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Wednesday, Sep 18, 2019

Modern Indian parents prefer leaving their kids with their grandparents, but grannies aren’t the nannies

As the number of working couples rise, the burden of babysitting has also leaned onto the court of the grandparents.

sex-and-relationships Updated: Mar 30, 2019 15:51 IST
Ahana Datta Chaudhury
Ahana Datta Chaudhury
Hindustan Times, Delhi
(Unsplash)
         

From the hierarchical joint family system, Indian families have broken down into small nuclear families, comprising mother, father, grandparents and the child. As the number of working couples rise, the burden of babysitting has also leaned onto the court of the grandparents.

“Parents don’t feel safe leaving their kids with strangers, and that’s why they prefer leaving their kids with other family members, mostly with the grandparents. Even after employing help, they still want the grandparents around for safety,” says Eeshani Chakraverty, practising psychotherapist.

Sometimes, middle class families cannot afford a nanny or a crèche and are forced to depend on grandparents.

A two-way bond

It’s a two-way process. Grandparents have someone to look forward to for the whole day and the parents, too, are assured of their child’s security.

Psychotherapist, Chetna Duggal, says, “Connecting with the grandparent gives the child an insight into the family’s roots as well.”

However, relying entirely on grandparents doesn’t work in the long run.

“Parents can feel challenged when grandparents are unable to cater to certain areas, especially with regards to discipline and setting limits,” adds Chakraverty.

What do we really need?

A conversation between parents and grandparents is the only solution to this modern-day problem. Dr Harish Shetty, psychiatrist, says, “Most often, grandparents are treated like servants and have no privacy. They also have no leisure time and cannot relax. It’s like a thankless job where they are used and simply criticised.”

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First Published: Mar 30, 2019 15:51 IST