Who could be more loving and caring for your children than your parents? Grandparents are a godsend for those times when you need a reliable babysitter. They’re almost always willing to watch the kids, and never sneak their boyfriends in after you’ve left them alone for a night out. So what could be better, right? Well, here are ten reasons why grandparents can be terrible sitters:
- Stamina – Your parents have largely retired from active parenthood. At least that part of ‘active’ that requires one to keep up with a two-year old hellion. This factor alone can be a big cause for reason number two, namely …
- Concessions – For a moment’s peace, and the chance to perhaps recharge their pacemaker batteries, your folks are apt to give anything to your child. You can’t blame a 60-year old for wanting a little quiet time after 4 straight hours and 112 choruses of the SpongeBob theme song, but it’ll wind up costing you too, eventually.
- Spoiling – Grandparents often miss having little ones around the house. Nothing cures that like getting their wish, we say. Still, they are just as often apt to lavish the little ones with attention, toys, and assorted privileges. On the subject of toys, …
- Revenge – Remember the torment entertainment you provided your parents as a child when playing that toy drum kit? Perhaps you also recall that their parents gave it to you for Christmas. Now it’s Junior’s turn to be the next Ringo Starr. Aren’t family traditions wonderful?
- Discipline – For better or worse, in a lot of ways our ideas about parenting differ from our parents. Your child’s grandparents may not be 100% on board with your own ideas about discipline, and how to raise your child.
- Draft Dodgers – The truth is that, contrary to popular misconception, grandparents aren’t exactly what you’d call an all-volunteer force. If your folks are among those grandparents who have had their fill of tending to toddlers, they would indeed make a terrible choice for sitters.
- Overtime? – On the flip side, if your folks just can’t get enough quality time with your children, it may be a little tough getting them to go back home. Your one night out may turn into a month-long visit from the folks.
- Privacy – Let’s be honest, some parents would just as soon not have their own parents spending any time in their homes unattended. For whatever reasons – and we don’t pry or judge here – you would prefer to have the neighbor’s daughter babysit instead. At least she just raids the fridge.
- Health – In situations where a grandparent’s, or child’s, health might be genuinely at risk assuming the responsibilities of babysitting, it would most definitely be wise to look elsewhere.
- Sharing Home – Grandparents who live in the same home as their family most likely need at least as much of a break from the kids as do the parents. In such cases, it isn’t a good idea to automatically assume that the grandparents will be agreeable to babysit.
As you can see, it is not always a good idea to have grandparents as the babysitter. That doesn’t mean they don’t love their grand-children, but it does mean they you will have to look elsewhere for childcare. Play it smart and give Gramps a break.
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