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  1. What do you think is the best way for parents and their AC/CIL to set boundaries if/when they move in together? And how easy - or hard - is it to make those boundaries stick?
  2. Family Dynamics

    To what degree do you feel overall family dynamics are impacted the more involved a GP is w/ the care of their GC?
  3. Are there any TV shows/types of TV shows you feel a GP/relative can't tune into while watching the children? Does it make a difference if the kids are sleeping or in the other room? Do the kids ages factor in? And has this ever a bone of contention in your experience?
  4. If asked to watch a GC (grandchild) or other relative kid, do you have any boundaries? Do you insist on being able to watch them in your own home? Or to be able to take them outside or,say, to a nearby park in good weather? Or to be able to take them in your car so you can do go places and/or do some of your own errands? Does it depend on how often or for how long you're being asked to watch them? Would any of them be a dealbreaker if the parents said "No?" Or are you open to adjusting to whatever...?    Or if you're the parent of young children, do you have any boundaries for GPs (or other relatives) to follow if they watch your kid(s)? If the GP/relative says, in effect, "I can't do this/that," would that be a dealbreaker? Or are you willing to make adjustments/allowances in some instances? Same question if you're a GRG (grandparent raising grandchild/ren) another relative is going to babysit.   Please feel free to answer as many - or as few - or my questions as pertain to you. And please check out "Babysitting Boundaries: Part 1 - Frequency?" as well: http://community.grandparents.com/index.php/topic/13206-babysitting-boundaries-part-1-frequency/
  5. IMO, this is an excellent article on handling GP expectations/respecting parental boundaries: http://www.grandparents.com/family-and-relationships/family-matters/managing-expectations   I love the family vacation the author describes, where everyone let each set of parents manage their own children their own way.   Also, I appreciate the fact that Beckham recognizes that it's different for custodial GPs.   But she left out one group, or rather, didn't talk about us separately - that of the GP/relative caregiver. Of course, we too, need to honor the parents authority over their children. We also, need to step back and let the parents do the disciplining, etc. when they are present.   But therein lies the rub. Granted, for us caregivers, I don't think it's so much a matter of "expectation" (though that can be part of it for some) as mere habit.  It can be difficult not to remind a child about their manners when you're watching them if that's what you've always done. And even harder, IMO, to step back and let the parent take over when you're used to being in charge of them. Sometimes, it just becomes a knee jerk reaction to say (depending on the age), "No" or "Don't do that!" or "You know the rule," etc. when you've been doing it for a few/several hours, day after day.   I've long since learned to back off as soon as YDD/Mommy is there. But it took a lot of inner conversations w/ myself, etc. to get there, Not b/c I don't respect her as a parent - I do. But simply b/c making shifting back and forth that way can be difficult.   How about you? How do/would you deal w/ this caregiving/babysitting problem?. Or how have you dealt w/ it in the past?
  6. Please take the poll above (your vote will remain private) and then discuss further below...   In your opinion, does a GP (or other relative) caregiver affect the dynamics of the family of the GC/relateve child in their care? If so, is this good or bad or does it depend? And is it inevitable?
  7. Migrant's thread in the Shades forum ("Personal identity becoming tangential") made me wonder, does a granny (or other relative) nanny lose (some of) their identity if they can't contribute/act on their opinions about childcare/childrearing? Or if and when circumstances change and they become less needed? (I realize Migrant's situation is more extreme than most, but I'm speaking in general.)
  8. Do you feel that the parents of the GC/relative kids you watch tend to take advantage of you? Do they often, say drop the kids off at your house unexpectedly or come home later than scheduled? Or do they rely on/expect you to cover expenses you feel they should/could cover, such as the cost of diapers, etc?
  9. Maybe DIL calls and asks you to watch the children a little longer, so she can go shopping unencumbered or unwind w/ a few coworkers over a drink. Or DS is often late picking up the GC from your home - or often takes you by surprise, bringing them earlier than expected in the morning. Or, after you've watched the kids all week, DD asks you babysit them on Friday or Saturday night, too, so that she can socialize. Or she and SIL request that you take them for the weekend, so that they can have a weekend away, just the two of them. Or...   Do/would you see this as their "taking advantage" or are/would you be happy to do still still more childcare to make life easier for the them (the parents)? Where do/have/would you draw the line? Or do/have/would you?
  10. What boundaries do you think granny (or other relative) nannies need to set before they agree to watch their GC/relative kids? What is non-negotiable, if anything? And how about if their boundaries conflict w/ those of the parents?
  11. If someone has custody of or has adopted their GC/relative kids, do you feel they should get to set as strict boundaries as parents sometimes do? Is it ok for them to limit parental visits, say, to once a month? Or insists that the parents follow their (the custodial GPs/relatives') rules for the kids? Or do mom and dad still have some clout as "the parents?"
  12. Hi all this is my first time posting so hang in there with me.   Last Boxing Day my MIL has a ritual where the whole family (IL's family) goes to her house and we all have a get together and a catch up. Well we were all there and my DH's cousin recently had a baby and we were all very happy to see her as we didn't know if she would come along. Anyway me and DH have been trying for 7 years and had given up and discussed adoption and we had discussed this with both families. Back to his cousin, she let us all hold her baby and MIL got hold of her and looked at me and DH and said in front of everyone "well it's not as if your ever going to give me a baby this small to hold, is it let me have my fix first" I looked at DH and was really hurt by it that we both went outside for fresh air and decided not to say anything and to ignore it.   Anyway we recently moved into our new house and we have been slowly doing it up and then I have not been very well so I have been in and out of the doctors having tests done. Anyway MIL heard about these and started questioning me, I didn't say anything as my health is my business and I didn't want to say anything to her before I knew what was going on. Anyway as me and my husband are both rock climbers, we planned a holiday to go climbing in the Lakes and had started looking to good spots to go. I had a family party to go to and hubby had made an arrangement to go rock climbing with his friends, I got a phone call half way through saying that he had too go to hospital as he had broken his ankle, there was no way I could get to him as I had already been on the road for 5 hrs.   Anyway whilst he was off I checked to make sure that all our bills could get paid as we didn't know if he was going to get paid for being off work, and as I had not been well I had been going to the doctors. As I have PCOS I do a pregnancy test every 6 months when I don't have a period for long periods of time and I found out I was pregnant. I told hubby and we were ecstatic. I went to the doc and the doc thought I was 16-20 wks and she referred me to a Midwife and got me an apt with the hospital as I didn't know what to do. me and DH went to the apt which was a wk later and found out that I was actually 22wks. When we got home we sat there in shock and then gave it a few days before saying anything to my mom or my MIL. When we told them, my mum said "let me know if you need any help" when we told my MIL she launched into what she would do and how she would help out and me and DH said that if we needed anything we would ask.   Me and MIL work in the same building and by the time I went into work the next day her whole floor knew and parts of my floor knew, this was before I could confirm the details with my boss or my HR dept. This angered me because that was not her decision to make and to be honest I would have preferred to do it myself.   Since then it's all been about her, my mom is not so bad as she has me and my brothers baby due around 5 days away from each other and she has a lot on her own plate and knows that I am very independent and will ask when I need something. But MIL has already asked everyone at work for bits and pieces and supplied me with bits and pieces for the baby before I could even go out and look at anything because I am still coming to terms with the fact that I am actually having baby. It will be my MIL first GC so I know she is very excited.   I over heard her talking to someone at work saying that I was struggling to buy stuff for the baby and that I was buying stuff second hand. They offered to give her a few bits and pieces, I walked away. When I got home and DH was fuming and wanted to call his Mum. I told him that I shouldn't have been listening in the first place, but it was still not her place to discuss this with people at work, and make me look bad as I work in the finance department. She then told me that she had talked to a few of the girls I worked with and told them that I needed money and not gifts, I thought that, that was well out of line and that I didn't expect anything of the sort.   We had not told her we were struggling and it was a lie as we have a lot of money in savings which she knew nothing about and we had set it aside to do up the house, but now we were using that money to buy stuff for the baby.   MIL has been interfering a lot and has already told me and DH that she is going part time and that she will look after the baby on 2 days when I go back to work and that she would keep baby from the first day and over night to the second day. It seemed that we had no decision on this matter. I said that we would see about that and that my own mother would like to see the baby as well and I didn't know when I would be returning to work as of yet.   Me and DH discussed this when we got home and said that if we ever did have a second child then there was no way we were going to tell her until the people I wanted to tell were told first.   We also came to a decision that when I did go to hospital for the birth, I didn't want anyone but DH there, and when I did come home I didn't want any visitors at the house for about a week. we told both mothers and my mom said that she would wait until I was ready, but MIL said that she would see about that. I then turned to hubby and said that there was no way we were going to tell his parents that I had given birth until we were ready for visitors and he agreed. He also said that he would go over to his parents by himself and discuss certain issues that he has.   How can I tell her that me and DH can make our own decisions and that we would ask for help when needed?
  13. How do the boundaries between parent and GP (or other relative) shift when the GP/relative becomes their GC's/relative kids' foster parent? And how is it different, if at all, do you think, from getting custody? Also, if you will, how hard is it to adjust to the new situation? And how hard to adjust if/when the kids go home to their parents?   ETA: If you have actually been the foster parent for a relative child, please feel free to tell us about your experience in this thread, as well.
  14. Often, IMO, the boundaries between GP/relative caregiver and parent can get very blurry. And just as often, as far as I can see, this can cause conflict.Maybe GM (grandmother) thinks that b/c she takes care of her GC several hours a day, she can bend/break parental rules, even if others can't, but the parents disagree. Or  she feels she has a "right" to weigh in, say, on medical decisions, but the parents call that "interference."   Or perhaps the dad feels he can be an hour or so late to pick up the kids b/c, hey, they're with "Nana and Poppa" not professional caregivers! But Nana and Poppa see that as "taking advantage"   Or if, unfortunately, Mom and Dad lost custody of their kids to the GPs, they (the parents) still demand a major say in how their kids are being raised. But the GPs argue that they have custody and the major responsibility so they get to make the "parental" choices now. Or...   Do you feel you're dealing/have dealt with any of these boundary issues as a GP/relative caregiver? Or as a parent, as regards a GP/relative caregiver for your children? And if so, how do/did you deal? Or haven't you found/didn't you ever find an effective way?
  15. Should nanny grannies (or grampies, aunties, etc.) have more leeway, as far as crossing parental boundaries? Which of the following statements do you most agree with? Please let us know below and feel free to add any other thoughts you have on the topic:   1. Yes. In fact, when "Gramma" or whoever has the kids, they should be able to do whatever they want.     2. Yes, after all, they're doing you a big favor.     3. Yes. Since they're around the kids a lot, they're bound to cross a line now and then and parents need to understand that.     4. No, they should be held to the same boundaries as everyone else.     5. No. In fact,   since they're around the kids more, they should be even more careful about observing boundaries.     6. No, they should protect both parental boundaries and their own.
  16. As most of you know, I'm very careful to keep my eye on the lines between parent and GP and to avoid crossing them.  No doubt, I have an influence on my DGC and I'm not saying I don't, mistakenly, slip across a boundary, now and then, w/o thinking. But I'm very careful not to try to act as or present or even think of myself as the "third parent."  I'm conscious of this issue b/c of what I've read on these boards but also b/c of my own conflict with my DM over this concern, years ago.   DM, as many of you may also know, helped me out a lot, in various ways, when my girls were little. Sometimes it was with babycare (especially when I had my first). Other times, it was a matter of  bringing over a meal or doing a load of the kids' laundry if I had gotten behind.   Over the years, of course, the amount of help she gave was less and less b/c, obviously it wasn't needed as much. But I began cutting back on it sooner that she would have liked b/c I started to realize that she seemed to exact a "price" for her efforts. And the price was that she tried to "have a say" in our decisions about the girls. IOWs, she was trying to establish herself as an extra authority in our home and over my and DH's DDs. She denied all this, of course.   At first, I tried to put a stop to this by, among other things, by telling her straight out, "You're not the 3rd parent!" (Again, as I said, she denied thinking or trying to be that - maybe she didn't see it that way.) But soon enough, I realized, that, even if she backed off, for a while, every time she did me a favor, she began to try to assert herself as an additional parent again. So I came to see that I would have to give up the homecooked meals that I didn't have to cook, myself, no matter how  delicious (DM was a great cook!) or how infrequent. Same with getting help in keeping up with laundry. Etc. It wasn't worth having DM try to weigh in on our choices and argue with us if we didn't agree/didn't carry out her ideas.   So imagine my surprise, when, just recently, I overheard ODD telling someone that DM was "kind of like a 3rd parent to" her! Not the worst thing in the world, IMO  - she was a loving, helpful GM and any influence she had on my DDs was good, as far as I can see.   Still, I've been thinking about it, ever since, and it's raised 3 questions in my mind that I'd like your opinion on:   1. Could it be that the frequent presence of a GP in a child's life, makes them seem like a 3rd parent, in some cases, in the eyes of the child, regardless of what this/that adult thinks?   2. Doe a GP's effort to assert themselves as the 3rd parent have more impact on most children than a parent's resistance to that idea?   3. Are my efforts to keep the lines between YDD and me clear wasted as far as my DGC are concerned? I know it's good for my relationship with YDD but are my DGC liable to see me as another parent, anyway?   4. What else can I do, if anything, to make them see the difference? And how much does it matter?
  17. As caregiver for your GC, do you sometimes feel as if you're "half parent/half GP? Or are you actually acting as parent (raising your GC)? Or have you become the parent, by adopting your GC? And do you ever get to be "just Gandma/Nana/Mimi/etc" (or "just Grandpa/Papaw/Poppy/etc)?   Please answer any or all of my questions below.  Even if you've talked about this with us, in the past, please feel free to chime in and let us know if your feelings or your caregiver role, itself, have changed. And if you're a GGM or aunt caregiver, etc., please just adapt the question(s) to your situation.
  18. I love this MIL Anon.  I don't have anyone to ask this of - my own mother has Alzheimer's.  Our son and his baby girl and wife live 7 hours away.  So far (after two years of marriage the rule - established by DIL has been for them to visit one holiday a year - rotating holidays).  Everything else after that is negotiable.  We have spent the night in their home two two nights during Spring Break and for four nights last January (because it wasn't "our turn" to be with them for Christimas, baby's first Christmas).   Now we are being told there is "no room at the inn" to stay with them for our granddaughter's first birthday. When we stay at a hotel it's $122 a night (plus kennel care back home for our dog) so it ratchets up quickly. I said it was ok since our DIL wanted to put someone up in her family (we haven't been told who) but could we stay two nights before the birthday.     You see, with both of them, they ask for us to schedule everything - phone calls, Skype, everything.  Sometimes we schedule it and is has to be "rescheduled" because of course the baby's schedule cannot be for certain - ever.  We talk to them once a month on the phone.  We thought relations were good with them, we haven't given them any problems that stand out in our minds.  We stayed four nights in January and presented them with a new home item that they really wanted - which we would have spent on a hotel is if we hadn't stayed with them.  The visit seemed to go really well.  But now, with the tepid response over the first birthday, I really wonder.  DIL's family lives 10 minutes away so they get the see them often.   Am I being paranoid.  I don't want to leave a bad impression, but I have to admit it feels like the "out of town grandparents" don't matter - to DIL and maybe not even to our son.   TIDYONE