Child Care for Love Or Money?: A Guide to Navigating the Parent-caregiver Relationship
Focusing on the parent-caregiver relationship as only an employer-employee contract is an attempt to bound something that is, inevitably, a sticky, unbounded situation. Parents struggle with issues that touch on the caregiver's value to the family, such as money, time, control, and autonomy. They struggle with what to call the care-giver and how to describe her role. They struggle with their attachment to her, her attachment to them and to their child, and their child's attachment to her. In addition, parents and caregivers alike struggle with separations, transitions, reunions, and finally, how and when to end the relationship. Undoubtedly, cultural and social class differences contribute to these struggles, but it is from more universal human dynamics that these conflicts arise.
Child Care for Love or Money? A Guide to Navigating the Parent-Caregiver Relationship provides a framework to understand and manage the multifaceted relationship between them. Why bother? Because the child's emotional development and well-being are inevitably influenced by its quality and tone. Success in this relationship lies in finding a balance that enables parents and caregivers to move between the boundaries where parental functions and attachments are shared and relinquished each day. When parents and caregivers are aware of the central paradox that exists and collaborate to make it work, they make room for a wide range of positive experiences, as well as unsettling ones, between them.
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