Anonymous asked in Family & RelationshipsFamily · 4 weeks ago

To what extent should older siblings be expected to care for younger siblings?

I am the eldest of 5 children. My parents both work and paying a babysitter would cost them a lot of money. My siblings are 2, 5, 7, 15 and I turned 18 and I am in my final year. Ever since I was younger I have always been the responsible one. I have been taking care of them ever since I was 10 years old full time. The 16 year old is not expected to help out because my parents say since he is a boy then he shouldn't but since I am the girl it is my duty to. I have become overwhelmed and depressed because of the amount that I have to do:

I have to get up, tidy the house, prepare my siblings for school and their lunches. Prepare the dinner, get myself ready walk them to school which is 15 minutes away from my house and collect them from school, give them a shower and give them their dinner and get them ready for bed. My classes are online and I have a lot of work to do and it's hard too. My parents work from 8am to 4pm at their business and on their day off it is the exact same. I have tried talking to them about how I feel and they say when they were my age they had to do the same and it is my duty. But the thing is I can't cope anymore. They are very badly behaved kids all of them and on top of it it's just everything that I am expected to do.

11 Answers

  • Anonymous
    3 weeks ago

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  • 3 weeks ago

    I think I would tell your parents that it is their responsibility to either care for the younger kids or hire a babysitter or daycare. You should not be burdened like that while you are going to school and you should also have some fun time with your friends as well. Talk again to your Mom and Dad and if they will not help you, maybe you could get a real job making a living and move out and they would have to do something different. That is so unfair and it is heartbreaking. Good luck with this.

  • 3 weeks ago

    I have 7 siblings in total. 5 are older than me but 2 are younger. I'm the baby on my mom side but the middle on my dad side. Tbh, I don't think older siblings should've take care of their younger siblings because everyone has their own life to live even though it's a good strategy to remember when your older siblings are thinking about having kids of their own. They should've stick to being brother or sister not as a parent. Younger siblings are going to learn how to be independent not dependent.

  • Carmen
    Lv 5
    3 weeks ago

    Good job young one everyone will be accountable for their actions or lack of actions. Anyone eligible or old enough just as you are doing in a family should help each other out as much as possible so the load doesn’t get to be to much. Yes it’s normal to have the oldest sibling help with the younger ones especially if parents are working but everyone has a breaking point just like they do they are blessed you are still at home otherwise they would feel your pain and understand how good they have it as well. And even though all parents have made sacrifices for their families it doesn’t excuse not treating others as you want to be treated and be considerate of all your trying to do to help out and keep your studies up. Take some deep breaths pray for strength to endure and to keep your peace of mind until things change or until you’re able to move. Try to be as peaceable as possible with your parents and siblings your blessings will come. 

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  • Good
    Lv 6
    3 weeks ago

    You are an unpaid nanny.  You are slave labor.  You are being abused.  You need to leave as soon as school is finished.

    Your mother is not their mother, you are.  You should have some days off just for yourself.  I would demand it on days they do not work.  Every care giver needs time

    for themselves.  You are not a slave.  Get out when you can.


  • Anonymous
    3 weeks ago

    Only to a certain extent of course. You should be expected to look after you siblings, especially if they're a lot younger than you, while you're parents are away but what your parents are doing is wrong. I'm a middle child but I since I only live with one of my siblings, the only sibling I have from my mom's side, I tend to take care of her when my mom is at work. I don't know how you feel, but I do know that you shouldn't be taking care of your siblings like this.

    Your parents decided to have kids, not you. They should be responsible for taking care of them. You're not even taking care of them as a sister, rather as a mom. You're legally old enough to move out  and your parents can't stop you so you could if you want.

  • Pearl
    Lv 7
    3 weeks ago

    theres nothing wrong with helping your parents, they helped you

  • 3 weeks ago

    If this were a desperate situation, everyone should be expected to pitch in and help. But as described, it appears that you have been used, unfairly, for years.  You are old enough to leave and go out on your own, unless you prefer to remain for that "final year"?  I would suggest that you inform them of how many hours you feel you can really spare for all the duties they ask of you, and that you are now going to ask for payment per hour.  Or........find a room, a room mate, leave, and let the chips fall where they may. Your parents have been taking serious advantage of you.

  • 4 weeks ago

    That is something that your parents decide. 

  • 4 weeks ago

    Your parents have been abusing/neglecting you for a long time: disgraceful! They are the ones who decided to have children, you did not decide to become a nanny! Unpaid, one assumes, although they probably pay for your utilities, food, etc., as they should of course of you are still studying. 

    Ask how important they consider your studies to be (they might play this down, of course.m as they won't want you qualifying and leaving home). Ask their advice about how to organise your time. This will involve you going through everything that you do each day: write out your timetable in advance; don't exaggerate (much!), and don't try to justify yourself or argue if you can avoid it. It should give you an idea as to how many hours you work for them each week. Ask them how responsible a job is caring for their children, so what would they pay someone else to do it. Do you have any grandparents or friends you could go to live with? And get a part-time job.How about telling your parents that you have decided to leave home and find a live-in nanny post for which you will get paid? Clearly they consider you trustworthy and able enough. Or any job, really - then you will be able to rent a room and study in the evenings and days off. Perhaps you can do some baby-sitting in the evenings and take your laptop with you......

    Good Luck!

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