Grandparenting is not an easy thing at all. But it is unavoidable to both parents and their married sons and daughters because of the poor childcare system for working parents in Korea. There are public and private childcare system that people can get in Korea, but they’re still insufficient to support those working parents. Besides, the reason why those working parents ask their parents to raise their children is because most of them believe that being raised by grandparents is more truthworthy in many ways than a babysitter from the list. I mean, grandparents are more reliable to place their children than babysitters for them. (Of course there are many wonderful babysitters!) Because of many reasons (I can’t write every single reason why people ask their parents to raise their children), grandparenting is becoming a very common thing in Korea and many of my neighbours are actually spend the most of the day time with their grandchildren, I can see. These grandparents are professional at childrearing or babysitting because they’ve already done before for their children. They are experienced parents so they should be better than first time parents (their son and daughter) in childrearing. However, there is a saying, ‘Ten years is an epoch’, various things were disappeared and newly created again and again. Childrearing is not an exception of being affected by the development of technology.
The fundamentals of childrearing is still the same, but the ways of childrearing and the tools for childrearing are evolved rapidly. In other words, grandparents are now making use of the new tools to get new ways of childrearing for their grandchildren. For example, they do mobile shopping to order baby goods, show mobile audio-visual programs for kids and to have mobile chat with their son and daughter about grandchild through using their smart devices (i.e. smartphones) It is called ‘Smart Parenting’. The photo below shows that a grandmother enjoy watching animation on Smart TV with her grandson. People can get various contents especially for their grandchild through Smart TV.
(Click the image then it goes direct to the webpage about Smart TV and grandparenting, image from http://vip.mk.co.kr/news/view/21/20/1397293.html)
According to the report of mobile shopping site, Tmon (http://tmon.co.kr), the analysis of the sales of babygoods by age group showed that customers who are aged over 50s are increased significantly compared with other age groups. The number 1 item they purchased is Podaegi (baby carrier), http://www.ticketmonster.co.kr. (click the link if you want to see that actual product they purchased)
(This is a podaegi in Korea, image from http://namyangi.com (click the image to see the original webpage))
Besides, the mobile shopping for grandchildren is not only limited to Korea. If you read this article on ‘grandparents.about.com‘ it tells you about ‘6 ways your smartphone can help you shop for grandchildren’. I will continue to talk more about ‘grandparenting’ and digital media in the next post.