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AB Editor | 09:21 Mon 25th Jul 2011 | Family & Relationships
48 Answers

This poll is closed.

Who is better at looking after children?

  • Parents - 77 votes
  • 64%
  • Grandparents - 44 votes
  • 36%

See final stats

Stats until: 10:03 Thu 23rd May 2024 (Refreshed every 5 minutes)


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What made you ask this question?
children of what age ?
Surely the nanny is best qualified?
-- answer removed --
It what sense?
Parents should be better at looking after children, but whether they are or not is a different matter. Joe Bloggs down the road might be better than some parents.

I think it is sad that 1.3 people think Grandparents are better than parents at looking after kids. Perhaps a reflection on today's society.

I am surprised that Nurseries weren't the third option. Most kids seem to be farmed out to them these days.
a third not 1.3 :o(
Some people have no choice LL. In an ideal world I think every Mother would prefer to stay home and look after the family. Unfortunately we don't live in an ideal world....people 'have' to work.

My OH's Mum has been bringing up, full time, his niece and nephews for the last 11/12 years. In their case....Grandparents are certainly the best option.
I agree that some people have no choice ummmm. But a lot of people with choice palm their kids off to nurseries or grandparents and I can't understand why people have kids if they don't want to look after them themselves. Personally, I don't think it's good idea for grandparents to be spending more time than parents themselves looking after the kids.

I seem to see so many grandmothers trudging around with grandchildren these days. I think also that lots of parents these days have greater expectations of what their lifestyle should be and can't give up on the standard of living they had when both parents were working full time. It was no easier in my day to be honest, but we managed.

But yes, some have to rely on grandparents, and that is better than being looked after by strangers, I suppose. But I think each case has to be taken on invidiual merits. The question is to vague!

No way if I have any grandchildren do I want to be responsible for looking after then. I might consider occasional babysitting. I have done my share of looking after kids, no way do I want to do it again ;o)
Hi Lottie!

I sometimes wonder if you are a clone of me (except that you like Fern Britton amd Michelle Collins ;0) (!)
That could have been me writing that, I expressed the same views to someone only this week. x
This is a silly question. There is no general answer. Both have roles in bringing up children. If you say parents, they most likely picked up their skills from their parents, so those people who voted that way had a good upbringing and would be no better or worse than the grandparents. These statistics are meaningless.
The Big Bad Wolf
I was more or less raised by my grandparents.....
I must admit my grandparents (on my mothers side) helped a lot when my Mum was ill and I lived with them for a while as a baby when she was in hospital. Things like that happen.

I don't agree though that grandparents necessarily should play a part in bringing up children. I certainly never expected my Mum or Mother in Law (both grandads died quite young) to play a part in my son's upbringing. They did help from time to time, but it didn't assume they ever should.

Hi Yoga!! I have gone off Fern Britton!! and I only like Michelle Collins, not a great fan or anything. I think she is a good actress.

But like grasscarp says, it's a silly question because there really is no answer. It depends on circumstances.

Anyway by the time I am a grandparent I will probably be 90!!
Question Author
Sorry for the simplistic question, I'm just trying to stimulate debate!

If you think it is simplistic, but you can think of times when one would be better than the other - let us know, where are the boundaries here? What advantages do Grandparents have for example?
This is a big question with many answers and variables. Apart from parents with violence/drug/drink issues then surely the best person to look after the kids are the parents themselves with support if possible from the grandparents. A lot of grandparents these days are a little out of touch with the younger ones especially the ones that drink, smoke, moan a lot and aren't very active, so not the best choice as role models or to be constantly keeping up with active children that want to do a million things at once. I have friends whose parents are wonderful grandparents and very active (Bungee jumping, gym, parachuting, clubbing) and the kids who are teenagers and their friends can't seem to get enough of them! maybe the bottom line is different circumstances requires different and fluid parenting/grandparenting and at the end of the day as long as there is a lot of love there that's the main thing but a child getting brought up by grandparents usually points to a reason which is usually a bad one, parents overworking, violence, substance/sexual abuse, mental illness or just not caring.
Again, it depends on the parents and the grandparents, ed. It's very individual. Each person will have their own experiences to go by. Therefore in some families grandparents couldn't be trusted to look after kids and in others parents make a hash of it.

Mind you, I think grandparents should take a step back from interfering unless asked for advice. Us oldies tend to think we know it all!!
And what the poster above me said ^ (and said it very well!)
I limit the amount of time my kids can spend with my Mum.....
My Mum was actually lovely with my son when he was little, but she had a very active social life herself and a boyfriend, so I couldn't rely on her to be there for looking after duties. She did occasionally though. She did take him to places, which was nice.

Grandparents can be lovely - or not!! I would never have left my son with my MIL!! She was well meaning, but I would have been worried out of my life.

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