First off we live in the United States and I know this is asked alot with traditions. My son, 9 years old has had to bathe his 4 year old step brother for over a year while taking a bath. I feel that he should not be responsible and getting into trouble for this responsibility, am I wrong?
This depends on too many details to have a direct Yes or No answer.
Can a nine year old have some responsibilities for the household, and be held accountable for those responsibilities? Absolutely. My nine year old does the laundry for the family and unloads dishes. My seven year old does our recycling and feeds the cat.
Is bathing a younger sibling an appropriate responsibility for a nine year old? For some, yes, for others, no. This depends on their relationship and maturity levels. My children sometimes bathe together, but only when they want to; but they’re both old enough to bathe alone.
But could a nine year old manage this? Yes; given the main responsibility is keeping the younger one from drowning and making sure he washes his various places at some point, none of that is particularly hard. Many nine year olds would not be mature enough to handle that, but some would be. A parent should be paying at least an earful of attention to the bath; but at least for my kids they’d be capable of keeping a four year old alive and maybe cleaned if I asked them to. But I wouldn’t ask them to supervise toothbrushing; that takes more specialized skills.
As far as getting in trouble, then you’re going a bit further. Is the nine year old unwilling? If so, then is it this task they don’t like? We’ve switched jobs before. No reason for someone to do a job they don’t like so long as they do something equivalent, unless nobody likes the task. Is it too hard? If so, particularly if the four year old resists, then the job should be done by a parent.
But is he just unwilling to do a job because it’s work? Then hold him accountable. I dislike ‘in trouble’ as a concept; but fun time has to follow work time for all of us, right? I ask my children to do their jobs before they play. That’s not unreasonable, and while they act like it’s the end of the world sometimes, overall it works and they end up doing them.