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  #21  
Old 03.04.2011, 10:12
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Re: Looking after your childrens' children?

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Just because you breed, is no guarantee that you have a bum-wiper and brei feeder if you might need it again. Just look at this lot on this forum- we're not there to wipe our parents bums..
Works both ways.

I am reminded of two Cat Stevens/Yusuf Islam songs...
(not for the faint hearted)
You are right, it is no garantee. I think as a parent you can do your best and hope to teach good values to your kids. If you treat your kids with respect, they will give you the respect back. If you treat your kids like they belong to you, are your ''possessions'' and can be treat badly, you'll have great chance to die alone.

I believe we should respect people no matter their age, but not with a blind eye.
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  #22  
Old 03.04.2011, 10:15
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Re: Looking after your childrens' children?

I see it as a very cultural issue - in many cultures the role of the 'middle' generation is to look after both the young and the old. So you live in a 3 generation household. The grandparents look after the grandchildren whilst the middle generation earns the money to keep the household running.

In Australia we have an interesting phenomenon with a generation who never actually 'parented' their kids - we have many friends from Italian and Greek backgrounds in particular (not that it's unique to them, but Australia's migration is generally in 'waves' and these were the ones in our generation)...they migrated with their children, but brought the grandparents over as well to care for the kids and keep the family together. So the grandparents 'parented' the grandkids whilst the first generation migrants worked their guts out to build up a new life for their entire family.

In the next generation, the parents actually want to stay home and care for their own kids, and if not, they definitely want to dictate how their children will be raised. So the migrant generation who have been waiting to take over the 'grandparent' role get very confused...whereas the previous generation of grandparents were very much allowed to say how things would be, the new generation are isolated from decision making, and feel 'used' - and very disenfranchised if their grandkids get put into childcare instead!

Grandparent care is a very fast way to build up wealth in the family. For a nuclear family it may look 'selfish' because the new generation keeps the money to themselves, whereas in an extended family structure the money is considered as belonging to 'everyone' and the obligation to save it for when the older generation need a lot more care, is very strong...

My daughter's godmother, who comes from an Italian background, lives with her family in three generations - the grandparents lived downstairs, the children and grandkids lived upstairs. The kids were never put into childcare, and they also played a strong role in caring for their grandparents in their old age. Now that the grandparents have died, the kids live in the downstairs area, and are expected to live there for as long as needed. They contribute to the costs of the household, are expected to save lots of money for their own house one day, perhaps, and certainly when the next generation comes along, at least one couple will be expected to stay in the house and care for the now-aging parents as well as raise their own children...

On the other hand, my parents and parents in law still have paid work, no plans to retire, and loan us money from time to time but would *never* loan us the deposit for a house...nor would they give up work to raise our children, but they support us in some level of babysitting, over the years, but only when convenient...and I would never have worked 100% and had the kids in full time childcare if we were in Australia...
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  #23  
Old 03.04.2011, 10:34
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Re: Looking after your childrens' children?

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Grandparent care is a very fast way to build up wealth in the family. For a nuclear family it may look 'selfish' because the new generation keeps the money to themselves, whereas in an extended family structure the money is considered as belonging to 'everyone' and the obligation to save it for when the older generation need a lot more care, is very strong...
This part is for me a great exemple of what the society became. You can see just between 2 persons in a relationship. When 2 persons are married but still won't share the money they bring home as a whole. I pay this, you pay that, I buy this and you buy that. In the ''in case'' situation where the relationship finish in a divorce, they will take what belongs to them, what they bought separately during their relationship together.

The what is mine is mine mentality. In my husband's family it is more like your Italian's exemple. The kids were raised with the grandparents all together in the same house. Today the kids are sharing everything (still) if his brother needs help, we will be there for them. If someone has a money problem, the parents and the sibling will step in to help.

His parents are the one who raised my nieces and nephews while the parents were working to build a career, a company, a futur. But those parents are not left alone and can always count on their kids and grand-kids to help them if the need comes.
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  #24  
Old 03.04.2011, 10:43
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Re: Looking after your childrens' children?

Soooo, it was a good thing I didn't add to the over-population problems then?

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Just because you breed, is no guarantee that you have a bum-wiper and brei feeder if you might need it again. Just look at this lot on this forum- we're not there to wipe our parents bums..
Works both ways.
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  #25  
Old 03.04.2011, 20:50
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Re: Looking after your childrens' children?

Help as much as you can.... really....

In the end, when all is said and done, it's that time spent together that will be remembered.
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  #26  
Old 04.04.2011, 09:33
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Re: Looking after your childrens' children?

Well, if one day when I'm retired my daughter would want children and have her profession and work and we would be living in Switzerland, given there is no free childcare, yes, I would happily do it because I know how important it is to be able to work.
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  #27  
Old 04.04.2011, 09:50
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Re: Looking after your childrens' children?

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I see it as a very cultural issue - in many cultures the role of the 'middle' generation is to look after both the young and the old. So you live in a 3 generation household. The grandparents look after the grandchildren whilst the middle generation earns the money to keep the household running.

In Australia we have an interesting phenomenon with a generation who never actually 'parented' their kids - we have many friends from Italian and Greek backgrounds in particular (not that it's unique to them, but Australia's migration is generally in 'waves' and these were the ones in our generation)...they migrated with their children, but brought the grandparents over as well to care for the kids and keep the family together. So the grandparents 'parented' the grandkids whilst the first generation migrants worked their guts out to build up a new life for their entire family.

In the next generation, the parents actually want to stay home and care for their own kids, and if not, they definitely want to dictate how their children will be raised. So the migrant generation who have been waiting to take over the 'grandparent' role get very confused...whereas the previous generation of grandparents were very much allowed to say how things would be, the new generation are isolated from decision making, and feel 'used' - and very disenfranchised if their grandkids get put into childcare instead!

Grandparent care is a very fast way to build up wealth in the family. For a nuclear family it may look 'selfish' because the new generation keeps the money to themselves, whereas in an extended family structure the money is considered as belonging to 'everyone' and the obligation to save it for when the older generation need a lot more care, is very strong...

My daughter's godmother, who comes from an Italian background, lives with her family in three generations - the grandparents lived downstairs, the children and grandkids lived upstairs. The kids were never put into childcare, and they also played a strong role in caring for their grandparents in their old age. Now that the grandparents have died, the kids live in the downstairs area, and are expected to live there for as long as needed. They contribute to the costs of the household, are expected to save lots of money for their own house one day, perhaps, and certainly when the next generation comes along, at least one couple will be expected to stay in the house and care for the now-aging parents as well as raise their own children...

On the other hand, my parents and parents in law still have paid work, no plans to retire, and loan us money from time to time but would *never* loan us the deposit for a house...nor would they give up work to raise our children, but they support us in some level of babysitting, over the years, but only when convenient...and I would never have worked 100% and had the kids in full time childcare if we were in Australia...
Well said Swisspea - totally agree (being Aussie and from immigrant parents).

These days I think there's another factor to consider. Many more women have careers and are in paid work so that the Grandmother isn't always available to help. Family isn't the sole focus. The grandparents may also be looking forward to time to themselves after retiring. In addition, many parents are having children later so that the grandparents are older and it is harder physically for them to deal with young children. It depends on what the family background is as to whether the expectation is there. Certainly my Mum helped my sister out alot (she had her kids very young), but I've never had that same help because I've never lived close enough. And we had our kids much later by which time I know it would have been too tiring for her to do alot.
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  #28  
Old 04.04.2011, 11:04
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Re: Looking after your childrens' children?

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All around me are grand-parents who are asked, expected even, to look after their grand-children day in, day out, whilst their parents are at work. Is that right iyoo?
It is the way society is (Western) gearing itself. I say Western, as this is how it is in poorer countries already to some extent.

Great if you have access to such care (we, as expats, of course don't) - but I do think it unfair to think of it as an "expectation". I do know of families who pay their parents a "wage" and formalise the agreement, which to some extent is probably fairer, as it makes the nature of the relationship much more open and honest, and in effect less of a imposition.

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In the UK the government were trying to get grandparents to get more involved and help out to a) help both parents earn and b) instil better family values on the kids...
The irony of instilling family valuey by forcing both parents out to work...

The UK - amongst others of course - is now a society where to keep up with the Jones' both parents have or are expected to work. Great, more income, more taxes, but higher unemployment and children who sit in front of the TV 'cos it is easier than any other option...

There was a comment by an expert I've worked with talking about society and the increasing burden of caring for families. Basically he pointed out that today's "middle" generation have to worst of both worlds. Not only grandparents living for longer, there are now greater distances involved (i.e. number of families living within short distances is decreasing), and wives (because they remain the primary carer even if they have careers) now have to look after their children, as well as their parents and other their husband's parents...

Something is going to give sometime soon...

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Well, I never bred, so that takes care of the question of babysitting future grandkids...... but OMG, who's gonna look after me when I'm old and crusty? Actually, I have a plan, I'll just keep as fit as possible, so I'll remain strong enough to get my own shopping in, and flexible enough to wipe my own @rse.......
...when you're old and crusty?

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