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6 Ways to help maximise grandparent childcare

 
Find out how to make the most of grandparent childcare when you need some extra help and how to keep that relationship running smoothly. It’s a great way for grandparents and grandkids to spend time together, especially if you put a few guidelines in place.
Find out how to make the most of grandparent childcare when you need some extra help and how to keep that relationship running smoothly.

It’s a great way for grandparents and grandkids to spend time together, especially if you put a few guidelines in place.
 

6 Ways to help maximise grandparent childcare

 

1. Put some childcare guidelines in place


Grandparents are likely do things differently to you so put some guidelines in place to help them look after your kids.

Grandparents won't automatically know what’s expected of them, so it’s important to have that discussion early on so they’re not always second-guessing you.

If your parents or parents-in-law are looking after your kids, it's easy to assume everything will click into place and that they’ll know exactly what you usually do, such as no TV until 4pm or that lunch is always at 12.30pm etc.

However, this isn’t usually the case so it pays to talk about what you both expect from your set up. If you wait until things have gone wrong to talk about it, it’s likely to cause unnecessary friction.

And remember that guidelines are just that, and accept that from time to time grandparents are likely do things their way, rather than yours.
 

2. Don’t take grandparents for granted


Grandparents love spending time with their grandkids, but that doesn’t mean you don’t have to bother to say thank you on a regular basis.

Just a text when they’re on their way home, appreciating that they hung out your washing or made biscuits can really help smooth things along.

Perhaps arrange a treat for them, to say thank you for all their help and to remind them that you are grateful even on those tough days.
 

3. Invite grandparents to be more than just babysitters


As well as those panicked phone calls asking grandparents if they can do the kindy pick up because you’re stuck at work, don’t forget to make sure they’re also on your children’s birthday party invite list, or ask them if they want to come to pre-school shows or other events when they arise.

Inviting them to come along (even if they don’t every time) will make them feel included and valued beyond just covering your childcare.
 

4. Remember grandparents have lives too


It’s easy to forget, but yes grandparents have their own lives too!

It can come as a shock that they won’t drop everything to babysit, just because you are busy at work or fancy a night out with your partner or friends.

Be prepared to look at other childcare options or perhaps hire a nanny or an au pair to help you out.
 

5. Don’t micro-manage your childcare


The fact that you’ve asked your parents or parents-in-law to do some childcare and look after your children suggests that you trust them and are happy to involve them.

Providing you do trust them and you already have some guidelines in place, texting every half an hour to tell them what to do or to check up on them will undermine their confidence and perhaps make them begrudge their offer of help.
 

6. Ongoing childcare reviews


Just because you’ve put a few guidelines in place when it comes to grandparent childcare, it doesn’t mean it’s a job done. 

You’ll need to keep talking about how things are going and what can be done differently, because things will change as your little ones gets older and reaches different milestones.

More kids childcare articles to enjoy Image source: grandparents.com
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