Readers’ Scoop: 9 Year Old Shopping With Infant

Readers-Scoop-Logo smallDear Editor, please post following letter: Hello, you know who you are. You’re the mother who sends your 9yr. daughter to do your errands. I saw her today. Besides pushing her little sibling, she was also laden down with more groceries than would fit in the stroller. Why would you let such a small child first of all, cross such a terribly busy street such as rt. 9 [she told me where she lived]? And to burden her with a baby that would not allow her to place the other parcels behind him [so she wouldn’t have to cross busy streets with arms laden down]. 

My children were not even allowed to play out front alone at this age, much less travel all over downtown. Her responsibility is to be a child.

The sad thing is this isn’t the first time I’ve witnessed such a thing. How many of you have seen adolescents doing the weekly shopping at npgs with siblings in tow. I’m so disappointed.   


A responsible mother.

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  1. While 9 is young, I think it’s wonderful for adolescents to be helping their parents out like that and depending on their maturity level can be plenty capable.

  2. Nine is young and to have to cross a busy street with an infant is not a good idea the driver in this town drive to fast. But when you have 4plus kids you need to send them somewhere. A email I received sometime ago was funny but true about the way a mother changes from kid to kid and how relaxed you get even by kid #3. My mom had 5 and by the last one it was anything goes.

  3. When I was 9 or 10 my mother used to send me out to the grocery store down the road from our house in a pinch for diapers or milk. I used to take my youngest sibling out for walks in her carriage around the neighborhood when my mother needed a break. Looking back now, I would NEVER entrust such a young child (no matter how responsible) to do these things!

    While I can relate to this situation, I can absolutely say there were no major roads that I had to cross- Route 9!? and we absolutely live in a different world than back then- I will leave it at that. This mother is not thinking of the child’s safety!

  4. i have a question for you letter writer why dont you mind your own business and stop meddling in other peoples lives, your like the nosy neighbor whos always looking out the window to see what all the other people on the block are doing, repulsive trait you have worry about yourself

  5. Let your kids help and work for you, that’s the best chinuch. You don’t have to always run around serving them! It says kibud av vaem not that you have to be mechabed them. This is a childs responsabilty. I’m not addressing the safty issue, I just sense from the writer a feeling of “nebach poor child had to help mommy” don’t worry it’s good for them and it makes them happy not spoiled brats.

  6. i hove no clue who this is but one thing is clear apparently not to the auther of this letter there are many things that go on behind the naked eye in every case never nevr ever jump to conclusions about any one or about any situation you have no idea what can be behind it

  7. Goes to show, parents are just oblivious to the safety of there children these days. It does not bother me though. My children’s lives will never be jeopardized like that. When you read that next story about how a nine year old is struck by a car and killed I bet the comments here will be much different.

  8. If it swims like a duck, if it quacks like a duck, its a DUCK

    Regardless of what is going on at home, a 9 year old should not be left to find on her own in the street with an infant, crossing busy streets. PERIOD

  9. I don’t even know that my 9 year old would know how to shop for what I need. Having a list is one thing, but how about reading all the different products and making decisions.
    I happened to have been much stricter with my older ones, but I also felt they were more responsible at a younger age. My 11 year is more fearful of crossing a big street even though I allowed her older siblings to.
    Maybe this mother just had a baby and needed some things and the 9 year old volunteered. But where’s the father? I don’t know the facts and neither does the letter writer.

  10. It’s wonderful to see a 9 year old capable of shopping and taking her sibling along. As a child I used to feel privileged to run errands at a young age. It’s better chinuch for the 9 year old to help out and spend the time with the sibling shopping in the kosher supermarket than being home with the shikse cleaning lady.

    Children should be allowed to play out front at age 9 if they are responsible. You are not helping your children by overprotecting them from developing any responsibilities in life beyond homework. Chesed begins at home and shoud remain as first priority at home. Then some additional chessed can be done for others. Children should not be encouraged to do chessed at the expense of their families.

    I, for one am very proud of both this mother and her child. May you learn and see the goodness in your neighbors middos. Look at life more positively. You’ll enjoy it more. TLS wasn’t established as the complaint board.

  11. Do you know for sure that she was walking to the store and back. Maybe her parent dropped her off, went to take care of an errand and was coming back to get her. (or was maybe the parent was even in the store in a different section)

  12. I can not believe how people are praising a 9 year old taking an infant shopping to carry bags home. How absolutely irresponsible of these parents to put such a burden on a child.

  13. Maybe because I’m not jewish I don’t understand. I know that may sound offensive and I apologize if someone is offended by that but I must say I see things like that more so with the jewish community. Not to say I don’t see it elsewhere because I do. I just see it more with you I would never ever let my two year old go shopping or anywhere with a nine year old. If the nine year old wants to help let her clean the house or let her put the groceries away. Some people need to stop being so naive. We do not live in pleasantville.

  14. I totally agree with Jessica.

    There is absolutely nothing wrong with a 9 year old helping out- in fact, a 9 year old definitely should. BUT use some sense!! A 9 year old can help at home or even watch some kids outside but going shopping across Rt9 with a baby is absolutely irresponsible and the job of a parent.

  15. I’m a Jewish Jessica and I totally agree with #18 Jessica.
    A 9 year old should never be responsible for watching an infant or toddler indoors or outdoors alone. She would not know how to react in an emergency situation.
    It’s insane to allow a nine year old to cross busy streets, even more so with a stroller and groceries. What if the stroller flips over? (I’ve seen that happening to children running with strollers.)
    What if a “friendly” man, woman or wolf decides to “help” the little girl find her way to Grandma’s house…
    I’m SHOCKED that anybody would say that this is okay. I’m not even sure it’s legal.

  16. I think a 9 yr old is perfectly capable of going shopping and making decisions as far as taking a baby with her would definitely depend on the childs responsibility and where she falls out in the for crosing rt 9 there are usually crossing guards out which makes it safer to cross. so stop looking for the negative in everything you see.

  17. A 9 year old is young, but the writer in the last paragraph referred to adolescents – and that’s not really too young, especially if the parent is dropping them off and picking them up.

  18. Many people read these posts and blogs. Please be careful in what you say and how you say it. Please take care of how you portray people.

  19. This child told the letter writer, a stranger, her age and address. A child who would share that sort of information with someone she doesn’t know is not old enough to take an infant to a grocery store.

  20. #5 Ari Are you for real?? G-d gives you the gift of children and you say mind your own business?? Appreciate what G-d gave you!! I am married and don’t have children and yes is I see your 9 year old kid pushing your 2 year old I will straight stick my nose into your business.

  21. letting a 9 year old go without adult supervission anywhere is child negect and should be reported to the authorities . Do you people who praise this have any idea of what parential responsibility is ?
    Again some people should not be parents maybe some parental training is in order here.

  22. number 1 it’s illegal for a 9 year old to even babysit.ther kids in the the streets keeping 9 years to watch their younger siblings and it doesn’t have a 9 year old go shopping and baby sit for a younger sibling is outragous.there is no excuse for this.

  23. Obviously there are some fine lines here that require clarification. First, what IS the law regarding the age requirements for babysitting? Second, what about an older child watching a baby outdoors – in a stroller or carriage – would it not be different if they were in front of the house on a residential block vs. crossing route 9 or other such situaltion? This is not about how one FEELS about it because that depends on each person’s experience and situation. I say we get more clarity on the laws to settle this discussion.

  24. I stopped a police officer to ask him at what age may a child babysit. He said there is no age legally & that we should use common sense-depending on the situation , maturity of child, age of younger children, how many, for how long, etc.

  25. It just comes to show you that a lot of parents are not taught how to take care of there own kids
    Last month I saw a mother bring her kid into a dr office unconcious some people just have to really learn the basics

  26. “Last month I saw a mother bring her kid into a dr office unconcious some people just have to really learn the basics”

    what are you trying to say? that she was not a good mother? there is something called ACCIDENTS. things happen especially with active children. we need to stop being so judgemental. you werent there!!!

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