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SD babysitting sister

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

Hello Everyone!

 This is my first post. I just wanted some perspective on this issue. I am recently married and have a 13 yr old step-daughter who is awesome. We have a great relationship. She's with us 3 nights a week and with her mom for 4. She has a 5 year old sister at her mom's. Her mom recently got a 9-5 (or thereabouts) job. For my sd this summer this meant that she is babysitting all day Mon-Fri. Is this normal? I just feel like it's so isolating and depressing. She can't leave the house or go outside (we live in the city) so she is alone all day. I think this would drive me crazy as an adult, much less as a 13 year old (if it matters, her sister has some serious tantrum problems and had some developmental delays although these are improving ---she can be a handful). She has complained about being stir-crazy, but there is not much we can do. Her dad is uncomfortable with the situation, but fortunately works in the area so could help out if anything serious happened. Anyway, comments are appreciated! Thanks!

post #2 of 7

Is the babysitting all during the mom's parenting time? If so, then this is just one of those things that I think you have to step back and let go of. I know it can be hard -- you parent a child and want to help them out. I know your motives are good. But the mother gets to make her own parenting decisions. So just take this one off your plate and put it in the pile of things you can't control. It can be hard to let go of these things, but it's for the best.

post #3 of 7
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the reply.Yes it is all during her time. I should have been clear---There is no way I would take any action on this issue as I know that would be waay overstepping boundaries. I have no control over it. I actually haven't even talked to anyone about it. I was more wondering if I was being a weirdo for thinking that it was a lot of alone time for her? It could be just me and everyone else thinks it's a-okay and routine? I don't really have a comparison point that's all. Thanks

post #4 of 7


My dd is 13, almost 14.  She babysits her 7 and 9 year old siblings sometimes.  Usually just for a couple of hours.  I personally, would not be comfortable with her watching them all day every day.


However, she has several friends who are spending their summers babysitting younger siblings.  

post #5 of 7

Are you a sahm? Perhaps you could offer to take both girls some times to give dsd a break?

post #6 of 7

Did the mom ask your DSD to babysit, or tell her to? Is she paying her? How does your DSD feel about it? There's literally nowhere for them to go outside (apartment courtyard, etc.)? The situation sounds pretty sucky to me, but if your DSD is making money and is okay with the situation, then I guess it's okay.


I babysat full-time for a summer when I was 14, watching 3 boys all day M-F while their parents worked. I loved it and was ecstatic about making so much money, but then they had a big backyard and lived in a neighborhood so we could go for walks, play at the park, ride bikes, etc. -- being cooped up inside all day every day sounds kind of crappy for both girls -- I can't imagine being okay with my kids being in that situation for the summer. 

post #7 of 7

Just another view:

My son is 10 (will be 11 at the end of summer).  When my job starts up again, at the end of summer, he will be home alone most days.  I homeschool. While DS isn't babysitting anyone he will be here for about 8 hrs on his own and his instructions are to 'stay inside'.  We also live in an apartment.  He would probably prefer to have someone to 'babysit'.

At this point I can not afford to pay for daycare and his is old enough per CPS guidelines to be left alone. Do I like doing this, NO, but I have to work, I am not sending him to traditional school as they will not accommodate gifted kids, and his father is totally out of the picture. I have full legal and physical custody.  He has a cell phone, internet access and takes some online classes.


It sounds like your DSD is inside during the day and then when mom gets home she is able to go outside and do other things.  As a mom I totally understand the instructions to 'stay inside'.  When I get home from work DS will be able to go outside, he will have some classes to take and we will go do things.   The arrangement really is not as awful as it sounds.

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