1.07.2011

Kids on the Payroll? Feedback Friday


My oldest son is 12 and we, occasionally, let him babysit his brothers for a few hours at a time. We have a 16 year old babysitter we use for longer stretches and we pay her $10/hour.

Question: Do you think your own children should be paid for babysitting or do you think it should go with the territory as being a family member?

It's Feedback Friday...

Do you think I should pay my son for babysitting his brothers?
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23 comments :

  1. Question...is your son already getting an allowance? If so than no...he should not be paid for sitting. Especially if it just for short periods of time. It would be a good lesson in responsibility.

    Now the oldest child of that TV family with 18+ kids should be getting at least $50,000 a year plus expenses ;-)

    Janet xox

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  2. At 12, maybe. Definitely not as much as the older babysitter but maybe some sort of reward of some kind. I used to watch my younger brother and I would get paid for it, however, I didn't get a regular allowance. I don't think there is a wrong or right answer, just a personal preference. :)

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  3. I used to watch my brothers all the time and didn't get paid. I did get an allowance and often got extra allowance for doing their chores too.

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  4. This made me laugh and cringe at the same time! Laugh because I had to watch my sister...one time a boy called (I was prob in 7th or 8th grade) and she kept picking up the other phone. So like any other good babysitter/sister, I tied her up with a jump rope and put her in a closet! Nope, never got paid..but I did get grounded A Lot! I cringed because our oldest will be 12 next year---I can't even think of the "fun" the boys would have! Haha..ha..h.a....I need a drink!

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  5. We're in the same boat as you....my oldest son is 12 also, and has been babysitting his sister & brother for 1-2 hours occasionally. We don't pay him because we told him that it's part of being a family, but we do reward him (giving him $ for the movies, etc.) for doing a good job (mainly, being nice to the other two, making sure everyone followed our rules, and not making a huge mess while we're gone.) There's gotta be some kind of incentive to keep the babysitter happy!

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  6. Having raised a family I would say no. We did not give allowance or pay our children for anything that was considered being part of a family which included cleaning, helping with sibblings. Being paid implies someone did work. Being part of a family isn't a job it is a gift. Is your sitter a member of your family?

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  7. Holy Moolah! I babysit and only get paid $20 a DAY!!! And that's watching the little booger from 7am to 4pm lol I think it's great that you're paying your kid to watch the little ones... it builds responsibility and makes the task not so daunting and dreadful.

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  8. I am the third of 7...when I was younger my older sisters always got the babysitting jobs with my parent's friends and got paid, while I got stuck at home babysitting the younger 4 for free...hated it...but my parents looked at caring for your siblings as another part of being a member of the family. Looking back I am totally ok with that and if Lil D ever has a younger sibling, I will not pay him to babysit. But I also don't believe in allowance.....:)

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  9. Ooo---good question! I think it's just an occasional thing, then I wouldn't pay, especially if he already gets an allowance. Maybe a small treat or renting a special movie or something?

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  10. Absolutely! I have 2 siblings who are 9 and 11 years YOUNGER than i am. Therefore, I was always babysitting - for FREE. I often had to pass up PAYING sitting jobs for other families in order to watch my sisters. It was always so much harder to care for them for a few hours then other people's kids. Maybe your kids are different and respect each other 100% of the time, but my sisters would wait until my parents left and then become little hellians. Eventually, my parents let me off the hook and hired outside babysitter (usually friends of mine) while I went out and found paying jobs. It also taught me the value of earning a dollar. That's my two cents.

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  11. Definitely paid to babysit!! My oldest is 8 and I will for sure be paying her when her time rolls around. If I run to the store for a quick second then no, but if my husband and I go out for a few hours, than absolutely.

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  12. I think it's just part of being in a family...but he can babysit for your friends and get paid!

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  13. I'm about to sound like an old geezer, you ready? I think kids these days (ugh, I can't even believe I just used that phrase) are SUPER spoiled when it comes to money. There are some things in life that you don't get paid to do, but you should still do them all the same. Like when kids get paid for cleaning up after themselves, I think they should be taught instead that it is inherently rewarding to not be a slob. The real world will not pay you for cleaning your own space.

    Now with the babysitting thing, I never once got paid for watching my little brother. But it is a job, one that people are typically compensated for. With me, I wasn't paid because my parents told me to do it and that was reason enough. Obedience was big in my family. ;-)

    Maybe you could tell him that you need his help and that he won't be paid. And then if he does an awesome job without even expecting any money in return, you could tell him that it was his secret trial run and that since he did so well, he will be paid every time he babysits in the future. It would teach him that he should always do his best, because you never know when someone might secretly be taking notice.

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  14. My sister is 7 years younger than I am. I got paid for watching her if I had to miss something because of the babysitting, so mainly paid on weekends. If I wasn't doing anything on a Tuesday night, and my parents went grocery shopping and left us both home, I didn't get paid for that.

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  15. Part of being a member of a family is helping out when needed. That includes babysitting. However, you might "reward" the assistance (not every time) with a special privilege or fun day out. Maybe because big sis or brother is so helpful bedtime can be moved up or a movie night out with friends.

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  16. I've never paid my older kids to watch the youngest. Instead, they get some extra privilege. I never got paid for watching my younger brother either.

    It's kind of an "iffy" area to me. It's not really a part of the normal chore routine, but I do expect all the kids to step up and put out extra effort when we need it.

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  17. Sometimes we pay our 14-year-old to babysit for longer stretches, especially when it involves a meal or bedtime routine, and sometimes we give a little incentive to the younger ones for good behavior. Is that wrong? It's quite infrequent, and we're still saving a bundle over an outside babysitter! I think it depends on your children, their ages, how they get along, and how responsible they are.

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  18. Hmmm - that's a good question! I know I never got anything for babysitting...but maybe as an incentive you could offer something in exchange - like more time watching t.v. or the computer.

    I think a child should be willing to help because they are part of a family, but also be acknowledged for their willingness to help. Just my two cents. :)

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  19. I agree that if there's an allowance, there should be no need to pay. I do think that paying the child to babysit would allow a child to take the task more seriously because it is a paying job. Payment could be monetary or taking them solo to the library or (for our kids) to the indoor skate park or some other perk that they enjoy (chocolate chip cookies). I would also ask the younger kids what they liked about older bro watching them and what they didn't like.

    My 11 y-o is usually reading a book and oblivious to what is going on around him, so I couldn't trust him to watch his siblings. I'd totally trust my 9 y-o (although I have a feeling it would be hard for the other kids to live up to 9 y-o's expectations ;)

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  20. i was paid to watch my brother (10 years younger) if my parents were attending a function or had a date night. i was not paid if they were running to the store. my mother also attened school and i had my brother all summer long and they paid me as well as taking me on a weekend trip without him at the end of the summer. I think it depends. I will be paying my daughter to watch her sister when my husband and i go out on date nights or if it is for an extened time but i will also not be paying if we run to the store or they choose to say home.

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  21. I agree with most of the comments here. I don't pay my kids to watch the younger ones if parents are gone to do something that is a normal part of family life - running other kids to activities, grocery shopping, etc. After all, if they weren't there I'd just take everyone along or go late at night like I used to. But if Mom and Dad go on a date or it's for a longer period of time, then I try to pay my kids. This is very hit or miss and depends a lot on the family budget. They know they don't get paid as much as an outside sitter because I consider this their training, or an "internship," for babysitting for others. You don't get paid as much for those as you do for a regular job either.

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  22. We do pay our oldest to watch our two younger ones. We pay her if we are going out in the evening to a movie or dinner. Now, if she watches them during the day for me while I have a doctor's appt or something else then it's just a favor to mom. I'm not sure how we came to that arrangement but it seems fair to us.

    I think it's a perfect opportunity to let your older child show some responsibility and learn about earning a dollar.

    Jo @ SmileMonsters

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  23. I'm a little late to the dance here, but I still (as always) have something to say.

    I think it's ok to pay them. Most kids that age get an allowance anyway. It doesn't have to be an hourly wage per say. But a stipend to help teach them about responsibility and money - even if it's your own kid, they have to learn it somewhere.

    My daughter is six and we give her a $2 per week allowance for things such as cleaning up her toys, feeding the cats, etc. It's harmless, but it teaches responsibility in my mind.

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