20-year-old used as ‘free child care’ for two 5-year-old twins demands payment from father for babysitting

Gillian Sisley

A 20-year-old college student who is constantly asked to babysit her siblings is now demanding to be paid moving forward, because she feels she’s taking on ‘too much of the load’ in the household while trying to focus on her studies. Her father has turned to Reddit to find out whether or not his daughter is being ‘privileged’ and ‘spoiled’.

*This is a work of non-fiction sourced from social media discussion boards and verified experts/specialists.*

The author, who is a dad of 3, has a 20-year-old enrolled in college and 2 twins who are 5 years old. He continues that his daughter lives at home rent-free, and will contribute in terms of cleaning, cooking, and babysitting the author’s twins.

That said, his daughter is starting to complain about the child care situation. He explains:

“Occasionally she has to watch over her younger brothers since I may be busy with work or when I need a break to hang out with my girlfriend. My daughter recently spoke up to me about how she feels I'm putting too much of a workload on her back which I don't see how. She told me that having to watch over her siblings was annoying & stressful and that it's taking away from her studies.”

According to Kings College, the average college student will spend 12-16 hours per week in class, however, that time allotment doesn’t account for additional time spent studying, completing assignments, or working part-time jobs to fund their basic needs.

The complaints from the author’s daughter about being stressed with school really bothered the author, as he details:

“That pissed me off because I myself went to school while having to pay bills & take care of her as a baby alongside my ex-wife. I told her she was acting very privileged and that if I could do it, so could she.”

His daughter didn’t like the sound of this, and actually went to her aunt and complained about the situation. The author is now being pressured by his sister and family members to give his daughter some sort of allowance, or stop expecting her to provide free child care for her little brothers.

He concludes with:

“In regards to how often I ask her to babysit, it's usually 3 times a week. I don't see how that's too much to ask of her. It's usually only for a few hours until I get back home. My twins aren't crazy kids by the way, they're more mature than the typical ones you'll see.”

The debate of whether or not it’s reasonable to use family members as ‘free child care’ is a heavy one online. With access to childcare services becoming more difficult since the pandemic, more parents have had to turn to loved ones or family to fill the gap in care for their kids as a favor. However, it’s common for resentment between family members to grow if those providing free child care feel taken advantage of.

What do you think?

Is the daughter being unreasonable by expecting to be paid for looking after her younger siblings, and she should be able to juggle babysitting her siblings and studying?

Or is it her father who is being unreasonable by expecting his daughter to be responsible for the care of her younger siblings, when that is solely his responsibility as the parent?

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