Childcare trends have shifted over the last few decades, leaving grandparents lower and lower on the list of potential childcare providers. Parents choose public daycare centers, or hire nannies to come into their home and care for their children; here are ten of the reasons why going back to Granny-as-Nanny might be the perfect choice for your family.
- Familiarity and Affection – Rather than leaving your children in the care of a stranger, even one that holds a degree in child development, allowing your kids to spend time in the care of someone they already know and trust might be the best fit for your family.
- Peace of Mind – Granny has plenty of childcare experience; after all, she raised you safely to adulthood! When your own mother (or mother-in-law) is in charge of seeing after the children while you’re away, you can enjoy the peace of mind that comes with knowing they’re in the care of someone with a true emotional investment in their safety, happiness and well-being.
- Shared Childcare Philosophies – If your parenting style is in line with that of your own parents, you can be assured that your children will receive the same training and discipline that they would if you were home to care for them yourself.
- Financial Considerations – While children are our most precious resource, daycare and nanny fees can quickly eat the lion’s share of the family budget. Grannies don’t charge as much, and are typically eager to spend as much time with their grandbabies as possible.
- Increasing Kids’ Vocabulary – One surprising result of grandparent care is an increased verbal acuity in children, according to Dr. Kirstine Hansen’s Millennium Cohort Study. Dr. Hansen is quoted, “Grandparents tend to make more of an effort to sit down and talk to children to make up for lack of physical activity, but there’s also some evidence that they are more likely to use better grammar, have better vocabulary themselves and correct children more, unlike other people.”
- Rising Autism Spectrum and ADHD Rates – The Center for Disease Control estimates that a shocking 1 in 88 children is now suffering from some form of autism, with ADHD rates following suit. This dramatic spike in developmental disabilities can make it difficult for parents of these special kids to find caregivers who understand the routine and avoidance of triggers that are essential for symptom management. Grandparents who have a close relationship with their grandchildren almost always have a deeper understanding of their grandchild’s needs than a daycare provider or private nanny, making them the ideal choice for caregiver.
- Reducing “Working Mommy Guilt” – Even though working outside of the home has been the norm for mothers since the Sexual Revolution, there are pangs of guilt that accompany leaving your small child in the care of a stranger. Knowing that they’re in the care of a loving and capable grandparent can go a long way towards easing this strain, making it more tolerable to maintain a professional career.
- Ease of Communication – Learning to communicate effectively with a new nanny or harried childcare provider can be quite difficult; with Grandma, communicating is second nature. Your familiarity with one another and hers with your needs and desires might make her the perfect nanny candidate.
- Building and Maintaining Familial Relationships – In order to form a strong bond with their grandparents, children must be able to spend time with them. When Grandma takes over the childcare responsibilities while parents are working, she’s also forging relationships and making precious memories with her grandchildren.
- Reducing Separation Anxiety – Little ones that panic at the sight of Mom edging towards the door may not suffer as much when he’s left in the loving, familiar care of a beloved grandparent.
When determining the best course of action regarding a grandparent as childcare provider, the most important factor to consider is health and physical ability; if they’re no longer in relatively good health and aren’t mobile enough to keep up with the little ones, they may be better suited for family visits than full-time childcare provider.