Is it time to show grandparents a little more respect?

Being a grandparent is a wonderful; it brings a whole new phase of life, possibilities and love. But it also

Being a grandparent is a wonderful; it brings a whole new phase of life, possibilities and love. But it also brings a new level of responsibility for many people who end up taking on the role of carers and financial aids.

Over the past 20 years in particular, the role of grandparents has become more involved than ever before, with grandparents taking on a more significant role in children’s lives. Now, millions of grandmas and grandpas across Australia are routinely picking up their grandkids from school, taking care of them during the week and on weekends, cooking meals, and paying for food and activities.

There has already been a call-out from some grandparents who say they should be paid for all the work they do looking after their grandchildren. A whopping 40 per cent of Australian grandparents say their role is just as demanding as a paid childcare worker and believe they should be compensated the same for the work they do.

And what about general levels of respect, others ask. Is it really OK to call on grandparents to babysit at the last minute? Many grandparents say they feel resentful of the fact their children assume they will drop everything to take care of the kids.

It’s not just the fact they have to sacrifice a lot of their time to babysit either – it’s other things like the financial burden that comes along with it; feeding hungry kids isn’t exactly cheap.

On top of that, many grandparents say they often find themselves acting as the sounding board for their own children’s problems. When stress levels are high, their children tend to lash out at them, whether it’s because they deserve it, or because they just happen to be standing next to them!

All this leaves us wondering: do we need to treat grandparents with more respect and be mindful of the sacrifices they make? Or are these particular grandparents making a mountain out of a molehill?

Let’s talk.

Do you think grandparents should be treated with more respect? Do you ever feel taken for granted as a grandparent?

  1. This is probably one of the most controversial topics there is and would easily arouse difference of opinion. My opinion is that it depends on how you have raised your children. If you did not raise them as spoiled and indulged also greedy and uncaring then you would be being treated with respect by both your children and your grandchildren. But if the opposite is true, then you would be being used by them, taken for granted and they would have no clue whatsoever about being thankful and respectful toward you. If only we knew how to raise our children correctly beforehand. I think it is the most beautiful sight to behold to see grandparents being loved treasured and appreciated.

    • Maryann Doherty I actually feel so strongly about this I am writing a book about it. Many of us do not understand as much as we need to about behaviours and their origin so I am 200 pages in and still going. I am hoping this will be helpful for young parents, older parents and grand parents alike.

  2. I am a great grandmother and am often called on at the last minute to mind great grandchildren, aged 6 and 3 I do get peeved when I’m not warned in advance, I could be totally relaxed, or out in the garden or have some activity planned only to have to stop what I’m doing to mind the kids. I can’t concentrate on anything while they’re in my care, I feel as if I have to watch their every move. And they have to watch their shows on tv – so I have 4 – 6 hours of kids shows, which I have seen over and over. Not a happy great gran.

    • maybe tell them how u feel?? My mam used to say if u can’t do it with a good heart don’t do it at all!!! Needs to be sorted and both parties agree to more communication so no one feels used!!

    • Just say,”no, I am very sorry, but, I am now too old to take on the responsibility and work of caring for small children”… You love them, but, it is too much to ask of you, a great grandparent..this is not fair to you or the little ones.. Don’t accept work you feel you honestly cannot cope with anymore…

  3. Just learn to say no in a nice way,by being so busy,they get to know you have a life too. Mine are mostly all adults now,but I have always felt appreciated and valued,just as much as I appreciate and value them being a huge part of my life.

  4. I only had one grandfather growing up & I hardly saw him but I have 2 granddaughters aged 24 & 26, & 1 grandson 11, we also have a lovely great granddaughter, we have always been treated with love & respect, the older ones will come for a meal & fill us in on their lives & our grandson who we have looked after while his mum worked gives us so much joy & will now do things for us like mowing the lawn etc & does not expect anything for jobs he does, that is how he has been brought up. We also mind our great granddaughter for a couple of hrs twice a week but this is our special time with her, it is also our choice to do it

  5. I love having my grandson & can never have enough time with him. Even thou I get tired I cherish every minute. I can always catch up on my sleep when he goes home.

  6. Never!! My children are very considerate and never abuse my willingness to spend time with my grandchildren. We share mutual respect!

  7. I am a full-time grandparent carer and living on benefits when you have always worked is nigh impossible. We need to be paid a living wage to do this vital job or the next generation will not be able to look after themselves.

    • I don’t think it should be the tax payer that is paying you I think it should be your daughter or daughter in law coughing up something every week just like they would have to if you weren’t here. Your children chose to have children don’t expect the tax payer to pay..

    • You have misunderstood. They are living with me full-time as my daughter is not a fit parent. Many issues.

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