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This article is also available in Chinese, Malay and Tamil versions.
Malay: Menjaga cucu anda
Tamil: உங்கள் பேரக்குழந்தைகளைக் கவனித்துக் கொள்வது
One of the great things about becoming a grandparent is loving and caring for your grandchild without being responsible for her in the same way her parents are. The relationship between grandparents and grandchildren can have a very positive inluence on children’s development – for example, it can help your grandchild recover from life’s setbacks. Helping your grandchild’s parents is a great way to deepen relationships with them too.
When you’re thinking about looking after your grandchild, you probably have a few things to consider. Being a grandparent is just one part of your life. It’s likely that you’re balancing the needs of your grandchild with other things like housework, paid work, hobbies, volunteer work and time for yourself.
You might be delighted to provide child care or look after your grandchild. Or you might not want to do regular child care, but you might still want to spend time with your grandchild and support your grandchild’s parents in other ways.
Here are some tips for dealing with some common issues when looking after grandchildren:
• Holidays and illness. Give your grandchild’s parents plenty of notice if you’re going away – it might be hard to replace you! They could hire a nanny, ask friends or other family members, or take time off work. You could also talk about back-up care for when you or your grandchild are sick.
• Behaviour. Ask your grandchild’s parents what strategies they ind useful when their child behaves in a challenging way and follow their lead. These decisions are their responsibility.
• Rules and routines. It’s best to ask your grandchild’s parents how they would like you to handle rules and routines. Asking before you make changes shows respect for these rules and routines – for example, ‘Can I give her some sweets if she’s good?’
• Money matters. Looking after grandchildren can be expensive. Food, transport and keeping your grandchild entertained can all add up. You can talk with your grandchild’s parents about providing some money to help with costs. You can often entertain children with homemade toys and free activities and have just as much fun.
• Different styles of caring. Your grandchild is being raised in a different world from the one you were raised in and the one you raised your children in. You might not always agree with the decisions that your grandchild’s parents make. However, not agreeing doesn’t make these decisions the wrong ones. It might help to read up on some current thinking on child development, sleep, behaviour, discipline, safety and nutrition and itness. You can ind out more about these topics on our Baby Bonus Parenting Resources portal.
Here are some tips to help your child care arrangements work for you:
• Be honest about what you can do. For example, if you’re not sure that you can manage one long day each week, let your grandchild’s parents know what you are willing to do – ‘I can’t do 7 am to 6 pm, but I can do an afternoon each week’. Or if you feel you could help but you’d also like your grandchild’s parents to hire a helper, let them know – ‘I could help every afternoon, if you have a helper who could help me’.
• You can agree on your own house rules when you look after your grandchild in your own home. For example, ‘Don’t go outside by yourself’.
• If looking after your grandchild late at night is affecting your rest, staying at your grandchild’s house, or having your grandchild sleep over at your house, might be a solution.
Tags: Grandparenting /Caregiving /3 Generation Family
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