Seen from the United Kingdom. Training for grandparents, really?


Childcare costs are rising around the world, while inflation makes life more and more expensive. Faced with these observations, parents who can do so are increasingly calling on grandparents to look after their children on a regular basis or to help them out.

Journalist Eva Wiseman, who writes a column in the British newspaper The Guardian, points out that, according to a study, “a quarter of grandparents spend up to fifteen hours a week – a similar number say they take early retirement to help their children who are trying to work despite an expensive and inflexible childcare system”.

READ ALSO: Society. In the UK and Ireland, the childcare conundrum
As for grandparents who are still working, “two-fifths of them sacrifice up to three weeks of annual leave to do so”. Eva Wiseman therefore speaks of a “graying army” who raises their children’s children.

“Don’t take things personally”

The journalist realized that there were “courses for grandparents”, even though one might think they were qualified enough for the task. The courses cost around 40 pounds (47 euros) per session – although there are significantly more expensive ones – and they seem to focus on newborn care and first aid techniques.

Eva Wiseman asked her own mother for her opinion on the matter… She then pointed out that as children grow up, “a lot of what you have to learn is how to keep quiet”: “How to be a belter of perfect conveyance, how not to take things personally, how to navigate the moral considerations around offering ‘sweets’ and accepting your role as a sort of middle manager in a company that loves drama, but doesn’t have no HR department.”

If the observation is amusing, Eva Wiseman says she was “outraged” by the existence of these courses, which force willing, loving and competent people to prove themselves.​

This article is originally published on


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