If You Only Knew: A Tool for Grandparent Caregivers
This tool provides a way to think about the topic of “sharing the care” across generations, and it provides guidance for dialogue about the shared tasks of caregiving.
One out of four preschool children is cared for by a grandparent while his parents work or go to school. There are many benefits when grandparents care for young children, but when more than one generation is involved in child care, communication can be a challenge. Even when relationships are warm, sharing the care can stir up strong feelings. Parents may worry that their child prefers to be with their grandparent, rather than with them. Parents may also worry that grandparents are better at parenting than they are. Grandparents may struggle to establish good boundaries. And, of course, conflicts may arise over child-rearing approaches.
Uses and Goals of this Tool
- To provide a way to think about the topic of “sharing the care” across generations and provide guidance for dialogue about the shared tasks of caregiving.
- To offer guidance and relief for families’ conflicts.
- To help grandparents and their adult children share what they appreciate about each other.
- To offer caregiving adults the chance to share struggles and worries about their roles and the children in their care.
Download the full If You Only Knew tool to get the conversation started.
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For many families with children under 5, grandparents fill a critical need for infant-toddler child care that is trusted, affordable, and accessible.
ZERO TO THREE recently set out to find out what “sharing the care” is like for families using grandparent-provided child care, and what can be done to make this experience easier for both generations.