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Nova Scotia Seniors – Grandma’s minding the kids

Posted Oct 28, 2016

In this day and age, few families have the luxury of one parent staying home with the children while Mom or Dad go off to work to provide for the family. Costs being what they are these days, both parents need to work, even when younger children are not yet of school age.

It can be terrifying to leave your precious children in the hands of strangers at a daycare or babysitter’s house when you cannot be there to see how things are.

Grandma and Grandpa are both keen to spend time with the children and you know they love them as you do… what could be better?!

It’s wonderful when the kids can experience an extended family and feel at ease and safe when Mom and Dad can’t be there and… our parents have a lot of life experience to impart to our children it’s great for everyone involved but… it has to be set up with rules and regulations – on both sides – if you do not want to run into problems.

When Grandma and Grandpa were raising you, it was a different era with a different set of norms and attitudes. You and they must discuss what yours and their expectations are in order to determine if it is something that both you and they are comfortable with. If it is, then here are some ways to avoid the pitfalls:

Write them up a list of guidelines for the care and feeding of your children. Let them know times of naps and when to feed them (any allergies of course), how discipline issues should be handled. Be careful not to overdo – just the issues you feel strongest about – you do not want to give any caregiver the feeling that you do not trust them, especially Grandma or Grandpa – they have a vested interest in these children too.

You may even have a pay arrangement with your folks and there is nothing wrong with that – think of what the costs would be for daycare. You can certainly help Mom & Dad with some compensation for watching over your children all day. It also puts things more on a business level if you feel that would be something you’re more comfortable with. It does not take away from family bonds at all but it will make you feel freer to speak up and it will they won’t feel like they are being taken for granted.

Okay… so everybody agrees… now for the hard part… let it go. There is no faster path to self destructing that micromanaging. If their clothes got a little muddy or the dollhouse is still set up all over the living room floor… honestly… who cares?! Your children were safe and loved while you were at work and the peace of mind that you have knowing that is worth all the effort.

Another thing is, you will need to keep them updated as to what is going on with the kids. Things can change on a day to day basis. Let them know if the kids have an oncoming cold or if they are upset over what’s going on at school, if they are having trouble sleeping or are afraid of something. Your folks need also, to brief you when you get home or pick up the kids on any developments so everyone is on the same page – very important!

Make sure that Nanny and Poppa are fully supplied with bottles, diapers, Children’s Tylenol, etc. so that everything runs smoothly. Agree on what to do for Doctors appointments and outings

Lastly – if you (or your parents) are unable to let go of the past issues that you have had together, it may be better to find another avenue rather than involving your children in a decades old issue that you had with Mommy and Daddy when you were twelve.

… and for Grandma and Grandpa, read up here.

There now. Go to work and feel that you can focus on proving for your family rather than spending the time worried about the kids