Watching Siblings Without Losing Your Mind

When you’re an older sibling like me, watching your younger brother is basically non-negotiable. And I get it, I really do! When I was 8-years old, mom couldn’t leave me home alone to run to the post office. I had to turn off the cartoons, put on my shoes, and go with her.

But now that I’m 16-years-old, my mom can leave me home alone while she runs errands. And my little brother is lucky. Because I am home, he can stay home as well. He doesn’t have to shut off Netflix to head to Tuesday night book club. He just hangs out with me.

Please understand, this is babysitting! While mom is gone, I am responsible for my little brother’s life. If something goes wrong, I’m in charge. But for some reason, my little brother doesn’t seem to understand that and often tells me, “You’re not the boss of me!”

As his babysitter, I am the “substitute parent” while mom and dad are away. Watch this video to see the four ways I’ve learned to make watching my little brother much better, almost (if I dare say it) enjoyable!

Watching siblings without losing your mind.

When I took my Safe Sitter® class, I thought about a lot of things. What I was going to spend all my babysitting money on. Whether I would have to change diapers. What I was going to spend all my babysitting money on. What I would do if kids behaved badly. What I was going to spend all my babysitting money on.

The one thing I didn’t think about, my parents using me for free childcare. Okay, okay, I get it! Watching younger brothers or sisters is still babysitting. And if your parents are willing to pay you, even better! But watching your younger brothers or sisters doesn’t have to be a hassle. Here are four ways to make it enjoyable. Well, bearable.

Number one, ask your mom or dad to make it clear that you’re in charge. Let’s nip this you can’t tell me what to do right in the butt. Ain’t nobody got time for that. While mom and dad are away, I am the substitute parent now!

Two, with great power, comes great responsibility. It’s not just a lesson for Spiderman. Yes, you’re in charge, but that means you take that responsibility seriously and you do not order your younger brother to scrub the gunk off the rim of the toilet.

What are you doing? Get back to work.

No matter how much you want to.

Three, make it fun! Play a game in the backyard that you both enjoy or watch a movie together that you both love, even though you’ve seen it a million times.

And no, you never outgrow animated movies. Just stop.

Number four, trick them into behaving. Are they arguing with you about getting ready for bed? Make a game out of it. Tell them you’ll race them and whoever puts on the PJs first, wins. Are they refusing to eat their veggies? Give the veggies to the dog. Just kidding! Tell them after they finished with their veggies, with sprinkles. See, it doesn’t have to be horrible. It might even be fun! But don’t, don’t tell my parents. I’m getting hazard pay.

Check out more Babysitter Boss videos.

When you’re babysitting siblings, you may want to think of some creative ways to entertain them. Check out our Entertainment Ideas for all ages!

Take a Safe Sitter® class and learn more child care skills. Find a class near you!

Babysitter Boss

Babysitter Boss

Babysitter Boss is a YouTube series by Safe Sitter, Inc. that tells you everything you need to know about babysitting. Subscribe to the channel on YouTube and never miss an episode!
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