Monday, June 17, 2024 at 11:34 AM
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The importance of grandparents

Q: My husband and I frequently take care of our grandchildren for our son and his wife. They both work full-time and have extremely busy lives – probably too busy. We love being with the kids. But do you think this is a healthy arrangement?

Q: My husband and I frequently take care of our grandchildren for our son and his wife. They both work full-time and have extremely busy lives – probably too busy. We love being with the kids. But do you think this is a healthy arrangement?

Jim: It’s obvious that you love your grandkids and their parents, and there’s certainly nothing wrong with helping out as needs arise. But much depends on the attitudes and expectations of your son and his wife. If you feel unappreciated or put upon – even just a bit – then something probably needs to change.

I’d encourage you to establish appropriate boundaries to ensure your interactions with your son and his whole family remain positive. Arrangements like what you’ve described work best when everyone agrees on specific parameters. For example, you can say, “We’ll watch the kids two afternoons a week through September while you finish this graduate course.” But if things remain vague and openended, you’ll likely begin to resent it.

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