Asking Your Teenager to Baby-sit Their Siblings

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As a working mom it often becomes difficult to strike a balance between home and work. At the end of the day, you are sapped of your energy. All you want to do is have a warm bath, eat and drop off to sleep. But with kids around the house this is simply impossible. You have to prepare their meals, sit to do homework, clean up after them, bathe them, prepare for the next day and the list goes on.

Even on weekends you have to think twice before planning a movie with your hubby. Who will look after the kids at home? You have to appoint a baby sitter one you can trust. And then, when you are at the movie you’re mind is distracted hoping everything is fine at home.

As a solution to this problem, many parents, who have both teens and preschoolers question if it would be right to ask their teenagers to chip in. Yes, it is advisable. In fact, they can be a great help around the house. But, as parents you need to approach the problem in a right way and not simply burden them with a responsibility they are not ready to take up. Whether to pay them or not is not the only issue. There are other aspects that have to be factored.

So, if you’re thinking about asking you’re teenager to baby-sit their siblings, here’s how you go about the entire process.


1. Is your teenager ready to shoulder the responsibility of a younger sibling in your absence?

There is one mistake parents often make. In most families it becomes an unwritten rule that the eldest of the children should look after the younger siblings. We know you’re helpless when you have to spend 8 hours at work away from the children and sometimes more taking into consideration travel time. But, what you also need to ask yourself is, is your teen that age or does he or she have the maturity to take up the responsibilities of their siblings.

Your teen may have grown in age, but their responsiveness and maturity levels are still to develop. They may fail to realize that what they call fun could turn out to be a potentially dangerous situation. They may also know how to cope with emergency situations. As a parent you know your child best, his or her abilities and weaknesses. Consider this and then decide about whether you should allow them to baby-sit their siblings. You may also have to check the laws of the state as each state has a certain age limit for a child to become a baby-sitter.

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