Providing Childcare to Your Grandchildren


There should be a childcare agreement reached, and it should be based on honesty and openness, as well as constant communication. To avoid any unnecessary childcare meltdown, these are a few tips that you should get familiar with. Before the childcare begins, it is important to hold a family meeting and bring up all issues that you might be concerned with, however, small they are. It is also important to compromise or negotiate, in some cases, and come up with an agreement on how the childcare will work. It is also necessary to put all that you have agreed to in writing, to avoid future misunderstandings.

The agreement should also be revisited from time to time or revised whenever it is necessary. There are a number of things that need to be discussed at a family meeting to be able to come up with the most appropriate childcare agreement. You should ask the grandchildren's parents when you are supposed to start babysitting, as well as what time they normally return home from work. An important thing here is what grandparents are supposed to do in the case that the parents are late. Another important thing is to also clarify your vacation time.

It is important to have a backup babysitter. The babysitting agreement should also be specified if it will be at their home or yours or any other place. As a grandparent, iff you are not sure that you have the energy required to take care of an infant or even if you do not want to miss an event, it is important to ask if you can try it out for a month or so to see if you are able to. If you do not want to tie yourself down every single day of the week you can also ask if you can do it part time – allowing you a few days of the week to yourself. This can work if the parents have a flexible work schedule.

All the tasks you are supposed to do should be made clear, and make sure you are comfortable with them. This may include things like doing laundry, cooking meals, and other small tasks. The adult children should also remain close to family, so continually remind them that you want to spend time with them as family. You are also entitled to negotiate for some form of payment — whether you need it or not — and it is important to make this clear. You are also going to be asked several things by your adult children including how you intend to go about the childcare.

In most cases, the adult children are the ones who come up with the directions for things such as the discipline methods for the children, the type of food the children should eat, toilet training methods, as well as the children's nap time. If you are comfortable with the parents' guidelines, let them know. The adult children will also want to know the safety measures you intend to take to ensure their children are safe. This will include things like childproof rooms, safety seats in your car, as well as many pointers. You should not take it the wrong way if your adult children ask you to take parenting classes to make sure your parenting skills are up to date. After all, it has been a long time since you parented your very own children.

By Veronica Scott