Kindergarten or Grandparenting?

After parents, the best emotional security for children is provided by grandparents
A kindergarten provides an environment for children to build relations with others and socialize.A kindergarten provides an environment for children to build relations with others and socialize.

With changes in lifestyle and women’s greater participation in social and economic activities, families are faced with a dilemma between leaving children with grandparents while they are at work and sending them to the kindergarten.

Grandparents are usually favored as it allows children to build familial relationships. It forges a family identity, confidence and vitality in children among other things. It shows children that there also are other people whom they can trust and who can take care of them just as well as their parents.

But the idea has detractors on the grounds of overindulgence by doting grandparents as well as different upbringing methods. There is also the absence of building relations with other children which a kindergarten provides.

Reyhaneh Amini, sociologist, believes that families should leave their children where they are loved and cared for.

“Today, families have grown smaller and staying with grandparents will help foster a deeper notion of familial ties in children’s minds and give them the experience of living in an extended family,” she said, Mehr News Agency reported.

Grandparents accept children the way they are and have patience with overactive or naughty kids, which is usually lacking in working parents. This, according to Amini, helps enhance self-confidence in young children.

She maintains, however, that there are a number of drawbacks with grandparents’ upbringing. Their boundless love can lead to “a spoilt child syndrome” since elderly people cannot be as firm with kids as their parents, or berate them when needed.

The generation gap and the contrasting ideas between parents and grandparents, especially in urban areas, is another cause for concern as it results “in a dual method of raising children which is not conducive for proper upbringing and might lead to problems in the future.”

  In Favor of Grandparents

Azardokht Davari, a child psychologist, favors grandparents. While kindergartens help children to learn and acquire new skills, grandparents provide safe, secure and a cozy place for them. “After parents, the best emotional security for children is provided by grandparents. Staying with grandparents is a more favorable option in terms of safety, hygiene, and mental and emotional security. After all, grandparents are second-degree relatives and share 25% genetic overlap and often take on the role of primary caregivers.  

In response to whether or not children will miss the opportunity of acquiring social skills if they do not attend nursery schools, the psychologist said that storytelling by grandparents “does the same to children what teachers in kindergartens do.”

“To fulfill children’s need of socializing and playing with other kids, which emerges at age three and above, parents can send them to kindergartens, play houses, parks or any place where there are other kids, two or three times a week.”

She stressed that kindergartens’ disadvantages preponderate their advantages. Pointing to a number of issues in preschools, she said there are children from various backgrounds, teachers are not qualified enough, do not have maternal instincts and cannot address children’s emotional needs.

Davari suggested that if families have the opportunity to leave their children with grandparents, they must definitely take it.

It appears that the best strategy for working mothers is to use both kindergartens and grandparents. Allow children to play with their peers, learn skills and release their energy in kindergartens for some hours daily and await their parents’ return from work in the loving arms of their grandparents.


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