Grandparents Could Be Making Money Instead Of Taking Care Of Grandkids: Bloomberg Op-Ed

 Grandparents could be out making money in the time they spend with their grandchildren, complains an op-ed published in Bloomberg last week.

More retired grandparents should refuse to babysit their grandchildren while their parents are at work, recommended Teresa Ghilarducci, a scholar on labor and retirement security issues and economics professor at The New School in Manhattan.

“Saying no to babysitting your grandchildren might be one of the most distressing and complicated refusals in human relationships. But it’s something more retirees should do instead of serving as primary child-care givers while parents are at work,” Ghilarducci wrote in her op-ed titled, “Think Twice, Grandma, Before You Become the Nanny” which was published in Bloomberg on Wednesday.

“While you love your children and grandchildren, and relish the idea of spending more time with them, stop and think of what you may be giving up by saying yes to a full-time role,” she continued.

She went on to outline some of the activities that could be more worthwhile for those in their golden years than spending time with their grandchildren, like making money.

“Filling your days with watching your grandchildren means you miss the chance to pursue other interests and interact with other adults. Even more important, at least financially, you forgo the opportunity to earn money.”

The money grandparents could be out earning could be used to “pay down debt or invest in your health,” Ghilarducci suggested.

Even grandparents who think they are financially secure should consider whether they’re really ready to relax because “there could be high, unknown costs down the road as you age.”

Spending time with grandchildren might not just cheat grandparents financially, according to the article, because children also carry germs.

“There may be health risks to consider, too. While there could be other benefits to interacting with children, such as keeping depression at bay and staying mentally sharp, grandparents spending time with young children could be exposed to more germs,” the article says.

Even a grandparent who is vaccinated could catch the coronavirus if “exposed to an unvaccinated child for long periods of time,” the article claims.

The list of cons is still not complete, though. Grandparents must also weigh the “emotional costs” of caring for grandchildren.

“Taking care of children is rewarding, but it can be a grind. Grandparents may start to feel resentful or that they’re being taken for granted if there isn’t enough appreciation expressed,” the article cautions.

Grandparents’ care could even be bad for children too, the article claims, since “grandparents tend to allow children to eat more sweets and non-nutritious food than parents do.” The article admits that “more systematic research is needed” in that area, however.

To remedy the litany of negatives, the author encourages grandparents to “set schedules from the beginning, such as certain days of the week for a set number of hours,” although “limiting the amount of time could prove to be the best arrangement of all.”

The article was promptly mocked on social media, Twitter users panning it as “grim” and anti-family.

“What’s with Bloomberg’s war on grandparents these days?” one Twitter user wrote. “My grandmother was my ‘nanny’ growing up and it was great. Don’t know what I’d do without her & I love being able to pay it forward now that I’m able to.”

“I plan on taking care of my grandkids one day if I’m needed. As cliche this sentiment is, it’s true: At the end of my life I’m not going to wish I’d spent more time at the office,” wrote another.

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