hang out and play with her 2-year-old while she gets chores done and takes care of her newborn, but to my knowledge she has never left the little girl alone for the evening with her child.

I'm also eyeing the 10-year-old down the street who has her own little animal club for pet-sitting as a potential playmate for my kids who are 3.5 and 2, but again, I would never leave her alone with them.

I babysat at 12 and 13 and most of my friends did as well. There was a family who had three children who paid me $2 an hour (!!) and balked when I asked for a raise. Now I pay sitters in their 20s who have master's degrees $15 an hour to stay with my kids.

Times have changed.

Was 12 different in the early 1990s or are parents more cautious now? 

I can't think of a single 12-year-old with whom I would feel comfortable leaving my children. At that age, I was still sucking my thumb (seriously), but I played with the children, put them to bed, and generally did a semi-decent job of appearing responsible. The 12-year-olds I know are still little kids themselves.

So, while the girls of The Babysitter's Club were responsible for their age, there is no way I would leave my child with children who required a babysitter themselves.

Would you have hired "The Babysitter's Club"?


Image via Scholastic.com

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