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Teenager babysitting younger siblings

  • 15-01-2024 12:42am
    Registered Users Posts: 14

    Our eldest is 15. She's very responsible for her age. Was going to ask her to babysit on Saturdays for 4 to 5 hours as I have a lot going on at work so doing some overtime at weekends. It would be for 5 to 6 weeks. Younger siblings are 2.5 year old twins. Another sibling age 13, but they do their own thing. My sister lives across the road and I would only be 10 minutes away in case of emergency.

    I have no doubt in her ability to handle it, but I mentioned it to a colleague and they reckon she would resent us and her siblings as a result.

    We were planning on paying her obviously, if that makes a difference. I thought the extra responsibility would be a good thing but now I'm not so sure.

    Anyone have any experience of large age gaps and words of wisdom


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,118 ✭✭✭Kalimah

    I would have loved the few quid at that age! It’s only for a few weeks anyway so I’d say go ahead and ask.

  • Registered Users Posts: 6,463 ✭✭✭dobman88

    Nothing wrong with that. I did it as the eldest from about 14 onwards. Our parents shifts at work overlapped midweek so it was for a few hours every evening. Youngest would've been 4 and two others in between. I got extra pocket money for it which was great. And we had good neighbours to pop into if I ever got stuck with something.

    Will teach her some responsibility too

  • Registered Users Posts: 10 peacefullore

    I dealt with a lot of resentment as a teenager over babysitting, but only because I was never asked or given a choice not to. So long as you allow her to change her mind it should be fine.

  • Registered Users Posts: 4 a002

    I have an 8 year age gap between my 13 year and younger siblings so I can relate. While my daughter isn't yet mature enough to babysit, As peacefullore said, I think as long as it is a decision she can make herself then it has the potential to be extremely rewarding for her.

    I would put it to her that you will need extra help with the younger children and are thinking of getting a babysitter from time to time. Tell her your thinking of asking around but we're wondering if she would be interested and you would pay her for it. I would then set out what you expect her to do while she is babysitting & tell her what she gets in return (€).

    i would imagine most teenagers would jump at the chance and I know my daughter would be flattered to be considered responsible enough to be left in charge. If she has any doubt or feels like it's too much she then has the opportunity to say no way etc without it becoming a battle.