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DD "babysitting" every night

(86 Posts)
HighlightsandHeels Fri 22-Feb-19 10:32:38

Due to going back to work DH can no longer collect DC (14 & 8) from school.

DC are in same school and rather than get a nanny DD1 wants to bring DD2 home after school every day.

I see her point that she feels to old for a nanny but had some concern that it's too much responsibility, especially given comments on another thread re inappropriate caring responsibilities. Is it unreasonable?

Sexnotgender Fri 22-Feb-19 11:08:38

Chores are different to having responsibility for your sibling daily though.
It would be unfair not to pay her.

Sarahjconnor Fri 22-Feb-19 11:08:46

I did it when I was 14 and had 4 brothers. I am very glad I was given the responsibility. I am very close to my DBs and DM used to save money so we had a reward day every school holiday when she would take a day off and take us all out somewhere to thank us for all being good and looking after each other. I was in charge but we were responsible for our own behaviour and if someone did something silly they were dealt with by DM when she got in.

Blahdeblahbahhhhh Fri 22-Feb-19 11:09:58

I was given care of my younger siblings at 14 and I still feel really angry about it. I think childcare is an adult's job.

Heartofglass12345 Fri 22-Feb-19 11:10:02

I would go for it if she wants to do it, me and my sister 5.5 yr age gap) would be home alone after school when our mum was working and we're really close. You can always review it if she finds it too much

Sarahjconnor Fri 22-Feb-19 11:10:52

I would not pay her. I see why people are suggesting it but if you make it transactional it will change how she sees it.
Nannies are v expensive. Could you reward her with a special family trip for saving money and being so responsible she could chose the location and activities?

blackteasplease Fri 22-Feb-19 11:10:56

It would depend 100% on what the 8 yo is like. If he/she is very sensible and would listen to the 14 yo where necessary then all good.

If the 8 yo will be difficult and potentially get into scrapes then no.

MadAboutWands Fri 22-Feb-19 11:11:39

1 hour isn’t very long. By the time they both have had a snack, there won’t be a long time before one of those un come back home.

Public transport isn’t an issue if you are confident dd1 is confortable with that.

Paying dd1... I agree I wouldnt do it if, again, you are only expecting her to keep her dsis safe. But you could increase her allowance as she is getting older and has more responsibility in the house.

bullyingadvice2017 Fri 22-Feb-19 11:12:15

I'd pay for the after school club so it isn't an expectation of older one every day. I know younger would rather every day but older surely wants to go to a club or meet friends etc sometimes after school. So I would tell younger one that it's after school club and on days she's lucky older will get her on the way. If she has no other plans.
In a couple of months see how it's going

MadAboutWands Fri 22-Feb-19 11:13:15

I was in charge but we were responsible for our own behaviour and if someone did something silly they were dealt with by DM when she got in.

I think that is essential! And it’s essential to spell it out to both dds.

Natsku Fri 22-Feb-19 11:13:18

Another vote for giving it a trial go. Maybe up the allowance a bit (after the trial, wouldn't want her to carry on just for the money if it's actually not working for her) for taking on more responsibility.

Bobbybobbins Fri 22-Feb-19 11:13:36

Sounds like a good plan but I would up allowance to reflect responsibility.

If it's not working with her doing it every day you can review and younger DD could do ASC 1/2 days a week.

Bobbybobbins Fri 22-Feb-19 11:14:09

@Natsku cross post 😂

ineedaholidaynow Fri 22-Feb-19 11:14:56

Do neither of your children do after school clubs eg sport?

Ribbonsonabox Fri 22-Feb-19 11:16:10

I'd give it a go if they are both sensible kids... 2hrs alone together is not that bad. I doubt it will effect elder dds study time, it's not a whole evening of babysitting!
I'd up the allowance for it a little bit just to show you appreciate the responsibility shes taking on.

implantsandaDyson Fri 22-Feb-19 11:16:25

Do you have a back up plan if your eldest goes out one day after school/back to someone's house/ joins a club etc? I think it's grand a few times a week, I have no issue with the public transport or time alone in the house but 5 days a week it is quite restrictive on the older one.

Toooldtocareanymore Fri 22-Feb-19 11:17:12

I think as lot depends on relationship between the two kids, but I don't see anything wrong with it, and I don't agree you need to pay eldest, this is family life we all do things to help each other out, there is nothing wrong with siblings looking after siblings, accompanying them home from school, getting them a snack its not like you are asking her to wash clothes make a full meals, my eldest dd 7 years older than db, would have had no problem with this as he accepted she was the boss when we were not there, and she accepted she was older more mature and therefore had to be nice not bossy- this is still the relationship they have today, my brother tried something similar with his two - almost 5 year gap, don't know if that matters but I suspect it does, but it was cancelled as his youngest is one of those kids who just always wants to push the boundaries and would constantly put on TV, not do homework, steal snacks and fight with the eldest, one day ran off on way home, that's when they stopped the arrangement.

TidyDancer Fri 22-Feb-19 11:17:46

That's a very short amount of time so I would definitely trial it.

You should be paying her though, I don't agree with your reasoning on that at all (although I'm sure others would). How much pocket money does she get? I would be upping that rather than making it a separate payment.

rookiemere Fri 22-Feb-19 11:19:05

After school 2-3 days per week and with DD1 for the others.
As this is beyond a normal household chore and you're saving on AS or nanny fees pay DD1 something will help her to understand
that it's a responsibility she can't drop if something better comes along, but equally make sure it's not impacting on any after school activities or socialising she wants to do.

Purplepricklesalloverhisback Fri 22-Feb-19 11:20:52

As soon as I started secondary school I collected my sister from primary and watched her until my dad got home at 5:30pm. I was 11 and she was 8 when this started. I was never paid and most of my friends had to do similar for their younger siblings.

daisypond Fri 22-Feb-19 11:22:01

Following your update, I still think it's fine. But I would increase her allowance - I think that's fair. It's more than just a household chore.

Jaxhog Fri 22-Feb-19 11:23:33

I used to do and it worked fine. I didn't get paid extra - it was part of my responsibilities for my pocket money.

BrokenWing Fri 22-Feb-19 11:23:55

Your dd might have after school supported studying on the run up to her GCSE's.

I think it is too restrictive for the 14 year old 5 days a week long term, i'd put the 8 year old into an afterschool club for a couple if years.

HighlightsandHeels Fri 22-Feb-19 11:26:40

Ok more questions:

They both do ECAs but DD1 doesn't belong to any sports teams that would take her offsite so they finish at same time everyday.

The ASC can be totally ad hoc so DD2 I can tell her in the morning that she needs to stay and that's that.

Allowance is currently £100 - I'm loathe to give her access to too much more as she's already earning bits and pieces for the odd local babysitting gig.

saxatablesalt Fri 22-Feb-19 11:30:53

Holy moly!!!£100!!!!

lyralalala Fri 22-Feb-19 11:31:47

I think if it’s every day then you shouldn’t consider it in the same way as general household chores. The payment wouldn’t just be for looking after her sibling, but would be about reflecting the fact she can’t do out with mates or anything last minute.

Before committing to it I would really think about that though. How often does your eldest go out after school? Or get selected for games/drama stuff after school?

Also what is the dynamic between them? I could leave my 9yo with either DS1 or DD2 without a thought. With DD1 it would be a disaster because her prickly nature and his prickly nature wouldn’t work well.

Also think about what you’ll do if it doesn’t work. How will that affect relationships and the dynamic at home.

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