Like a lot of parents today, we live far away fom our family, with the nearest grandparent a minimum of five hours away. When they come to stay, Granny and Grandad are happy to babysit, but for day-to-day childcare we have to manage for ourselves with paid childcare.
But it seems we're in the minority, if a new survey is to be believed. It claims that eight in ten (84) of parents said that the main drawback of using grandparents for childcare is that their parents have different rules/standards for their children. One in five (19 disliked the facts that their parents discipline their children differently to them.
In addition, 14 worried that their children were getting too attached to the grandparents.
Psychologist Donna Dawson commented on the survey:
"Using your parents to help look after your children can be a 'sweet-and-sour' experience: 'sweet', because it is people that you know and trust who have a vested interest in looking after them (as well as saving you money); and 'sour', because family tensions can arise over how you are bringing them up.
"To avoid fall-outs, ensure that your parents are aware of your values and routines and keep talking to them about what you are trying to achieve. If you have rules about how much TV or computer time your children should indulge in, or what food or treats (or lack of!) they should be given, then do make your parents aware of this. Also, try to concentrate on the positive aspects of the arrangement, and keep your minds open to any suggestions that might be useful – after all, grandparents do have a life-time of experience to draw on!"
Does your family help you with childcare? Does this cause any problems? Is it a grandparent's duty to help out? Or have they already done their share of bringing up children, and are entitled to a rest? Leave a comment below
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