Grandmas have the best job. They get to spend time with their adorable little grandchildren. And then give them back! When the grandchildren come to stay, enjoy this special time. Get the most from their visit by following a few simple rules.
1) Make Time
Once you’ve agreed to babysit, keep your diary empty of other engagements. Time at grandmas requires your undivided attention. Make time for your grandchildren. Indulge yourself in their company. Forget about your own commitments. For now, the only thing of importance is your little ones.
2) Re-Stock the Fridge
Grandmas like to spoil their grandchildren. Right? So take a look in the fridge. It’s likely to be full of adult foodstuffs and drinks. It’s time to re-stock! Write a shopping list of foods your grandchildren will eat. Fussy eaters may require a bit of persuasion. Or play it safe and only buy what you know they like. Add a few little sweets and snacks as a treat. It’s what any good grandparent would do!
3) Plan Some Activities
Think about how you will be spending your time with your little charges. How many days are they visiting for? How many hours do you need to fill? What do they like doing? What is your budget? Organize a mixture of activities to keep them amused all day. A full day out is a special treat. Or a few rainy day activities indoors like crafts and story time. Have a look at educational toys planet if you want them to learn while they play. The time of the year will determine what is feasible to do. Warm weather opens up lots of fun (and free) adventures. Plan for inclement weather too so you aren’t left scratching your head for ideas.
4) Child-Proof your Home
A child-free house is filled with obstacles you won’t normally notice. The danger level of your house will depend on the age of your grandchildren. Older children know not to eat washing powder and stick their fingers in sockets! Little ones don’t. Do a risk assessment of your home. Look at each room carefully through a child’s eyes. Remove sharp objects. Put chemicals hidden away out of reach. Remove breakables and introduce plastic plates and cups if necessary. Minimize tripping hazards like rugs and trailing electrical wires.
5) Set Boundaries
It isn’t your responsibility to teach your grandchildren right from wrong. But they are in your home. Therefore, set boundaries. You may let them get away with more than their parents would permit. That doesn’t mean you’re a pushover! Take control and be clear what the limiters are. Don’t be afraid to impose restrictions. Or tell them off if they disobey your rules.
6) Get Your Rest
Young children are hard work. They are active and on the go from dawn until dusk. When your own children are fully grown it can be hard to remember how much hard work they were! Plus, you are older than you were as a parent. Look after your health and avoid doing too much. Overstretching yourself will mar the enjoyment of being with your grandchildren. Provide some activities the children can do with minimal supervision. Take a break when you can. And get to bed early!
Time with grandchildren is special. Enjoy the moments you share together with a fun-packed action plan at the ready.
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Life as a grandma.. it's no 'quiet, restful days in the rocking-chair'. It's filled with activity, excitement and lots of family fun. Please share it with me.