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Old 02.04.2011, 22:42
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Looking after your childrens' children?

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?
I love my grand-children with all my heart, and would love to be nearer so I can see them more often. I am at the end of a phone and would be on the next flight if ever I was needed in an emergency, or occasionally during school holidays. My grand-children will hopefully come to spend exgtended periods here in CH during school holidays when they are older- and I can't wait. But no, I wouldn't 'serve' as a free nanny whilst parents work. Would you?
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Old 02.04.2011, 22:45
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Re: Looking after your childrens' children?

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. But no, I wouldn't 'serve' as a free nanny whilst parents work. Would you?
Good question. If I had nothing else to do with my free time and looking after my grandchildren would give me satisfaction that I couldn't find elsewhere, I definitely would say yes.

If I had a partner or lots of friends and was constantly on the go, I wouldn't.

I would not look after my grandkids while my kids worked 100%.
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Old 02.04.2011, 22:52
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Re: Looking after your childrens' children?

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

My mum looked after my niece and nephew full time more or less and if she could, she would gladly look after mine instead if him going to krippe. She'd not take any money but i'd be happier paying her
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Old 02.04.2011, 23:01
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Re: Looking after your childrens' children?

Of course it is fine for the odd occasion but when a grandparent is expected to that is another matter...
I listened to a very interesting radio programme on the subject and it was amazing how many grandparents were looking after children full time so their children could keep their lifestyle of a new car yearly, expensive holidays etc.
When they declined to help any longer they were then subjected to emotional blackmail - "don't you want to look after your granchildren etc"
and one son whose parents stopped being full time baby sitters actually stopped talking to his parents over this!!!
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Old 02.04.2011, 23:06
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Re: Looking after your childrens' children?

Friends of ours looked after their son's baby for 3 days a week - then the daughter had a baby, so she said 'well you looked after my brother's son, so it is only fair you look after mine too. Others travelled from the East Midlands to North London 3 days a week to babysit- and so on. And yes, it is the 'expectation' which is not on imho. After working very hard all our lives, we are now able to travel, enjoy hiking and skiing, and at last, having a bit of 'quality' time together- not selfish is it? Financial aspects are huge though - a full-time nanny in the London area gets paid the same salary as a primary school teacher... (no housework whatsoever- whereas grand-parents are also 'expected' to iron, clean, garden and even decorate, etc.)
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Old 02.04.2011, 23:17
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Re: Looking after your childrens' children?

well, i guess it all depends on the culture and the family as to what you do for or don't do for each other. when i was pregnant i stayed at my parents house all day and took care of my grandmother-who was 83 and just couldn't take care of herself well anymore. it was important to us and her that she stayed with my parents and not go into a home, so i stayed and did that. when my son started school and my mother retired from work, she was very happy to take my son every morning before school and every afternoon after school until i came home from work. she loved the time she spent with him and he adores her, and looks forward to spending a month with her every summer. so, its not about taking advantage of parents or caretakers but taking care of family when they are in need- and wanting to help and spend that time.

i think when i am a grandmother, i will be very happy to have my grandkids with me as much as possible. my mother is so happy to be surrounded by her grandkids and tells them that being with them is the closest thing to heaven, that how i think i will feel about it too. of course not everyone does or should feel that way, but it seems quite normal to help out in this way if you can...
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Old 02.04.2011, 23:20
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Re: Looking after your childrens' children?

I don't think it is fair. If the grand-parents want to, are happy and comfortable to do it, yes! Enjoy!

But grand-parents should be able to enjoy being grand-parents and spoiled their grand-children, not raise them like parents because the real parents are busy to do something else. They already did the ungreatful job of parenting, they should be able to get just the good with their grand-children.

At the golden age of grand-parents, they should be able to enjoy life and not being stuck in daily responsability of raising kids.

I know some really do abuse this free babysitting and it is a shame. My aunt gets my cousin's girls all the time, days and nights. She is too old for that!

Do the grand-parents always have the choice? If they say no, they may lose all contacts with the kids.... How sad!
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Old 02.04.2011, 23:21
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Re: Looking after your childrens' children?

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well, i guess it all depends on the culture and the family as to what you do for or don't do for each other. when i was pregnant i stayed at my parents house all day and took care of my grandmother-who was 83 and just couldn't take care of herself well anymore. it was important to us and her that she stayed with my parents and not go into a home, so i stayed and did that. when my son started school and my mother retired from work, she was very happy to take my son every morning before school and every afternoon after school until i came home from work. she loved the time she spent with him and he adores her, and looks forward to spending a month with her every summer. so, its not about taking advantage of parents or caretakers but taking care of family when they are in need- and wanting to help and spend that time.

i think when i am a grandmother, i will be very happy to have my grandkids with me as much as possible. my mother is so happy to be surrounded by her grandkids and tells them that being with them is the closest thing to heaven, that how i think i will feel about it too. of course not everyone does or should feel that way, but it seems quite normal to help out in this way if you can...
You are lucky! And it goes in both directions!
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Old 02.04.2011, 23:35
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Re: Looking after your childrens' children?

i am but i think now that i look at this it may be two different things- i liked spending the time with my grandmother and i knew i wasnt going to have so much time with her left- and when my son was born we were with her all day till she died when he was 8 months old. but i am very happy to have given the two of them that time together although it was a lot of work. same for my mom, it does go both ways and she did watch my niece 3 days a week up until she started school, but my mother loved doing it and nannies weren't an option.

i don't think anyone should be guilted or expected to do something they don't want to, and of course i completely understand how after years of working grannies and grampies want to enjoy their freedom- i don't mean they shouldn't want that or feel bad about wanting it. just to say its very different for both. but on the upside for those who do it-

i can say the things i have learned and the time i spent as a little one with my granparents really shaped who i am today and i feel incredibly lucky to have been able to spend time with them in that way. grandparents are something really special, and likewise, parents need to appreciate what they do, not expect it.
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Old 02.04.2011, 23:50
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Re: Looking after your childrens' children?

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i am but i think now that i look at this it may be two different things- i liked spending the time with my grandmother and i knew i wasnt going to have so much time with her left- and when my son was born we were with her all day till she died when he was 8 months old. but i am very happy to have given the two of them that time together although it was a lot of work. same for my mom, it does go both ways and she did watch my niece 3 days a week up until she started school, but my mother loved doing it and nannies weren't an option.

i don't think anyone should be guilted or expected to do something they don't want to, and of course i completely understand how after years of working grannies and grampies want to enjoy their freedom- i don't mean they shouldn't want that or feel bad about wanting it. just to say its very different for both. but on the upside for those who do it-

i can say the things i have learned and the time i spent as a little one with my granparents really shaped who i am today and i feel incredibly lucky to have been able to spend time with them in that way. grandparents are something really special, and likewise, parents need to appreciate what they do, not expect it.
I so agree with that. The most important person I had in my life was my grand-mother. She was the whole world for me and we were very very close to each other. Her death was the most difficult one I had to deal with and even after 15 years, it still painful to think about.

It is great for grand-kids to have this relationship with their grand-parents. They learn so much from them. I always wanted to know more about my grand-mothers ''time''. I could listen her stories for hours! I think it is important for kids to grow up with having older people around them. I really wish my kids could have that too. They learn so much when having different generations around them.

But it shouldn't be force on them to take care of the grand-children everyday of the week, all the time because it cheap (free) and some parents do really abuse this free babysitting system.
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Old 03.04.2011, 01:51
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Re: Looking after your childrens' children?

"Ni tanto que queme al santo, ni poco que no lo alumbre"
Is a phrase we use in spanish, talking about candle light "not so much to burn the saint, not so little that doesnt give light"
I think if the grandparents WANT, then is ok, but I dont think is correct that they MUST, specially if they have other things to do.
I dont think you cant really force anybody, for example:
my mother in law sometimes will take care of her doughter's girl anytime and she will go by train to her doughters apmnt. If we need such help (when I had my first child she was going every second day to help my hubby for 10 days) he needed to pick up/drop off. She has actually said to my hubby that she must support her doughter because is a woman, for the men, they have wives perfectly capable to handle their kids.
So if the grandparents want, they will help, but f they dont, they just need to say no.
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Old 03.04.2011, 07:44
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Re: Looking after your childrens' children?

All my friends from the neighbourhood who do work, have a grandparent or 2 close by. Many look after the kids once a week, and many also have the kids a few times a week.

Boy was a envious when our Baby 2 came along, and an old neighbour had "help" from all 4 grandparents, where she had just given birth to Number 1.

Then she went back to work as well (GRRRRR)

Oh well- you cant have everything. If you did, you'd just want more
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Old 03.04.2011, 08:06
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Re: Looking after your childrens' children?

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All my friends from the neighbourhood who do work, have a grandparent or 2 close by. Many look after the kids once a week, and many also have the kids a few times a week.

Boy was a envious when our Baby 2 came along, and an old neighbour had "help" from all 4 grandparents, where she had just given birth to Number 1.

Then she went back to work as well (GRRRRR)

Oh well- you cant have everything. If you did, you'd just want more
Everytime I wish to have that too, I think about how lucky I am to not have the grand-parents involve in my kids educations, or to tell me how I should do this or that and argue with me on my way to do things.

I see it everytime we see our parents, they need to tell us how to do what... No bad intentions, they just want to help and believe their way is the good way since it worked for them with us, the kids. But for us now, as parents, we see things differently. And I can just imagine the problems we would have if we were close to our both parents! Mega culture clash!
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Old 03.04.2011, 08:37
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Re: Looking after your childrens' children?

I think my mother in law has a reasonable approach with my nieces and nephews in the UK. She'll always step in for a day or two if the children are sick and can't go to school/childminder, or if there's some unexpected problem. She also organises days out in the holidays where she takes them out for a special day. What she doesn't want to do is commit to a regular obligation as this then restricts them if they want to go away (they're often popping of on short breaks).
For us she'll happily take two of our three children for a week in the summer, as they can fly independantly now. I guess when the little on can accompany this big ones then she might take all three and give us a complete break.

As I see it, my in laws have done their parenting, very well, and looking after children is is hard work. They can enjoy their grandchildren, be helpful when needed and it never becomes a chore.

To expect you parent's to look after you children is just not on, at some point you really have to take full responsibility for you lives and this includes sorting out daycare for your children if both parents need to work.
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Old 03.04.2011, 08:45
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Re: Looking after your childrens' children?

My wife and I look forward to being grandparents. (It'll be a few years yet, probably). As were both relatively young, there's no way we could offer childcare facilities. My view is that grandchildren is nature's way of providing revenge on your kids. When the grandkid turns green and/or smelly - back they go to their parent.
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Old 03.04.2011, 08:50
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Re: Looking after your childrens' children?

My mother looks after my son 2 days per week whilst I work. However. To me, it was very important that we find a way to "officialize" her work, so now she's employed by the Tagesmutter Verein. This means that I pay the Verein and they pay her with all the benefits included. It's not masses, but it's what I can afford and has worked very well for the past 2 years.
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Old 03.04.2011, 09:17
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Re: Looking after your childrens' children?

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.......
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Old 03.04.2011, 09:58
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Re: Looking after your childrens' children?

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My wife and I look forward to being grandparents. (It'll be a few years yet, probably). As were both relatively young, there's no way we could offer childcare facilities. My view is that grandchildren is nature's way of providing revenge on your kids. When the grandkid turns green and/or smelly - back they go to their parent.
I can provide you some training if you want! You know.... to be ready for the day you'll become officially grand-father.
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Old 03.04.2011, 10:01
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.. I think about how lucky I am to not have the grand-parents involve in my kids educations, or to tell me how I should do this or that and argue with me on my way to do things.
..... Mega culture clash!
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........As I see it, my in laws have done their parenting, very well, and looking after children is is hard work. They can enjoy their grandchildren, be helpful when needed and it never becomes a chore.
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...... but OMG, who's gonna look after me when I'm old and crusty?....
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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Old 03.04.2011, 10:09
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Re: Looking after your childrens' children?

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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

My mum looked after my niece and nephew full time more or less and if she could, she would gladly look after mine instead if him going to krippe. She'd not take any money but i'd be happier paying her
I was about to post exactly what Nil said - its great for grandparents to be involved with raising their grandchildren. However, having witnessed lots of grandparents being taken advantage of whilst their children go out have a good time till 1am, go on holidays on a whim and dumping their kids to the grandparent, some people do take the piss and take advantage of their parents - even when they are parents themselves.
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