Grandparenting (2)

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.

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(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)

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(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.

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Grandparenting (1)

It is busy in the morning because their grandson comes every morning around 8 am. A grandmother walks her grandson to the kindergarten by 9 am. Until 2pm, it is her free time. At 2 pm, she picks up her little grandson from the kindergarten, they head to home and a grandmother prepares snacks for him. They play together by watching TV, reading books, or playing game on a grandmother’s smartphone. At 6 pm, they have a dinner together and finally his parents come back home to pick up their son.

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(image from Yonhapnews.co.kr)

 

This is a summary of daily life of a normal grandparent in Korea today. Of course, I don’t mean all Korean grandparents are doing ‘grandparenting’ now.But I can say that the number of grandparents are grandprenting for their sons and daughters, who are unable to childrearing because most of people in Korea are now two-career families. At the same time, the shortage of day care centres is a major obstacle for these working parents in Korea. For this reason, many of young parents (I mean younger generation than their parents’ generation- over 60 years old) ask  their parents to take care of their children.

In my aunty’s case, she also does grandparenting during day time for 5 days a week. She knew how to take care of her grandchild because she already done with her children many years ago. But, the childrearing these days needs more variety.