Forum: Grandparents should not be pressured into being primary carers of kids

I object to couples expecting or demanding that their parents adjust their lifestyle to look after grandchildren (Grandparents serving as primary carers of kids at home deserve compensation, Jan 21).

These seniors have done their part by raising their own children for more than 20 years until they got married, so they are entitled to their freedom.

Being a primary carer of children is a full-time job, and if the grandparents are in need of money and are prepared to take on the job, then they should be compensated accordingly. But if couples bristle at the thought of having to pay their retiree parents to be primary carers, then they have failed as both parents and children.

Yes, grandparents love their grandchildren. They are happy to babysit on some evenings or over the occasional weekend to give the children’s parents a break. But these seniors also have their own lives, personal pursuits and social circles.

Personally, I am happy to care for my grandchildren, but not full-time because I have so much that I want to do which I couldn’t do while I was still working. In return, I do not expect my children to give up their lives to look after me if I become infirm, in which case I would probably end up at a nursing home.

Grandparents should be able to choose when they want to look after their grandchildren, and should not be expected to do it or be pressured into it.

Yong Chee Wei

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