Tuesday, July 12, 2011


My daughter thinks that:
“Children should go to the grandparents on a weekly lunch to eat grandma’s cookies as they like, to play, to be spoiled, and sometimes sleep over on weekends.”
It is indeed a great joy for children, because grandparents love in a special way. Grandparents often have unlimited time, thus they can devote their full attention to kids, perhaps more so than the parents. They always have the patience to retell the interesting adventures of their youth, or reading, with a lot of warmth, a bedtime story. Many parents agree that the role of grandparents in the upbringing of the child is very important, and that their love is irreplaceable! This is confirmed by research which showed that grandparents, immediately after parents, are the most important persons in children's lives and their growing up.
The question is how to act when children live with their parents and grandparents in the same household, or if the grandparents take care of the children while the parents are away.
Author of many parenting books, Gordana Buljan Flander, believes that the role of grandfather and grandmother is invaluable in families where both parents work. But many mothers and fathers are very wrong if they let grandparents have leadiong roles in the upbringing of the child. If there are no clear guidelines in education, children are becoming insecure, nervous, demanding and manipulative, which interferes with their psychosocial adjustment.
Pedagogues say that every generation has its own educational methods, and that’s why the problems that appear should be immediately addressed. Some parents complain that grandparents comply with the children's every wish, they indulge them in everything and interfere too much with the upbringing. In these families there is often a conflict between younger and older generations, which affects the most vulnerable - children. Although grandparents play an important role in the development of children, parents are the ones who are responsible for the upbringing of children and their decisions should be respected.
In case of the conflict, it would be the best if the parents and the grandparents talk about everything, and try to understand each other and to agree on everything. It is very important to agree on everyday leisure activities, setting boundaries, nap time and so on.
Although all experts agree that the grandparent’s love is very important for child's happiness and sense of security, and their love is closest to the parents’, there are differences of opinion about how long grandparents should take care of children.
While, according to some, it is better for children to be as long as possible with their grandmother, most often because there is less chance to get infected by various viruses or bacteria, to which they are usually exposed to in the nursery and kindergarten, others argue that it is best that children start to attend kindergarten at the age of three years .
The famous American educator Kristina Hansen believes that after three years, a child is ready for training, because this is precisely the ideal time to change the environment and start to go attending kindergarten.
"Although the vocabulary of children in grandparents’ care is larger and more developed because they are constantly involved in dialogue, there are numerous disadvantages too prolonged stay at home", said Hansen. Research conducted on 4800 children showed that children of working mothers, who began to go to kindergarden at the age of three years, gained more knowledge, knew more about colors, numbers, letters, sizes, contours than those in their grandparents’ care .
She affirms that the kids who had perfect conditions, which means that they were at home to their third year, and then went to the kindergarten, possessed the best skills and were more confident than others. On the other hand, children who were not surrounded by other children are insecure, they sought help and were not independent in carrying out tasks.
It has been proved that children who spend too much time in their grandparent’s care are more prone to bad behavior than youngsters who were in kindergarten, and that's because they know well how to take advantage of the imposed situation, and grandparents rarely train the strictness on their grandchildren.
Possibilities of each family are different, but the decision "grandma-service" or kindergarten is very important and sometimes crucial to child development, therefore everyone should think twice before making it.

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