Should family be paid for babysitting?

Jessica - posted on 08/05/2010 ( 105 moms have responded )

230

46

0

I am the mother of a 4 year old and a 4 month old. A couple of weeks ago, I tried to get one of our normal baby sitters to watch my boys while I went to work a soccer camp (my husband works full time and I am a teacher and athletic trainer). One of our babysitters was going to the camp and the other was going to be at the cabin with her family. So I called my mother-in-law to see if my father-in-law would be able to watch them. She offered to have her oldest daughter (this is my husband's step mother) who is 11 watch them, being that my FIL would be home, but sleeping. Desperate, I agreed... also it would help us out because money is tight right now, as I have not received a paycheck from my teaching job since May, due to my being on maternity leave since March.



When I picked the boys up on the third day, my 6-year-old sister-in-law asked me if I was going to pay her sister. When I told her not to worry about it, she told me her mom was wanting to know. Personally, being that she is family, not to mention only 11, I don't feel that she should be paid. After all, my husband and I have never been paid for watching his three younger sisters.



Later that night, my MIL called and claimed that his sister was afraid to ask me if she was going to be paid... now let me set the stage for you... my MIL is known for saying someone else was afraid to ask, mad, etc. when it really is her that wants to know.



To make a long story short, my MIL (and his sister a bit too) seems to think we should pay her the same amount per hour as we do our normal sitters. I don't think I should, first because she is family, second because she is 11 and third because she wasn't babysitting alone (she had dad there to help, as well as 10 year old sister to help with my 4-year-old).



What are your thoughts?

MOST HELPFUL POSTS

Krista - posted on 08/06/2010

12,562

16

842

If your husband's step-sister (am I getting the relationship right?) had only watched the child for an hour or two, then it would be a bit petty for her to expect to be paid. However, this was several DAYS' worth of babysitting.

And, it's not like this girl was watching her own siblings, as is often expected in families. These kids are her step-nephews, so that same expectation of helping out without recompense is not there.

Basically, I think that you should pay her. If she provided the same service as your regular sitters, then she should be paid for her services. My in-laws often watch my son, and we always offer to pay them. They refuse, so we treat them to dinners and whatnot to make up for it. Family does not = slave labour.

Where she's only 11, it's probably appropriate to reduce the amount somewhat, but make no mistake: she DOES deserve to be paid.

Hopefully your tale will remind everybody else that when negotiating sitting agreements with family members, find out these types of things beforehand, or else it could get really awkward.

Kathy - posted on 08/06/2010

8

2

0

ok I am 32 yrs old now but i started babysitting for family when I was 11. I was paid the same amount that they would have paid someone else to babysit. I think she should be paid the same amount as your regular babysitter. I think it is just rude that you don't want to pay her. that is like if you were to start a new job and then you found out you were not getting paid. would you notbe upset. I know I would be.jus because she is family she should not have to ask if she is going to get paid.

Krista - posted on 08/10/2010

12,562

16

842

One thing to keep in mind is that there is a difference between a family member offering to babysit for free, and just ASSUMING that this family member will watch your kids without being paid. Obviously families should be there for each other, but there's a line where it becomes a situation of one family member taking advantage of another. Even if the person is family, she is still giving up her time to help you out, and it makes you look unappreciative if you just blithely assume that you won't have to pay this person. By offering to pay, even if you get turned down, you have at least acknowledged that this person's time is worth something.

Dianne - posted on 08/10/2010

2

17

0

She's family, but she's not a grown up. Most grown ups wouldn't ask you, but what kid would give up a week to work for someone for free? It is just different for them. They are not normally expected to do that type stuff, so naturally when they talk her into it, she assumed she would get paid. Most kids would.

Iridescent - posted on 08/07/2010

4,519

272

1080

Another way to look at this - child labor is illegal in most countries. It's not legal to have a child babysit any children until age 12 and in some states they also require a babysitting course. You accepted the fact that she's 11 when you had her babysit. She earned her pay. You didn't state the children received improper treatment at any point and you returned them for care every single day without hesitation. She earned the money, pay her fairly. Do you think it's fair for a child in a child labor facility making clothing deserves to be paid less for doing just as good a job as an adult? I don't.

This conversation has been closed to further comments

105 Comments

View replies by

Jessica - posted on 08/10/2010

230

46

0

Thank you Noemi! @ Dianne, as a matter of fact, I have tutored her in the past, as well as other things, all for FREE. A couple of times, my MIL said she'd pay me but never did. The one time my husband and I mentioned it, we were told we were being greedy!
I always babysat family for free growing up. If my family is willing to take time off work to drive 4 HOURS to watch family for free, the least they can do is watch their nephews at their own house for free.

I am going to pay her when they come over for a sleepover this evening, but she will not get paid the normal rate, especially being that had our daycare had openings last week, we wouldn't have even paid that much!

Oh, and one day this summer when one of our babysitters bailed on us last minute, our other babysitter's mom watched the boys for free... that's what I call a real person!

NOEMI - posted on 08/10/2010

23

136

1

I agree... but the person babysitting shouldn't be the one asking for the money, it should be the parent who offers.

Michelle - posted on 08/10/2010

4

0

0

I think she should be paid but not as much as your regular babysitter. It is unfortunate that the proper terms weren't made ahead of time, however I can understand the feeling of desperation on that first day and it may have slipped your mind, but I don't understand how it has gone on for days??. I used to watch my niece and nephew (1y and 4m at the time) when I was 17. I had just graduated high school and I moved into the suite below my brother and sister in law, I was like a live-in-nanny for them and they paid me just over $600 a month to watch them 5 days a week. I watched them often at night and on the weekends and even helped when they were home and never expected MORE money because the babysitting arrangement we made was separate from the extra time I was spending with my niece and nephew, even if I was doing them a "favor", I didn't see it that way.
Now, 8 years later I have my own little guy and I hope my brother will help me out the way I helped him, if I ever need it.
Thinking your family is taking advantage of you, whether you feel you are or not, is hurtful and will cause more drama than not paying the 11 year old is worth. Pick your battles, be the sounds of it you have plenty to pick from.
Good luck to ya!

Elizabeth - posted on 08/10/2010

10

18

0

our family has a coop for babysiting if we need a sitter and someone is available they watch my kids as a stay home mom most of the time i have theirs because i seem to be the only one available but i have 7 and they have at most 3 that need watched when my older children are old enough for sitting i will pay them this is how kids learn about work and work ethics

Sarah - posted on 08/10/2010

147

7

13

I don't know that I would pay her the same amount as a regular sitter, but to keep peace in the family, I would agree to pay her *something* since she did watch the kids for a few days. It sounds entirely possible that MIL just assumed that her daughter would be paid the same as an adult...

...I DO ask my mom to watch my 3 kids occasionally. She doesn't ask me to pay her, but I generally give her money for pizza or something for her trouble. I feel like as their grandmother, she should be willing to watch them occasionally without expecting payment. I only ask 2-3 times a YEAR. My sister has had her babysit practically WEEKLY and overnight for the last 10 years. My sister takes advantage of my mom, I don't.

Stephanie - posted on 08/10/2010

7

29

0

I think you should pay the girl about $10 per every day she helped watch the kids. But it's kind of a scary idea to me, leaving a 4-month-old baby with an 11-year-old girl for three days (if the in-laws were sleeping most of the time).

NOEMI - posted on 08/10/2010

23

136

1

At Dianne Clanton, You need to understand that this was an emergency and she is family. It's like the family is just harassing her for the money. Was there a contract or something. Is the MIL paying their 10 year old to watch their 4 year old? Probably not. She's family... well in this case Jessica is family too.Why does she have to pay for babysitting and the MIL doesn't.

NOEMI - posted on 08/10/2010

23

136

1

Jessica, I agree with you. I have a baby sitter who is 14 years old. I pay her $100 a week to watch 3 kids and she is totally fine with that. She is like family but she is a YW from church. My girls love her.
My mother, sister or dad never charged me for baby sitting my girls. Now, my mother-in-law we pay her $100 because we want to not because she tells us to.
Family is family... they should want to be there to help when ever possible.
In you case, the little girl was 11 years... she doesn't get paid at all a a grown up would because she is only 11. Just tell her no!!!

[deleted account]

If it were me I would gladly pay or provide a small thank you gift to anyone who helped me watch my child when I was in a tough spot.

NOEMI - posted on 08/10/2010

23

136

1

Jessica, I agree with you. I have a baby sitter who is 14 years old. I pay her $100 a week to watch 3 kids and she is totally fine with that. She is like family but she is a YW from church. My girls love her.
My mother, sister or dad never charged me for baby sitting my girls. Now, my mother-in-law we pay her $100 because we want to not because she tells us to.
Family is family... they should want to be there to help when ever possible.
In you case, the little girl was 11 years... she doesn't get paid at all a a grown up would because she is only 11. Just tell her no!!!

Dianne - posted on 08/10/2010

2

17

0

Look at it like this, you are a teacher, if they asked you to tutor the 11 yr old would you expect to get paid? How many kids would give their time and energy to baby sit for free? Not many, and I wouldn't blame them. Granted, she should not expect as much as a regular babysitter, but if someone got me to watch their kids on short notice and didn't even offer pay, I'd be a little offended. I'd turn it down, but it should be offered. An 11 yr old doesn't have too many opportunities to make money. I'm sure her friends babysit for money, it's only normal for her to expect to get paid. Honestly, just because she is related shouldn't mean you get free services. If your MIL was a hair stylist, do you think you'd be entitled to free hair cuts for life? A 4 yr old and a 4 month old would be a lot of work for free. Try to remember when you were a kid. You would have expected it too.

Kim - posted on 08/10/2010

11

3

0

I think that if it were an adult family member watching your children the answer is no. Absolutely not, though if they are planning to go out and such with the children, I would give them some money "for the kids" especially if they live paycheck to paycheck. But since it's a child, they probably should be paid. I would have thought that this would have been requested before-hand though instead of sprining it on you like that. Regardless, she did perform a service and should be paid for that. It is easier to get your feet wet with children you know. If she is any good, you will have a hard time getting her to keep your kids after awhile so pay her now and hopefully SHE will make an exception for family later! :)

Kirstie - posted on 08/10/2010

5

19

0

From my perspective, you were desperate, you would have paid a regular sitter and she helped you out of a jam. She should be paid. If it had been an hour or two just so you could run to the store then maybe not but since from your own words it was three days then absolutely. It shouldn't matter if it's family. We offer to pay my in-laws everytime the babysit for us, just because they don't take it doesn't mean we shouldn't pay them, Yes I've babysar for free for family but that was my choice, I don't expect that from others. If funds are so tight ho were you planning to pay the regular sitter?
I see family being taken advantage of every day for things like baby sitting and sorry but I don't think it's right. If anyone watches my kids I expect to pay them unless they say otherwise. They are giving up their time to do a job for me, whether they offered or not, so they should be paid.

Exavier - posted on 08/10/2010

7

11

0

I think families should do these things for one another out of the goodness of their hearts unless there are really extenuating cirumstance (like they are desperate for money, etc. or, if it's every day for a long period of time). I also think that younsters who baby sit regardless of relation should be given a little something. Maybe 10 bucks for the day but not as much as a grown up would be paid. I don't think I would have left my 2 babies with an 11 year old to begin with, but that's another story. Good luck with working out this issue.

Shelly - posted on 08/10/2010

6

0

0

You should pay her. Don't cause family trouble. If it were one day I would say no but it sounds like she is putting aside an entire week. You should always have an understanding before anyone babysits whether it is family or friends or a sitter on how much should be paid and the hours that are expected. Kind of like having a contract. It is unfortunate that this situation has occurred and family couldn't just help you out. She does not deserve the same pay however and family should be there to help.
She did put aside her free time to do this for more than a day so there should be some kind of compensation for this.
This situation stinks. Sorry you have to deal with it.

Kate - posted on 08/10/2010

18

13

0

I think this is the type of situation that could go either way...Since she is family I think it's perfectly reasonable to assume she would do it and not expect payment since she's technically like your sister...However she is 11 and how many 11 year odls really do things out of the kindness of their heart? I suppose this would be more appropriate if she was older...to understand you wouldn't pay family to watch your kids. However, it wouldn't have been extreme to throw her $10 or something just as a small "thank you." It makes her feel good and it's not a huge dent out of your pocket (still cheaper then a normal sitter!) The thing thats really weird is your MIL making the huge deal about it. If it was that big an issue she could have just given her daughter a couple of dollars and been done with it as opposed to making it all awkward and having a conversation with you over such a small amount of money. I don't know that's just my opinion though..

Libia - posted on 08/10/2010

3

0

0

It really depends on what kind of relationship you have with family. My younger sisters always babysat for nieces and nephews , because that is what sisters do, we help when help is needed without thought of compensation. Now that I am a grandmother I baby sit for my grandchiuldren whole summer vacation which i consider a favor for me than the other way around. But if yours is a "paying" family then by all means pay but the rates should be agreed before in a businesslike manner to avoid later misunderstandings.

Joyce - posted on 08/10/2010

3

20

0

You would have paid your regular sitter, so the money was there for a sitter. Don't take advantage of family.

Stephanie - posted on 08/10/2010

5

10

0

to be honest...from my experience, there'isn't much of a maturity difference between an 11 year old and a 12 year old babysitter. and babysitting is babysitting. how is it different for an 11/12 year old babysitting 2 young children than for an older sitter especially when the sitter is hired by me??? if i agreed for someone to babysit my children, i pay a flat hourly rate regardless of age--the job is still the same and my trust factor has to be the same or that person would not be taking care of my children in my absence. It is too bad that this 11 year old is caught up in this mess and that communication was not great from the beginning. But someone offered her services and she did a great job. We all get fired up when there are injustices around us and i think this is one of them. This young girl showed maturity and responsibility which can be quite lacking these days. Did she do a good job? Was she trustworthy? Were the kids mistreated? Did she take care of the needs of the kids? These are questions that seem to be answered and if the age wasn't known then we all would say pay her fairly.

Aileen - posted on 08/10/2010

34

0

10

I have a 1 yr old son as well as 13 & 10 yr old daughters. My 13 yr old babysits for us as well as for friends. When she babysits for others, she is paid at a lower rate than an older sitter (high school/college/adult). When she babysits for us, she is sometimes paid. Our rule is that if she is watching her brother because I am going to a meeting or working (I tutor) or other "regular family" functions I have, then it is part of being in the family. If she is babysitting so we can go out with friends then she is paid. Of course, we get the "family rate" of $2/hr. My 10 yr old is paid $1/hr in this situation (they both take care of the baby). We have been paying the girls this way (for watching themselves) for about 1 1/2 yrs. The trick is, every phone call to me while we are out costs them $.50 each, unless it is a legitimate question that must be asked then or, of course, an emergency. This makes everyone happy and keeps the complaining calls to a minimum. We do not give the girls an allowance, so this is a way to provide them with some spending money that they have earned. Regarding your situation, I think that the time already spent should be considered a lovely way to have helped you out. Perhaps you could get her a book as a thank you or treat her for ice cream. If she is going to help you in the future, you could discuss an appropriate rate - I don't think an 11 yr old should be paid at the same rate as a 16 yr old, who should not be paid the same rate as a 22 yr old.

Marlana - posted on 08/10/2010

6

14

0

You never pay a unexperienced babysitter (expecially a 11 year old) the same as you would an older more experienced one. Family is family and yes I pay my 20 year old cousin 10 dallors an hour, but never would I allow my sister-n-law to pay my child for babysitting. If you wanted to give her a few bucks to say thanks that would be fine, but I wouldn't pay an 11 year old relative.

Stephanie - posted on 08/10/2010

5

10

0

I have two young daughters and when my niece babysits, I pay her what I pay other sitters. However, this was arranged from the beginning when she started babysitting. The MIL should have told you that she expected the 11 yr old to be paid from the start. Hind sight is always much better,eh? Sometimes a back up sitter is needed and this is maybe a bridge you don't want to burn. Hope it all works out for you.

Nancy - posted on 08/10/2010

2

14

0

Yes if it is a neice or nephew, No if it is a Grama or Grampa, Aunt or Uncle, unless they really need the money. Then pay them too. You would pay someone else for the sane service.

Amory - posted on 08/10/2010

1

0

0

Each situation needs to be treated differently, I do not feel she should be paid the same as a regular sitter because of her age and the fact that she was not doing this alone. Howeve, she might have agreed to babysit because she needed money for some thing and thought this would be the way to get it. Perhaps next time you are forced to ask family to babysit ,you should be clear about your expectations and theirs in terms of payment, gift or free

Angela - posted on 08/10/2010

38

16

1

Hi, Jessica. I think you should pay something, maybe not what you'd normally pay a sitter as she had help with your in-laws. Maybe a gift would be better, if you know of something she has been wishing for. But I do think it is between you and the sitter. If you are having difficulty compromising on a price, inform her that due to age/experience and that help was available the price you are willing to pay is fair. Tell her that once she gains experience and is watching them on her own, you are willing to pay more for her services. I hope this helps. Best of luck!

Sharon - posted on 08/10/2010

66

7

9

I always pay my neice a reduced rate but I would never not pay her, as children it's a good way to make money and learn responsibility. I was always paid a reduced rate to growing up too

Nicolette - posted on 08/10/2010

8

33

0

I don't think you should pay family for babysitting no matter what their age. I wouldn't expect to be paid. I like the gift idea or maybe since money is tight you could take her to the pool or beach or do something she likes to do that is fairly inexpensive.

Hope this helps :)

Tracy - posted on 08/09/2010

144

0

4

I recently had one of my friend's daughter babysit for my 22 month old and 12 month old daughters. She is 13. If her mother had watched them I would not have dreamed of paying her but since her daughter watched them of course I paid her it was after all a job. Of course being on limited funds myself and she is not a licensed or registered daycare provider I paid her $1.50 per kid per hour rather than daycare price at $2.50 per kid per hour. Figure out what it is worth and think about the 11 year old and what she was responsible for and pay accordingly the same as a job would.

Lu - posted on 08/09/2010

17

0

6

I pay my 12 year old sister in law to watch my son from time to time, bu tit's only like $10 a day or something of that effect.

Wpaigecoates - posted on 08/09/2010

9

9

0

I don't think anyone noticed that she said she babysat her husbands siblings for NO pay. The little girl and grandparents could be paying THEIR debt. This IS a kid and it WAS for a couple of days so I highly doubt she did as much work as she is given credit for. Her mom and dad did the most work I bet. She probably just sat in the room with him or outside to make sure he didn't get into any thing but I DOUBT she fed him, bathed him, or put him to bed. She is just a kid. I mean, go ahead and take her to the movies with you and your family or something. Take her for ice cream with your son but paying her more than $5 for a job she most likely didn't really do is to much.

Diana - posted on 08/09/2010

3

3

0

I have a policy that I use for anyone watching my children. When I ask them if they can watch them, I also ask what they are expecting in payment. If it is too much, I might ask them to take less or I just find someone else who can do it for what I can pay. It makes those awkward moments go away.

Gail - posted on 08/09/2010

2

0

0

I think you should pay the relative the amount you feel it was worth for you to go to the soccor camp and not worry about your young children. I had 4 children...all very close in age. I lost my babysitter when she graduated from nursing school. My mother was kind enough to fill in for me until I could find someone else who was responsible enough to watch 4 young children, and come to my home to do it. I offered to pay my mother the rate I had paid the previous sitter, because I didn't want to make my mother feel as though I was taking advantage of her willingness to help. She accepted my offer, and we both were happy. When you assume that because "it's family they shouldn't be paid" you are possible placing stress on your relationship. You should offer, and perhaps they will decline the money.But to think the favor should be for free is just asking for hard feelings on one side or the other. You actually had 3 sitters, including the 2 sisters and the FIL. Getting 3 for the price of one is a bargain!! And who knows...you may need to call on your inlaws again sometime!

Tina - posted on 08/09/2010

4

8

0

Honestly, if it were the adults (as in my family). We would just watcht the kids. Family is family, we are always there for each other. However, since it is a child, 11 yrs old, I would pay her. That is what kids do at that age. That is how they make some spending money. I wouldn't even question paying her for babysitting the kids. However, I do not agree with paying here that same wage as a childcare provider. afterall, she is not a professional, she is a child herself.

Jamie - posted on 08/09/2010

22

15

1

You have to pay her something maybe not FULL but she did come in a "time of need" and it gives her experience. I have older kids who would watch the littlier ones and we would pay them alittle something. Also I use to babysit my sisters kids and I was always paid. Suppose a relative hired you for a job Is he/she not responsible to pay you. She was too young to do it herself so BEST to do it in the surrounding of an adult. If you cant pay a sitter you shouldnt go out. If you look at how much you are doing let me ask you this, When do you spend time with your kids? What you are doing is LONG HOURS!!!!!!! Look at your 4 yr old does it seem like just yesterday he was like your 4mo old. Well let me tell you from experience as they get older the years go faster. There are so many parents today who feel they have to MAKE MONEY well let me tell you MONEY DOES NOT REPLACE TIME YOU HAVE MISSED WITH YOUR CHILDREN. If you feel you need to do all this to make ends meet maybe you need to sit down and see where cuts can be made.. i work in a daycare and some of these kids are there for 10 hrs. THEIR PARENTS are not raising them if you think about the time they are spending in a D.C and time spent at home. In the winter some of these kids leave D.C go home eat bathe and off to bed SO I ask you How much time did these parent spend with their child that day, not much because they are "exhauste" from their day. Well these kids most parents dont know it but are STRESSED FROM THEIR DAY BEING AWAY FROM MOM AND DAY "LOOK UP THE DEFINITION FOR FAMILY, Hope you dont take this wrong but its what I see everyday. How many times aday do we (D.C WORKER) HEAR WHEN IS MY MOM COMING?

Maureen - posted on 08/09/2010

13

5

0

Yes pay her no not as much as a a sitter with experience but something or take her out for a special treat some kind of token to show your appreciation for her time and efforts

Angela - posted on 08/09/2010

10

7

1

I think if you are in hard times family should always help especially if it is only a couple of times that you have asked. My sister is going through some hard times I have a home offive and a two year old so I watch my Niece every day even weekends for free because I love my sister and her and I will help them any way i can. Sure my sister throws me twenty bucks every couple of months but its when she can and I don't expect it. She does buy juice here and there with her food stamps but I don't care Family should take care of eachother especially in hard times if your family isn't there for you who will be thats kind of how I see it. And I have a very close relationship with my niece and thats better than any amount of money to me.

Laurie - posted on 08/09/2010

2

0

1

I think that since she had an adult there you could pay her less but since it was not a 1 time "favor" she should definitely be paid. If she was an aunt or uncle it would be a different matter. It really stinks to be expected to babysit for free as a teen (spoken from experience). Since she did the work she should have the right to say weather it was for free or not.

Philip - posted on 08/09/2010

8

52

1

INDIANN GIVER NO BUT HECK NO THE BALLS ,WHAT IS YOUR HUSBAND DOING TO FIX THIS PROBLEMS??

Angela - posted on 08/09/2010

4

11

0

I think she should be paid. It would be different if she was older and had kids and you traded off babysitting but that's not the case. I don't think you should have to give her the same amount as you would your normal sitter but she did you a big favor and deserves something. You don't want family drama over this. I would give her some money and consider it a lesson learned, now you know in the future to bring up the money topic when you ask family to watch the kids.

Mary - posted on 08/08/2010

2

0

0

I feel the 11 yr old should be paid and it should not have been taken for granted that she should babysit for nothing - family or not. Too many people nowadays feel that having children is everyone's responsibility when it comes to childcare. If you just wanted to go to dinner and a show 1 nite, maybe the grandparents would be available but this shouldn't just be assumed. I love it when we have our granddaughters here for 2 days a month. It gets them out of their home and we get to spend one on one time with them. I am a grandparent that does get paid for watching my grandchildren 2 to 3 days per week. I get the bottom of the scale but it does make all parties involved happy. I have extra money to do things with the girls and put gas in my truck and they save money because it is much cheaper than most sitters. Plus the real bonus is that the grandparents are babysitting and not strangers.

Abbie - posted on 08/08/2010

1,140

42

203

this is an odd situation. But what I do, is I pay my neices who are 16 & 14 if they babysit. Normally they get like $20.00. which is good and bad, they get 20 if they watch our son for 2 hours or if its 10, but if they are there for 10, he is in bed or I have put them to bed. Rare they have to do the hard work of it. I don't see a problem with giving the 11 & 10 some money, because they have infact helped you out. Plus I assume I will need to pay who ever has watched my kids unless its grandparents or aunts.

Tricia - posted on 08/08/2010

13

5

0

i think that your mil is trying to pull one on you. i think that giving a 11y old 20 bucks for "helping" and getting experience would be far but if they wanted money they should have paid you in the past and or talked to you about it before hand. i personalty watch all my friends and family's kids for free.

Stacey - posted on 08/08/2010

17

24

1

My first thought: Sounds like you were pretty desperate, to leave your 4 month old in the care of an 11 & 10 yr old. My husband works midnights and is asleep during the day and I wouldn't leave my 5 & 3 yr old w/my 11 yr old niece if she were over, even to just run to the store. That's a lot of responsibility for someone that young. My second thought: she did do a job - she does deserve some kind of compensation. I did a lot of free babysitting for my family back in the day. Is it reciprocated? No. But that's my issue ;) But I do pay my 17 yr old niece even though she says I don't have to. I want to avoid exactly what you're talking about. I don't want to deal w/the tension that it may cause if her parents feel I'm taking advantage of her. Now - it hasn't always been what babysitters are making, but I did make it worth her while. So yeah pay her, like someone else said she will come of age to do unsupervised sitting and she will probably do a great job. And as far as your MIL goes - cut her some slack - it's her daughter she's sticking up for, and if you took a minute to think about it - you would probably do the same for yours. It's tricky dealing w/family - so make the best of it. Even if it means lightening your wallet.

Maritza - posted on 08/08/2010

30

16

0

I believe that is true and right, I have had my best friend who is now my son's godmother stay with him when my mother was very ill she stayed with him and did not ask me for anything in return that goes to show what kind of person she is and also my family nothing in return, having a family member take care of your kids and keep asking you to pay them is wrong they need to do it from the heart.

Amy - posted on 08/08/2010

7

21

0

An 11 year old is a lot different than an Aunt, Uncle or Grandparent...she shouldn't be responsible for watching children at 11. I think it depends on how many hrs... I think it also depends on if she wanted to. I would pay here $5 - 7 an hour and I don't think anything more than 2 or 3 hrs is ok for an 11 year old!

Karungi - posted on 08/08/2010

4

17

0

Absolutely, childcare workers should be respected and paid for their work. But we are not talking about them, we are trying to rescue what has obviously slowly but surely disappeared from our society. I grew up in a society where it is unheard of to pay one to mind their niece, nephew, cousin or friend's child!!!! A society where 'all children are everybody's responsibility'. And I find it rather disturbing when, for example, grand parents take money from their children to look after their own grand children. And this is what this is all about, family spirit and solidarity .... but that's me.
I do appreciate circumstances when this money maybe given to a relative because one can afford it and the particular relative does need the money, or where some are happier paying a relative than a stranger to mind their children. But let's not loose sight of that unconditional responsibility that we acquire automatically when we becaome part of a family or a friend for that matter.

Maritza - posted on 08/08/2010

30

16

0

I do not think that is right families should help each other out when you need them not charge you, when I needed some one to stay with my son I would let a family member like my brother sometimes do it and never paid him so that is wrong in there part and not being respectful.

JuLeah - posted on 08/08/2010

3,133

38

681

All child care workers ought to be respected. Age 11 doesn't matter. It seems disrespectful to not pay her, as it sounds like you might have paid an older person.

At this point I would pay her because the fall out for not paying her will cost you more

Set the rules up in advance next time. You made an assumption that she didn't need to be paid, but never spoke to her about it. She made a different assumption.

I say pay her

Cristy - posted on 08/08/2010

1

29

0

I don't think that the adults in the family should get paid for sitting, but given her age I would give her a little something in appreciation. I would not give her the total amount of a normal sitter but I would reward her with something to show my gratitude.
It stinks that they flat out asked you which I would never do. :) Good luck...

Join Circle of Moms

Sign up for Circle of Moms and be a part of this community! Membership is just one click away.

Join Circle of Moms