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Sibling Sitter…How much would you pay?

My lovely daughter is now twelve and a half and is formally trained and ready to start babysitting. She already had her first paying job and it was a good success as far as I know. She has always been a very responsible kid. She has a list of chores that she needs to do to earn her monthly allowance, which works out to about $6 a week. They are often completed with minimal reminders and she keeps her room quite clean.  So basically what I am saying is she is a good kid that helps out a lot.

Now the matter in question is, should we be paying her to baby sit her little brother who is seven. We have an agreement that periodically she will walk him home from school and look after him. This she does without question and has never asked to get paid. This week the wife and I plan on going out for an evening and she was adamant that we pay my daughter for babysitting. While  I on the other hand felt that staying at home with your little brother was just part of being a big sister. It’s not that I am cheap, our kids do quite well, I just feel that somethings should be done out of the goodness of your heart. It is part of being in a family. After a conversation with my wife and a bit of internet research on what other people do, I have found that this is really something that some people do and some people don’t.

For the time being, we have reached a tentative compromise. The going rate is about $6/hour for a sitter nowadays so we are going to pay half of that. This means if we are out for 5 hours she will make $15 which is more than half of what she gets paid monthly for her allowance. I still feel that this is too much as she needs the experience anyways, she is in the comfort of her own home and it is her little brother.

I am curious to know what the rest of you out there think about this.

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3 responses

  1. Comments via Facebook Post:

    Michele Emerman-Reimer We found that if we paid ours to babysit their sibling that they would be expected to do as they would somewhere else ie: spend time with them, tidy up etc. I think if it’s for a few hours or more they should get a little something and the hour or less should be the freebies. I’m still shaking my head that’s she old enough to babysit already lol Didn’t I just pick her up from preschool last week?

    Rondi O’Krane she should do it for free……i have never payed my daughter to babysit her brother, however, anytime there is something she “needs” mom is always willing to make that happen, it’s the “you help us out, and we’ll help you” …..and enjoy her while she’s 12, cause 14 is a friggen nightmare!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Michele Emerman-Reimer ditto to the 14!!! but it gets better at 16

    Sherie Jolley
    If you are going out for an evening I think she should get paid maybe not as much as you have paid another sitter but maybe a flat rate. When she sits for others I think the going rate is $5.00 per hour now
    Gee when I was a kid I got 25 cen…ts an hour….ya ya I know it was the olden days!See More

    Andrea Popejoy I won’t have that issue as we only have one, but after reading it through, I think you have made a reasonable compromise.

    Tara Batt-corcoran
    Ditto Rondi. Chloe is 13 & bbsits her 10yr old twin brothers from time to time. She gets her weekly allowance & banks £££ from family/friends on special occasions, but mom & dad are still there for all the driving, social running around, …money for concerts/cinema tickets/meals out with friends & presents for friends at Xmas/bdays…& very importantly, the cell phone top ups!! Clo has never suggested she get pd, but we always ensure she is thanked & reiterate to boys she is the boss – I think the thought of holding that power over the boys is good enuf for her lol!See More
    17 minutes ago via Facebook Mobile · Like

    January 21, 2011 at 12:48 am

  2. More feedback via my facebook

    Rhonda Zazula Campbell A friend of mine does a little something for both kids. The oldest for making sure the house is cleaned up and then something for the youngest for not being a little shit while the parents are out. I always think that if it’s a weekend and they could be out then some $$ wouldn’t hurt. But there are just times when family helps family!

    Ashley Lofeudo Loved reading this because I was wondering myself…I have a niece who looks after my daughter once in a while (very much like a sibling!) I always try and do something special for her after she has helped me out so she knows how much I appreciate her. I do feel that it is the responsibility of family to come together and do what we can for each other….whether that be housework, cooking, babysitting…if everything has a monetary value attached perhaps something is lost in our commitment to each other as a family?

    Joelle Thorburn Just a sec…..Maia IS 12 and 1/2!!!!!!!!! No i refuse to believe that. regardless when I was paid to look after my sibs I think I got pd $5 an hour and that was when I was 13-17 and I am almost 29…pretty sure the going rate has gone up!!!!!

    January 21, 2011 at 6:23 pm

  3. Belle

    Hmmm…we are in the same situation, and this is how we handle it…

    IF the ‘adults’ go out for an evening and NEED the babysitter (ie: older sibling) to look after the younger one, we’ll do a flat rate cost ($20/$30) depending on the time we are gone for.

    While babysitting we EXPECT that they are there for the younger child, not just watching TV, and telling them to go play. We also expect the house is not a mess and kitchen is looked after by the time we come home.

    BUT – on times when we need to run out to the store, and one of the older ones look after the younger child, we DO NOT pay for that. It becomes a ‘part’ of what we do as a family –> look after each other.

    So in the end, for us, it becomes a choice of ‘when we CHOOSE to go out’ and when we ‘have’ to go out. In the end, we still decide what is paid, and if we come home and find out that they told the youngest to ‘go play’ for the majority of the night, then no, we will not pay them. That has happened only twice (once with each older child), and they were not happy about it. Either way, it works now….not that we go out much anymore anyway…. 😦

    February 10, 2011 at 9:24 pm

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