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Relative Child Care - The Good And The Bad

Choosing the best child care for your toddler is very important since your toddler practically spends most of his day with his caregiver. That is why, most parents turn to relative care. Not only is it practical and convenient but it also provides security.

Relative care is a form of child care provided by a family member – an uncle, aunt, cousin or grandparent. But with all its handiness, one question still remains. Can parents and children truly benefit from it? These pros and cons were gathered to help you decide.

The Positive Side

There Is Security

One of the most essential advantages of relative care is that there is trust between the toddler’s parents and the child care provider. Once you know the provider is your own kin, you no longer have to worry whether or not your toddler is safe and treated well since she has affection towards your toddler and is genuinely concerned with your toddler’s welfare. In short, you get peace of mind which you cannot feel when a babysitter or a nanny is taking care of your little one. You already established a personal relationship with your relative. Therefore, you have a clear idea of your relative’s background – her past, characteristics (both good and bad), personal habits and discipline style (if she has her own children). Plus, you get assurance that the family member will respect and share your way of parenting.

There Is Flexibility

Unplanned meetings, emergencies and other inevitable circumstances are no longer a hassle to you. With relative care, you get to take charge of your time. Schedules are more flexible. Hence, you are able to make requests and be accommodated at any time. Whether you have to work earlier or later than usual, you can be sure your relative is available.

Less Expensive

Another positive benefit relative care brings is that the cost is more affordable than play schools and nanny care. You save time and transportation cost. As compared to other types of child care provider where rates and taxes are skyrocketing, you have the power to negotiate how much you are willing to pay for a relative’s service. You can either offer to pay a small amount of cash or provide some kind of compensation.

Safer Environment      

You no longer have to train your toddler to wake up early to go to his playschool and disrupt his daily routine. Your little one can stay at home or in your relative’s home so you are assured that your toddler is in a safe, comforting and fostering environment.

Stronger Family Bond

Because someone else is caring for your toddler aside from you, your child is able to form a strong bond between his relatives. If your relative has kids of her own, your toddler will have instant playmates. He is exposed to a wider scope of people which is a good exercise in helping him mold his personality.

The Negative Side

Poor Employer-Employee Relationship

Since your toddler’s caregiver is your family, it can be quite difficult to create a strong working rapport especially when you and your toddler’s caregiver are very close. Asking the help of older relatives can also be stressful since they may feel they know better about child care more than you do. This can have a great impact with your toddler’s beliefs and every day routine.

Confuses Your Toddler

Toddlers thrive once consistency is present. Thus, having a relative caring for him in the morning and you in the evening can puzzle your little one. What he was used to before can change if his caregiver alters your parenting style.

Limited Social Interaction

While your toddler can socialize with his cousins, still, it does not substitute the exposure your toddler gets when he is in a day care center. The limited interaction he gets does not help him prepare for school which can cause delays in his development.

Too Much Emotional Attachment

Because your toddler spends most days with his caregiver, it is possible for him to be more affectionate with his caregiver than with his parents particularly if he only gets limited time to bond with you and your husband. This can weaken your parent-child connection especially when your child gets too emotionally involved with his relative.

In a nutshell, relative care is a better childcare choice. As long as you and your caregiver keep communication lines open and retain a good relationship, problems will be kept at bay.

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November 2017
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