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Money Moral Dilemma: Should our son pay us for the fuel we use babysitting our grandchildren?



  • silvercar
    silvercar Posts: 47,262 Ambassador
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    If the grandparents need the money, hopefully the parents will realise and offer to pay. Otherwise a thank you gift may be appropriate. Other than that, all the grandparents are doing is SKIing - Spending Kids Inheritance. 
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  • KxMx
    KxMx Posts: 10,634 Forumite
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    edited 9 November 2022 at 11:28AM
    If it is childcare being given while parents are at work, rather than nights out etc, then the kids need to realise what a fortune they are saving by grandparents providing it for free, and be gracious about paying out fuel money.
    They'd be paying out a lot more for commercial childcare if the grandparents weren't in the picture and need to realise this as the grandparents can no longer afford to do it without a contribution towards costs. 
  • RickyAH
    One way to cut costs, get an electric car and charge it up at their house for free, then no fuel costs to you, at least on the journey home. 
    This is not a serious comment as electric cars are a fortune to buy, but it does make you think.
  • paulk3
    paulk3 Posts: 9 Forumite
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    The simple answer is to have them over to your home (even overnight) and brought and picked up.
    Now and again,you can offer to collect them and have them picked up.

  • Gervais3232
    Perhaps on occasion politely try to not make yourselves so readily available or that you can assist but they will need to drop the children off.  Are they able to equitably ask grandparents on both sides? 
  • pollypenny
    pollypenny Posts: 29,394 Forumite
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    Oh, I wish we could have been in that situation.  Our grandsons are in America. I envy my friends who are on regular duty. 
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  • KerfuffleInc
    Presumably you get some enjoyment out of the arrangement and you wouldn't want to completely discourage them from asking you to babysit. You could either:

    Make up the difference with other costs. I.E. have a meal at their house using their ingredients. Drink their drinks etc. Save on your own heating (sad that this can be a quantifiable saving these days)

    or why not just offer to split the petrol costs.
  • captainfridge
    If you’re both struggling then sounds like an honest chat is needed. If done sensitively and from a good place sure a solution can be found. Maybe if they could ask for your help just a little less frequently it might relieve some of the financial pressure on you without the need for any money to change hands? Good luck!
  • crmism
    crmism Posts: 300 Forumite
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    It looks like your son and his partner are a bit needy and that maybe they should have realised that having children is a considerable commitment which they should really try and fulfil on their own rather than leaning on and taking advantage of others without offering to meet the expense of travel. Perhaps, in view of the travel costs you incur, you might diplomatically indicate from time to time that you already have a special commitment that was agreed weeks before, and as a consequence you will be unable to babysit. Alternatively, you might find an opening to explain that travel costs have become an important consideration with the rising costs of fuel, and see whether that raises their awareness and willingness to contribute towards them.
  • bellabella
    bellabella Posts: 1,225 Forumite
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    I will be looking after my grandson whilst DD and her hubby go to work 3 days a week in a few months time and I wouldn't even dream of asking or expecting money towards fuel it is a 90 min drive each way but he will be staying with me  for 2 nights and then i will take him home. As a parent i want to support my DD and this is one of the ways in which i can as i unfortunatly had no help when i had my children  as my father was terminally ill and my mum was his carer and it was a miserable time for me financialy and mentally I am lucky to be in a position where i have no financial worries but i would hope that i would be able to approach my children if i needed to for some help
    Slava Ukraini
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