In my opinion, if it is done on a regular basis at the child's parents' request...like so the parents can work then the grandparents should be compensated. After all, a daycare or other babysitter would have to be paid.
If it is every so often, like so the parents can have a night out then probably not. Visits like those are usually not on a regular basis and are enjoyed more so by both the grandparents & grandchildren.
I agree with Cindy. I know several people that take advantage of their parents, mostly moms to watch their kids. I tend to watch some of them when the parents are not available. I DO charge. One of my friends moms actually quit her job to look after the kids. Even if they can afford it, its not nice to not offer something , and maybe every now and then, do something nice for them. (Gift certificates etc) Many that have the grandparents to babysit probaly have no appreciation as to how lucky they are. Like I said I know some of them. lol
I agree with Abear. If the grandparents are being put-out by babysitting on a regular basic, they should be paid. However, if they are only needed occaisonally, then no problem. I too have seen so many grandparents taken advantage of.
My parents watch my 2 kids May-Sept when they are in the state for me as they want to spend as much time as possible with the kids plus they know paying a sitter is a real drain on my budget.
I do work from home so I plan my "days out" so the kids are only at their house 1-2 days for 3-5 hours. The sitter that I use the rest of the year charges $3 per hour per child. Thankfully DD1 is in school full time and DD2 attends pre-school for 2 1/2 hrs 4 days during school so I plan most of my "out time" then.
If I worked full time I would offer to pay them as full time care is a lot for grandparents. I do take snacks for the kids so they aren't eating grandma out of house & home.
This has to be a personal choice between parents and grandparents. My in-laws would be insulted if I'd offered to pay them to watch their beloved grandkids! But my mother, who actually could use the money, would've welcomed it. I'd say if you are talking about babysitting while you go out, a one-shot deal, it'd be nice to offer or bring something over for them, maybe offer to buy pizza for dinner that night. If you are talking about ongoing care, say every day after school, then open up a dialog about it. "Mom, Dad, I know it's a lot for you take care of the kids..." and broach the subject.
In my opinion I would say if your taking advantage of it YES pay them!! But if its for a serious reason like for work only and there is no one else then I dont really know..cuz they are after all grandparents
But yeah there are ALOT of ppl I know myslef that take ALOT of advantage of the G parents!! all the time