Parenting Resource

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Grandparents: The Cornerstone of Care for Children Under 5

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.

by Kathy Kinsner, Senior Manager of Parenting Resources, ZERO TO THREE

Grandparents offer young children the support and love of an additional adult, a relationship different in tone and texture from their relationships with their parents. Grandparents don’t have the role that parents do to set limits, create rules, or offer consequences. According to focus groups with grandparents hosted by ZERO TO THREE, grandparents enjoy the fact that they can “just love” their grandchildren—a sentiment grandchildren share. My oldest nephew, now a father himself, fondly recalls his grandmother’s turkey sandwiches and the many hours spent at her kitchen table. Most important, he remembers the consistency that that spot and those conversations provided.

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