Australia

Dec 19, 2013

Grandparents’ lament: childcare is mass elder abuse

Everald Compton says parents abuse the love that grandparents have for their grandchildren in order to score free childcare. It isn't right, it isn't fair, and something has to give.

Most people who reach the traditional retirement age look forward to spending more time together, particularly doing a lot of travel, even though many choose to work part time as a necessary step to increase their inadequate superannuation. But now many are denied this well-earned right because their children pressure them to look after the grandchildren so both parents can be in full-time employment and maintain a lifestyle that their own parents never experienced.

9 comments

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9 thoughts on “Grandparents’ lament: childcare is mass elder abuse

  1. Richard

    Wait, so social atomisation is a good thing to be encouraged by government intervention?

  2. mikeb

    I’m confused. Is this article meant to be satirical?

  3. JamesH

    Please take your complaints about two-parent working familiies to the realtors who sell houses for 5 times more (in real terms) than Grandma and Grandpa ever had to pay.

  4. sparky

    If this isn’t satire. Societal responsibility doesn’t stop when you get old.

  5. Myriam Robin

    A phrase about it ‘taking a village to raise a child’ comes to mind…

  6. Gerard

    I assume other posters here are in the “parents” age group and do just what the article complains of? (Or at least feel guilty that they might.) There is a big difference between having the grandkids now and then (good for extended family ties – giving parents the occasion well-earned rest) and more or less caring for the little “dears” 24/7 while their parents get to “live their own life” (exploitation).

  7. mikeb

    @Gerard – not at all. Unfortunately I’m in the “oldies” league. I understand what you’re saying but the original article was so overwhelmingly negative & antagonistic that I wonder about the motives.

  8. MJPC

    Interesting article, and Gerard I believe you have hit it squarely. Grandparents don;lt mind occasional childcare to bomd with the grand children, but 24/7 is just plain abusing the goodwill of the grands by the parents. Chasing the almighty dollar to support materialistic lifestyles is not fair if someone else’s freetime is used to support it. I know of two pensioners who looked after their 2 grandchildren from about 12 months to school age, every day of the week. They found out that in the last year of the younger child the mother was having an affair and dropping off the children at night to follow her daliances (purportedly working back). When the last child started school she dumped their son for the new beau. That was wrong in so many ways, but especially the using of the goodwill of her in laws.

  9. Alison Murray

    I find it hard to accept that 40% of children are in the care of grandparents. It doesn’t gel with what I see around me. My mother looked after my 2 kids one day a week for 3 years. Yes it helped financially. She also enjoyed taking the kids out to play group and kindergym and spending time with them and meeting other people in a similar situation.
    As a teacher I challenge the assumption that trained childcare providers are better at preparing kids for school than grandparents. Have you seen the minimum qualifications of a childcare worker? Many grandparents are great.
    And before crying “elder abuse” maybe some of these families need to have an honest conversation.

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