Grandparents outdated carers?

Do Grandparents need to re-qualify to look after their grandchildren? image source: Courtesy of Jaime Bradway

Parenting, who did it better, you or your parents?

A recent outing to the movies to see Swinging Safari – the new Aussie comedy featuring Kylie Minogue and Asher Keddie – had everyone reminiscing about their childhoods and wondering – quite fondly – how we survived, so when the following article showed up in our feed from American columnist D.G. Sciortino this week it prompted a fair bit of discussion and we’d love to hear your feedback. They may have already successful raised you so do Grandparents need to be open to new ways of parenting or is it safe to let old habits continue?

My parents currently divide their retirement between travelling and looking after grandchildren. As teachers in a former life and parents of four I like to think they have a pretty good handle on what it takes to look after children but the latest research should have me banning them from unsupervised contact with my brood until they pass an up to date parenting course! Lets see what you think. Admittedly it comes from America but there are a couple of salient points!

 

According To Doctors, Grandparents Use Outdated, Unsafe Childcare Methods – Here’s Why

One of the best things about living close to your parents after you have children is that you have an automatic babysitter in town. However, experts say that they very people you feel most comfortable leaving your child with could be putting them at risk.

This is because grandparents tend to use the same parenting methods that they used when they raised you.

The problem with that is that many of these methods can be outdated and considered dangerous this day in age.

According to CNN, research presented at the 2017 Pediatric Academics Societies revealed that grandparents are still doing things like placing children on their bellies or sides to sleep, putting loose bedding in the crib, and using ice baths to reduce fevers.

This information comes at a time when census reports find that more grandparents are taking on childcare roles.

The study found that grandparents tend to assume that their methods are safe because it’s what they did when they raised children.

“We shouldn’t assume that just because they’ve raised a child before, they’re experts,” the lead author of the study Dr. Andrew Adesman, chief of developmental and behavioral pediatrics at Cohen Children’s Medical Center in New York, told CNN.

The study found that a quarter of grandparents surveyed didn’t know that babies should sleep on their backs. Babies who sleep on their tummies or their sides are at greater risk for sudden infant death syndrome which is the leading cause of death among babies 1 month to 1-year of age.

So, it’s crucial that everyone who cares for your child is properly educated, grandparents and new parents alike.

“I’d love to see this study redone and given to the parents; I think people would be surprised,” California pediatrician Tanya Altmann told CNN.

 offers a few tips to grandparents who find themselves in childcare roles.

They advise grandparents to be open to new ways of thinking and taking on your child’s methods for discipline, nutrition, and sleep habits. You can offer advice to your children on how to raise theirs but ultimately it’s your child’s decision. Be wary that parenting trends change over time since pediatricians may recommend new things.

Make sure your home is safe and childproofed if the kids will be at your house. Make sure you know how to properly install their car seats in your car if you’ll be traveling with the children.

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