It can be tough for parents to find affordable and quality child care during school breaks. Many families turn to their teens to watch younger siblings, but is this the best option? Some parents are starting to debate whether or not they should have their teen babysit their siblings and if they should pay them to do so.
Today we’ll dive into this topic to help you understand whether you should pay your teen to babysit siblings during school break or not.
Let’s get started.
It’s cheaper than hiring a babysitter for the full summer break
Of course, in most cases, it will be cheaper to have your teen watch their younger siblings during school breaks rather than hiring someone else. However, there are other factors to take into consideration before you decide to ask your kids to do this for free.
It’s a great way to teach kids responsibility and give them some spending money
If your teen is willing to babysit their siblings during school breaks, this can be an excellent opportunity to teach them about responsibility while giving them some money of their own. This is the perfect time to get teenagers used to watching children once they are older and ready to enter the workforce.
But, it can also be dangerous for young children
We get it: watching siblings while mom and dad are away sounds like a great idea. However, we want to drive home the point that babysitting younger children is much different than watching your own friends or neighbors’ kids. Younger children should never be left alone with teens.
Now that you have a better idea of whether or not to pay your teen to babysit younger siblings during school break, let’s explore the question further.
Teens babysitting younger siblings is not the same as hiring a professional
We want to start with this point because it’s so important. Simply put, teens babysitting their own siblings is not the same as hiring a professional caregiver to watch your children during school break. Professional caregivers are trained for these scenarios, have all of the necessary certifications, and are much more familiar with safe guarding children.
Teens may not be as willing if you don’t pay them for their services
Many parents ask teens to babysit during school breaks without paying them. However, we want to make sure and point out that this isn’t the best idea because teens might not be as willing. You can certainly offer other incentives like extra allowance or a gift card to convince your teen to watch their siblings.
It’s best for teens and younger kids to have a chaperone present
If you do decide to hire a professional caregiver or ask your teen to babysit, we always recommend having another adult present as well. Parents need to be confident that their child is in safe hands and this can be best achieved by having another adult present as a chaperone.
And now for some final advice on whether or not you should pay your teen to babysit their siblings during school break.
Don’t assume older siblings will be able to watch younger ones without supervision. We mentioned earlier that teens can make great babysitters, but this isn’t always the case. Younger children can be unpredictable and it’s important that another responsible adult is present to provide supervision and support to teens babysitting during school breaks.