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      Dear Community friends and family,   After great consideration, we are moving the Grandparents.com community to Facebook Groups effective March 15, 2018.   This wasn’t an easy decision, but we want to bring our communities together and believe the best place to do so is through Facebook’s groups feature. We’re so appreciative of you and the diverse conversations and opinions you have provided over the past 9 years. Your stories and amazing advice have helped so many readers, and have reached thousands of GP.com users. We encourage you to retrieve any information you want to retain as the forum will only be accessible by the admin after March 15, 2018. We’ve created a closed Facebook group called Mothers-in-Law Unplugged where we welcome you to continue the conversations around grandparenting, family, and in-law relationships, and any general topics we discuss here. As the group is closed and each user must be approved, your friends and family on Facebook won’t see any of your activity. Request to join the group here: http://bit.ly/milunplugged Thank you to all of our past and current users. You helped build our community, and we look forward to continuing to interact with you in the Facebook groups. If you have any questions about the groups and privacy, let’s chat about here:   Sincerely,   The Grandparents.com Team

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  1. Often members here express feelings of being overwhelmed, anxious, stressed out and, in some cases, a little "cheated" out of what their life was supposed to be like, at this point. If you're a GP/relative caregiver of any kind and you ever have experienced any of those emotions, please feel free to unload them below. Same if you're a parent who's having a hard time/had ever gone through a hard time, raising kids, etc.    
  2. In the "in defense of his mother" thread in MIL Anonymous, the conversation, somehow, turned to manners. So now I'm wondering...Do you believe in teaching manners/etiquette to kids? To what degree? And, if you will, is it ok for a GP to insist on stricter manners/be more lenient about manners when watching their grands?
  3. Maybe they always picks the GC (grandchildren) up from your house an hour or so late. Or perhaps they expect you to provide all diapers, wipes, baby food, etc. when watching their baby. Or overnight stays turn into 2 or 3 nights b/c they "have to" leave the kids w/ you for this/that reason. Or they frequently call last minute saying they "desperately" need you to babysit. Or maybe you're a custodial GP and your problem is that the parents don't show up on time for visits or don't come at all, leaving you to deal w/ GC's disappointment. Or... In short, perhaps you feel your GC's parents are taking advantage of you? If so, how - and what have you tried to do about it, if anything? Also, if you've found a successful solution for these kinds of problems or have an idea for one, please let us know.  
  4. Found an article in "The Spruce" called. "Maternal Vs. Paternal Grandparents" (you can google it) asserting that MGPs generally have a closer relationship w/ their GC than PGPs. For example, the article states that the MGM is more likely to be asked to help out w/ a new GB and more likely to be asked to babysit later on. It cites various reasons for this, including the idea that moms still are usually the ones who arrange for childcare and that there is "some tension built into" the relationship between the PGM/MIL and mom/DIL. Yet the article admits that there are "exceptions," and I know an increasing number of PGPs/PGMs who are the go-to babysitter/frequent caregiver for their GC. Perhaps the overall pattern is changing... Thoughts?
  5. Starting a new thread of tips/advice for GP/relative babysitters and "nannies." Please feel free to ask any questions or give your advice below. You might also want to respond to the (old) GP.com article about babysitting GC/relative kids: http://www.grandparents.com/family-and-relationships/caring-for-children/10-ways-to-be-the-best-babysitter
  6. Whether you're raising your grandchildren or watching them frequently, etc., do you find the joys outweigh the challenges or vice versa? Are you grateful for the role you play in their life, resentful of the (perhaps unexpected) responsibility or a little bit of both? Or ??
  7. "Why don;t you want to be involved?" my friend asked, somewhat bewildered. This struck me very funny, actually, b/c it was about my DGC. As many of you know, I'm very involved with them, watching them, for a few hours, several times a week! But this was about something my friend thought YDD should be doing with them (I'm not going to say what for reasons of privacy). And to me, trying to weigh in there would be "interfering," not merely, "being involved." We've had this conversation b4 and my friend says my attitude doesn't make sense to her. "Up till recently," she reminds me, "you were doing a lot of childcare. And it's clear you've had an influence on DGD and DGS" (nice to hear, I admit, though, as my friend she may be biased:)). "Why do you stop short of being involved in the decisions?" "That's why I stop short at the decisions," I've told her, more than once (well one of the reasons, anyway) "b/c I have been very involved and still am, to a great degree. I don't want to go too far and cross any lines that I shouldn't." Then she stares at me or shakes her head, not really understanding. And I change the subject, not wanting to get into it, any further. Funny thing is, I don't even necessarily agree with my friend's opinion on childrearing, much of the time. Often, my thinking it much more in line with YDD's. But regardless, I wouldn't try to change YDD's mind. And if I tried, I know exactly what YDD would say, "They're my kids! Stop interfering!" It wouldn't accomplish anything, except to cause tension where there didn't 'have to" be any. For that reason, among others, I have no intention of trying to have a voice in the choices YDD makes, even on those occasions where I disagree with her. But I realize that my friend sees the scenario differently than I do. And looking back, perhaps so did my mom and MIL. Perhaps they didn't see themselves as "interfering" when they tried to weigh in... maybe they thought they were just being loving and "involved" GPs... Then again, MIL did admit to me once that she did, indeed, try to "interfere' (her word) in DH's and my marriage and childlearing. B/c, as I've said previously, in the forums, "I know him (meaning DH) longer than you do! Why shouldn't I have a say?!"... Sigh... But what I'm thinking now is that there are clearly different POVs on this... Like anything else, one person's "interference" is another's "involvement" and vice versa. And, I suppose, to still another person, it's "interference" but it's "ok."...
  8. GP.com recently linked the following article on its FB page: http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2016/08/09/need-a-babysitter-dont-count-on-grandma/?_r=0 It suggests, among other things, that GPs. nowadays, are not so ready and willing to make their GC the center of their lives or to be seen as the go-to babysitter. In response, on the FB page, in a post entitled, "Need a Babysitter? Don't Count on Grandma!" several people disagreed: https://www.facebook.com/Grandparentscom/# Thoughts? ETA: FWIW, as much as I enjoy my granddolls, the Rose who replies on the FB page is not me, LOL!
  9. Will you be going apple-picking w/ your kids or the GC/relative kids you take care of this year? Or have you ever done so? Or will you be sharing/have you shared any other fun fall activities w/ them?
  10. We've talked about "coparenting" in this forum before, I know. But in MBear's recent thread in MIL Anon, "Money/Time decisions," a concern about "parenting w/... inlaws" instead of spouse came up and that raised the "coparenting" issue in my mind again.... Frequently, on these boards, "childrearing" has been defined as a combination of childcare and making major decisions regarding that child. As such, GPs have often been told that, no matter how much childcare they do, they're not "raising" their GC, unless they make major/parental decisions about them. Is "parenting" defined the same way or does it only involve taking care of the kids? How about "coparenting?" Does it mean "helping to raise" or simply "helping w/ childcare?"  IOWs, is a GP coparenting a child w/ the parent(s) if that GP makes some of the major decisions about raising that child? Or can we use that term even for GPs who watch their GC frequently and/or for long hours? Does it depend on whether or not the child is living full or part time in the GPs' home? Or... ?? What do you think? At what point does "babysitting"/"caregiving"/"helping out" become "coparenting," if ever?
  11. I noticed on the cover of one of the magazines my DD gets, that camps are registering kids now for this summer. Are your kids or GC enrolled/going to enroll in camp, this year? Day camp or sleepaway?   If so, what do you see as the benefits for them? And if you are a parent or GP/relative caregiver, how do you expect it will impact your schedule?   If not, what will they be doing, instead? And again, how do you anticipate that affecting your summer?
  12. Seeking advice about family daycare/relative babysitting? Or have some good advice to give? Please feel free to post your questions, concerns or helpful "tips" below...
  13. In the MILA "Narcissism" thread, I said this regarding an apparently overbearing MIL/GM who spends a lot of time as the caregiver for her older GC: I'm wondering if the amount of time the ILs have the stepkids on their own isn't part of the overall problem. Don't get me wrong, I can see where MIL can be overbearing and boundary-stomping. But I can also see where it may be difficult for her to be the older kids' acting mom, sometimes for weeks at a time, and then step back and be "just grandma" when she crosses your threshold. DH may feel "she needs to 'act like a grandma' not like a '35 year old parent'" and he's right, IMO. But he probably doesn't realize he's making it hard for her to do that. Now I'm asking, to what degree do members here think such a highly involved GP caregiver can/should keep their eye on the line between parent and GP? And how can they make sure they do?
  14. The well-known Jo Frost - "Supernanny" - is now giving advice here on GP.com http://www.grandparents.com/grandkids/discipline-and-behavior/supernanny-discipline   But now I'm wondering how many of you have implemented these kinds of ideas with your children or the GC/relative kids you take care of - or wish you had? If you're a GP/relative caregiver, have you had any conflicts with the parents over discipline? Or if you're a parent, have you had any with a GP or other relative who watches your child/children? How have those conflicts been resolved, if at all?
  15. Has your adult son or daughter come home to live, along w/ their kids? If so, do you find that they respect/teach their children to respect your rules or do they disrupt/let their kids disregard them. Also, if you will, do you find yourself doing more childcare - or less - than you expected? And how do you feel about all this? ETA: How about financial issues? Do you expect them to contribute financially? And if so, do they follow through? ETA: Also, if you're the one who has moved in w/ your AC and family, how is that working out? And again, how do you feel about it?
  16. When I was a young mom, I remember that I often read that it wasn't a good idea to use the "b/c I say so!" response that parents so frequently rely on when disciplining their kids. Yet, here in this community, it's often recommended (w/ adults as well as kids, LOL!). What do you think about it? And as a parent or GP babysitter/caregiver, have/do/would you ever employ this phrase?
  17. Whether they're your kids or your grandkids, what do/did you find to be the greatest challenge in childcare? (Same question if you often watch other relative kids.)
  18. Do you believe in teaching kids manners? And do you and the parents of the GC/relative children you take care of see eye-to-eye on what and how to teach them about being polite, etc? Or is this a bone of contention between you? Or ??   ETA: Or as a parent, has this ever set off a conflict between you and the GPs, etc?
  19. Do you get/have to drive your GC  (or other relative kids) places when you watch them or do their parents object to that? If you do take them in your car, I trust you have car seats for them (or booster seats, depending). But do you follow/have you always followed any parental instructions about their use? (Kids buckled up every time, for example, of babies rear-facing, even beyond a year)? Or is your attitude more on the order of "when I'm watching them, I do what I want?"   Or if you're the kids' parent - or a custodial GP, do you/would you ever allow/ask their GPs/other relatives drive them anywhere? And if so, do you check to make sure that they're following all car seat rules? Or do you trust them to do what's best?
  20. In the "Passive/Agressive DIL?" thread in MIL Anon, the issue came up, among other things, of a GM wanting to take her GC out individually, even though they were siblings. That got me to thinking...   @ GPs - Do you ever get the chance to be w/ any of your GC one-on-one, even if they have siblings? Whether you're the frequent or fulltime caregiver - or "just" an occasional babysitter - do you prefer it that way? Or would you rather watch all sibs together? (Not speaking of the scenario in which a GP takes care of the older child while Mom and Dad are at the hospital having a new baby)   @ Parents - Do/have/would you ever let a GP watch/take out one of your kids, w/o their sibling(s)? Or do/would you insist that they watch/spend time w/ all sibs together? (Again, not speaking of the situation where a GP watches one child, while Mom is in the hospital giving birth to another.)        
  21. The Word "No!"

    Every now and then, I read that toddlers hear the word "No" too often, as they are being taught limits. But I wonder, how well we can teach them this w/o using the simple word, "No."   What do you think are some of the most effective ways to show LOs that there are things they can't touch or places they can't go, etc? As a GP babysitter/caregiver, do you see eye to eye on this topic w/ the parents of your GC or is it an "issue?"   Or as a parent do/did you ever find that this is/was a bone of contention between you and the GPs?
  22. 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?
  23. No doubt, sometimes, there are conflicts between parents and GP (or other relative) babysitters/caregivers. Maybe the GP believes in spanking, while the parents use TOs and other non-corporal methods of discipline. Or perhaps the GP lets the kids have sweets, whenever, throughout the day, while the parents have a strict only-after-meals rule. Etc.   But an article, by Sue Shellenbarger, in The Wall Street Journal says, among other things, that many parents and GPs are making adjustments in their thinking in order to provide the kids/GC w/ family daycare: http://www.wsj.com/a...45973124738260    The article speaks of "Marie," for example, "a consultant and mother of two and her mother, Antoinette... who often clash over the right way to raise kids." Apparently, "Antoinette thinks Marie is too lenient," the feature explains, " and Marie regards Antoinette’s rules as too black-and-white...."   "But," the piece also tells us, "the... mother and daughter are swallowing their differences so Antoinette can provide the summer child-care help Marie needs after a recent layoff and job change."   In fact, according to this article, many parents and GP caregivers/babysitters try to keep conflict over such issues to a minimum and that "keeping the peace" seems to be worth it from both POVs.. But except for a brief mention of Marie's decision to "look the other way," sometimes, the piece doesn't exactly say how that's accomplished.*   How do you think parents and GP caregivers/babysitters can handle conflict over discipline, etc? Or, if you prefer, how do/would you handle it as the GP or parent in this situation? Or how have you handled it, if you've dealt w/ this problem in the past?   * Please note, FWIW, that this is an old article, last updated in 2009.   ETA: Please don't miss this other topic, based on the same article: http://community.grandparents.com/index.php/topic/13210-sacrifices/
  24. 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/
  25. Maybe you're a GP (grandparent) and your GC's parents turn to you to babysit now and then - or very often. Do you have any limits on how frequently you'll do it or under what circumstances? Once a week? Once a month? More? Never? Only for "date nights?" Only if parents have to work overtime or do some other job/career related activity? Are you willing/ready to take one or more GC for an overnight? Or for a week or two while parents go off on a trip? Same questions if you're an aunt, uncle or any other relative asked to babysit.   Or perhaps you're a parent and your child's (children's) GPs are jonesing to watch them. How often do/would you take them up on that? And for specific reasons only ("date nights" w/ your spouse/SO? daycare while you work? or...)? Would you ever permit them to have your kid(s) overnight? Or for a week or two while you and your spouse/SO are traveling?   Please feel free to answer as many - or as few - of my questions as pertain to you. And please check out "Babysitting Boundaries; Part 2 - Dealbreakers?" as well: http://community.grandparents.com/index.php/topic/13207-babysitting-boundaries-part-2-dealbreakers/