In Spain, half of the grandparents and grandmothers take care of their grandchildren almost every day.
They dedicate 6.2 hours to this care, while they closely follow them with an average of 5.3 hours, according to Imserso data.
They all do it altruistically.
In many parts of the world, grandparents are overwhelmed by caring for their grandchildren.
"Grandpa they take me away from you and I'm angry"
The slave grandfather syndrome: "It's exhausting, but I can't say no"
But a New Zealand grandmother has opened the debate on the Reddit website and several local media have echoed it.
According to this woman, she has asked her daughter for remuneration for taking care of her grandson: “My daughter is 29 years old and he is one.
She will return to work soon, her shift is five days a week, about seven hours a day and she has asked me if I can take care of the little one for two or three days ”.
"Of course", she continues, "that I am delighted to spend time with my grandson, but I have explained to him that I need him to pay me 12 Australian dollars - about 10 euros - an hour."
As he explains, his daughter has understood the situation, but has told him that he can only pay him 10 dollars.
"I am not a nursery, I have my life," the woman stresses.
“I work for myself and I think she should understand that if I am going to give up that time, I need money to cover the hours I stop working.
Because I can't work and take care of the child at the same time.
She has replied that it will only be two or three days a week, that her husband's parents will do the same, and that he will give me food.
I love my grandson, but as I have mentioned previously, I am not a nursery ”.
This woman's complaint has received more than 400 comments on the platform, and her responses are divided among those who defend that her daughter cannot pay her more: "If you don't want to take care of your grandson, just say so," some summarize. and those who empathize with this grandmother, although they are the least.
Should grandparents' work be remunerated or not?
In the first wave of the pandemic, Italy announced the
to make this role visible.
The Alpine country proposed to pay for this care, which was accentuated during the pandemic, after the closure of schools.
In this way, he decided to pay 1,200 euros per month to the elderly who cared for a child under 12 years of age with whom they did not live.
Grandparents and uncles were able to benefit from this aid until July 31st.
This in Spain did not happen.
Carina Cinalli, health psychologist and member of the Association of Psychogerontology of Spain, pointed out to this newspaper that “the
provides economic recognition and also places the elderly who take care of grandchildren in the spotlight, so it also contributes to giving them visibility , visibility on the important role they play and, in some way, modify or manage certain stereotypes that link aging with a stage of passivity and burden, rather than of contribution and benefit to society ”.
According to Cinalli, it is important that the role of the grandfather taking care of his grandson is made visible, "so that he can be healthy."
"And it is healthy when this role is a decision of the elder's own and is part of his own life project," continues the expert, and becomes something that provides energy to do other satisfactory activities that have not been possible before, concludes.
The good and bad side of caring for grandchildren
The most relevant negative side of taking care of grandchildren is, according to experts, the frustration and overload it generates.
This has a name, we speak of the slave grandfather syndrome, to refer precisely to a set of experiences of the elderly person that has to do with over-dedication, over-care, with a sense of lack of control of the situation.
And overload is not something that they see as something specific, but they perceive it as something constant.
And all this leads to a stressful situation.
In these cases, the elderly understand care as a moral obligation that they cannot even refuse.
Among the benefits of caring for grandchildren are: having better perceived health;
increases the feeling of feeling useful and vital;
enjoy transmitting values and being a model for children different from their parents, which gives them a different vision of interpersonal relationships and, finally, the importance of the integrity of the self, which is when human beings see their life as a coherent itinerary between the past, the present and the future.
It is something that also protects against the end of life.
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