Do I really have kiddos old enough for me to be asking that question? Sadly, I am afraid I do!!
We have been letting the kiddos stay home alone, on and off, when we are close. Samantha has stayed while Riley has been at Scouts, Riley has stayed while Samantha has been at Scouts - just here and there - to ease them (and me) into it. It doesn't happen often, and they are rarely left together - it is just something we are working on.
Last year, during 4H, Samantha took the small group that worked through the Child Development book and the instructor set it up as a babysitters course. She really enjoyed doing that and was excited for the possibility to start staying home alone, since it was just one more step towards this.
It finally happened. As I was speaking to a Girl Scout Leader, somehow the subject of child care came up. She has a 9 & 10 year old and says they are pretty self-sufficient, just not quiet old enough to stay home alone. She asked if Samantha could babysit. I have to admit, I was pretty nervous - we have restrictions on what they can watch on TV, we have our guns locked up, we don't allow them to answer the door - even when I am home, much less when we are not! I didn't know what this family's rules were or even really much about the kiddos - but I had to let her do it. She had her phone, she was 5 minutes away and I had no plans. Imagine my relief when we walked in and mom said things like - bedroom and office are off limits, doors stay locked, no answering front door, tv had restrictions on it - things that really lifted a huge weight off of my shoulders! I was very comfortable leaving her with the kiddos.
She was there for right at 3 hours and made $20. Not bad for being a kiddo!! She really enjoyed the kids- they played a couple of games and watched a movie - she said they got a long pretty good and they all had fun. Mom said she would be calling her again soon!