When you’re the working parent of multiple children there will come a time when your oldest child is ready to babysit their siblings. Each state and region has a set of rules that govern what age a child can be left home alone and when they can be left home alone to babysit their siblings.
Whether you abide by the rules set forth of your state or you simply feel your teen is ready to babysit their siblings, we wonder how you feel about paying your teen to take care of their siblings while you venture off to work?
Since many parents have their own belief on whether an older sibling should be paid to babysit their siblings or not, we wanted to discuss this topic in detail to help you decide if you’ll pay your teenager to babysit their younger siblings this year.
Will This Interfere with Teen’s Current Job
The first question to think about when you’re debating whether to pay your teen to babysit siblings is whether or not this will impact your teen’s current job. If your teen is unable to make their own money at a job or other babysitting jobs because you need them to watch their siblings, then you should pay them for their time.
What Will Your Teen be in Charge of?
The next question to think about when it comes to paying your teen to babysit their siblings is what responsibilities your teen will have during this time. If your teen has to cook meals, help with schoolwork and do many of your parental tasks while you’re working then you’ll want to compensate your teen for their time.
Your teen is old enough to take part in discussions surrounding payment for babysitting younger siblings. Ask your teen how they feel about babysitting their siblings while you’re working. If you’re a single parent, you might find that your teen is totally fine helping out in the home by watching their siblings in between their school and work schedules without payment.
Offer Other Rewards
When it comes to making this choice whether to pay or not to pay your teen, it will be a personal decision that is determined on a case by case basis. Having a single working parent household may make it near impossible to pay your teen to watch their siblings, so perhaps you can compromise by offering other privileges or rewards for their assistance.
If your teen is going to have to handle mealtime with their siblings then consider meal prepping so that they just have to heat meals up. This will reduce the time involved with your teen having to plan, prep, and cook the meals during their babysitting hours. Doing things to be proactive to offset the amount of time your teens spend doing basic duties as a babysitter could help offset the fee that your teen may want for babysitting their siblings.
Adding extra responsibilities to your teen during this stage when they should be getting a job outside of the home and starting to spread their wings can hold them back from other commitments and goals. This is why it might be time to think hard about whether or not paying your teens to babysit their teens will be beneficial for their growth and your household success.