If you’re a parent, you know that childcare costs can add up — and quickly. However, you may have a ready-to-order babysitter at your disposal. Why not let grandma watch your kiddos?
Grandparents make the ideal child care partners because you know and trust them. Many welcome the opportunity to spend more time with the youngest family members, and they’ll thank you for letting them get involved. Consider these perks before you make your pitch to recruit grandma to the village you need to help raise your precious angel.
You Can Both Benefit Financially
You probably wonder how you can keep up with the rising cost of childcare, but you could get it less expensively while giving an older family member a needed break. Over 25 million American seniors live with economic insecurity. Many have to choose between buying necessities like food and medicine daily.
Before you bring granny on as the nanny, have the money discussion. Find a mutually agreeable sum that gives you relief but provides her with needed spending cash. Make it a win-win situation financially.
You’ll Keep Her Active
Many older adults relish the thought of making a difference in the lives of others because it gives them a sense of purpose. Once they retire, they often experience a sense of feeling adrift at sea. Without responsibilities to tend to each day, it’s understandable to feel uncomfortable, and some older adults turn to less-than-positive habits, such as drinking, to fill the space.
Additionally, the physical exercise involved in watching the little ones will keep grandma healthier. Scientists have found that taking regular moderate activity can extend her life for several years, so if you want to keep grandma around, let her babysit. This practice gives you additional years with your precious parent, too.
You’ll Strengthen Family Ties
Have you heard the saying, “It takes a village to raise a child?” You might take grandma for granted when things are going well, but when you hit a roadblock, who do you typically ask for help? You usually turn to your parents — and they’re more likely to lend a hand if you maintain regular contact through sharing child care duties.
Having grandma babysit gives you additional opportunities to invite her to stay for the family dinner or even get involved in volunteer activities together. These activities help you to cultivate and cement a feeling of being involved in a mutual mission. It also creates a sense of belonging and security that you can draw on when you experience challenging times.
You’ll Have More Consistent Rules
When you use a commercial daycare center, you bind yourself to the rules that they create. However, when you have a family member watch your little ones, you play a more substantial role in determining what goes and what doesn’t. Additionally, you can meet regularly to discuss changes — for example, as your children age, you’ll allow them more freedom to play unsupervised.
Set a time to discuss with grandma the rules that your family will follow in everyday life. It’s a wise idea to make a poster or a sign for your refrigerator as a reminder. Value your parent’s input when designing these instead of taking a “my way or the highway” stance. After all, your mom did a fabulous job of raising you!
You’ll Feel More Secure
Roughly 8.2 million American children under the age of five spend at least part of their week in the care of somebody other than their parent. Sending your kids to daycare requires a degree of trust that is challenging to establish with a stranger. Sadly, while excellent daycare centers exist, so do ones riddled with hazards. Some even knowingly or negligently engage in abuse.
When you have grandma watch the kiddos, you can breathe more freely. You know your parents’ characters better than anyone, except for their spouse. You may even find that your productivity increases because of the reduction in your worry levels.
You’ll Teach Your Child Empathy
There’s a severe shortage of empathy in the nation today. Every day, thousands pass people begging on the street with nary a second thought. While it’s unlikely that American administrators will begin teaching children how to put themselves in another’s shoes in school the way the Danish do, you can cultivate this ability at home.
Letting grandma watch the kids teaches empathy because your children have to learn that older adults lack the exuberant energy they do. Every time they slow down to allow their caretaker to catch up, they reinforce how to treat other people gently.
You’ll Learn New Parenting Tricks
You probably didn’t realize the reasons why your parents did some of the things they did when you were a child. However, now you have the opportunity to ask. For example, you might not have understood why your mom let you wrestle with challenging math problems when she holds a degree in astrophysics. However, now, she can explain the value of not trying to fix everything, but letting kids wrangle with tough issues independently.
Let Grandma Watch the Kids — It Benefits Everyone
Everyone benefits when you let grandma watch the kids. If you need a babysitter, why not turn to your family first?