Should you pay your teens to babysit their siblings?

Sometimes parents need their older children to babysit their siblings. It might be because the parents want to go out to a restaurant or a movie, but sometimes there are other circumstances that call for the older child to take up family responsibilities. The parents may have to go out to work or do errands, and their older teen may be their only reliable and available option. Sometimes the family might be experiencing financial difficulties or other issues that make it a necessity. Teens, and any members of the family, should know that they have to contribute and accept their responsibilities at home. This may mean giving up a paying babysitting job to babysit for their siblings. Parents may find themselves in a tough situation, and the answer may be to compromise. If your teen has to give up a paying babysitting job to care for siblings, that might be the time to pay them.

The most important thing is to discuss all the options with your teen. Teens should contribute at home, but it is important to respect their wish to earn some extra money for their personal expenses. This may also be a way for them to help at home, and not ask parents for money. Discuss how much they will be paid for babysitting at home, and if they will be paid every time they babysit their siblings or only under certain circumstances.


Parents have to be aware of the impact that shouldering too many responsibilities at home may have on their teen. Teens may feel under pressure or stressed when they are given too many responsibilities, and they may not be mature enough to deal with their younger siblings. Paying your teen according to an agreed scale may help to relieve negative feelings and foster a positive exchange with your teen.