Caregiving practices in Tanzania are potentially affected by socio-demographic change such as urbanization and globalization. The aim of this study is to explore adult caregivers' discourses regarding the responsibility of caregiving, related to guidance and control of children in Tanzania. Data was collected in focus group discussions with parents and grandparents in an urban area of Tanzania. The analysis found two interpretative repertoires: guidance and control as a community matter and guidance and control as a family matter. These repertoires are related to responsibility and to an ideological dilemma regarding parental authority and individual's rights. The findings are discussed in relation to the tendency to polarize between ideologically traditional versus modern societies. This illustrates how lived ideology of caregiving responsibility is historically and socially situated, in the local context and how the spread of Children's Rights ideology needs to be understood in this context. Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.