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Older DC babysitting siblings

(9 Posts)
TempStamos Tue 17-Oct-17 11:27:38

I have 6 DC aged 3-22. Just wondering how other parents of multiple Dc with age gaps handle the older siblings looking after the younger.
My eldest is 8 years older than the next so used to look after her siblings as part of pocket money deal occasionally but she’s now moved away. My oldest at home now is 14 (m) gets paid if he looks after the younger but turns out the 10 year old (f) actually is more responsible / active in looking after little ones.
Should I be paying her too?

TempStamos Tue 17-Oct-17 18:51:43


Ellapaella Tue 17-Oct-17 19:01:17

My 15 year old looks after his 6 year old brother for a couple of hours after school on the days that I work. I don’t pay him -he already gets a generous pocket money allowance. I haven’t left him alone with the DC in the evening, my husbands parents are only 20 minutes away so we tend to ask them to babysit in the evening or if it’s for a more prolonged period of time. I guess if he did babysit in the evening so that we could go out i would want to give him some money as it would mean he couldn’t go out with his friends or do all the things he wanted so he would be missing out a bit.

Ellapaella Tue 17-Oct-17 19:02:15

How long are you leaving your 10 year old in charge of her siblings for and how old are they?

TempStamos Tue 17-Oct-17 19:09:22

The little ones have just turned 3 and 4, only in the last couple of months have I started leaving them at home occasionly whilst I do the food shop etc ( never been more than 1-2hrs ). I'm leaving the 14 year old in charge (hes the one getting paid) But when I've returned it seems hes just been in his room whilst 10 year old has looked after little ones.

Evergreen777 Thu 19-Oct-17 17:27:26

We used to pay eldest DSD for babysitting when she was about 13 and others aged 7-11, but once several of them were old enough to leave we stopped that and said they were all in charge of themselves, and no-one got paid. It was ok, except they never went to bed when we'd have liked them to.

In your situation I think I'd spell out to your 14 year old exactly what he's expected to do when babysitting. Ie, stay in the same room, feed tea, etc. 10 seems a little young for really being left in charge of little children to me, though if you think she's fine then the other option would be you pay her instead.

AJPTaylor Thu 19-Oct-17 17:34:36

i would split the money between them.

yaela123 Sat 21-Oct-17 21:20:57

Mine are 17, 15, 10, 7, 5 and 5 and I would leave any of them home alone with one of the teenagers but not just 10 yo.

And none of them get paid unless they have to actually do something like making tea or extra washing, etc

tempstamos Sat 21-Oct-17 21:27:24


Thanks, I wouldnt leave the 10 year old alone with the little ones without the teenager being there also, so I think I'm just going to have to pay both.


Thanks, yeah I think that is my best option.


Another family with 6 kids!
Yeah, I wouldn't leave the 10 year old without the 14 year old (though I do think she is just as much or perhaps more responsable). I only pay as the 3 and 4 year do often require actual work, I will probably stop once they are all a little bit older.

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