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Would you let a 13yo boy babysit? - Page 4

post #61 of 343
Quote:
Originally Posted by Flor View Post
Knowing statistics doesn't help me at all choose between two sitters. That particular male sitter vs. one particular female sitter, the statistic doesn't matter. That one girl might be the one in a thousand (or whatever) that is the bad apple. I can just go on gut, observation, etc.
No, that's exactly why statistics DO help you in that kind of situation! Let's say there are two barrels of apples. One barrel is statistically known to have between 25-40% of its contents contaminated by toxic chemicals. The other is statistically known to have between 1-10% of its contents contaminated by the same chemicals. Someone places an apple from each barrel in front of you--which one do you choose? There's no way to smell or otherwise detect the chemical...go with statistics and you have a 10% or less chance of getting poisoned with Barrel B, vs over a 1 in 4 chance of getting poisoned with Barrel A.

In any event, the greatest likelihood is that any apple you pick will not be contaminated. That does not negate the fact that Barrel A's contents are more likely to be toxic than Barrel B's.
post #62 of 343
good analogy. i am unsubbing as the lack of understanding here is making me sick.
post #63 of 343
I completely agree with Flor (her first post).

I wouldn't have an issue in the world with a male sitter, but I'd have issues with a 13 year old sitter. Honestly, I really doubt I'd let anyone under 18 watch a child under 3. After 3ish, then I'd be less hesitant about it.
post #64 of 343
Quote:
Originally Posted by Flor View Post
Knowing statistics doesn't help me at all choose between two sitters. That particular male sitter vs. one particular female sitter, the statistic doesn't matter. That one girl might be the one in a thousand (or whatever) that is the bad apple. I can just go on gut, observation, etc.
This is exactly how I feel about it.

thismama: My view on the issue doesn't change, whether the child being babysat is a girl or a boy. Boys can also be sexually abused, so how does my belief that it's unfair to discriminate against a boy sitter, based on his gender, equate to evidence of misogyny? Saying "no male babysitters", based on statistics, is completely unfair to the entire gender. That has nothing to do with valuing boys more, and it certainly doesn't mean that I don't care if girls are molested. I don't want to see any child molested - ever...but I'm going to trust my gut over the stats, every time.
post #65 of 343
Quote:
Originally Posted by BelgianSheepDog View Post
No, that's exactly why statistics DO help you in that kind of situation! Let's say there are two barrels of apples. One barrel is statistically known to have between 25-40% of its contents contaminated by toxic chemicals. The other is statistically known to have between 1-10% of its contents contaminated by the same chemicals. Someone places an apple from each barrel in front of you--which one do you choose? There's no way to smell or otherwise detect the chemical...go with statistics and you have a 10% or less chance of getting poisoned with Barrel B, vs over a 1 in 4 chance of getting poisoned with Barrel A.
My mom asked me in grade six if my elementary school janitor had ever said or done anything inappropriate. She didn't like the vibe she got from him. (I lied and said "no".) He was the only male she ever asked that about...and the only male who molested me. (Actually, that's not entirely true, but the only other one was severely brain-damaged, and I would never have been left in his care, in any case.)

My point? Pedophiles aren't apples. Yes - they look like anybody else, but there are cues and "vibes" are real. There's one boy I know that I won't have babysit my kids - can't put my finger on what it is about him that makes me not trust him, but I don't. He'll never babysit for me - but it's not because he has a penis.
post #66 of 343
Well, my gut tells me to think about the stats. You cannot look at someone and know. For me, there are a few trusted men who I feel like I can look at them and know they are safe. But randomly you can't just trust your gut. Many, many men molest.
post #67 of 343
Quote:
Originally Posted by thismama View Post
Well, my gut tells me to think about the stats. You cannot look at someone and know. For me, there are a few trusted men who I feel like I can look at them and know they are safe. But randomly you can't just trust your gut. Many, many men molest.
I wouldn't "look" at someone and let them babysit my kids, anyway. I'd get to know them and make sure I felt okay with them around my kids before I'd let them babysit.

Based on your above view, we should never let anyone babysit our kids, unless we think emotional and physical abuse don't matter. Honestly - I have a lot of friends who have been sexually molested, and the only one who was molested by a babysitter was my ex, and the sitter was female.

My gut ignores stats completely - on almost everything. That doesn't make me a misogynist.
post #68 of 343
It depends on the 13yo in question and how mature he is. I'd use the exact same criteria for a babysitter whether it was a boy or a girl. I'd certainly allow a teenaged boy to babysit for my DS. I might not have allowed a boy to babysit when my girls were a little younger, but only because of their own comfort levels, not any inherent lack of trust.

Now that my oldest is 12, I wouldn't consider any babysitter under age 16 if I felt she needed to be babysat at all, and I certainly wouldn't leave her alone with a boy only a year older than her!
post #69 of 343
Quote:
Originally Posted by BelgianSheepDog View Post
No, that's exactly why statistics DO help you in that kind of situation! Let's say there are two barrels of apples. One barrel is statistically known to have between 25-40% of its contents contaminated by toxic chemicals. The other is statistically known to have between 1-10% of its contents contaminated by the same chemicals. Someone places an apple from each barrel in front of you--which one do you choose? There's no way to smell or otherwise detect the chemical...go with statistics and you have a 10% or less chance of getting poisoned with Barrel B, vs over a 1 in 4 chance of getting poisoned with Barrel A.

In any event, the greatest likelihood is that any apple you pick will not be contaminated. That does not negate the fact that Barrel A's contents are more likely to be toxic than Barrel B's.
Yeah, I get that, but I still might get the bad apple!!! I just dont' think that statistics can tell me much about an individual person. To use a backwards anaology-- my chance of winning the lottery is VERY slim, but it was just as slim as the person who actually won. To hire a babysitter, I need to go on more than statistics. Even if I crunch the numbers and say, statistically, to keep my child safe, I need a woman between the ages of 24-50, with a college education, with brown hair and glasses. . . .she might still be a bad sitter for my kid.

But, most importantly, I wouldn't let a 13 yo babysit.
post #70 of 343
Quote:
Originally Posted by MsElle07 View Post
Females are actually statistically far less likely to abuse. Operating under your assumption, if both boys and girls are likely to abuse, then we shouldn't be leaving our children with anyone.
Physically, maybe. Emotionally, I don't believe it.
post #71 of 343
Quote:
Originally Posted by Storm Bride View Post

My point? Pedophiles aren't apples. Yes - they look like anybody else, but there are cues and "vibes" are real. There's one boy I know that I won't have babysit my kids - can't put my finger on what it is about him that makes me not trust him, but I don't. He'll never babysit for me - but it's not because he has a penis.
There SOMETIMES are vibes. Other times, there are not. Going back to statistics, let's say that 50% of the contaminated apples have a mark on them or a faint odor. That still leaves an awful lot of apples that are contaminated with NO way of giving away that they are, and I'd still go with statistics over a "gut" feeling that maybe Barrel A is all ok after all.

I also won't let my child play at a home where there is a gun or a pool. It's definitely possible that she could be injured in an accident that involves factors other than those things, but statistically it is far more likely that she will be an accident where one of those factors is present. Just like we are unlikely to get in a car accident tomorrow, but if she's not in a car seat if we are, she's far more likely to be seriously injured than if she is in a car seat.
post #72 of 343

OT in the sense my remarks aren't about the 12 YO boy sitter.

rather, my remarks are about the gentle debate that has ensued.

It's great how non-sexist we as a society are moving toward being. I hope folks don't get so attached to these ideals that they kind have blinders on to certain realities. I do understand that it's really unpleasant to accept the statistics... to comprehend the ugliness that is occuring in our midst.

It is wonderful that most people don't have direct knowledge of how real childhood sexual abuse IS, and what havoc it plays on the victims and their families, their whole lives. What I wouldn't give to be one of those people, but, I'm not. I know about it. I know a lot about it, I know a lot of people who've lived it as well, as a function of my education and healing from it, such as I have been able to do.

I have had the full-circle moment in my life when I could be GRATEFUL that I knew it as well as I did, because knowing, recognizing, being prepared to ACT, protected my then 2 year-old dd from being left in the preschool class of a wonderful, well-educated, well-liked young male teacher whose face I later saw on the front page of the city's newspaper. He'd sexually molested DOZENS of his pupils, boys and girls. Now in jail. 29 victims in less than a year, all during school... naptime... other teachers on the other side of a thin wall.

None of their parents apparently saw what I saw, felt what I did; none of his COLLEAGUES or the school director saw--they sang his praises. That and the fact that as a single mom, I loved the idea of my dd having a man for a teacher--you know, since her dad was out of the picture, and the many uncles were not an every day thing, pushed me to really want to think favorably about this teacher.

What I saw was just a little hint... nothing I could/would name at the time: I just couldn't sleep the night before what would have been her first day, and I couldn't take my dd to him. It was a hard sacrifice: I needed that preschool--well, daycare is what it was. But I couldn't accept the idea of this kid (he was about 22) changing my dd's diapers, holding her for naptime. I didn't want to say what I was thinking: what I was thinking was simply that he was a male and I couldn't wrap my head around why he was a preschool teacher, what could make a young man want to do this for his life's work? I had same age nephews and thought, would any of them in a million years choose this as a career? They love kids, but, daycare teacher? That's all I could SAY to myself about it at the time. And I felt really guilty for being so sexist! More than half of my own brothers are outstanding fathers, loving, attentive, natural with kids: and I know other men who were completely trustworthy with kids. It was a real argument in my head.

But, I still trusted my intuition even though my head could only seem to articulate, "I don't get why this guy wants to be a preschool teacher." My intuition, which was causing my stomach to tighten, was picking up that his intentions were not good.

So, yes, don't judge based on gender, but don't turn off your intuition based on not wanting to judge based on gender, because that might be all your head can tell you: "It's because he's a boy/man." If your intuition says "no," don't question yourself about why it's saying no.

Can you imagine what I felt when I saw that face on the front page? I had to be picked up off the floor... my legs were jelly. THAT close. I'd nearly talked myself into taking her in there despite my inner resistance... I nearly did. I so needed that daycare... it was the only one that would work for me so I could take certain classes... .

I'm not saying "be sexist." I'm saying, sexism isn't a part of this discussion. It's intuition, and it may not always speak to you in literal language... it may be in symbols. It may use a sexist symbol to tell you: "Not good."
post #73 of 343
We don't use sitters, but if we did, our friend's 14 year old son would be at the top of my list. The 13 year old girl next door, not so much . . . she's been sheltered her whole life and my 4 year old is more worldly than she is. I wouldn't use gender as a factor in my decision . . . it would be based on how the sitter interacted with my kids and how mature they appeared to be.

I was babysitting for three kids at a time at 13, and unlike some of the previous posters, I don't think it was a bad or even semi-bad idea. The kids loved me and I loved them, and I was plenty responsible. I think 12-13 is a good age to start babysitting, 10-11 for being a mothers helper.
post #74 of 343
This thread is so sad to me especially as the Mama of a soon to be 15 yo son. Its interesting because when we first bought our house almost 3 years ago we had neighbors a few doors away who asked my son to babysit their then 3 and 5 yo when he was 12. It was for about 2 hours, I was at home and had given ds my cell and the parents had gone to dinner about 10 mins away. My son loved the experience and was thinking of starting a babysitting service afterwards but ended up with no customers. Its funny in a not so funny way because in the end he started doing yard work very gender specific but at least no one thought he was strange.

I have never been abused but abuse was in my family as my Mama was abused ao I understand the fears and concerns, but I am not comfortable making blanket statements about gender.

Shay
post #75 of 343
Quote:
Originally Posted by thismama View Post
Well, my gut tells me to think about the stats. You cannot look at someone and know. For me, there are a few trusted men who I feel like I can look at them and know they are safe. But randomly you can't just trust your gut. Many, many men molest.
And many, many, many, many, many MORE men do NOT.

I'm very sorry that your personal experiences have led you to go through life distrusting and fearing almost all men. But the truth is, the VAST majority of men do not deserve this distrust and fear.

By all means, get to know a sitter -- male OR female -- extremely well before entrusting them with a precious child. Obviously, you don't leave your child with somebody "random". But don't write off half of our population just because of the evil actions of some.

There are a lot of murderers out there, but you can't spend your life wondering if every man or woman you get into an elevator with is going to slit your throat the minute you are alone together. A lot of people die in car accidents every day, but you can't think about getting into a fatal crash every time you start the engine.

Life is a series of calculated risks. You evaluate the situation as carefully as you can and then move forward. You don't get in the elevator with the sketchy looking person but the delivery guy seems okay. You won't drive in a blizzard but if the weather report looks good you buckle up and go. And you meet the sitter and get to know him/or her VERY well before you leave them with your child.

Automatically making these choices without evaluation can leave one paralyzed with fear.
post #76 of 343
I wouldn't trust a male babysitter and it's because of my history of sexual abuse. Once your a victim how do you move past it? To me it's not worth the risk to my 3 boys.
post #77 of 343
Haven't had time to read all the other posts but answer would no. That said I would use him as a helper to play with the kids while I was home in order to get stuff done but I would never leave the house with someone so young babysitting (male or female).
post #78 of 343
Yes I would. If the 13 yo were mature enough and was someone I knew I would have no problem with male or female. In fact, dd's very first sitter was a 14 yo boy and he was wonderful. He had lots of references, including people who had used him as a mother's helper. I had known him for years. I had also had sitters that we ended up "firing" (for lack of a better word) before we left the house because I got a vibe I did not like. We paid them half their expected salary and drove them home. We are lucky in that we live smack dab in the middle of our small town and can drop in on sitters thoughout the night. We always do at least once and sometimes lots of times. Anytime we are going to be somewhere that I know we cannot stop by we ONLY use trusted and very close friends as sitters. I have read DeBecker's two books and I agree with a lot of what he says, I refuse to pass on the message that men cannot be trusted. I use my insticts, I check references, and I check up on the sitters and feel very comfortable with that system. I will admit though, that I have found most male sitters to be slightly less mature at any given age and less interested in sitting so we have not used as many males as females. However, I am very saddened about the attitude that it is OK to judge based only on gender. How sad for the boys growing up right now
post #79 of 343
Quote:
Originally Posted by chinaKat View Post
And many, many, many, many, many MORE men do NOT.

I'm very sorry that your personal experiences have led you to go through life distrusting and fearing almost all men. But the truth is, the VAST majority of men do not deserve this distrust and fear.

By all means, get to know a sitter -- male OR female -- extremely well before entrusting them with a precious child. Obviously, you don't leave your child with somebody "random". But don't write off half of our population just because of the evil actions of some.
Did you (and others) even read my posts? Did you see where I said that I do leave my child in the care of a grown man who I trust? I know him really well, he is the papa of one of my kiddo's best friends, he is cool, and I am comfortable with him.

I'm saying I'm aware of the statistical reality. And I make my decisions including this information. I don't know that the "VAST majority" of men don't deserve distrust and fear. Who exactly is molesting so many of my friends? Kwim? I betcha their mamas love their boys; it doesn't make the reality my daughter lives in any less real.

I hear you shayinme about your son, and that is really heartbreaking. And so unfortunate because it perpetuates the divide in gender roles that I would love to see gone.

I can't/won't risk my daughter for it, and for me protecting her includes an extra screening process for men and boys. Unfortunate yes, but it's my reality as I attempt to protect my child from abuse. But if I knew your boy, really well, it is very possible that I would feel comfortable with him.

It's a crap issue to have to think/argue about, really it is.
post #80 of 343
Let me say that I don't think it is "OK" to judge based on gender but with my history it happens. I can't help but look at a male and wonder if they are capable....I don't know how to get past it and I'm not sure I want to get passed it. I don't think I could survive trusting that much ever again.

I also believe that molestation is a growing problem. I do think we hear about it more today but I think it's more common than some of you believe. Of course I don't have statistics but I am truly surprised how many of you have not been put in this situation. For me growing up I was often surprised when a male adult DIDN'T approach me sexually. I was a perfect target for predators with a single mom, lack of supervision, eager to please, loved attention and been around unfamiliar men often.

I have also seen the opposite happen when someone falsely accuses someone of being inappropriate. That is as devistating for the one accused. I think I would want to protect my sons from that situation as well.
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