Monday, 25 April 2016

Care and Commitment


Is too much expected of you as grandparents? is an interesting piece, and it raises some questions about the extent of grandparents' roles in the care of their grandchildren.

Personally, I think, before committing yourself, it makes sense for all parties to understand where their primary responsibilities lie. Talk to your kids before saying yes, and be honest about where the limits are. We have a good arrangement whereby we have committed to 'pick up' duties throughout school time, and we are on standby for 'extras' when our help is needed. This allows our daughter to work, covers childcare for our grandchildren, and allows us space to go about our own business. But if it's a regular undertaking, a routine, talking it through thoroughly is absolutely key if you want it to succeed. There have to be established lines and limits, if feelings of resentment are to be avoided.

6 comments:

  1. I know a poor woman who is rushed off her feet looking after her teenage grandkids. She's always spending money on them, and 'though she never complains, she looks totally stressed out most of the time, rushing about after them. We only ever saw our grandparents (one set of them) on a Sunday when we visited them, and it was only on a very rare occasion that we were ever left in their care (They were elderly). In fact, it was so rare that I can only vaguely recall it ever happening.

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    1. I hear you. When I was a kid, hardly any of my friends had all of their grandparents. Generally, perhaps people are fitter and more able in their later years, now? We keep getting told that we're all living longer, so it must be true. ;-)

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    2. I think another reason, Martin, is that a lot of people are becoming parents at a younger age these days, which means that they also become grandparents at a younger age.

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  2. Yes, communication is the key...just as in everything I guess! Thanks for being involved in your grandkid's lives. They will be better people for it and will never forget you. My parents are not grandparents to my boys and haven't seen them in years, so I know what a void can be left.

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    1. Betsy, it makes me sad to hear of your situation, and that the boys haven't had the opportunity to properly know their grandparents. What you say about kids never forgetting close grandparents rings true. This week I listened to an interview with Jenny Diski, the author. At the time of the recording she was terminally ill with cancer. She said that of course, her grandchildren would miss her. But in a short while, they would remember her. I can't think of anything much better than being remembered, in a kindly way.

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  3. excellent post- common sense and kindness together!

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