Different attitudes to looking after kids in China and the UK

It is really common that grandparents help to take care of their grandparents when the parents are very busy doing their jobs in China. And nowadays it is easy to see this in Britain too. The other day in Preston park, I asked a lady whether she is willing to help look after the kids, she said no and admitted that she is somewhat selfish. I think it is the cultural differences that cause the opposite attitudes to raising grandchildren.

In China, helping take care of grandchildren is regarded as natural as raising their own children because it can bring much joy to grandparents when they retire from work. Some parents think that looking after grandchildren helps the grandparents stay in a young mind and learn something new and interesting with the kids. While in Britain, maybe they think looking after grandchildren deprives their private time to have fun and they won’t have their own space at all. It is true and it is unfair for grandparents to raise their own children to be adults but have to look after their grandparents again! At the same time, we all have to admit that the grandparents are aging gradually and maybe doing the housework while taking care of the kids are really demanding and challenging for their age and health.

So we can’t expect them to do everything for us and we should respect their choice whether they are willing to do anything for us since we are adults now to take our own responsibility. Therefore maybe it is a big problem for grandparents both in China and the UK to keep the balance between the time they spend for their own lives and the time for them to look after their children.