While older siblings have to recognise that they need to contribute to the household, you need to respect their desire to earn their own money.
Once your teenager reaches a certain age they are likely to be asked to babysit for your neighbour’s children. This means, by asking them to babysit for you, they have to forego the chance of being paid by someone else. In instances like these they should be paid for their time. However, if they are required to mind younger siblings while you pop to the shop or go to a meeting they should not be paid. The same should apply if they are planning on staying in anyway.
However, if you demand your child to babysit for free too often they may simply refuse and you will be left looking for someone else. Therefore, it is important that you include your teenager in any discussions about babysitting and talk to them about money. You should never assume they will be available every time you need them.
In order for your teen to not feel like they are being taken advantage of they should be paid the going rate or at least a rate that you both agree on. If you regularly need them to babysit, you should treat it just as if it was a normal part-time job, you would have to pay someone else if your youngster wasn’t available anyway.
If they do start to feel like they have to carry the burden of minding their brothers and sisters, they won’t want to sit and this may cause problems in the future when you really need them. You should also keep in mind that kids are more inclined to do a good job if they are being rewarded for it.
Shouldering too much responsibility on your eldest child can cause them to feel stressed out and develop negative feelings towards younger siblings. Remember, it is not your teen’s fault that they were born first.