Family | Childminding duties matter for grandparents

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While there are many positives to grandparents filling the gap of childminding duties, such a set-up can often lead to conflict and tension.

Thanks to crippling childcare costs, an increasing number of grandparents are having to fill the gap of childminding duties.

For the most part, it is an ideal set up. Parents have peace of mind that their offsprings are receiving the best care possible. They are more flexible compared to the stringent rules imposed by childcare providers, while grandparents love to feel involved in the lives of their grandchildren.

In practice, however, this set up can lead to tension and hurt. Grandparents can often feel that they are being taken advantage of and exhausted. Parents, in turn, can feel that grandparents are dictating too much in the lives of their grandchildren.

Setting out guidelines and rules before you agree to childminding is important. It is also just as imperative to only commit to times that suit you and your lifestyle.

Minding children is time consuming and tiring. Be realistic of what you can physically do, ensuring that you set enough time aside to relax and recover. It is better to assign hours at the start, with the possibility of reducing those hours after a period of time.

While you may have raised your child one way, your offspring may be raising your grandchildren a different way. This may especially be the case in relation to diet, well being and learning. Have an open conversation on what are the best ways to mind the children on your watch.

It is natural to want to spoil your grandchildren. This is fine when you only see them occasionally, not every day. Limit the treats to weekly, and on condition that everyone behaves.

Of all things, it is important to have fun and enjoy the time that you have with your grandchildren.